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Looking for seed storage ideas? These tips will help you keep your seeds viable for years to come!
At some point in your gardening journey, you take a step back and think to yourself, “How do I store my seeds?” In today’s blog post, I am excited to use my years of experience as a gardener, urban homesteader and seed fanatic, to help YOU save and store seeds!
To be honest, I do not currently have a fancy storage system. I currently store my seeds in paper sandwich bags, label them with a Sharpie, and store them in our pantry. I decided to write this blog post as I was doing my own research to build out a new organization system!
This blog post is all about seed storage ideas.
There are a lot of really great ways to store seeds. Before we get into the nitty gritty tips from gardening experts and hobbyists, I want to share some top tips and ideas–some key takeaways if you will!
Tip #1: My Favorite Way to Store Seeds
Using a transparent photo case with smaller compartments is my favorite storage idea for seeds. I think the smaller containers are large enough to store packets or baggies (or even large seeds themselves!) and make it easy to get seeds out–if the compartments are too small, your fingers can struggle to grab the seeds easily!
Check out this seed storage hack!
Seed Storage Tip #2: Monitor Temperature
Some seeds are good to hang out in your seed storage organizer until it’s time to do seed starts, but other seeds must be refrigerated. Most seeds do well in a cool, dry location without too much humidity. Be sure to understand how to save your seeds!
Seed Storage Tip #3: Label Your Seeds
The top mistake people make when saving seeds is not labeling their seeds they’ve saved for the next growing season! Even the most experienced gardeners would likely not be able to tell a bok choy from a rainbow tatsoi seed. And you probably won’t be able to tell between different varieties of the same plant! Label every batch of seeds you save with the plant, variety and year it was saved.
If you’re anything like me, then you’re a huge nerd when it comes to buying seeds, ordering them from all over! For this reason, I recommend also noting the year and where you originally got the seeds you’re storing. Most seed packages are labeled with the growing year for which they are intended.
#1 Seed Storage: Cool Dry Location & Different Containers
Our next tip on how to store seeds comes from @.TheBirchArborGardens, AKA Arianna who is a gardening educator!
“Let’s talk about seed storage and organization!
It’s important to understand that different seeds will be viable for varying lengths of time. When properly stored, most seeds can last for years.
Keeping your seeds stored in a cool/dry location will ensure the highest viability rate for those seeds. Suitable storage is key for the longevity of your seeds. They are after all the life blood of your garden!
For seeds saved from my garden each season, the baby food jars which I’m no longer using for food storage make the perfect containers.
For seed packets, I LOVE my photo-case storage system! Each case comes with 16 individual cases which I label alphabetically to soothe my OCD and can easily access as needed.”
Looking for a similar seed storage system? Check out this photo organizer!
#2 Store Seeds: Mini Fridge for Refrigerated Seeds
This next helpful tip on seed storage comes from @.OurGardeningGig!
“Here’s a tip for storing your seeds. We purchased a small fridge for the potting shed to transfer our seeds for the summer months, and also for easy access for sowing in the Garden. Keeping the fridge at 50 degrees is perfect for seed storage. When growing a Garden, efficiency is one of the keys to success.”
#3 Seed Storage: Plastic Organizer with Drawers
When it comes to store seeds, @.AnniesHarvest has a great idea!
“I finally had the chance to organize and label my seeds using this Akro-Mils 24 drawer organizer while watching the inauguration 😄. Thank you @.california_gardening for sharing your seed storage method! I love this because I’ve always wanted small cubbies with drawers for my seeds where I can access them by just opening a drawer. The concept is similar to the numerous small wooden drawers you see in Chinese herbal shops, but I don’t have the skills to make them.”
Want a similar seed storage container? Check out this seed organizer!
#4 Store Seeds: Storage Bin & “Zippy” Wallets
This next unique tip on how to store seeds comes from @.MummyBearGrows!
“I am really happy with my new seed storage arrangement. I took some inspiration from @augusts_garden and did a bit of searching online. I settled on this clippy plastic first aid medicines storage box and A5 zippy wallets. This replaces 2 old biscuit tins that were far from organised – I just need to finally throw out some of the old seed that has really passed its best now but I hate to let go 🙈 I’m also quite pleased with my candy stripe paper bags for storing my own saved seed as it gives me that same buzz as I used to get buying a quarter of sweets back in the day.”
#5 How to Store Seeds: Vacuum Sealer (“Seal” Function)
This next tip on how to store seeds would have never occured to me! This idea comes from @.Hilltop.Hygge.Homestead!
“TUESDAY TIP!! SEED SAVING WITH A VACUUM SEALER!! No, you don’t actually use the vacuum setting but, using the seal function, you can create these nifty multiple seed pockets.”
#6 Store Seeds: Small Drawers
This seed storage tip from @.TheGardeningMumma is so satisfying!
“New seed storage! Went to @mitre10nz and got this @stanleyhandtools multiuse storage. Found some @sistemaplastics labels and they’re all neatly away 🙌🏻 had to get a large storage box for all the micro greens and sprouts plus labels and vivid!”
Looking for a similar seed storage container? Check out this seed organizer!
#7 Seed Storage Idea: Storing Seed Packets
My favorite way to store seeds! This post comes from @.TheEalyHomestead!
“It’s that time of year! It won’t be long before we start our seeds down in the basement. This year, we plan to start almost all of our veggies inside first and then transplant in our no dig beds when the weather warms.
But first, we’re taking inventory of the seeds we have and making one last purchase of what we still need. Honestly, that’s probably my favorite part of the whole process. Planning out the season so that we’re growing what we need & experimenting with new varieties.
Have you purchased all your seeds yet?”
Looking for a similar seed organizer? Check out this photo case!
