Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Seed Storage System

Jeff asked me to write a post about our new seed saving storage system. Before this year, we had misc. piles of seeds all over the place. I found some packets as old as the early 2000s. I didn't really do anything to keep track of them, and we didn't make any effort to prolong their storage life.

This year, finally, I am trying to get my act together and start what plants I can from seed.

I went through and tossed most of the seed packets and kept those only from the last three years. But I was struggling with how to store them in order to prolong their life. I tried to keep them in glass-lock containers but with the many large size envelopes, the glass container was so big it was taking up too much room in the refrigerator. And it was really irritating to open a large seed envelope only to have a couple dozen tiny seeds pour out.

What I finally settled on is a system where I repackage all seeds into the same small size envelopes.
I purchased #1 Coin Envelopes that are 2¼"x3½" and a few trading card storage sheets. My plan is to store the seeds in the little glass-lock container until the seeds are needed, then I will remove only the packets I need and place them into the storage sheet while they're in use. I'm hoping that will do a better job keeping them together.

I made the labels myself. I already had 2"x4" labels but I had to cut off a portion to get them to fit the little envelopes. I downloaded a label template and just inserted text boxes for the text. Here is a sample sheet.
Generally, I could grab the photo of the flowers from the actual website I'd ordered the seeds from and then I could grab growing directions from obliging websites. I also made envelopes for seeds collected from our garden.

If I were to make one tweak, it might be nice to use a slightly larger envelope as some of the bulky seeds don't fit very well and the labels are having trouble adhering to the curved surface, but the small envelopes are really convenient for refrigerator storage, which is most of the time.

For now, I am hanging onto the original packages. I don't know if I might need them, so I'll wait for a while before I discard them.

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