I’m an organization nerd (and a seed storage geek). It’s why I’m so attracted to Square Foot Gardening. I like it when things have their place. Without a system, things easily start to become messy and confusing. “Where did I put that again?”, “What did I just plant there last week?”. I’m more forgetful than I like to be, so keeping everything in order, making notes, and marking planting areas allows me to clear my head of the details and focus on what’s important.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with a number of seed storage ideas from tiny vials to lab storage equipment. Here are my favorite seed storage options:
Arts & Crafts Storage Box
This is my current seed storage method because, at this point, I have too many seeds for any other option to be viable. The large box contains several small containers, which are labeled by seed variety (carrots, squash, flowers, herbs, etc.). There’s also enough room inside the storage case for me to stick two sharpies, a roll of string, and a handful of plant markers.
It’s a sizeable box, but with its handle, it’s ultra-transportable, and I tote it out to the garden almost every morning at the height of the gardening season.
When I started gardening, I had a very small collection of seeds and lots of time on my hands. I purchased a bunch of tiny vials at the dollar store and filled them full of seed from packets I had found at the hardware store. Carefully pouring in the seeds was time-consuming yet relaxing work. When I was done, I had cute little seed-filled bottles on my hands. Seeds were easy to shake out and I could keep them on display and within reach.
I purchased my little black filing container from a local office supply store for under $10 and still use it to this day. Because my seed collection has expanded considerably, it’s now the spot where I store empty seed packets since I like to have those on hand for future reference. You can find something similar on Amazon or most big box office supply stores.
Tiny Lab Sample Containers
When my collection started to outgrow the vials, I decided on a new storage solution: lab equipment. The tiny circular containers were perfect for storing seed (except big ones like squash and cucumber seed). Instead of labeling each container, I coded them with numbers and letters and created a spreadsheet to keep track of the seed type and date purchased. It was a big undertaking, but the system was incredibly useful, and I used this type of storage for years.
Tiny Resealable Bags
I use little plastic bags to store seeds destined for other people. They’re perfect for swapping or sharing seeds. The small packets are lightweight, watertight, and easy to label. I prefer the clear plastic because I and others can easily see what’s inside. These little packages are excellent for storing saved seeds, too.
Don’t forget to check out my previous post that covers handy seed storage tips.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.