How many times have you been unable to find a particular seed quickly and efficiently while sowing and planting your vegetable garden? I know I become frustrated when I have to dig through a box of hundreds of seed packets trying to find the one I need. Bound and determined not to get caught up in the “Lost Seed Packet Mystery” any longer, I developed my own very simple seed organizer that makes finding my favorite seeds a snap.
Getting Started On Your Simple Seed Organizer
For this seed organizer project, you will need just a few items that can easily be found at stores like K-Mart, Wal Mart, or Amazon and shouldn’t be more than 20 bucks.
The first item is a 13-pocket expanding file typically found in the office or school supplies section. As you can see in the photo below, I picked this one up at Office Max for about $10
The expanding file is what carries all my unopened and opened seed packets. It comes with a handy strap to keep the flap secured so you never have to worry about dropping any seed packets.
Next, I’ll explain how I organize the expanding file to store all my favorite seeds.
Seed Organizer Set Up
I prefer using the 13-pocket type over a 7 or 9-pocket file because it gives the option to organize seeds by month or by alphabet. Each expanding file pocket has a tab at the top and comes with two sets of labels. One set of labels has the months of the year, the second set is grouped alphabetically.
Use the month tab labels if you want to organize your seeds according to the month, or season, you will be planting the seeds. For instance, cool weather crops such as peas or lettuce can be filed under March. Warm weather plants such as tomatoes or eggplant can be filed under April or May, depending on your local hardiness zone. Fall crops such as collards, or turnips, can be filed under September or October (again, depending on your hardiness zone).
I prefer to label the tabs in my seed organizer alphabetically, so I use the alphabetized labels for each tab.
Organizing Unopened Seed Packets
Arranging the seed organizer in this manner, I can put all my seeds that start with an “A” or “B” in the first pocket in front of the “AB” tab. I then sort all my unopened seed pockets according to what letter the vegetable starts with.
I continue this process until all my unopened seed packets are organized and easy to find.
Organizing Opened Seed Packets
Keeping up with seeds in an opened seed packet can be a nightmare. Seeds will continually slip out of the torn off corner of the packet resulting in lost seeds or seed mix-ups.
To resolve this issue, I simply transfer my unused seeds into a small, snack-sized resealable baggie.
First, I use a self-adhesive label to document what type of seeds will be contained in the baggie. For the photo below, I am transferring zucchini seeds into the baggie. I label the type of vegetable – Zucchini. I label the variety of the zucchini – Black Beauty. I also include where I purchased the seeds – Baker Creek – and what year they were purchased – 2010. Then I place the label onto the baggie.
HINT: It’s much easier to write the label out and place on the baggie before transferring the seeds into the new baggie. Yes, I learned that tidbit the hard way
I also like to create a “back-up” seed baggie label using a scratch sheet of paper or an index card cut in half. You can use whatever you like. I document the same information used in the self-adhesive label – the vegetable, the variety, the place where the seeds was purchased, and the year. I place the back-up label inside the baggie.
I do this in case the self-adhesive label becomes detached from the baggie. This way I will still know the contents of the baggie. You can use just the inside label, or use both as I do. It’s totally your preference.
Now I transfer the seeds from the opened seed packet into the new, freshly labeled seed baggie.
Completing The Seed Organizer
Once I have all my opened seed packets transferred into the labeled baggies, I simply place the baggies in the pocket that corresponds to the beginning alphabet. I continue this for all my seeds.
Now all my seeds are organized and easy to find.
Using the seed organizer, I can find the seeds I need very quickly when sowing and do not have to worry about losing any more seeds. I can take it out in the garden with me so that I have the seeds right there with me all the time. If you have a greenhouse, you could keep the seed organizer out there for easy access.
This is a great way to organize all your seeds and keep them in one convenient location. Creating your own seed organizer makes for a great rainy day project when it’s too wet to work out in the garden!
How do you organize your seeds? I’d love to hear your ideas!