I hear people say from time to time that once seed packets are opened and some seeds sown, they put the re-sealed packet away in a kitchen drawer. I used to do this until I discovered the seeds got  forgotten about and did not keep well. So I resolved to get  myself a better organised storage system.

While Minister for Food and Horticulture, I got to see how seed and fresh produce was stored. The conditions were generally a chilled environment and produce was well labelled for traceability reasons.  The principle for the kitchen gardener is no different.

Organised seed storage

Last year, I kept seed packets in clean dry sealed jam jars in the fridge. However the accumulation of ‘seed jars’ was getting ridiculous. My seed storage was getting in the way of food storage. So this year after last week’s BIG SOW, the system changed and now takes up less space and seed packets are easier to find.

Instead of a jar per seed packet or two, I now group the seed packets in vegetable families. Using ‘fast food’ plastic trays with sealable lids, I put all the brassica seeds (kale, broccolli, Brussel sprout packets etc) in one sealed container and in another I have chard, beetroot and leaf beet, while another has the flower seeds such as sunflower, marigolds and nasturtiums.

The top shelf of the fridge now has the seed containers each labelled with post-its all standing on their sides like a shelf of books. To sow another batch of any seed is now hassle free. I just sowed more beetroot this week for example. Seed packets are now easy to find and easy to put back. Being sealed and in the fridge I hope will prolong their vitality as seeds.

I have kept the radish and cress seeds in separate jars also in the fridge for easy access. These are seeds I sow in succession atleast once a week for a continuous crop up to the end of October. Meanwhile good luck with your own seed storage as well as your seed sowing.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Actually the temperature of the salad drawer is better than the main part of the fridge Trevor and the brassicas will be fine without having to go in the fridge at all – brassicas will last for ten years at room temperature. And carrots and parsnips may not go on to be viable for a second year even like this. But its nice to know someone else knows what fridges are really for. Mind you I’m more and more inclined to share seed in year one and use the fridge to store home saved seed at the end of the season


    • Aha, a useful comment, Kathy. I’d like to learn more, especially about home seed saving. Mind you the space restrictions in my patch make this a bit challenging, but challenges towards sustainability are good! No doubt I’ll be developing my seed management system with the benefit of exprience and advice. I’d like to drop out to see you soon anyway to see how I can help with Sonairte for a start. Let me know if a Monday morning or Friday or Saturday might suit you.
      Best wishes. Trevor


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