#8 Store Seeds: Organizer for Seeds (Seed Case)
Another seed storage case idea, this time from @.AustineDibleGardens!
“I’m using this (hopefully last) freeze to prepare my seed cases for spring and summer planting. I carry my seeds around with me in photo storage cases from the container store. I have one for cool season seeds and one for warm season seeds. These seeds are so valuable to me. They represent life, magic, hope and friendship to me. I have bonded over seed sharing with many of you here on Instagram and I have planted these seeds all over Austin. Here’s to the humble seeds that sustain us all.”
Looking for a similar seed storage options? Check out this photo organizer!
#9 Seed Storage: Alphabetized Dividers
This simple tip on how to store seeds comes from @.LeilaMarieLawler!
“Just for fun, here’s my seed organizer using things I found around my house! I wanted a file box with alphabet dividers and I didn’t want to have to open multiple plastic containers or binders — I know myself and my grubby rummaging ways while planting!”
#10 Store Seeds: Wooden Trunk
@.LivingTheGardenDream doesn’t play around when it comes to her seeds! This trunk is impressive!
“Seeds all organised… ✔️💐
I keep all my flower seeds in this wooden trunk… (my veggie seeds are in tins stored in a different crate and don’t look so pretty 🙈)
I’ve spent a very constructive morning noting down every seed packet I possess both bought & saved in a book 📖 ✔️
I organise my seeds into types and then bundle them altogether with an elastic band. So all my nicotiana varieties for example are in one pile, cosmos in another, annual seeds for pots in another, grasses in another… you get my drift…!”
#11 Seed Storage Ideas: Mini Drawers
Love the labels on this seed organizer from @.HomeGrownSprout!
Need a similar seed storage container? Check out this seed organizer!
#12 Store Seeds: Seed Caddy
@.WhiteHouseOnTheHill DIY’d this caddy for his seeds!
#13 Seed Storage Ideas: Beautiful Wood Storage Chest
This next idea on how to store seeds comes from @.LaughingMantisStudio! I love how this seed storage idea is also a beautiful family heirloom. Love the addition of rice (more below)!
From the studio:
“Seed storage box!
I’ve been slowly accumulating garden seeds, both leftovers from this spring, and harvested seeds (for example, I ferment a couple tomatoes every year to collect for next year). I had a large dusty Ziploc of them just sitting in my shop and decided they needed to go into a dark, dry box in our basement pantry. This was a great excuse to use up some cherry logs I got from my boss @adrianvlee1, which are completely filled with bug holes and not very usable for most things. But they’re perfect for something that will be hidden for ~363 days a year and only be seen by me. So why did I waste time on that power-carved walnut leaf top? Because I’ll still see it once a year. Also, I wanted to practice cutting some dovetails. I also through some dry rice in there as a desiccant.”
#14 Store Seeds: Airtight Container & Refrigeration
This is a new type of seed storage method for my roundup, for all of my gardeners who love a seed exchange. These expert seed storage tips comes from @.SouthernExposureSeedExchange:
“Storing seeds is an important aspect to seed saving! Most seeds will store for 2-4 years if kept clean, cool, dry, and out of light. However, some seeds will badly deteriorate after about one year if not stored in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator. These include: onions, leeks, parsnips, celery, spinach, salsify, and hybrid super sweet corn.
For long-term storage, place seed packets or bulk quantities of seed in a large, airtight container (such as a mason jar with a 2-piece lid) and store in the refrigerator or freezer. It’s very important that the container be airtight to prevent moisture from getting onto your seeds. We stretch parafilm around jar rims to ensure a tight seal, but you could also use ziploc bags as extra security – inside or outside your container. Remember to let the container come to room temperature before opening it, or else moisture will condense on the cold seeds, possibly leading to mold or rot!
Happy Seed Saving!”
#15 Store Seed Ideas: Pill Bottles
Our next tip on how to save seeds comes from @.HappyHeartGardens! I love how they use pill bottles as seed storage containers! Rebecca is a farmer in Norther Pennsylvania, and I love this tip!
#16 Store Seed Ideas: Trading Card Sleeves
When it comes to how to store seeds, @.SimplyBreatheNow has a great tip: Trading Card Sleeves!
“Still organizing and planning over here!
This is my seed binder that was inspired by @rebekah.rhodes! I am so excited to have this started!
I have it separated into sections of when to start planting. So I just flip to the month and all my seeds to plant for that month are there!
I also have added cue cards to allow me to comment on the seeds, fermentation rate, if I liked it!
AND! I put dates on my seed packs! Small but mighty information! Lol!”
I found this pretty cool seed binder, for a similar approach if you don’t have packets!
#17 Store Seeds: Ziploc Baggies & Sharpies
Listen! Ziploc baggies and a handy sharpie is a tried and true method for saving and storing seeds! This tip comes from @.GrandRapidsGardening!
“Seed starting season will be here before we know it! 2022 was my year of experiments and expansion. I saved a bunch of seeds and can’t wait to put them to use for 2023. I’m not a super fancy seed-saver. I keep it simple; the seeds I can collect, dry, and bag are the ones I save.
January is my favorite time to organize my seed collection and take stock. By now, I have ordered plenty of seeds for 2023 from some of my favorite suppliers like @migardenersc. @bakercreekseeds, @botanical_interests . But now is the time to gather my bounty and get organized before the seed starting frenzy begins. Stay tuned to see some updates on my organization process!”
#18 Ways to Store Seeds: Vessels
“These vessels for seed storage were made with regional clays from a quarry in Nebraska. What a pleasure it was to meet and work with @the_buffalo_seed_company. Big thanks.”
Hi, I’m Leslie, Seed Saver Extraordinaire!
This blog post is all about seed storage ideas.