If you have gardened for any length of time you have probably accumulated a pretty nice seed collection. If you are anything like me you love when those seed catalogs come and your list of different things you want to grow gets longer and longer. And if you’re anything like me your seed collection is an absolute mess!! You need an efficient and effective way of storing seeds and keeping them organized.
I have the perfect solution for you. No more overflowing, hot mess of a cardboard box or baskets filled to the brim that you can’t find a thing. With your seed pack organized and put away with this system, you will know exactly what you have. You will cut down on your time finding seeds and even buying seeds. And let’s go ahead and talk about the “expiration date” you might be surprised by what I have to say
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The Best Way to Store & Organize Seeds is… In Photo Storage Cases!
When I saw this idea a while ago, I got super excited!! I love to have things organized and all in one spot.
Photo storage cases are designed to fit 4×6” photos, but they are the perfect size for storing seed packs!! We use these photo storage boxes.
We use these photo storage boxes to store garden seeds, along with these labels. They are available either in a two-pack or a single container. Each large box contains 16 individual cases. The 4×6” cases can hold anywhere from six to over a dozen seed packages, depending on the size of the seeds.
There is also a multi-colored option, which would be super cute for color-coding veggie and flower seeds into a corresponding/matching case.
You can create categories and cases for each type of veggie, flower and herb seed. For example we put all of the tomato seeds in one case and all the pepper seeds in another case. You could categorize them even further by putting all of the hot pepper seeds in one case and sweet peppers in another case.
Besides looking neat and organized, these seed storage boxes make everything so easy to find. When it is time to take inventory of what seeds we have or what to order more of, I can quickly go through each box and make a list. When I have a quick minute to plant a bed I can easily find what I need and head out to the garden. The cases keep the seed packages secure and dry while we’re outside too.
Ideal Conditions for Storing Seeds
There is a common misconception that seeds must be sorted in the refrigerator. The refrigerators temperature range of 32-41 degrees F can be ideal for long term storage, but it isn’t necessary!! And if you are like us every inch of refrigerator space is needed, our seed collection would never fit.
When finding a place to store you seed saving cases any cool, temperate, dry location is suitable. Inside a closet that is located in a north-facing room in your home that isn’t subject to temperature swings (what we do), or in a cool basement are all excellent choices. The location doesn’t need to be pitch black per se, but seeds should be stored out of direct sunlight.
Also, note that a “cool” location doesn’t necessarily mean cold – just not hot! Our house is usually in the 60’s to 70’s, temperature-wise.
Seed Expiration Dates
You can MOST DEFINITELY use seeds past their “sell by” or expiration date!!
Seeds are not milk; they don’t expire per se. You will most often see “packed for” date on garden seed packages. Don’t throw out or avoid planting seeds if you don’t use them by that date. The date represents when they are the freshest, and most closely follow their listed germination rate. Germination rate is the percentage of seeds that successfully sprouted during trials at the seed company.
To ensure that you still get enough plants once the germination rate declines you wimpy need to sow a few extra “old” seeds when you are using them. However, note that some types of seeds hold up longer in storage better than others. For example, crops like carrots, parsnips, onions, and leeks are notoriously short-lived. Try to use those up more quickly!
See the BEST seed storage system!!
I hope you find this new seed storage system as handy, easy, and fun as we do. Please feel free to spread the seed love and share this post.
And if you are looking for more garden inspiration don’t miss our Garden Page.
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