Preppers: Squash from Ten Year Old Seeds

   05.12.17

Preppers: Squash from Ten Year Old Seeds

In February 2017 I posted a video on YouTube about starting a seed stockpile. It was a basic video directed towards preppers who are interested in stockpiling seeds. We talked about seeds for squash, melons, peas, beans–just your usual stuff.

There were some comments on the video saying, “Seeds have a short lifespan and that they are only good for a couple of years.” The person went on to comment, “Anyone with any gardening experience would know this.”

I know good and well that seeds, when stored properly, can stay viable for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. To prove this, I germinated some of the decade old squash seeds, then planted them.

Rather than using commercial fertilizer, I used aged chicken manure, ash from my smoker, and bone meal. Growth has been much slower than with commercial fertilizer and the plants are smaller, but I finally have a squash large enough to eat.

Basic Gardening

Preppers, let’s take a few minutes to talk about basic gardening. The following description is a “very” basic list.

Most plants will grow well with:

  • Nitrogen – Derived from manure or urine.
  • Potassium – Can be found in wood ash.
  • Phosphorus – Found in ground up bones. The bones will provide a range of nutrients, such as calcium.

Too much nitrogen and the plant will grow, but will not produce.

In the case of my squash plants, the squash would not grow. The seeds were started with aged chicken manure and nothing else.  .

Yellow squash
Squash and zucchini that were rotting on the plant.

The squash would grow to around 2 inches long, stop and then start to rot. After adding ash from my smoker around the base of the plant, they started to grow.

Growing Squash

When stockpiling squash seeds, be sure to have for summer and winter squash. Winter varieties are not grown in the winter. They are grown in late summer, harvested in the fall and stored through the winter.

Summer squash – Has a short lifespan once harvested.

Winter squash – Stored in a cool dry location, some types can be stored for up to four to six months.

These are high producing plants. As long as they have water and fertilizer, they will keep producing.

They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, and Potassium.

Squash and zucchini can cross pollinate, so do not plant them close together.

With just a few plants, your family should have more squash than you care to eat.

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