Perhaps this seed organizer caught your eye on Pinterest or over at Better Homes & Gardens, as it did mine. It looked easy enough, which is good since I couldn’t really find any step-by-step instructions online anywhere. With Mother Nature teasing me with a warm, sunny day a few times a week and March 21st past us on this year’s calendar, there’s no better time than now to get organized for spring planting!
I started with a long, thin strip of scrap wood that I had in my basement, a few rolls of colorful ribbon, a staple gun, and a vision.
Between spring and fall, based upon the plants we typically grow, I decided on six ribbon strips for my seed organizer, one for each of the months that I either start seeds indoors or sow them directly into the ground. Each strip of ribbon was about four feet long, folded over at the top, and stapled into the wooden strip.
Then I made labels for the top of each strip, printing them out in color on heavy card stock and gluing them into place with a glue gun.
Based upon what I’ve read and experienced as an amateur gardener, seeds need to be kept consistently cool and dry with limited light. The unfinished storage section of my basement is a perfect spot for seeds, so I nailed my finished ribbon seed sorter to the studs. If you don’t have a similar basement spot for your seed sorter, I’m sorry. Well, only a little sorry, because it also means that you probably don’t live in a place that has tornadoes in the spring. Plus also, you’re probably closer to a beach than I am…
It’s also ideal to practice FIFO — first in, first out — when using your stored seeds. To identify the age of each seed, I mark the year on the seed packet with a Sharpie. Based upon my USDA plant hardiness zone, I also indicate the ideal time to plant each seed indoors (if possible) or to sow it directly outdoors (Don’t know your USA plant hardiness zone? Look it up using your ZIP code!)
Lastly, each seed packet is clipped to the right ribbon month with a clothespin. If I get busy, am lazy, forget, or don’t have room on my indoor plant rack to get started on a certain plant indoors, I can easily move the seed packet over to the direct sow outdoor month without any effort. For my favorite plants that can be planted in both the spring and the fall — like lettuces, spinach, and kale — it’s easy to move the seed packets from the spring planting ribbon to the fall planting ribbon and back again.
As you can tell from my seed packets, I’m a big fan of Seeds Now and other organic (and therefore non-GMO) seeds.
What about you? Have you made a seed sorter? Share your thoughts in the comments below!