A few weeks ago, my good friend, a fellow gardener and mom of a toddler called to ask me about seed storage. Turns out her toddler had “helped organize” and she was in need of a new solution. We have used the same simple seed storage and organization system for years, and it really works well for us. Since I have a bit of a seed buying addiction, having a neat, well-organized way of storing seeds is really important; I don’t want to waste time sifting through stacks of packets!
Some things to consider when you’re storing seeds from year to year are 1) keeping the seeds cool, and 2) keeping them dry. Seed germination rates will decrease over time, but paying attention to these two factors really helps. If you’re wanting to test your germination rates, I suggest this method. Some people recommend storing seeds in a refrigerator, but who has that kind of space? I would suggest a cool pantry or another space where temperatures will not fluctuate dramatically.
We store our seeds in a Rubbermaid under-the-bed storage box, like this one, and divide it up with cardboard and duct tape, like so:
These containers are just the right height for to store an average sized seed packet in an upright position. The container is divided into categories:
- Peppers, Corn, Grain (hmm, not sure how we came up with that, but it’s clearly labeled!)
- Root Vegetables
I have seen some people break their system down further into sub-categories like:
- Seeds to start indoors under grow lights
- Seeds to direct sow
- Fall plantings
but I have not found this subdivision necessary. When it’s time for me to sow seeds, I quickly grab the seeds I need, pull them into a small basket, and keep that basket with me while I start seeds.
The time I save having my seeds organized and stored neatly becomes more time that I can spend playing in the garden!