Reorganizing Seed Packets in the Snow

previously organized seed packets

previously organized seed packets

We’ve had one whopper of a snowstorm this year, as well as several smaller snowfalls. We had over two feet during the first real snow of the year!

I love the first snow, even if it’s a lot, especially when it comes on the heels of an 80-degree Christmas. I take pictures, walk around in it, and play with the dogs. Oh, and shovel around the house while hubby clears the lane.

After that first snow, I’m pretty much ready for spring, though. Anything else is just a nuisance. If I take pictures, they are from the porch, and I ignore it as much as I can. If I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not there!

To kill some time during a small February snowfall, I pulled out the seeds to get ready for starting.

Our last average frost date in the area is May 15th, so I have plenty of time to get things going.

Each year I do this — I pull out the plastic shoe box full of seed packets and try to be happy with what I see.

I’ve stored my seeds organized in small plastic envelopes for over a dozen years.

I think they are coupon or check envelopes. I picked them up when we lived in Appomattox, and they are perfect — a simple Velcro enclosure, expandable, and they fit within a plastic shoe box. The shoe box is stored in the cool root cellar.

I organized the packets within the box by category: tomatoes, root vegetables, melons, edible flowers, cucumbers, lettuces, peppers, gourds, etc. That helped at seed-ordering time because I could easily figure out how many tomato seeds I had. (I keep my seeds year to year. The germination rate may decline, but I start more than I need to make sure I have enough. So far, it’s worked well for me.)

newly organized seed packets

newly organized seed packets

The frustrating part, though, is that each spring I sort through the envelopes and sort the seeds out into which week I start the seeds based on our frost date.

My perfectly sorted seeds go into complete disarray during seed starting season!

Well, this year I’m trying a new organizing method that does away with the sorting by type, pulling by week, and resorting by type.

I relabeled my seed envelopes by week — the week to start or the week to direct seed, based on that magic May 15th date.

Those envelopes I order by date in the shoe box.

I pull out the week I need to sort, and when done, I put it back in the back of the box.

My shoe box of seeds is now a perpetual calendar, easily sorted by what I’ve done and what I need to do next!

A month in, and I love it! I have seeds going in my “bathroom germination station.”

I start a lot of seeds early for my Master Gardener Association plant sale at Garden Fest, and with this, I know I’ll start them when I should.

How do you organize your seeds?

snow storm

snow storm


*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

2 comments to Reorganizing Seed Packets in the Snow

  • Athanasia

    Well, no point in telling how I used to organize my seeds as am IMMEDIATELY switching to your method. It makes so much sense! We also have a last frost date of 5-15 though we seldom put our plants until Memorial Day weekend to be safe.

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