Tips for organizing seeds from Pooh Bear and me

I keep the air-tight container in the fridge

“Organizing is something you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” ~ A.A. Milne (1882-1956), “Winnie-the-Pooh”

As a young child, I loved listening to Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and even today I cherish my little book of Pooh Bear’s witticisms. I agree that organization is a worthy goal, and one place to start organizing habits is with garden seeds!

Seeds to be sown in January

It’s one of my winter joys to open up seed packets when they arrive in the mail, but if I don’t organize them right away, the packets can quickly get lost among the other stuff that accumulates in my home. In Sunday’s column (January 8, 2017), I described my method of storing vegetable and herb seeds in plastic baggies by the month the seeds are sown, either indoors for transplanting later or directly into a garden bed outside. After opening up the packets, I add a bit of powdered milk to the bags. I keep the bags sealed and store them in an air-tight plastic container in the refrigerator.

Since I grow a lot more flowers than vegetables, I use one container for vegetables/herbs and another container for groups of annual/biennial and perennial flower seeds and bulbs. Within each of these groups, I also sort by botanical name, germination requirements and length of time for germination. Seeds could also be sorted by bloom time, flower color and/or other variables. 

Seed baggies are placed in divided container sections


Typically, I start sowing flower seeds in my greenhouse in late January or early February and continue sowing through June. I plant spring-blooming bulbs (daffodils, tulips, crocus, snowdrops, etc.) in October/November and summer-blooming bulbs (canna lily, gladioli, calla lily, daylily, etc.) in April.

Certainly organization has its merits for gardeners. On the other hand, Winnie-the-Pooh also reminded us, “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” Oh, bother!




Powdered milk sachet goes in each month's plastic bag

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  • About the Author

    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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