Time To Organize Those Seeds

Tonight, my favorite Gardening Gals are getting together at a local wine bar for our annual Seed Swap.  It’s a fun tradition we started a couple of years back that gives us a chance to sip a glass of wine, and nerd out, kid-free, over plants, seeds, and gardening.  After the swap, I come home inspired and excited to start planning and planting my newest Spring garden.

My seed collection is currently a hot mess.  There are seeds packets in the laundry room, the kitchen island, the garage, and in the shed.  Plus, half of them are expired, empty, or did not perform well the first time I planted them.  Time to organize and downsize this disaster before the meeting.

First up, I had to discard the expired seed packets.  You can usually find the ‘packed for date’ on the back of the seed packet.   It’s important to note that all seeds types are viable for different periods of time.  To get you started, I found a great guide on vegetable seed viability here at Seasonal Wisdom.  The oldest seed packet I found in my collection was from 2004.  Bu-bye!

Next, I discarded any packets with seeds that looked shriveled, damaged, or had been exposed to moisture.  Below is what I was left with.  My collection had been significantly reduced and I hope to have a much more successful growing season because of the hard to make cuts.

In the spirit of helping other gardeners plant successful gardens, the 3 vegetable seed packets pictured above were my top 3 producers for 2014.  The other 3 packets were my best flower producers for 2014.  All can be found at your local hardware store or, ordered online.

An air tight container is a must in seed storage and these Ziplock containers were the best I could come up with on short notice.  I also grabbed some card stock to make dividers for the seed box.

Each year I start seeds indoors, as well as outdoors, and it can be difficult to keep track of what to plant when and where.  To make this process easier on myself, I decided to divide my seed container up by the seed starting month and location, indoors or outdoors.

Using my quilting mat, ruler, and a utility knife I cut out the dividers.  First I used scissors, but the lines weren’t straight enough, so I switched to the utility knife.  I made a tab at the top of the divider to make the label stand out.  The seeds were then organized using the handing growing guide I found in a magazine years ago, and the dividers placed into the container.

The plastic baggie seed packets I had wouldn’t stay in place, so I placed them in small envelopes and labeled them with name and date.

The last of the packets were in place and my seed container is now organized, air tight, and ready for the Gardening Gal’s Seed Swap.

How do you organize your seed collection?

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6 thoughts on “Time To Organize Those Seeds

  1. so awesome! I purged too but not enough. I also put what I had into a digital spreadsheet, so I could see what was missing and only order what I needed vs. what I thought I needed 😉 I plan to keep track digitally of what does well this time around, since even though I have my tried and true favorites, there’s always that one variety that I can’t remember what it is or was when I go to try and find it the next year. Can’t wait to seed swap with you tonight!

    • Thank you, Nadja! I love your idea about also keeping a digital spreadsheet. It would be extremely helpful when it comes to remembering what to order again and what to forget about. Do you use Excel for your spreadsheet? Or, something else?

  2. Totally with you here! Great work and do know that with organization comes a big tomato harvest. You are right on track and rounding the bend to a fabulous garden this year. Can’t wait to see those little basil leaves pop out under the grow lights and not sure if they will even make it into the garden as they smell so yummy and sweet when all other green life is still dormant. So great to be organized at this point before all hell breaks loose with the botanical burst of spring. Fabuloso Miss Stacy! 😉

    • Thank YOU for a terrific seed swap night! I learned so much in 2 short hours and I think we easily could have sat there all night talking seeds. Also, thank you for checking out my humble blog and inspiring me all those years ago to take my own garden to the next level. Happy Spring gardening and enjoy those baby basil sprouts, Kirsten. 😀

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