How do you organize your seeds?

ibartoo(z8 sc)December 8, 2007

Hi everyone, I just finished doing my first round robin swap and I realized my seeds and trade lists are in desperate need of some better organization. I have them filed ( some of them) and labeled in bags ( most of them) but any suggestions would be so welcome......... Linda

ps. Also if you have lots of seeds of the same variety, do you go ahead and package them into "trades" or keep them in a larger bag and then package them as you trade? If I were to package all of mine into little baggies, It would take forever and the space..........There aren't enough files in the world..........


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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Hi Linda!:) I still havent perfected anything yet myself but one thing I always do is catalog and file away my seeds as they come in.I write them down in a notebook,first under what part of the country they came from and then under whatever category they fall under,M.Glory go under M.Glory..ect...That way I not only have the physical seeds I have it all written down for easier reference when looking them up,as I use them up I will remove them from the list.I plan to convert them over to a file on my computer also,I feel better having things logged in more than one place.
As for packing up the seeds for trade,if I know I have a large amount of something, I pack them up as I go along,when it seems like the seeds have been depleted to a couple trades,that is when I pack them up so that I am sure I have what I am offering on my list.I also would be here for hours pre-packing seeeds,1 business size envy of 'Black Eyed Susans' is alot of they get to a 1/4 full is when I will pack them up for trades.So far it has worked great and I havent had any problems with keeping track...but then of course I havent been at this as long as
After this swap,I am going to be doing a total over haul on my system,I will have new catergories to create and alot more seeds,but I think I am going to stick to my current system,it has been working well for me so far.The only thing I might change is what I am currently storing my seeds in(ones received in trade),I have seen people use collector card albums,and I love that idea.Right now I am using the Business size envy and tote for my seeds I have for trade,I have a box filled with all sorts of containers and envelopes I keep them in.My personal favorite is grated cheese container.They stand nice and you can open the top for air and even if they get knocked over they dont spill out everywhere.I am glad you started this thread,I will keep checking to see some of the great ideas people come up with!:)
Happy Holidays,Angie

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 2:07PM
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I have mine in bags in envelopes. If I have a large quantity of a certain variety, I put some in a bag to file in the envelopes (arranged into tomato, fruit&veggie, and flowers alphabetically) and the rest of it in a large container. I'm thinking I might move to those plastic page protectors in a binder as sort of an expanded envelope-in-a-box setup, but I'll wait to do that on a rainy day. :)

For the lists, I have a spreadsheet, but I recently moved them to a gardening journal/website/organizer (I can send you an invite if you're interested or would like to look around). The website lets me link a picture to the seed type, add a journal about where/when I got it, etc. It's still in beta, but it seems like it might work out better for me than the spread sheet.

I like the grated cheese container, Angie. That's probably also pretty good if you want sow directly from the container. I may have to start hunting those out!


    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 4:34PM
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agirlsgirl(7 North Carolina)

Stacy,thanks! They are also awesome for spreading de-icers!;)

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 5:12PM
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ibartoo(z8 sc)

What kind of grated cheese containers are you talking about? I am not sure what you mean..

When I harvest seeds, I always have brown paper lunch bags with me....... I use lunch bags and sharpie markers and then when the seeds are dry enough, I put them in ziploc bags and then into boxes that can be stuck in the fridge.

The problem is when I do a trade, it would be so much easier to just go to the files and drop the correct seeds in the envies............ I don't really have an actual list of inventory I kind of keep that in my head........
Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to see which methods are working for others...... Linda

keep the ideas coming.................

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 7:21PM
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kilngod z6b(Zone 6b)

I use the business envie filing system (in 2 boxes, alphabetical, veggies are filed elsewhere) for the small amounts of seeds only (gathered, commercial or traded). Both things to trade, and my personal stash are mixed together in my priorities change on what's personal and what's for trade. All types of morning glories in one envie, sunflowers in another, I subdivide when needed -- herbs are getting too full, and need to be seperated into Herbs-culinary and Herbs-medicinal/decorative soon.

