Prefered method of keeping seeds organized

LullabyF360August 8, 2013

So you have a huge collection if seeds that just keeps growing & growing. What is your best way of keeping them all organized while ensuring mold, fungus, pests, pets, cold, heat, humidity, nosey people, etc do not harm them in any way? I keep all of my seeds in those tiny ziplock baggies you find in craft stores (almost always by the beads). The name of the plant is written on the baggie, & I have an excel type app that I use to keep track of where I got it (bought, harvested, trade, or SASE), & the year that I got it with the exception if the date is given when it was harvested. I have everything in categories: fruits, vegetables, flowers, peppers (since my collection is so huge, it had to have it own category), herbs, other (those that I'm not sure where to classify), & seeds I have put up for trade. I was keeping them all separate by usng 2gal ziplock bags & smaller bags for the seeds I intend to trade. This tactic was becoming combersome, aggrivating, time comsuming, & flat out annoying. I lucked up & found stackable containers at Walmart. Each container snaps underneath one another, making a tower as high as you need it to be. I was happy to have found them, despite being almost $7 for just two compartments. They're allowing me to keep everything in one location, including my tiny baggies, markers, pens, envelopes, etc.

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beesneeds(zone 6)

I use an excel spreadsheet too. Veggies, herbs, and flowers each have their own tab at the start.. I use a tomato sheet too copied off my veggie list to help me keep my tomatoes straight by color since I've started growing by color, like one year red, next yellow, ect. Then it's pages for months and what I've planted by seed, a page for what I've planted by bulb or plant, then a page for who I've traded with and what was traded, and my wish list. I also keep my emails in their own folder for if I have questions about anything I've traded. At the very end of the excel sheet is a page for what seed I've harvested during the year. Yep, I run a 20 page or so excel sheet for every year. And I have a notebook/binder too!
When the new year hits, I just CCP over the needed info.
I've also started a Wintersowing excel sheet for the first time for the 2013/14 season.
For physical storage of seeds...
I use a drawer of my filing cabinet to keep them in, and cardboard boxes that originally held 10 pounds of tomatoes each from a local produce place. It's nice because they have a retractable metal handle built in to help me lift my boxes in and out.
Seeds for what I'm keeping goes into paper lunch bags marked with what the seeds are. Like there are bags for greens, tomatoes, pretty flowers, useful flowers, root veggies, and so on.
My trade box is a bit different. All the little packets I make, each kind goes into a ziplock bag with all the commercial packets stacked in front. Makes sorting through them easier when I get requests.

I started out using a couple gallon bags for everything. Seed I'm keeping and just made trade packets as needed.. and then it started being smaller bags for planning- like this seed for X area in one bag, bigger packets to be made into packets into another... Then I made sample seed packet for favors for my wedding and suddenly everything was way out of control.It just got to be a cumbersome mess. Then I switched to how I'm storing my seeds now, and I like it much better.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:13PM
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cghpnd

Those are awesome ideas by the way.
I'm a total newbie at gardening so this is my first year doing anything.I am saving seeds as they come along.
Since my place is not stable when it comes to temps and humidity I have been told to keep them in the fridge. The seeds envelopes are a perfect fit for those vanity lightbulb boxes so they are all in there. Alphabetically, then annuals are in the front perennials are second.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 5:44PM
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wynnho

I try to keep mine in stackable Rubbermaid or Tupperware container that are long and flat...maybe 10" long and 6" wide. When I cut packets, I cut them along the length, fold them over about a third to close them, then file them under their catagory: tomato, or greens, or brassicas, or squash/pumpkin, or cukes, ect. Beans need their own containrer because of the bulk. I try to keep herbs in one container, too, and flowers in another. Unopened seed that I got in fall for half price or 75% off, go in a separate container, since I try to use the opened stuff first. I try to keep the empty packets to put seed in if and when I share. Also, there is a kitchen drawer full of envelopes I've cut in half and seeds I've saved here and there. I can write easily and quickly on them, so like them, too.

The containers are in the frig. in the back out of the way...unless it is spring, when they go up front.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2015 at 10:47AM
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