At least once a week I’m asked how I organize my seeds, and until now I didn’t think I was doing anything fancy, but I’ve realized that actually I have a pretty nifty system for storing seeds and organizing them to make it easy to find what I need and when I need them. So let me talk to you about it.
Firstly, I should probably hold my hands up and admit that I am a bit of a geek for organising. You’ve probably guessed this already if you are familiar with my greenhouse, heard about my seed-sowing plan, or seen my gardening journal. But it doesn’t stop there. I love a good bit of organising and I’ll take any excuse, so of course, that had to apply to my seeds too.
Now, something that’s worth noting here is that with your seeds, it’s not just about being organised, how you store them will make a huge difference to how long they will be viable and in the long run, save you money as you won’t have to replace them quite so soon. So to put it simply, seeds need to be kept in a cool, dark and dry location. Moisture is the enemy of seed storage, so those little silica packs you get in packages are awesome. Keep those when you see them in the container with your seeds. Although I must confess, nothing, absolutely nothing is as a good, decent tight-fitting lid that keeps moisture out. It really is that simple, obviously, if you are running the world seed bank, things are a little more complicated but for most of us home gardeners, this covered what we need to think about.
So if you are one of those people that just have a few packets of seeds (is there such a person?), then you could store those in a wee zip-lock plastic bag in a drawer in the kitchen or even your greenhouse. Your seeds would be safe from moisture and you wouldn’t need to worry too much about organising. However, let’s be honest, most of us have way more seeds than that. So maybe you keep yours in a shoe box under the bed or one of those plastic boxes with the click lid. This might work for you for storage, but every time you need a particular type of seed, you need to go rummaging through your stash to find those ones. Even worse, you miss things, aren’t sure what you have and end up buying multiples of different seeds that you really didn’t need.
So try this method, this is my go-to method for storing and organising seeds.
I have a plastic box that seals closed nice and tight, inside it has lots of other little plastic boxes that again close up tight. This means my seeds are nice and safe. The box was originally designed to store photographs, but it’s just the perfect size for storing my seeds and all those little boxes inside are just the right size for actual packets of seeds. Perfect. Now you can label all those little boxes up any way you like to store your seeds, but for me, this system really comes into its own when it comes to being organised.
I have 2 of these boxes. In one, all the little compartments (mini boxes) are labelled up by variety. So I have all my tomato seeds in one box, my herbs in another, my root veg in one, my dahlia in one, and my salads in one. I’ve even got individual little compartments for seeds I’ve saved from the garden and one for seeds I’ve been gifted. You see where I’m going. That way I can easily find those pepper seeds when I want them.
However, I take this a step further to just make life so much easier come seed sowing time. I will always have seeds I’m not sowing this year and seeds I am, so I have a second box and instead of organising by variety, I organise by month. Yup, you guessed it, I put the seeds into the little compartment for the month I’m going to sow them. The seeds I’m not sowing this year stay in the original box, organised by variety.
And one of the awesome things about this system is that once I’ve sown my seeds, I can then put them back into the original box, in their little compartment for that variety, ready for next year. It’s just all so organised and neat, how can you not love it?
It’s such a super simple system, but I guarantee, something like that will just make your gardening life so much easier.