The Unexpected Reason Martha Stewart Stores Her Seed Packets With Cat Litter

For the avid and amateur green thumb alike, your cache of seeds is the life force of your garden. So when tucking them away for storage, you want to make certain that they are kept in the right conditions so they aren't ruined before getting a chance to grow. Luckily lifestyle legend Martha Stewart has an ingenious way of keeping your seeds safe by using an unlikely source, kitty litter.

Now before you start shaking your head and thinking that this time Stewart has gone too far, it helps to break down exactly what cat litter does and how it can be beneficial to store the seeds in perfect condition for a long time to come. The major culprit causing ruined flower, vegetable, or fruit seeds is moisture which is why seed packets recommend that they be kept in a cool, dry place. However, if you live in an environment with fluctuating temperatures and you can't necessarily ensure that all moisture is being held at bay, then this is where you can benefit from the moisture-absorbing qualities of cat litter. Traditionally made from clay, wood pellets, or even silica, cat litter helps draw moisture away and keep it contained within its properties. Let's take a look at how Stewart suggests you use cat litter to protect your seed stash.

How cat litter can help save your seeds

In a throwback video on her TikTok, Martha Stewart shared some helpful tips on how to keep your seeds organized and free from spoilage all year round. She explains that you need to keep moisture away from your seeds so that they don't get ruined before you can plant them in the garden. If you have a lot of one type of seed and don't feel like keeping a bunch of packages, then glass jars can be your best friend. Once they are all tossed into a jar of your choosing, Stewart suggests that you wrap a little portion of untreated cat litter into the middle of a small square of cheesecloth. Then fold the sides up and tie the ends with a piece of twine or ribbon. What you are left with is a small sachet that can be placed into the jar of seeds. The cat litter sachets act like a desiccant pack and work to draw any possible moisture away from the seeds.

This can be the ideal storage idea for seeds that just came out of the packet or ones you have harvested from your own garden. For freshly plucked seeds, you must ensure they are completely dried before placing them in a jar for safekeeping. If not, you run the risk of too much moisture entering your seed jar and being trapped inside, and possibly prematurely starting the germination process.

Martha Stewart's passion for seed saving goes way beyond the home

Martha Stewart has been aiding folks with helpful advice on how to maintain a luscious garden and how to collect flower and vegetable seeds to ensure future growth. Through The Martha Blog, she has gone through various types of flowers and how to properly conserve reproductive seeds so you can continue those beautiful blooms for years to come. However, her passion for plants doesn't stop there. In fact, when it comes to seed saving, she is thinking on a global scale.

Stewart has been a long-time advocate for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which since 2008 has been housing around 1,214,827 seed varieties in its secure facility in Norway. The purpose is to collect seed samples from around the world so that they won't be lost in case of environmental or human-caused disasters. From African maize to South American eggplant and barley, the facility can hold around 4.5 million varieties of seeds. "The vault is a major humanitarian effort, and with all these countries working together, we can protect every crop that's out there," Stewart told Bon Appetit, "If the vault didn't exist, there would be no backup plan." So although tucking away, organizing, and maintaining your cache of seed packets may seem like small potatoes, it could be the start of a sustainable seed-saving empire if you think beyond your own garden.