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.
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.