Gardening Tips and Tricks – How to Organize Seed Packets

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If you are like me, you probably have a bunch of seed packets scattered around your house and you’re not quite sure what to do with them.  I don’t know why, but I have a really hard time throwing out empty seed packets.  The Botanical Interests ones especially.  It must take days, if not weeks for the artist to create one drawing.  And to throw away one of their seed packets seems like such a waste.  Especially since there is so much valuable information on the back {and inside} of those packets.

I don’t know about you, but I find myself find myself checking the back of the seed packets from time to time to make sure I planted everything right and that the germination process is on schedule.

So this year, I finally got my act together and I organized my seed packets.

It took me about 5 minutes.

The last time I was at the dollar store I picked up a mini photo album for a buck.  The small photo album holds 52 packets of seeds and I can store it on the bookshelf alongside my garden books.  When I have a question about a particular seed, or want to know when I planted it {I mark the back of my packets} I can quickly pull out the packet and get the information I need.

And best of all, there is no more clutter.

How about YOU?  Do you toss you seed packets or keep them.  Please tell me I’m not a nut for hanging on to them.

Still looking for seeds?

Here are a few of my favorite seed companies

Botanical Interests
Ed Hume Seeds
Rare Seeds
Seed Savers
Territorial Seed Company

 

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Comments

  1. You, Mavis….are a freakin’ genius! I can’t wait to get my seeds organized!

  2. Bonnie Hawkins says:

    You should buy heirloom non-gmo seeds and then harvest seeds to put in your seed packets.

  3. Melinda D says:

    Love this idea!

  4. Jenn Bane says:

    That is a GREAT idea! Mine we’re in a zip lock baggie in the junk drawer. Organizing mine tonight ;-)

  5. I love this idea!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. AWESOME idea! And frugal….even better. Doing that this weekend with our seeds. and pinning it right now :)

  7. BRILLIANT!! Heading to the $ store tomorrow!

  8. Oh I love this idea, going to have to show it to my mom. She has a huge shoe box sitting on the kitchen counter that’s overflowing with her seed packets haha.

  9. Kind of scary…you read my mind! Yesterday I looked at my basket full of seed packets and wondered what to do with them…now I know. Thanks for the great idea.

  10. Shelley van Erp says:

    I just joined this conversation. I wanted to tell you that radishes are actually good in stir fry, adding crunch and becoming milder in taste. Try it – even kids will eat them cooked into stir fry.

  11. Brilliant idea!! Thank you so much. Now I have a plan to remove the mess of packets off my counter. :)

  12. Lara Fara says:

    Great idea!

  13. This is an awesome idea! I’m going to do it for my husband…he has all his seed packets in a big kitchen garbage bag!

  14. Karla B. says:

    I’m new to your blog (am a FB fan of yours). I love your idea. I constantly find myself pulling out seed packets to read the backs too. I’m curious though….are these empty packets? Since some seeds are still viable 5 yrs later if stored properly, if the packets still contained unused seeds, I think I’d want to store the book in my fridge. Also, Bonnie Hawkins message above is a good one. I only buy non-gmo seeds, either organic or heirloom. And if you buy heirloom seeds, you can let a few of the plants go to seed and then collect the seed for next year. Just put the seeds back in the packet that the parent plant came in, and store accordingly. I’ve done that with cilantro, parsley, kale, lettuce, peppers, green onions & squash. This year I am trying non-gmo corn. Only 1 type because my garden is small and I don’t want this type to cross-pollinate with another type. I went to a seed-saving meeting this past Spring and a man there told me how to harvest corn for the following year. So I’m giving it a try. At the meeting, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds had provided LOTS of seeds for people to try. I had never planted their seeds before but OMG…their seeds are amazing (their European Mesclun Mix of lettuces has a great selection and this Fall I’m trying their Rocky Top lettuce blend.) The graphics on their seed packets aren’t as cool as some of the others (artistically speaking…and also regarding the minimal amount of planting info they put on the back.) BUT…their seeds are great and they have an interesting catalog. I was impressed.

    • Karla B. says:

      Oops…I just noticed you said “empty” seed packets. Now I feel stupid for commenting. I’ll just be over there …in the corner…under that rock. :o )

    • I would love to know more about seed collection. Thanks for the info.

  15. I know this was posted clear back in May, but I started keeping a garden journal last year. I staple all my empty packets to the pages in my journal. I also write about what we liked, did well, not so well, decide what to plant where and dream for the next year. I love it! I also keep names and numbers of local farmers I like buying from.

  16. I never thought to keep them! The photo album is a good idea. I have a journal with dates sowed, transplanted, etc. When flowers appear, fruit, insects. Like Sakura, above comment, I note what worked and what didn’t. Make plans for next year.

