It happens to the best of us. You have a banging garden one year and are determined to save seeds from all those successful plants for next year’s garden — after all, what’s better than free seeds from tried-and-true plants? Nothing. But then life gets in the way, you forget to gather the seeds because you got busy with planning your 5-year-old’s Princess birthday party, or you actually gathered the seeds and forgot to adequately label them and now you don’t know what’s what. Or, if you’re like me, you have lots of adequately labeled seed packets…all over the house. Sigh.
Let’s pinky pact that this is the year to get organized with your seeds. With a little pre-planning and creativity, lots of items are perfect candidates for this garden activity. Whichever one you choose, though, remember the guidelines of seed storing: find a place that is cool (40 degrees or so), dry, and dark. Think extra refrigerator drawers, an unheated mud room, or your garage. Label, date, and…GO!
1. Mason jars. We all love mason jars, or even old pasta sauce jars with the labels removed. The line up neatly on shelves and you’re able to see immediately what’s in them. Label by category (ie: one jar for wildflower seed packets, one for squash seeds, etc.).
2. Plastic ziplock baggies. What’s simpler than putting your cutting flower seeds in individual, labeled packets and putting them in a bigger ziplock bag? Label the larger bag and put them in an empty fridge drawer.
3. Pillboxes. Got a wide range of different seeds in small amounts? Pop them into the individual compartments of a pillbox or medication organizer. Label each of the tops with the contents and date (a Sharpie is perfect for this).
4. Plastic shoe storage boxes. If you have a large number of seeds, consider those inexpensive clear shoe boxes. Make your own cardboard dividers labeled with a category, then stack and store.
5. Over-the-door shoe organizers. Each shoe compartment is its own category for individual seed packets, then the whole thing is hung over the door. Convenient, yet handy and out of the way. In short, genius.
6. Recipe boxes. I love this one for its ease and convenience — simply collect new or vintage recipe boxes and store your seeds according to type behind each of the provided dividers. Stackable and cute, and gets the job done.
Tip: To make sure your seeds stay dry, tuck in those little silica packets that come with a wide variety of foods and household products. Or make your own by using a spoonful of kitty litter tied up on a scrap piece of fabric.
About the Author:
Jenny Peterson is a landscape designer and urban farmer living in Austin, Texas. She comes from a family of gardeners and her gardens include drought-tolerant plants, herbs, veggies, and a wildflower pollinator garden. As a breast cancer survivor, Jenny specializes in gardens that heal from the inside out.