I need to organize my seeds to see what I have before I order even one more packet.
To do this, I’ve come up with a few categories.
The more obvious categories include:
Seeds I’m Going to Winter Sow: This is a new category for me as I’ve never tried winter sowing. But after a recent Gardenangelists podcast episode with Dee where we talked about winter sowing, I’m all in, as they say. I think this will work well for the viola seeds I seem to have accumulated in the last year.
Seeds I’m Going to Indoor Sow: This includes tomatoes and peppers, and maybe eggplants. This used to be “Seeds I’m Going To Indoor Sow and Then Didn’t” because (choose one) (1) l was lazy, (2) I decided I was too busy, (3) I convinced myself I should support my local greenhouse by buying their plants even though I bought seeds to grow my own. Then 2020 happened and everyone else decided to buy those plants so now I’m back to keeping this category as Seeds I’m Going to Indoor Sow For Real.
Seeds I’m Going to Sow DIrect Outdoors In Early Spring: Of course, the main seeds in this category are for peas. Plus there are seeds for lettuces, radishes, and spinach. Maybe kale. A sub-category is Seeds I Should Sow Direct Outdoors in Early Spring But Probably Won’t. This category includes seeds that have made their way into my collection but I don’t know why I have them or why I’d sow them because I never eat them. Swiss Chard will be a packet in this category.
Seeds I’m Going to Sow Direct Outdoors After All Danger of Frost: There are lots of seeds in this category, which I’ll further subdivide into flowers and vegetables. Also, see above about the category of Probably Won’t Sow. I’ll have some in that sub-category for this category too.
So far so good?
Then there are some miscellaneous categories like Why Do I Have These Seeds? Every gardener ends up with a packet or two or ten of seeds they are never going to sow and have no idea why they have them or where they got them. They really should give those seeds to someone else to sow but then spring gets busy and you never get those seeds to the other gardener and so those seeds eventually end up in a category called Are These Seeds Too Old to Sow.
For seeds in this “too old” category, there are ways to figure out the germination rate by actually trying to germinate some of the seeds, which if there aren’t many of the seeds seems like a waste of time and seed to me. So if it isn’t a packet of seeds for some rare plant variety that is hard to get, I tend to just order newer seed but then for some reason, fail to toss those older seeds.
But lately, I am getting better about tossing those old seeds. In fact, I recorded a bunch of videos of me sorting seeds and old plant labels back in 2020. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might view a couple of them. Zzzzzzzzzzz.
Another category of seeds is I Wish I Was the Type of Gardener Who Sowed These Types of Seeds. Every gardener goes through a phase when they buy seeds for something that they are never going to grow from seed, for whatever reason. I once bought hellebore seeds and then saw on the packet that it might take as long as 18 months before they would germinate. I wish…
And of course, there is one final category, Seeds I Don’t Know What To With But It Seems Wrong To Throw Them Away. These could be old seeds, new seeds, weird seeds, but share in common that when you look at the packet you can’t decide what you should do with them. They aren’t telling you right then. I’ll set those aside in their own pile and maybe someday, they’ll speak to me and tell me what I should do with them.
I hope you’ve found this information to be helpful as you look at your own boxes, baskets, and heaps of seed packets.
I’ll report back later how my organizing went and if I thought of any new categories.