Never Miss a Planting Date – Seed Organization!

Okay all!  I have a whopper today!  I cannot tell you how many times I missed a seed starting/planting date in my many years of gardening.  So MANY times I have kicked myself for missing those dates or planting too early even.  Without fail, I end up having to buy starts at the nursery versus using some of my gorgeous heirloom seeds.

Needless to say, I have been pondering this problem for quite some time and I finally figured out the solution!

A seedbox that is organized by month.

I have some nifty printables for you to keep your very own box organized, so let me get into the guts of this post.  If you want to watch this puppy in action, I did a short video explaining how this works:

Supplies

Seed Packets – For this project, I bought these seed packets that you can run through your printer and customize.  I ordered the craft-colored self-adhesive envelopes because that was all I could find on Amazon, but maybe someone knows of another source for white seed packets.  Here is the garden seed packet printable template I made up to print on my blank packets.  I have the document set to 3.5″ x 5″ because that is the setting on my printer but you should be able to adjust accordingly.

NOTE:  The template I shared was created in Microsoft Word on my iMac and you can edit it to suit your needs.  I’ve heard some rumblings that the template cuts off when opened on a Microsoft computer.  I think this template is probably the easiest way for you to manipulate the packets to suit your need.  You may need to drag the text box slightly so none of the packet wording cuts off.

You’ll notice that the packet has a little ticker for each one of the months.  I also have an indoor or outdoor space for you to mark.  As you can see below, I forgot to include July on the ones I printed for myself!  Ha!!  The template has July included so you should be good to go!

Labels –  For seed packets that I already have on-hand from a supplier, you will want to print the monthly data and sowing information on clear labels so you can affix that to the packet and keep tracking.  This is the Microsoft Word Template I typed up to print the labels to go on top of the commercial packets.  These are the clear labels I used.  They are sized to print enough for 2 seed packets on 1 label if you just cut the label in half.  For commercial seed packets, just affix one of these on the packet and then mark it up for the appropriate planting month(s).  I have a stockpile of these labels printed so they are ready to go when I get new seed packets in the mail or when I’m out buying local seeds.

Box – I got this box at Hobby Lobby recently and it works perfectly!  This box is part of their fall collection, I saw 2 different sizes at our Hobby Lobby, the box I used, is the smaller of the 2.  Of course, you can use any box that is at least 3.5″ wide, (which is the standard width of seed packets.  I can fit my entire seed collection in there at this point.  Next year, I may need to expand.

Dividers – I made monthly dividers with plain cardstock cut to size so they are taller than my seed packets.  To make the tabs, I used the We R Memories Keeper Punch Board.  Incidentally, this is the same punch board I used to make my cookbook dividers here.  It is a pretty nifty tool if you’re looking to make tabs.  If you don’t have a tab maker, you could also just get a set of monthly dividers and cut them down to size to fit your box.

Pen – A good ballpoint pen works on the clear labels.

Seed Starting/Transplanting Data – I use Clyde’s Garden Planner some but mostly, I use the Gardenate website (which is AWESOME) or google searches if my packets didn’t have enough information.

Setting up Your Box

  1. Once you have your labels and/or packets printed you can start affixing them to your commercial packets and filling them out. My method of marking is to label “X” for indoor starting and a checkmark for outdoor planting (direct sow or transplanting).
  2. Place your monthly dividers in your box and file your seeds in the next upcoming month you are in.  Right now it is the end of August, so I’m filing anything that can be planted in September behind the September tab.
  3. Move the seed packet along through the appropriate months as you go so you’re always ready.
  4. Store your seeds, where they will be cool and dry.  I store my box in our cool basement, where it will be dry and the seeds will not sprout.  If youwant to store your seeds long-term, you may want to consider storing them in a spare refrigerator.  Most importantly, keep them out of humidity to prevent them from sprouting

Decorating

  • I tell you I’m as grateful as can be, but I decided to remove that “grateful” writing on my box so it could be all garden-themed.  I just used a little bit of sandpaper to remove but you could easily paint over it with a few coats of paint.  I left the box rustic and sanded the rest of the box to somewhat match on both sides.
  • My super cute garden stickers were a birthday gift from my kids, which they bought from Roots and Refuge Farm.  I love the “store-bought tomatoes taste like disappointment.” Truth spoken there.

(On a side note, the irony of this particular sticker was that I was a tad bit disappointed I had to turn this little cutie on its side.  This is all just proof that where there is a will, there is a way.)

  • From here on out, I’d like to just add some more garden stickers/art as I go, but I’m super happy with how cute it is but more importantly, how incredibly functional it is.

Printable Templates

That’s it, lovely people.  I’m so excited to see this box in action this year!  I heard a tip about organizing seeds by the beds you plant them in that I’m pondering and my update with in the future.  If I do that to prep for planting, I will put up another post because it sounds ingenious!

Thanks for joining me today,

Julie

 

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