What method do you use for organizing all your seeds?

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

I'm beginning to find that I need to come up with a system on how to organize all my seeds, and keep the seeds I want to keep seperate from the seeds I want to use for trading.

I thought about getting something like a plastic box that I remember my step mother used to have to keep all her cross stitch thread organized and seperate, but though I'd see what you all do that works well for you! Right now, I just have all the seeds in their own individual envelopes and put into two seperate sandwich size ziplock bags (one bag for seeds I want to keep, other bag for seeds I want to trade)

What method do you use for organizing your seeds that seems to work best for you?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

***giggles and snickers***

I wish I actually DID have a method!

... Having said that much, if you want to put a large lot of seeds in a single container, it ought to be one that can be resealed completely to keep out moisture, and sized and shaped such that you can fit it into your refrigerator when you're not fussing with your seeds. Refrigerated storage is the best thing you can do for your seeds for long-term viability.

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

So stick with my current method?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

"Right now, I just have all the seeds in their own individual envelopes and put into two seperate sandwich size ziplock bags..." ALL my individual bags are currently jumbled together in ONE large conference type carry-all. Nothing is organized!

I just got 4 of these from Harbor Freight to help me get organized...they can easily be stacked on a fridge shelf...each compartment seals completely shut, so no mixing of seeds...

Matter of fact, I need to start putting my seeds in the boxes! Just last night I had packets in batches all over the place looking for what to sow next. With 4 boxes, I can label all the spring/summer seeds together, and the fall/winter seeds together. Tomatoes, and Brassicas!

Thanks for reminding me....

This message was edited Feb 15, 2012 4:03 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

That's actually the type of container I was trying to describe. My step mom used to use something very similar to that for sorting/organizing the different types of thread for her cross stitch. How is that working for you?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

It's GONNA work like a charm, soon as I get to it!

Hugs!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm not nearly as neat and organized as you guys are. I have been working on saving seasoning/herb jars in which to save my seeds. ... Well, depending on the size of the collection and size of the seeds. Tiny little seeds go into the smaller jars like the herb/seasoning jars, (got my Columbine seeds in an old Dill Weed jar!) The bigger seeds or collections go into larger ones. I've got old washed-out jalapeņo jars, relish jars, got some of those little plastic mini-tubs that cheese spread comes in (like Wispride Port Wine cheese spread, yummm!!), and I've even got some of those larger herb containers that ya get at SAMS club that holds stuff like onion powder and garlic powder. Those biggest ones have my Hollyhock crumbles in them. (I'm not real neat and picky about Hollyhock seeds, I just dump the dried/spent blooms and all into the container.
Anyway, after I get the seeds into the proper containers, I cut a little square of paper, jot down the name of the seed and date I collected them, then hold in place on the jar with a rubber band. My jars/containers go into these little utility bins, like shown in the picture... if I can figure out how to attach it correctly! =)

Thumbnail by speediebean
Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

LOL! Gymgirl

Thanks all! Think I'll try gymgirl's method, once I get me a few of those containers! I already reuse some of my spice/herb containers (or have plans for them when they are empty). My MIL grows dill at her house and she dries it out and sends some up to our house and I put that in the spice/herb containers... and will be doing that again once the herbs i'm trying to grow here are harvestable. There's only a handful of spices/herbs that I use a lot, mostly the larger containers of things like italian seasoning that I get from walmart, and even those last me a while, so I wouldn't really be able to use those to save very many seeds (just cuz of how long it takes me to empty one container LOL!)

Thanks for the suggestions though!!

Gymgirl... once you get those containers.. let me know how they are working for you, and if there's anything I will need to do to be sure to keep the seeds air tight. I was thinking about getting some of those for saving/storing seeds, I just wasn't sure if they would be air tight enough to keep moisture away from them, ya know?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

MrsLidwell,
I already have the containers. I don't know if they are airtight. The lid fits into slots over each section so the seeds won't come over or under and get mixed up. Don't know if that's enough to keep it air tight.

I happened to have purchased some of those oversized Ziplok storage bags recently, so, there's my airtight!

