Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Is It That Time Already?

January 7th, 2012

For gardeners, this is the season of lists and callow hopefulness; hundreds of thousands of bewitched readers are pouring over their catalogs, making lists for their seed and plant orders, and dreaming their dreams.

-Katherine S. White in Onward & Upward in the Garden

Even though I feel like I haven’t had any time off yet, it’s already time to start thinking about making that seed order and planning the 2012 garden (where does the time go?). Throughout the gardening season my seed stash slowly degrades into a chaos, then in the middle of winter I gather everything around me to organize and sort it back into tidiness. It’s a bit like weeding the garden after being lazy for a few weeks, it’s a very satisfying chore!  Perhaps I subconsciously do it because I enjoy it so much?

All the packets must be sorted back into their respective folders. Any seeds I didn’t like will be put into a pile to be given away to someone who wants to try them. Seeds that are needed will be written on a list and then I’ll sit down with my catalogs to order what I need and a few extra interesting things to try. I probably don’t really “need” to order any seeds. No doubt your seed stash is like mine, much larger than any garden space you’ll ever own!
While you’re sorting through your seeds, keep in mind that seeds to have a shelf life and different seeds will be viable for different lengths of times.  I won’t rewrite the post I already did about The Shelf Life of Seeds, but here’s a handy chart. (click on the image to head over to my Flickr and you can download it to put in your seed box for reference).

A few years ago I developed a really great seed organization system and I must admit it’s been working rather well for me. I’ve been researching new ones though, and will be making an Ethel video soon to demonstrate a few option so you can find one that suites your needs.

Do you “spring clean” your seeds before you make your order? What do you do with old seeds & varieties you weren’t happy with? Do you think this time rolled around faster than usual? 

Organizing the Seed Stash

February 26th, 2010

I finally settled on a method to organize the 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 afternoon cutting and labeling I’m just about done taming all the little envelopes of seeds.

I cut each folder in half and then trimmed to fit my box. This made them the perfect size for the small metal box. I organized the seed by type and planting season. So I have early spring greens, summer greens, and fall greens, etc. I printed out a list for the front of each file listing the contents and where they were acquired. I’ll be able to see at a glance what’s inside each folder. I also left space for noting date of sowing and extra info.

This should help greatly in my efforts to find specific seeds when I need them. No more sorting through the entire box of seeds to find the one pack I need that always seemed to be at the bottom. Finishing this task also made my seed ordering much easier and saved me from accidentally ordering some seeds I already had, but had forgotten about. Now that I’ve got the seeds under control, I need to think about starting a journal to keep track of the specific things I grow so I know what works well in my area/garden.

Do you keep a journal of the things you grow for future reference?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.