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Organizing Seeds

February 20th, 2010

So, I’ve got this big plastic bin full of seeds, as many gardeners do. The longer I garden, the more my seed stash grows. Some of them are old and I need to sprinkle in the garden just to see if they’ll grow, I’m pretty sure they’re way past their prime. It’s just so hard to get rid of them sometimes.

I’ve been trying to figure out a great way to organize all these seed packets. Originally they all fit in a few plastic jars and I separated them by genre: legumes, flowers, herbs, and other veggies. I now have way too many seeds for this system. I’m considering an accordion file or perhaps a plastic file box with file folders. I could organize them by type: beans, squash, greens, tomatoes, herbs, flowers, etc.

How do you organize your seeds? Any great organizational tips to share?

23 Comments to “Organizing Seeds”
  1. wic on February 20, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I bundle them together by month I have to plant them.
    This way I do not lose the overview.
    for each month I have 2 packets. one for the seed that will directly go into the garden and another for the seed that will have a head start in the nursery.
    .-= wic´s last blog ..Mediterranean Food: Loukanika – Greek sausage with yogurt sauce =-.

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  2. Ken Toney on February 20, 2010 at 8:29 am

    I’ve been collecting more and more seeds from my seed saving trials each year. I have them in envelopes labeled by variety and year, just sitting in a cardboard box. I just read a great article over at http://livingthefrugallife.blogspot.com about seed saving and storing seeds. I need to start organizing my seed and storing them better so they will last.
    .-= Ken Toney´s last blog ..Winter on the Farm =-.

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  3. Christine on February 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hah— I have a gallon size ziploc bag that won’t close anymore.
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Pit-fired Bowls =-.

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  4. Jennifer on February 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’ve got several shoe boxes filled to the brim. This year I decided to try to alphabetize all of my edibles (amaranth, beans, cabbages…). I also keep documentation for when each needs to be started so it’s simply a matter of looking at the list and going through my alphabetized packets. It seems to be going well so far, let’s see if I can just keep them organized by the end of the season!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Honorary motorcycle day =-.

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  5. Beegirl on February 20, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I have a growing stack on the dining table! It’s gonna be awhile before I can even see the dirt though… : ))
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Snow Joy =-.

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    • Susy on February 20, 2010 at 10:07 am

      Me too, and I think spring will be late this year. I’m holding off on starting thing too early as I have a tendency to do. I will be starting a few onions soon though, but I’m also going to try to plant some of those as soon as the ground can be worked.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Diane@Peaceful Acres on February 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

    It’s my “plan” to get them cataloged on my MAC using a chart thingie!
    .-= Diane@Peaceful Acres´s last blog ..The Door Opens At Mayorga =-.

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  7. Anna on February 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Right now, they’re organized loosely as “cool weather crops” and “hot weather crops”. I’m starting to store my seeds in the fridge though, as that is supposed to keep them viable for 10 years. Apparently the freezer keeps them even longer, but I hope I don’t need that.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..I got a free Rooster =-.

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  8. rachel on February 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I have half of them in gallon bags alphabetized by seed family filling the crisper drawer in the fridge. (There are dessicants in each bag to keep them from getting moist). The other half (the ones that won’t fit) are in a box. All are in a spreadsheet that is alphabetized by seed type. The chart lists the specific variety, latin name (esp. helpful for the moschata, pepos etc) planting time, harvesting time, whether it’s, organic, native, heirloom, how much of it I have and a notes section for things like days to maturity, plant habit and so on. This way I can figure out exactly what to plant and then start the search for the actual packets. :)
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..The ever-popular banana ice cream =-.

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  9. MAYBELLINE on February 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Organize?! Does Martha Stewart follow this blog?! I just toss mine in a gallon Ziploc and keep them in the shed.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Peas =-.

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  10. Jaspenelle on February 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I have a big number 10 can with a lid that fits all my seeds at the moment. I keep it in the pantry and when I need more room I’ll just get another. I repackage all my seeds into tiny ziplocks (meant for jewelry, they are 3×2 inches) and write relevant info of them (or more often cut the relevant info off the original seed packet and glue it on the bag.)