Along the side of one box there's extra space (it's running out this year -- need a wider box now, or a seperate one just for these). This is where I file the larger 3x5" bags of labeled/cleaned seed I've harvested. Also alphabetical. Before here, they live in coffee filters (a few thick) to dry well, then into a large bag to help sort out the chaff (involves a lot of shaking, and then scooping out the seed from the bottom), then into the 3x5's. From these, I package seed as I go, and check the stock before I offer it in a posting.

I only write seed info down somewhere when I've either decided to add it to my trade list as a trade-out, or I'm compiling my "to sow" list with germination info (got to nick this one, soak this one, etc). I generally just have it in my head what I've got in the boxes. But I keep a detailed record of my trades on the computer (and backed up to disk), and can search that for any "where or who it came from" questions later.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 8:12PM
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I've just organized my seeds using a soft sided zippered CD case. I love it. I can sit down with a catalog and my binder at the table with a cuppa and shop!

I also downloaded packets to print so that I could save my seeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Binder: Garden Organization Project

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:29PM
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atm my oldeer stuff is in ziplocs flowers herbs tomatoes peppers outher (pre-re-sort)

the newer is packed yup and ready to trade wherever possible and i have the things i have like 4+ trading packs of in labeled ziplocs by name (like purple pepper catnip celosia red velvet) the things oi only have a few of are in a ziploc called small quantities the extras are in one called extras (sometimes i dont run up enough seed packs sometimes i run up too many)

the stuff that isnt yet bagged but is dry is in ziplocs by name

THAT mess is all kept in one taped open flat rate box tho i plan on moving it to a dorm sized mini-fridge thing in my room

i ALSO keep a rough list of what ive baught/harvested online that has NOTHING from trades listed in it those are currentally kept on a word file on my iphone

i DO know i need to create 2 databases on bento one for seeds one for trades then go from those on my iphone (before you ask bento is mac only)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 6:46PM
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we collect all the seeds, then put them all in one container (of say liatris) then when i have all of the seeds in there, i go ahead and measure out all of them into the baggies, and put them into one big bag for LIATRIS, i do that with all of MY saved seeds. as for my traded seeds, i save them in gallon sized baggies into sections of tomato's, pepper's, beans/peas, vege's that are in ground, vege's that above ground. melons, other fruits. citrus. flowers i separate by low, high or color. or some because they're bushy or some thing like that. definately perennial and annual. always!! hope that helps some! :') ~medo

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 9:06PM
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Ament(5a SD)

Right now, my seeds are in envelopes(ones I hand collected) or original envelopes and then into a shoe box. I need to go through them and organize them a bit better. I'm always shuffling through them to find that One envelope I want. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 11:11PM
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mastergarder2003 Lixey(5 MI.)

To start with you can take a shoe box and lable a old recycled junk mail envelope that you turn backwards and sideways. Use a sharpie black felt pen,lable the first Envelope A-B the the secone one C-D and so on till you finish the box A-Z. Now put in your envelops of seeds or zips. Walla Finished. Ok Now I got fancy later I a file cabnet i got from a Antiq. sale like a old Library card holder. and I have two boxes for trade and two boxes for save. and the bottom to for tape, scissors, sharpies. zips.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:53PM
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mastergarder2003 Lixey(5 MI.)

I keep all the large seed bags together in ABC order in Rose,Hibiscus.,then I package them up when trades come in. I look them up in ABC order and put them in tiny baggys to mail.
I recycle old Visa env. and cut them up and tape for env. some times and old tea bags. or dollar store tiny plastic env.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 5:47PM
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This is what I have found to be the easiest way and the quickest to locate something specific.

I got mine a Homegoods after xmas, it was used as part of a xmas display and was being thrown out.

The one on the left is my seeds, Each 4x6 baggie has a name on it plus I hava a-z 4x6 in there for seeds that I don't have enough of to keep a "special" named 4x6 for....

The one on the right is my packing station and holds everything I need to get ready for a swap. I do have a third but won't allow myself to fill it!!!

Although, I must admit to since this picture starting a new small rubbermmaid..The fact that it's almost full is sad!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 2:59PM
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