For all you keen gardeners looking for novel ways to preserve your seed harvest this year, there’s no need to worry about not having special cryopreservation equipment or a ready supply of liquid nitrogen. You can draw on the wisdom of indigenous cultures for some methods to extend storage life. Take a look at the video, produced as part of CABI’s Good Seed Initiative, which aims to help Bangladeshi women farmers improve seed quality.
Good cultural practices are adopted such as sorting, cleaning and hanging the stored seeds off the ground. Methods to protect the precious harvest also include using plant leaves placed inside the storage container (often earthenware or tin pots) to deter insect pests. Plants such as neem (Azadirachta indica), biskatali (Polygonum hydropiper) and tobacco leaves (Nicotiana spp.) are suggested in the video.
Incidentally, if you’re out of silica gel to dry your seeds, you could store them in cow dung cakes! Using fresh dung, you place the seeds inside and hang them around the house to dry, and then remove them when it’s time to plant.
When growing chilis, the effects of the fungal infection anthracnose can be reduced by using sweet flag (Acorus calamus); alternatively it can be used as a sedative or to treat your skin eruptions!