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  11. Erica on February 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I am new to gardening and seed saving. I am thinking of storing seeds in old prescription bottles and labeling them. Not sure how that will work but that’s my current plan.

    Reply to Erica's comment

  12. Lindsey S on February 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I saw a great journal post on myfolia.com about how someone organizes their seeds, they do the plastic box with file folders, and then color-code each tab for different types of plants. I thought that would be super helpful for me, so I plan on doing it too. One day, hopefully this year :)
    .-= Lindsey S´s last blog ..Choose Your Scent Muscle Relief Bag- Orange Geometric =-.

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  13. Miranda on February 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    OOh, i bet if you got one of those photo sorting boxes – or even a recipe type box, like an accordion style file folder, but closer to the size of seed packets.
    As far as my organization – cardboard box and messy drawers. Not so great ;)
    .-= Miranda´s last blog ..Personalized Baby Name Gifts, Custom Nursery Decor, by ME. =-.

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  14. Kelly on February 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Last year it was a gallon ziploc bag for all of them, and then smaller ziploc bags for planting dates. This year they out grew that so they’re in a shoe box, sorted by planting date separated by recipe cards that have the planting date at the top and what I’m doing with each type of seed on that date. (I’ll confess that I also have a spiral binder that I keep track of all this, too, and use to make notes, as well as a spreadsheet with more information on it — hyper-organizing helps with my spring fever.)
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Vertigo… Again =-.

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  15. Sandy on February 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I just organized my seeds last weekend. You can see the results here: http://10yearchallenge.com/2010/02/13/seed-starting-chaos/ This is a snap together, expandable tower that I bought from Target.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Photo album: Greenhouse in February, 2010 =-.

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  16. Seren Dippity on February 21, 2010 at 2:49 am

    I started out with a shoe box. Then as my collection grew I separated them by cool weather and hot weather plants.

    Now I also have a shoe box for salad items – lettuces, radishes, carrots, greens.
    One for tomatoes! (sad! but I’m now obsessed.)
    One for flowers and
    One for zip lock bags of seeds I’ve saved from plants I’ve grown.

    At least the boxes fit nicely on a shelf.
    Better yet, I’ve started keeping track of what seeds I have and how well they grew on the nifty gardening site MyFolia.com.

    http://myfolia.com/gardener/SerenDippity/stash?letter=all

    Reply to Seren Dippity's comment

  17. deb on February 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I keep my seed packets in an old sewing machine drawer. It’s long and narrow and perfect for keeping those packets… orderly. ;)
    .-= deb´s last blog ..taxes + coffee =-.

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  18. Meighan on February 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I use the Lee Valley Seed Keeper!!

    http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=1&p=10079&cat=2,44713,40759&ap=1

    I used to do the shoe-box method, but I found that I spent a lot of time going through there trying to find stuff – it’s much easier for me just to flip through the binder and see all my seeds! I did have to order extra pages for the binder though, the 6 or so pages it comes with is NOT enough. I love it though, and recommend it to everyone now.

    Reply to Meighan's comment

    • Susy on February 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

      Thanks for the link, I’m always happy to hear about a specific product from someone.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  19. stefaneener on February 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Individual sandwich bags with 5×8 cards in them, and seed packets, stored alphabetically in photo boxes. In the relatively cold basement since they don’t fit in the refrigerator any more. It works okay.
    .-= stefaneener´s last blog ..Chitting and Kitty =-.

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  20. Kimberly on February 22, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I have two quart ziplock bags filled with seed packs. The two bags are divided by season. I want to be more organized, but those seed boxes I keep seeing at the big box stores look so tacky. One day I’ll sit down with my craft supplies and make my own.

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

  21. Organizing the Seed Stash | Chiot's Run on February 26, 2010 at 4:47 am

    [...] seed stash I’ve acquired over the past couple years. There were tons of great suggestions when I posted about it earlier this week. I found this nice metal box in the attic and a few empty folders in the office. After spending the [...]

    Reply to Organizing the Seed Stash | Chiot’s Run's comment

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