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It may be time to better organize my seed stockpile, my maybe organize your seed stockpile. Over the past decade I have stockpiled seeds and
organized them season - spring and fall. Typically my seed stockpile was divided into containers that were seeds to be planted in the spring and seeds that were to be planted int he fall. Examples include corn, squash, beans, peas, greens, turnips, rutabagas, peppers.. etc.

Maybe it is time to organize seeds into categories such as grains, edibles, good for canning, drying.. or something else? For example while corn and squash are spring / summer crops corn is better for drying and livestock than squash. Squash is a good crop for storing for a week and eating within a few days of harvest; it is also good of stuff like casseroles. But I would not want to dry squash and feed it to my chickens over the winter.

Peas and beans are also different than squash, turnips, rutabagas, spinach... etc.

Maybe seeds should be divided into grains? Then again, is there an issue with spring / summer crops and fall crops, but divided into subcategories? Maybe corn, peas and beans go in one category, while melons go in another - squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelons.. etc. But where do we put tomatoes? Maybe a category for crops good for canning, such as tomatoes, peppers and okra?

Examples:

Good for drying - corn, beans, peas
Edibles - spinach, squash, zucchini, radishes
Good for canning - tomatoes, peppers, okra
Winter greens - turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens, cabbage
Spices - celentro, peppers, onions

Some of the categories could overlap, but therein lies the problem. We could break it down to protein and carb crops, such as watermelon an pinto beans.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 

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I'm not much in the way of organizing, or maybe I am. I keep it all in a sealable container. They are kept separate from others via rubber bands, tomatoes, peppers, etc. sometimes, sometimes by year, but much of it in ziplocks of my seed. I go through it all probably once a year, right around this time. Toss, check viability on something I deem good. I guess it works for me, but others would think a cluster ****.

Next month I will be starting sweet potato slips, and onions from seed. I fell in love with beauregard tater 4 years ago, and purchased some slips. After that, I no longer needed to buy. Juat grab a good one in storage, cut it in half, give a day to scab over, bury cut side down in soil and wait for sprouts. Water.

When sprouts reach a foot, snip in half just above the node, dip the stem in honey and put in water to root. Transplant in a pot and keep indoors until soil temps are over 60°f.
 

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Guess I've never separated seeds into category's before.
I've always just tried to keep them all in one spot, or a few containers in the same place.
I'll have to give this some thought.
 
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I organize by family too in quart ziplock bags which are all in an old, large metal bread box. Some families have been split though due to quantity of packets. Tomatoes have their own bag as do peppers. Bush beans, pole beans and peas are all separate quart bags but all dumped into a larger "legume" gallon ziplock to keep them together. Herbs and flowers each have their own quart bags.
 

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I'm not a huge organizer. Mine are kept in old metal tins to keep the moisture out. My labels are Greens and herbs, squashes, melons, beans, and other vining things, root crops, tomatoes and peppers. I only did that because it's too much of a pain to search through every tin to find something! And it's only become a worry after hanging out with my fellow prepper gardeners of course. You people are an Influence LOL
 

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I organize by family too in quart ziplock bags which are all in an old, large metal bread box. Some families have been split though due to quantity of packets. Tomatoes have their own bag as do peppers. Bush beans, pole beans and peas are all separate quart bags but all dumped into a larger "legume" gallon ziplock to keep them together. Herbs and flowers each have their own quart bags.
How long do your seeds last? And are you harvesting your own or just buying?
 

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I have two sets of seeds, one in that metal bread box and seeds in the freezer. The freezer seeds are in small paper coin envelopes and arranged alphabetically by kind ("Cabbage, Stonehead") . Those are in ziplock bags and stored inside a snap top plastic container.

350695


350696


I have a spreadsheet where I keep the list of what's in the boxes (there are two). Every time I get new seeds, some of them are put into one of the envelopes and go into the box. The oldest seeds in the box are from 2015, one of which (a cayenne pepper) successfully germinated last spring. And earlier this month the scallion seed from 2018 came up just fine.

I harvest my own OP seeds whenever possible; cucumber, kale, collards, okra, onions and scallions, field peas (several kinds), peppers, summer squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, basil, parsley, arugula, dill, sometimes carrot.