Linda

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Seeds from my own garden are saved in empty pill containers. Larger seeds go in empty jars.

Leftover seeds purchased from vendors are kept in their original packages.

Nothing is organized!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from Gymgirl :
The lid fits into slots over each section so the seeds won't come over or under and get mixed up. Don't know if that's enough to keep it air tight.


Linda


I was wondering about meandering seeds with those containers that you got, but now you've answered my question! I think I'll have to go your route 'cause my own just looks terrible on the shelf, so embarassing for anyone to see! =/

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Speediebean,

I picked up a package of 120 of those little, tiny, clear plastic ziplok baggies. If I find the seeds can meander, I'll put them into the ziploks first. They'll still be very organized in the cases. Hmmmmmmmmm.

This might even be BETTER than just putting the loose seeds in the compartments, anyway, huh? Put the loose seeds in the baggies, label the baggies, and put the BAGGIES in the compartments!!!

Wow!

This message was edited Feb 17, 2012 2:29 PM

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)



This message was edited Feb 17, 2012 2:29 PM

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

See also this post:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=9010817

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks petronius! I have been saving those little "moisture" packet thingies that come in medicines and such (and my hubby can get me some from various things they open up at work), so I have been collecting them in anticipation of this. This is the first year I've decided to really try to collect the seeds from my garden, so I need to start checking out other forums soon to learn how to dry/prepare them prior to storing them also. I'll be looking into that soon.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Gymgirl, where did you find your package of those tiny little zippie baggies? .... you're giving me ideas here now! =D I'm sure I could find an inexpensive compartmentalized container or two (like you've got) from True Value, and if I used those tiny little zippie baggies along with (You are brilliant, did you know that?), I can start to make my stuff look all manly like Hubby's! =) .... ok, wait, that didn't come out sounding right, did it? Well, we can have matching containers.... wonder if I can find them in hot pink? =)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

lmao speediebean

I know here locally, there is a place where I can pick up a whole bunch of those little zip bags, but I also know of a "direct sales" company that sells them also (bit more expensive than my local place lol) If you can't find any in your area speedie, do a google search for "Cello In A Box". ( i used to be a work at home mom selling stuff like avon and such lol, thats how i found out about this cello company. They sell little bags and things, mostly to other work at home reps to put their samples for customers and such in for "grab bags" during parties and things of that nature.) They used to sell them, last I recall, but its been about 2-3 years since I got out of the work at home business so I haven't kept up on what all they sell anymore. lol in fact, I don't know that I even have the direct website for the rep I used to use saved anywhere anymore, but you should be able to do a google search for that and come across an online store where you can make a purchase if you want.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

At most craft stores. I got mine @ Hobby Lobby. I got about 100 baggies for $3.99.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you both very much, I will definitely have to get some, and I think 100 should really be enough.... for now. ;)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

OH! I didn't know that Hobby Lobby sells them too! Then again, we JUST got a Hobby Lobby in our area a few weeks ago lol... before that, we had to drive about an hour to the nearest one (and we rarely go out that far for anything but dr appointments for the kids lol) My hubby has been wanting to check out the hobby lobby they just put in locally, so, maybe while we're there, I'll check and see if they have those and those container things too LOL!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

God save me from organized people!! LOL I use the toss 'em on the counter method and hope I remember what kind of seeds they are method!

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

LOL Stephanie! LOL!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

CORRECTION. There were 300 2"x3" plastic ziplok pkgs. In the package for $3.99+tax.

For me, that's a lifetime supply!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

LOL Stephanie!! I'm just half a step behind you, lucky if I label the envelopes when I collect seeds at work... then lucky if I remember to tuck the envelopes into my bag to bring 'em home.... then lucky if I remember to take 'em *out* of my bag once I get home... you get the picture! =) (4 or 5 months later they make it into their little jars, shame on me!)

Gymgirl, PERFECT!!! I'm not sure if I have a Hobby Lobby near me, I shall google it, but if not, I'll check out Michael's, I've got one of those sorta near me.... ish. Yeah, a 300-count package should last me a goooood long while. THANK YOU!!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

stephanietx -

Quoting:
I use the toss 'em on the counter method and hope I remember what kind of seeds they are method!


