Organizing Seeds

lnewportMay 16, 2011

I buy a lot of seeds during the spring as home improvement stores such as Lowes and Homedepot stock up during this time and it's cheaper than buying online.

Does anyone else do this and if so do you have a way of organizing your seed packets?

I just bought some plastic tote boxes which to divide out seeds by season but I'm wondering if the plastic will cause problems for the seeds (moisture problems maybe??) and if anyone has a better solution.

Thank you

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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I found a couple of photo albums with pockets for photos that work very well for tucking seeds in.
I can insert a page every other page to make notes on what seeds I have to plant when and where.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 12:30AM
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lnewport

Ah. That's a great idea NancyJane. Thanks for your idea.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:33AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I keep three ziploc bags in the fridge: one each for winter vegetables, summer vegetables, and flowers. The plastic will keep the seeds fresh, and having them sorted saves time at planning and planting times.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:33AM
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kterlep(5/6)

I use a shoebox and a A-Z accordion folder for sorting checks. Very 20th century. :) I just keep them somewhere cool but don't worry about deep freezing them...when I go to plant I always take the oldest seeds first.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 12:19PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

I keep my seeds in the fridge in two small metal cookie tins.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:14PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Oh, my goodness, you are all so organised! My seeds lie in a jumble in a paper bag at the bottom of my allotmenting bag. They seem to come up all right. I just riffle through and pick out whatever needs planting. But I wouldn't recommend my 'methods'.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Have you checked out the Seed Saving forum here? This is a frequent question there. There are many good suggestions (even some FAQs) on how to organize your seeds and the various methods of storing them.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:07PM
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lnewport

Have you checked out the Seed Saving forum here?

There's a seed saving forum? LOL. Guess that answers that question.

I'll check it out, as I never knew there was one. I should have, seems like there is a forum for just about everything here.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 5:28PM
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alabamanicole(7b)

I use container that is sort of a mini file box with a handle on top and the sealed lid like the Snapware boxes. I then use index cards with labels that stand up to organize them. Red labels are for warm-weather edibles and blue ones for cool weather. It's slightly too wide for the index cards, so I made a pocket out of a file folder for extra cards, labels, my labeling pen, etc.

I have another smaller box for perennials and non-edibles.

I like the sealed container because it helps maintain proper humidity in the box.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 6:09PM
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lnewport

Thanks for all the suggestions gang :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who organizes their seeds.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 6:20PM
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feijoas(New Zealand)

I'm sort of organised/random: I have a couple of rather loud orange plastic 70s breadbins in a dark and cold bit of my laundry.
One has unsealed ziplock bags labelled by variety, ie, 'cucurbit', stuffed with more bags and envelopes of seed.
The other heirloom breadbin is full of big bags, like lupins, saved broad beans and half a shopping bag of saved beetroot seed that I'm slowly giving away.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:38PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

I wanted to do the photo album, but found that packets with even the tiniest bit of bulk to them tended to bust up the thin plastic pockets.

So I purchased a binder and thicker plastic pocket sheets from a scrapbooking website, and that's working out pretty well.

Scrapbookers have every kind of organization and storage imaginable - I'd say check out a scrapbooking site or store, but be warned, it can be a trip down the rabbit hole.

~emmers

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:03AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I have everything sorted in shoe boxes and one of those 3 tier plastic drawer units. I taped cardboard in for dividers. Since I teach seed sowing and gardening skills, I have a LOT of seeds! I have so many I can't store them in a fridge (and I won't pay to run one to store my seeds) so they are in their own room and I leave out those moisture grabbing crystals and also throw packets of the stuff in the shoe boxes. Seems to work, I keep fairly good germination rates.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 1:03AM
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lnewport

Good point girlgroupgirl. Rice would work too (since I don't have those crystals) which will resolve my worry about whether or not the plastic will trap moisture. Thanks!

@emmers_m I was wondering about that myself. Some seeds such as corn is so bulky .

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 5:06PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I have a few seed packages to store. I grow almost entirely open pollinated tomatoes, and that is the primary seed I save. I have saved beans for seed, and may try some watermelon seed, but everything else, I purchase, and I grow lots of hybrid varieties.

I bought a bunch of test tubes I use to store tomato seeds in. I can store a huge number of each of about 100 different tomato varieties in test tubes in two plastic "coffee cans" in my shop, or garden, refrigerator.
I also use these test tubes to store seed I buy "in bulk" (spinach, beets, carrots, radishes, mixed lettuce).

I do have a small "tackle box" I use to hold the packages of purchased seeds I store in that refrigerator.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 3:57AM
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keski(6)

I use a plastic shoe box and kind of file the packets like index cards. I also threw in a couple of those silicon packets you get with shoes or purses to keep the moisture level ok. I keep the box in a dark cupboard in the kitchen. Even my older seeds germinate well enough for me.
Keski

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:17AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Dang, I just wrote a reply here and got an error that spit me back to the Veggie Forum page. If it shows up later and I repeat myself, sorry!

Anywho, I admire all the great ideas here! My method is pretty low tech. I used to lable the mailing envelopes that the seeds came in "Spring" Summer" and "Fall" depending on when the plants would be set out in the garden, until I got too many seed packets. Now I use small mailing boxes (which I also once recieved mail in) and rubberband the seeds into groups based on common sowing times and conditions (indoors or direct sow). It works pretty well and while I do have to shift some packets of seed that do more than one rotation in the garden, that's fairly painless. But suddnely I feel the urge to gussie up my boxes...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 11:18AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I've found that photo storage works well. I use these boxes (they are shipped flat and are easy to assemble) - they fit nicely into a box I have.

But there are all kinds of cool options if you search photo or scrapbooking storage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo Storage

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 1:31PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I store mine in a "watertight" tote, but hadn't thought of using silica gel packs to keep them dry as keski does -- great idea!

Within the tote, I have smaller boxes for cool-weather, warm-weather, and perennial seeds, with some marked for succession sowing.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 12:49PM
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