How do you store your seeds? In a box, a bag, a big jumbled mess on a shelf? And where? In the garage, the storage room, inside your fridge? Planting seeds and keeping track of what you have can be hard if you aren’t organized!
In this post we will talk about the HOW and WHERE to store your seeds for best organization and preservation.
How to Store Seeds
There are many ways to store your plant seeds as I’m sure you know! But, I’ll just give you a few ideas if you are wanting to be more organized.
To start, you can keep them in the packs they came in if bought commercially of course. You can also use snack or sandwich sized bags to make sure none of your precious seeds fall out after opening them. If you save seeds from the garden yourself, the ziplock bags also work great. Just make sure to label with the exact cultivar and the date so you don’t forget how old they are next year!
Now that you have all the seeds secured, where should you put them to keep them organized?
1. File Folders
An accordion style file folder. This is what I use to store my seeds. It’s small to store, but unfolds to be a lot bigger. It’s size is manageable to haul around with me to the garden and store easily. And it closes with elastic bands, so I’m not worried about the seeds just falling out. Below is a picture of my folder.
It’s pretty thin once all the seeds are inside, so I can tuck it under my arm and take it to my seed starting trays or outside to the garden. It’s also waterproof, so when I get to my garden, I set it on the ground next to me, pick out the seed pack I want and I don’t have to worry about the rest of the seeds!
2. 3 Ring binders
If using a file folder isn’t your jive, how about 3 ring binders?
You could use the basic plastic pocket style inserts or trading card plastic inserts are really useful too (like the picture below).
You could put one packet of seed in each card slot and have a really organized binder of seeds! You could use tabs on the sides of the 3 ring binder in the same way as I used the file folder tabs above.
If you buy multiple colored binders like the ones in the picture above, you could color categorize your seeds as well. For example, you could have the pink binder be for ornamental flowers, the blue binder for cold weather vegetables, the green for warm weather veg, and the purple for herbs and edible flowers! (I actually do this type of color coded binder storage for my recipe organization).
You might even take notes about each cultivar and insert them in the binder next to the seeds for better results the next year.
3. Plastic Storage Containers
There are a ton of different types of storage containers. Here’s an example I found on Amazon.
These snap closed, have optional dividers, and are stackable. They are clear, so it would be easy to see what’s inside and you could make a big label and tape it on the front for better organization.
These are just 3 great ways to store seeds. I’m sure there are many more ways to organize your seeds well. Do you organize yours in a different and awesome way? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
How to Arrange Your Seeds
You could order your seeds alphabetically if that works best for you. I personally like to organize my seeds chronologically by the approximate planting time.
So my first categories are:
- Cold Root Veggies – Carrots, Beets, Parnsip, Turnips…
- Cold Greens – Lettuce, Spinach…
- Cold Other – Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi…
Next, I have file categories for the warmer weather vegetables:
- Beans and Cukes
- Tomatoes – So many packs in that one!
- Peppers – Both sweet and spicy!
- Melons – Watermelon, Cantelope…
- Squash – Both summer and winter varieties
- Other Warm Vegetables – Corn, Okra, Eggplant, etc.
And at the end of the folder, I have categories for:
- Edible flowers – Nasturtiums, Chrysanthemums, Sunflowers…
- Ornamental Flowers – Larkspur, Zinnias, Strawflowers…
- Herbs – Cilantro, Parsley, Chives, Basil, Thyme…
I like having them in this order because at the beginning of the season, I’m mostly only worried about the seed packs at the front, and as the months go by, I can easily move to each next file spot.
Where to Store Seeds
First of all, let’s think about what do seeds need in order to germinate?
- appropriate temperature (generally warmer)
- light after they sprout
So to store seeds, we really want the opposite conditions right? The seeds need to be thoroughly dry before storing (especially if saving your own garden seeds). And then they need to be stored in dry conditions too.
Seeds can be stored in a refrigerator or in a cool dark room.
Generally, a garage or a warm sunny room would not be an ideal place for seed storage.
If you live in a humid area, store the seeds in an air tight container with a desiccant pack or dry milk powder (wrapped in tissue paper, paper towels, or a reusable tea bag) to help keep moisture away.
I personally store my seeds in the refrigerator in the accordion style file folder as seen in the pictures above. I live in a dry climate, so I haven’t used any drying agents with my seeds, and have had good success with this method. I have quite a few seeds that are older, yet still germinate each year (Some are 9+ years old!).
Let me know in the comments how you store your seeds!
Have any questions? Let me know below as well!