At least I keep my seeds in their original packets!

One of these years I'm gonna sprinkle all my left over seeds over the garden and eat what grows!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from HoneybeeNC :

One of these years I'm gonna sprinkle all my left over seeds over the garden and eat what grows!


...and pray it's all edible! =)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

HAHAHAHAHA! You guys are so funny! LOL!

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

We had a fair amount of left-over seeds from last year and put the small packets in a Seal-a-Meal vacuum bag. We keep it in the deep-freeze and I wondered if anyone else is doing this? The wife saved a bunch of her okra pods and dried them and had me shuck them for the seeds. Are those seeds going to be viable to use this year??

Thanks,

Kevin

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

kev, I'd imagine as long as the seeds were cleaned and stored properly, they should germinate for you. I'll admit though, I'm fairly new to the seed saving/storing stuff myself, but if I recall correctly, I thought I read somewhere that seeds should be stored above 37*F? So a refrigerator would work better than a freezer? Someone correct me if I'm wrong though. I normally store all my left over seeds from previous years in a ziplock baggie in the door shelf of my fridge. I had planned to try to start saving seeds from last year's harvest for this year's growth, last year, but it was a very bad year for our garden last year... between the wild animals eating everything in my garden and unusual weather for spring/summer here, to finding out our soil where I wanted to start my veggie garden is poor and we need to start a raised bed there instead.

Best I could say is, try the seeds out! Won't hurt anything. If nothing else, if you have a ton of the okra seeds left from last year's harvest, you could always try to germinate a few early, indoors, just to test their germination rate and get an idea of if it will be worth the effort for you to start/direct sow the rest of them in your garden. That's probably what I would do. That's just my noobie advice lol.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Your okra seeds should be fine.

Most folks seem to be storing their seeds in baggies in the refrigerator drawers....No one has mentioned using the freezer.

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

I always figured the freezer would be too cold and could affect germination?

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm guessing it would depend on what sort of seed it is, and even then, it's a gamble keeping them that cold.
Just my theory, based on nothing. =)

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Would love it if Kev will keep us updated on how well those seeds do when he starts them! hehe!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Yeah me too! ...not that I've got freezer-space for seed storage, mind you. ;)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

"Most folks seem to be storing their seeds in baggies in the refrigerator drawers...No one has mentioned using the freezer."

That's because seeds need to be dry, dry, DRY before they can survive being frozen and thawed. Even then, it's dicey in the long run. The USDA does this with some of their seed bank seeds, but most of them they just plant out year after year at farms around the country established for that purpose.

Some of the "survival seed" companies sell seeds that have been dehydrated to the carefully calibrated 8%, I think it is, of normal moisture content. I've examined some of their offerings and am not overly impressed by their selections.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Petronius, that says it all to me. I will definitely never freeze my seeds, I'm just not that precise about anything! ;) THANK YOU!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I'd definitely use the little baggies before putting seeds in those craft boxes. Can you imagine the heartbreak of dropping the box if you didn't have them in bags, and having all your seeds mixed, misidentified, or gone?

Right now I have my seeds still in their original packs, in roughly alphabetical order, in a shoe box. And then the whole thing in a plastic bag that I tote out to the garden as needed. My only problem is that this set-up is a little too big to fit in our fridge, without the family protesting. So I keep the whole thing in a lower kitchen cupboard and hope it stays cool enough.

But I'm definitely thinking about that tiny baggie/craft box set-up.

This message was edited Feb 25, 2012 11:19 AM

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

I think that's the route I'll be taking too... the baggies/craft box thing. If I can ever get down to the Hobby Lobby store, I might check and see if they have those craft boxes there, since they have the little baggies there (well, hopefully my local one does lol), that way, I won't have to run all over town for just two things LOL!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Remember to take your coupon! Every week, Hobby Lobby lets you buy one item at 40% off if it's not already on sale. You can get the coupon from your Sunday paper, or just go online to their site and print it off.

Cresson, PA(Zone 6a)

Lol I did notice that when I was on their site the other day! Was stoked!

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