Best Seed Containers and Organizer + Free LabelsJump to Recipe
Growing plants from seed can be so satisfying, but figuring out how to store all those seeds when you don’t need them can be tricky. Most seed packets don’t re-seal and if you don’t have a huge garden, you might only need a few of those seeds a year. This post goes over how I store my garden seeds, different storage cases to uses, and great options for different gardeners.
The Best Seed Organizers
By far the best storage method I have found is using a photo storage box to store seeds. I know this sounds odd, but it is a great way to store everything in the same place. When you find a photo organizer they are often used for 4x6 photos and that size is perfect for seed packets.
Each small container can be split up into different seed categories, depending on the types of seeds you have. There is plenty of room in each container to store 5-8 seed packs in each. The type of seed storage categories I use are tomatoes, squash, flowers, herbs, etc.
This is the seed storage box I use: Novelink Storage Box. It includes 16 individual plastic containers within the larger storage container. The box also comes with a built-in handle so it's easy to carry around. There are a lot of similar photo storage boxes you can find. Look on amazon or even at your local craft stores to find the one that works best for you!
How to Label Your Seed Storage
I highly recommend labeling the individual containers. This is the easiest way to quickly find everything. You can either write on a piece of tape for each one, or you can print off labels. I have made a printable sheet that I use to label my boxes. You can copy my seed storage system by download the printable below. This has most of the main groups you will need. Just print it off, cut them out and use clear packing tape to attach them to the boxes.
View and Download Here: Free Seed Storage Labels
You can separate them out by seed collection or something more general like flower seeds and vegetable seeds. I suggest placing then in alphabetical order to make it even that much easier to find.
Even though you are labeling the photo boxes, I would still make sure to keep the the seeds in the seed envelopes. These have a lot of important information and it makes easier to contain multiple seed packets.
Other Seed Storage Containers
You can also find seed specific storage boxes and container. Here are a few other ones I have seen:
- Seed Packet Book: You can place you individual seed packets in a book style organizer. This is similar style to a photo album. This one fits 64 packets. It is a little smaller so it is a great option if you are tight on space.
- Metal Tin: This one is more esthetically pleasing and cute for seed storage. This one is better for short-term storage. It is a little small, but if you only have a few packets it might be a fun choice.
Best Seed Storage Environment
In general, the best place to store vegetable seeds in is a cool, dark, and dry place in an airtight container. However, some seed requirements may vary so here are some guidelines to help you store vegetable seeds effectively. Here are the ideal seed storage conditions:
- Temperature: Seeds generally remain viable for longer periods when stored in cooler temperatures. The ideal range is typically around 50°F (10°C). Avoid storing seeds in areas prone to temperature fluctuations, such as garages or sheds, as this can affect their viability. I just keep mine in my basement or closet in my house at room temperature and they seem to do fine.
- Darkness: Exposure to light can trigger germination or reduce the seed's viability so make sure to keep out of direct sunlight. Keep your seeds in the original packaging envelopes if you can. This will help them stay in the dark. Keeping your seeds in a dark place helps preserve their quality and extends their shelf life for a long time.
- Keeping Seeds Dry: Moisture is detrimental to seed storage, as it can lead to mold, mildew, or germination. If you are saving your own seeds, make sure that the seeds are thoroughly dry before storing them. You can achieve this by allowing them to air dry for a few days in a well-ventilated area. Once the seeds are dry, place them in airtight containers or envelopes to prevent moisture absorption. If you are cleaning your storage container, make sure to let it dry completely before adding seeds back in.
- Refrigeration or freezer storage: Some seeds, particularly those with shorter lifespans, can benefit from refrigeration or freezer storage. However, not all seeds tolerate cold temperatures. Consult specific seed packaging or reliable gardening resources to determine if refrigeration or freezing is recommended for the particular vegetable seeds you have. I have never had any seeds that I need to store in the fridge, but it is always good to check you seed packets.
By following these guidelines, you can maximize the longevity and viability of your vegetable seeds, allowing you to use them for a higher germination rate and successful future planting.
What About Bird Seed Storage Container
Another seed you might be needing to store is bird seed for your bird feeders. This can sometimes be difficult because it comes in larger quantities. Here are a few steps to make sure to store your bird seed the best way you can:
- Choose the right container: Select a sturdy, airtight container that can keep out moisture and pests. A metal or heavy-duty plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works well. Avoid using bags or thin plastic containers that can easily tear or allow air and moisture to enter.
- Clean the container: Before storing bird seed, make sure the container is clean and dry. Any residue or moisture can contaminate the fresh seed and lead to mold or spoilage. Wash the container with mild soap and warm water, then thoroughly dry it.
- Store in a cool, dry place: Find a cool and dry location to store the bird seed. Excessive heat or humidity can cause the seed to deteriorate quickly or become moldy. Try to place it in areas such as a pantry, basement, or a dedicated storage area indoors instead of a shed or garage.
- Protect from pests: Bird seed can attract pests like insects, rodents, or birds. To prevent infestations, ensure that the storage container is tightly sealed and has no gaps or openings. You can even add a small pouch of cedar chips or a bay leaf inside the container, as their scent can deter pests.
- Rotate your stock: Over time, bird seed can lose its freshness and nutritional value. It's recommended to use the oldest seed first and regularly rotate your stock to ensure you're using fresh seed. Label each container with the purchase date or expiration date to keep track of its freshness.
- Avoid overstocking: Purchase bird seed in quantities that you can reasonably use within a few months. Buying excessive amounts can lead to longer storage periods, increasing the chances of spoilage or loss of seed quality.
Now that you have your seed organizer all set, you are ready to plant up for vegetable garden! Having the best seed storage containers will help with long-term storage and keep your seeds in the best condition. I hope this process makes it a little easier and encourages you to plant more this from seed this year.