Organizing seeds for storage

gwtamaraJanuary 1, 2013

List all seeds in a spreadsheet program. Record the name, special treatment (freeze, cool etc.) and the plant date. Then do a sort by date and run off a hard copy for quick reference. Start seeding in January and go through fall to keep organized.

If the seeds are absolutely dry and you have a dry place to store them, plastic containers may be used for storage, e.g.

  • Photo albums with slots for each photograph. Add a catalog picture & any pertinent information. Put the seeds in small baggies or Saran Wrap before putting in page.

  • 35m film canisters in a plastic box, especially the transparent ones. Label with felt marker.

  • Tackle boxes with lots of compartments.

  • Jewellers have neat little (1" square or larger) zipper bags.

  • Square tin flour cannister during the winter. In spring, stand the packets up in a bread pan, divided by planting date: inside cool for the basement, inside warm for my plant room, outside cold for peas, etc., outside cool, outside warm.

  • Oblong Tupperware boxes stack handily in the refrigerator freezer, and keep moisture and air out. Stick those little silica gel packets among the seeds to absorb moisture, and dry the packets out once a year or so.

It is better, however, to avoid air tight containers. Seed companies prefer paper.

  • Save all the return envelopes from your junk mail. They can be stored in a spare box, drawer, or hanging plastic shopping bag. In the fall, collect the seeds into used glass or plastic jars along with a piece of newspaper or paper tissue to absorb moiture. Later, pick the right size envelope, label it with the plant name and the present year (very important) and any other information worth remembering. Fill out several envelopes, some to give away. Then fill them with seeds and seal them. Keep the envelopes in a cool basement or in the garage, either in big cookie jars or in the camping cooler which does not get used in the winter time anyway. In the garage, the container has to be tight to protect the content from mice, in the house it doesn't matter. But most people's basements are too warm to store seeds.

  • Keep seeds in paper coin envelopes. These come in many sizes and can be ordered through office supply businesses or catalogs. The envelopes I keep in a box with cardboard dividers to help hold the packets upright. You can also put commercial seed packets in this box.

  • File seed packets in several file boxes, one for flowers and one for veggies. File them by the month that they need to be planted.

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