Seeds in jars

How To Create A Homemade Seed Bank Customized For Your Family

Sick of the stores not having what you need? Or being sold out before you had a chance to order? Maybe it’s time to start a seed bank. Say goodbye to not knowing if you have everything you need, and being reliant on your local stores to have what you need, and hello to the peace of mind of having seeds ready to go for your spring and fall garden. 

Premade seed vaults can be expensive and don’t always have what you need to grow in them, so creating a custom seed bank for your family is a great option to make sure your family will have food in case of emergency. 

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Seeds | How to make a custom DIY seed bank for emergencies

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DIY Seed Bank For Your Backyard Garden

Gardening is a great way to provide, wholesome, healthy, and organic food for your family, it’s also a wonderful hobby and skill to have. But what if you can’t find the seeds to grow the food you love or forgot to order something until the last moment and your favorite seed company is sold out? That’s where the beauty of a seed vault comes in. 

What Is A Seed Bank Or Seed Vault?

A seed bank often called a survival seed bank or emergency seed vault is a container filled with seeds for easy-to-grow, nutrient-dense food so you can grow your own food in the case of an emergency. 

Why You Should Think About Your Family’s Food Independence?

If nothing else 2020 taught us that food supply chains can be disrupted very easily, so food independence and victory gardens have really been brought to the front of people’s attention. And that’s a good thing. Not only is growing your own food rewarding, better for you, and in many cases, it tastes way better, but it takes away your reliance on supply chains.

Not everyone can grow all their own food and be self-sufficient, however, you can do something to grow your own food and ensure that your family is prepared. Maybe it’s something like doing a container garden on your patio, or verticle gardening on your balcony, putting in a small kitchen garden, or if you have room attempting to grow your own food. 

Why Is Having An Emergency Seed Bank Important?

Having a seed bank stocked and ready to go means you don’t have to worry if your local garden center has the seeds you need, or if the seed companies have run out of your favorite veggies. You have a supply ready to go, with seeds to start your spring or fall garden. Say goodbye to the finger crossing as you scroll through the seed companies inventory when you forgot to order something or ran out. Plus you don’t have to worry about shipping, everything you need will be on hand to get your garden going. 

Why Make A Custom Seed Vault?

Yes, you can purchase a seed vault online, but if your family is anything like our family it has likes and dislikes when it comes to veggies. So making our own custom seed bank means that we can select varieties that we love and do well in our location. It’s a little more work, but it’s absolutely worth it.

How Do I Start A Seed Bank?

So now that you know what a seed vault is, how do you make one? The first step is deciding just what varieties of seeds that you want to keep in your seed bank. Make a list of what vegetables your family eats, do some research, and find out what grows well in your area. Decide if you want to grow only heirlooms, or if you are open to hybrids, open-pollinated, and even GMO varieties. Here at Rosevine Cottage we don’t grow GMO varieties and tend to stick to heirloom and open-pollinated seeds, but that’s just personal preference. 

Where To Buy Seeds For Your Seed Bank

You can buy seeds locally at your local garden center, or if you are looking for more variety these online stores are a great place to buy seeds for your homemade seed bank.

Since 1995 they have been supplying gardeners with the highest quality seed in the most beautiful and informative seed packets on the market. Curtis and Judy started Botanical Interests because they believed that gardeners were not getting the information they needed from their seed packets. Their desire for more information along with their passion for spreading gardening wisdom led them to create a unique seed packet that is not only beautiful but filled with facts, tips, recipes, and quality seed.

Seeds For Generations is a family business that sells organic heirloom vegetable seeds and related gardening products that makes our list of where to buy seeds online. 

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. offers nearly 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs—the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the USA. Baker Creek carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century, including many Asian and European varieties. The company has become a tool to promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage. Baker Creek is where we buy many of our seeds each and every year- so of course, we had to include it in our list of where to buy seeds. 

As a nonprofit, Seed Savers Exchange aims to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.

Seeds of Change was founded in 1989 to make organically grown seeds available to gardens and farmers. They’re dedicated to preserving the heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the “advances” of industrial agriculture. Their seeds are certified organic, sourced from trusted growers in the United States, and certified to be free of GMOs.

Is an online seed company with tons of options to pick from.

Through good times and bad, the great depression and world wars, Burpee has been a beacon of hope for Americans for over a century. Despite the invention of the radio, television, cell phones, and iPods, nothing is more amazing and powerful than the enchantment of planting a seed in soil and watching it grow. We, at Burpee, certainly did not invent it, but we have been dedicated to enabling you to share, in a very small but significant way, the astonishing magic of nature. Burpee is a well-known brand that you can find in most garden centers offering a wide variety of seeds, so we included this trusted company on our list of where to buy seeds. 

At Ferry-Morse we passionately believe gardening should be fulfilling and fruitful. It is a passion we want to share with you. We hope to not only inspire your home gardening but to give you the tools you need to be successful at it. That’s why we take great care to ensure a quality selection of seeds that will enrich your garden with beautiful and fruitful plants. All of Ferry-Morse’s seeds are Non-GMO and many of their seed selections include organic and Heirloom varieties.

What Seeds Should You Put In Your Seed Vault?

When it comes to making your customized homemade seed bank it’s really important to choose vegetables and varieties that your family likes. If you plant a bunch of peas and no one in your family will eat peas it’s going to be a waste of space, resources, and time. At the same time, you also want to plant vegetables that are rich in nutrients and will do well in your location. We’ve compiled a quick list of some veggies that you may want to include in your homemade seed bank.

Cool Season Crops To Include In Your Seed Bank:

  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Beets
  • Kohlrabi
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Mirco Greens
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage

Warm Season Crops For Your Seed Bank:

  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Winter Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Beans
  • Potato
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Collard Greens

How Long Do Seeds Last?

When stored properly the seeds in your seed vault will last for several years, some seeds can last longer than this however germination rates tend to drop after 2-3 years. However, we have had success starting seeds 10 years and older.

How To Store Your Seed Vault Properly

To store your homemade seed vault properly, store it in a cool dry location. Seeds should be stored at 40 degrees F. 4 C. or cooler to keep them fresh and dormant. Avoid temperature changes, and exposing the seeds in your seed vault to light. Make sure you use a moisture-proof container that is rodent proof. 

If you are harvesting and storing your own seeds make sure that your seeds are completely dry before storing them. If you are new to seed saving you can check out our seed saving guide for beginners

How To Start A Victory Garden From Your Seed Vault

When you are ready to use the seeds in your seed bank, open it up and use the seeds as directed on the back of the packages. If you are new to starting a garden, make sure you check out all of our garden resources.

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