Some I don't save due to environmental conditions or they take way too long to make seed (biennials) and I need the space for planting other stuff. Beans are problematic due to bean beetle damage and high heat/humidity eventually taking their toll on plants before seed pods are dry enough to harvest. Irish potatoes are usually dug here late May/early June and they don't last long enough in storage to have any for replanting the following year.
 

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Not a bad idea Kev and something I have done for several years now. I just have mine broken down by Spring/Fall and by date (year to year) as I try to use the older seeds before I break into the newer containers of seeds. Older seeds seem to have a bit of a lower germination rate...if SHTF and I am depending on those crops to survive, I want a high germination rate, not a bunch of old duds.
 

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Seeds will be the next ammo.
I agree, and it's already starting IMO. Just wait until some idiot Governor decides to outlaw the sale of seeds and seedlings again! The only problem of course, is that hybrid varieties are fun to grow but don't breed true, so saving their seeds isn't all that useful. Of course, there are plenty of OP yum yums to choose from! Who could complain about a full belly? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not much in the way of organizing, or maybe I am. I keep it all in a sealable container. They are kept separate from others via rubber bands, tomatoes, peppers, etc. sometimes, sometimes by year, but much of it in ziplocks of my seed. I go through it all probably once a year, right around this time. Toss, check viability on something I deem good. I guess it works for me, but others would think a cluster ****.
You do realize if you keep seeds in the deep freezer they stay good for over a decade, right?


Guess I've never separated seeds into category's before.
I've always just tried to keep them all in one spot, or a few containers in the same place.
I'll have to give this some thought.
I buy corn, bean and pea seed by pound and half pound which are stored in plastic tubs in the deep freezer. Stuff like okra, greens, watermelons, spinach... by the ounce and are sometimes stored in ziplock bags. I may go through my seed stockpile and sort a lot of the smaller seeds this year into ziplock.
 

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You do realize if you keep seeds in the deep freezer they stay good for over a decade, right?




I buy corn, bean and pea seed by pound and half pound which are stored in plastic tubs in the
Yes, I understand, but the thing is that I am constantly planting and rotating my seed stock every year. I only buy from seed houses new items I've never tried or piques my interest. Most just for fun, this year I ordered tootheache plant, litchi tomatoes, and garden huckleberries for fun. I also wanted to go back to a pole bean, since I haven't grown them in years, so I chose Kentucky Wonder. Most will be saved for seed this first year, so my bush varieties will be sowed as well.

Zephyr is a summer squash that I love, it is buttery sweet and crazy prolific... but it's an F1 hybrid, no true seed, though I've never attempted it.
So, I only save what I'm going to plant, and it gets planted every year and bucket in a cool dark place has never failed me.
 

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Just organized mine, but that was more for the sake of getting ready for spring. I suppose seeds stay good longer in the freezer. I wonder whether that extends seeds' viability evenly across the board or some longer than others. Either way I'd like to keep my seeds rotated. Last year we started saving seeds and we'll be doing it more. I mean, partly I just want to know how to do it and partly I just like the idea. After all, if I'm not saving seeds now how will I ever get it right if the balloon goes up? That would become a lost key to survival. Also, if you grow and save seed from over and over at your place you develop your own variety that'll be specialized for your place.
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I guess I do organize my seeds a bit. I keep all like seeds in a ziplock bag.
You know, all tomato seeds, all peppers, etc......
 

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I use zip locks for boughten seeds, and the baggies for self saved seeds.
I've got a zillion small baggies I'll never get used up. Leftovers from making and packing items for sale.
 

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I've been using old prescription med bottles to store my saved seeds.

The important thing is to make sure the seeds are completely dry before storing, otherwise you risk mold forming on them.
Also for seeds such as tomato, that have the coating, the fermentation method works very well. Remove the coating and let them dry, then store. There are plenty of videos on YouTube. And using old med bottles is a great idea! I have a few of those. Reuse and repurpose: that is the prepper way. And how our grandparents made it through the Depression.

As for why we store them, well, who's not having a problem with the seed shortage of the last couple of years? :love:
 
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