Seed Organization

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

It's a mess I tell you! Every year I'm missing something. Every year I say that I'm going to get organized. I tried a few things, but my systems seem lacking.

So, please share how you organize your seeds. I've seen some people use photo albums/binders.

thanks in advance!

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

i have mine in envelopes then in plastic boxes (shoe box size) in alphabetical order. also write planting info, varieties, zone info on outside of envelopes. i just use the smaller size white letter envelopes. i prefer to see and touch things rather than load everything into a computer. guess that is why i will never have a kindle.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Ha! A friend of mine says he talked his Dad into a kindle based on the fact that the print could be really big!!

Thanks for the input.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I've divided them into what Kinds of vegetables, each kind is in it's own ziploc plastic bag. the plastic bags are in two boxes. I them have my inventory all on a spread sheet. My categories are Beans, beets and chard, corn, cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc.), herbs, leaf vegetables, melons including cucumbers, misc, onions and leeks, root crops not including beets, squash (includes pumpkin), and a few random packages that take up too much space in the ziploc bags.

On the spread sheet I keep track of what I have, when I got it, from where I got it, and how much of it I've. In the same spreed sheet but on a separate page I record when I planted, when it germinated, what container it is in, and any notes I want to add.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks Doug. Are the bags in any order or do you have to look through everything to find what you want?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

They aren't really in any kind if order, but since there is only 10 bags it isn't hard to find a particular kind of vegetable. If you mean are the seeds inside organized, the answer sort of. My tomatoes are alphabetical The peppers were alphabetical but I've been into them so many times this spring they are a mess. The beans are put in the bag in such an order that I could fit as many as I could in the bag. The rest of the vegetable seeds are grouped by kind. My flower seed is all in a big padded envelope rubber banded together by species.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

My DG friend MargaretK gave me a great idea I think and that is to use a hanging jewelry organizer. I like that idea because there are about 40 pockets on each side and I can get a good look at where everything is.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I use plastic tubs or jars (2-pound jars that held peanuts or peanut butter).
Each jar has a bag of dessicant and a humidity card.
Within the jars, seeds are in 2x3" or 1.5x1.5" plastic Zip-locks.
Sometimes those are double-bagged into 3x4 or 5x6 Ziplocks for "organization".

(Originally I had planned to sort by sowing pattern, like "start indoors 10 weeks before" and "direct sow after frost". But there is ambiguity and I would forget which category many seeds are in, so I don't do that.)

Each jar is a big category, and within that jar, there might be several baggies, each with a theme, like "Bok Choy" or "greens" or "root crops".

Where I have just 1-2 pkts of each genus or species, I don't use 4x6" baggies, rather they are each alphabetical within that jar, like the Random Flowers jar has Statice-Strawflower-Sunflower in a row.

Some jars are:
- - Asian edibles
- - Tomatoes and Peppers (kept in the fridge)
- - Other Edibles (There used to be just one jar "Crops" until it overflowed into three jars)
- - Random Flowers (ones I'm not crazy about, or have given up on at this time)
- - Grow This Year (but things tend to get lost and forgotten in that jar!)
- - To Be Put Away
- - To Be Researched
- - To Be Traded Away

When "Flowers" got crowded, I pulled out any types where I had many of the same species or genus.
Now I have a few jars with several bags each of "Favorite Flowers":
- "Poppies" have their own 4x6 baggie.
- "Salvia" have their own baggies - several!
- "Penstemon",
- "Lobellia",
- Zinnia" ,
- Cosmos
- "Marigold"

Within the "Tomatoe & Pepper" jar, I have separate baggies for:
- cherry tomatoes
- non-red tomatoes
- early & cool-season tomatoes
- mid-season tomatoes
- hot peppers (I have Bhut Jolokoi whether I can grow it or not!)
- other peppers (small pkts)
- pepper seeds from fruit stand peppers: "Big Anaheim Mild" and "Thai or Japanese Hot")

For a while I had one separate jar for 'seeds i saved myself" becuase I was afraid they would spread mold, after an UNFORTUNATE experience with Star of Yelta Morning Glory Seeds that I had to collect during weeks of non-stop rain. Picking ourt the "squishy" ones was not enoguh, and drying for weeks was not enoguh. Eventually new mold-balls stopped apearijg, and 6 minths after that, I started trusting them. But now I dry for weeks or months before filing, and I always store with dessicant.

Paranoid Corey

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I go to garage sales and get really, really long narrow Tupperware plastic containers with good lids. (Cheap) Seed pkgs. both commercial and saved fit in them nicely. I started with one and now have three. They live in my garage refrigerator. DH complains a bit, but he is ignored.
I label them, Veggies, Corn,Peas and Beans, and Flowers and Herbs. (Corn, Peas, Beans because they are so bulky.) Then, I save all those little moisture free bags that come in shoes and other products (mainly from the Orient, Mexico, etc) and throw them in the containers to grab the moisture. Then, I rubber band like seeds together with those bands that come with store bought veggies. (Yes, I do have to buy them)
Now, when I want to plant seeds, I just go through the seeds kind of catalog style. I have kept seeds for years and years this way. It is really tried and true. The hardest part is making the decision to weed out the seeds.. As soon as I do, I will want it again. For instance, I was in a discussion about rat tailed radishes. I had seed for them and disposed of them. Now I want to try them again because I learned you need to prune them (hard) and that will make a big difference in how they behave in the garden.

Oh, my...What we learn here on DG.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

WOW. You all have some serious methods! For now I have settled on a plastic accordion file. I have seeds in the little plastic bags within a section. Annuals, Perennials, Herbs, Veggies. And one section for supplies. It's better than what I had, but I still have to remove a section and look through them all.

Corey, how are the jars organized? do you have a shelf/drawer/tub?

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Probably half of my fiddling serves l;ittle purpose!

I uzsed to keep them in a drawer. Then expanded to include part of a shelf.
Now they've expanded into a big box - I see 10 jars at this time ... cleaqrly I'm a seed addict.

I think it was on the "You might be a seead-head if ..." thread that I heard about a person who had a "seed closet", and the one who had a whole "seed room".

>> I still have to remove a section and look through them all.

I know the problem! I need to find a way to sort Salvia "find-ably". I fear that I'll have to make a list of every variety, record which is in which 4x6" baggie, and keep maintaining the list as I add varieties and run out of things.

(I would rather be starting more trays!


Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Mrs Ed---

I collect, dry and sort seeds in the small. plastic zip-loc baggies from Walmat.
100 for 99 cents!

Mind you--seeds have to be totally dry before you seaal them up in plastic baggies.
I know envelopes would be better--but where can you buy 100 3" envelopes for 99 cents?

I print out labels for each seed and cut them up in strips which I insert in each small baggie.

Since I take part in a Seed Swap here in MD--I portion out my seeds in many of
the baggies in the amounts to give away--all containing information on the plant.

Then--I use legal sized envelopes to hold all these small baggies--labeled with the
seeds it contains--and a picture of the plant outside of it as well.

THEN--The envelopes all go into a box--in alphabetical order--and when I get to the Swap--
I just let people dig through and take what they want....
I call it hands-free Swapping....

Here is what my box looks like....YES! I know I am the "organized type"......:o).


Thumbnail by Gitagal
Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)


I like how you have the writing up at the top, very easy to see. Something to consider. thanks!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I eventually broke my Salvia down by species, with 2-6 small ziplocks in each 4x6" ziplock.

I like the "many small ziplocks in a paper envelope" scheme!


Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Gitagal---That's a really great way to do it. Thanks for sharing.

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