Monday, February 13, 2017

organizing seed packets

I'm so excited - all the seeds I ordered this year have arrived! Yeah! Almost as fun as planting them is putting them away in my seed organizer.

seed sorting  IMG_0120

To store my seeds, I have a plastic box with a lid that holds standard-sized, heavy, 1-inch expanding envelopes. I have 20 of these envelopes. Each I've labelled with a type of vegetable. I have Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Roots (carrots, beets, etc), Flowers, Tomatoes, etc. Each seed packet goes into the appropriate folder.

I love the way this set-up works. It's easy to find my seeds and easy to return them to their spot.

seed sorting IMG_0124 seed sorting  IMG_0126

Hannah, who runs the Vegetable Garden at Elm Bank (Wellesley MA) uses this approach and showed it to me. Rather than one box, she has at least ten of them!

I like to show my seed collection to gardeners and make the point that seeds last a long time. Most last at least 5 years. Tomato seeds can remain viable more than 10 years. A few seed types are short-lived, like carrots and onions. But it saves a LOT of money, and is fun(!), to save seeds year to year in an organized system. I enjoy building up a collection with lots of variety.

So now I have my seeds set, I've cleaned up some planting trays, my shelves and lights are up. The next step is getting my hands into dirt and planting. Ahh.... My calendar says to start onions and celeriac next week. But I think starting a week early can't hurt....


garden4dinner said...

I have almost all of my seeds also. It is exciting to get them, but hard to wait until planting time.

I like your seed organization system. I will have to think about how I can make something work for me. I have a small space in the refrigerator where I keep my seeds.

kathy said...

Why do you keep your seeds in a refrigerator ? room temperature 60-75F is fine.

kathy said...

I've been reading information on line about how to store seeds. Many do say to store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator, like you do. I had never heard of that before. I just learned they need to be stored dry. I add silica gel packets to my seed box whenever I come across any. Most of my seeds are still viable after 6 years or so. (My carrots and onion family seeds aren't viable more than 2-3 years.) It would really limit my ability to save seeds if I had to find space in the refrigerator.

Anonymous said...

I sort my seeds by date they need to be sown, separating them into two boxes: "Indoor Sowing" and "Direct Sowing," and alphabetically within dates. Of course often something started early indoors gets moved to the "Direct" box for succession cropping later. I use plastic storage boxes kept in a cool, spare bedroom for most, but parsley, violas, pansies, perennials are kept in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag (then moved to the freezer for a week before sowing.)

Ralph said...

I keep my seeds in an old slotted wooden CD storage box. Using tabs, I sort the seeds by the month in which they need to be sown.