  17. Oh how I love your blog. You are pretty awesome. I too love Botanical Interest seed packets, wish I had that job as an artist, but as organizing goes I like putting my seed packets (full or empty) in an over-the-door clear plastic shoe organizer. I can see the packets and its from their website.

  18. couldnt see why packets need to be empty really as long as you store the album appropiately for your climate?

  19. I think saving seed packets is a fabulous idea. Plus when you are ready to get rid of them, to perhaps make room for new, you could take the seeds and make a wreath. Designing one with them would be a great way to recycle and allow you to still enjoy the beautiful pictures.

  20. Charla Echlin says:

    Not only do I save all of my seed packets, but also all of the plant tags :) This is a great idea~ thanks!

  21. Ursula Haigh says:

    What a handy dandy idea!
    My plant tags are stored as bookmarkers in my Sunset Gardening book on their
    corresponding page.

  22. myna lee johnstone says:

    i would do this with non empty packets too

  23. This is brilliant! Thank you!

  24. Laine (age 9) says:

    I think that is a great idea! My mom and I love to garden but we are not that organized ,but we might have a plan to try it.

  25. Julie - Gardening it Easy says:

    What a fabulous idea! I have been storing mine in a plastic shoebox, but they slide around and are hard to find. I was just about to redo my current system that looks like a mini filing cabinet in the shoe box. I have several of these cheap photo albums around. Thanks so much for sharing!

  26. Very fun blog idea, gives me another fun way to store my seeds.

    Regards diane

  27. I use an over the door christmas card holder for this seasons seed packets for quick reference but I will incorporate your photo book idea for older packets that I save for reference.

  28. mavis i just ran across this site onehundreddollarsamonth.com today and so far its fantastic. as to whether do i keep my seed packets or throw them out, i keep mine bcuz i cant always remember what i had planted either a week/s ago or a year ago. so they help me remember and if theres some i like i know which ones to purchase for the current year. it is cluttersome but im going to try the photo album to put my packets into. wish me luck. oh and the pallet garden i love that too. my bf has some old pallets in the back yard but dont know if he has anything on them. thats the part of the yard where the snakes live at so i dont go back there but im going to ask him if he will go with me so i can look at them and if he lets me have them or use them thatll be excellent. again, wish me luck.thanks,karen

  29. Delores says:

    If there are some particularly pretty ones, put them in small frames and hand them on your walls. My daughter-in-law did this with pictures from the Internet, but the real thing would be much better.

  30. I am the same as you …I do not throw out my empty seed packets….I have a garden tote that I keep all my gardening tools and seedsfor my garden , flowers and herbs. This way I have evertthing right where I can find them….But I really do like your idea about the photo album….I will be going to the dollar store asap to get 1 or 2 ….Thank you so much for the great ideas…:)

  31. Christie says:

    Where do you store your seeds? I have them in the refrigerator. Is that a good idea or just in a cool, dark place?

    • I’ll do a post on this!

      • mildred lane says:

        I can not believe no one else has mentioned this before now. thanks. I am going to use a coupon note book that I already have.
        I use the slats from discarded blinds, cut about 6 inches long, write on w/ a magic marker the veg, and stick in the dirt where I have planted.

    • COOL, DARK place. Fridge too damp. Moisture is bad for stored seeds. Interior closet is best if you live where HOT. Not garage or garden shed, for best germination. Buy good quality seed for highest germination rate. If saving your own, remove chaff and store where cool and dry when seed is FULLY dry.

  32. I just stumbled upon your site… and upon this post. You are a genius!
    I have a huge bucket full of seed packets all over the place and this is the most brilliant plan I’ve ever seen!

    I WILL be doing this!

    Thank you!.

  33. Nope, you’re not a nut. I thought I was though when I started saving them.
    I recently went through some I had and found some from 2000!
    That’s dedication there LOL.
    I have a ton of packs. I save them for various reasons.

  34. This is one of those ideas I just kick myself… what a simple yet GENIUS idea!
    Thanks for sharing!

  35. I love recycling and have a tendency to keep things just in case they’ll be useful one day. I’m now very glad I kept my old floppy disk storage box – one with ten labelled sections and a lid – as I now keep my (non-empty) seed packets in there, organised into various categories with the help of the section labels. And now I have a use for my old photo albums, as well. Thanks!

  36. michelle says:

    those floppy disc cases are at GoodWill all the time!

  37. Tina Meismer says:

    for my seeds envelopes with seeds still in them I use a photo box with alphabetized separators. I store the box in the fridge.

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