Monday, February 21, 2011

Seed organizer and planner

Every year, once the seeding planning starts, I get to a point where I wished there would be a easier way to do my seed planning, when to plant certain seeds. Since I always try new seed varieties each year because I still try to find the ones that will do best in my new garden climate, I keep adding more and more packs of seeds as time goes on. Now I started even saving many of my own seeds, and anyway there are always so many neat new Heirloom varieties each year who could pass them all on.
Definitely not me.
I have tried all different ways over the years, I made paper charts, then excel planning charts, then I started trying out various garden software. They all work to a certain extend in telling you when to plant, but it always takes to much time to set it up. Another thing that that was missing was that you just can't take that computer out into the garden. Whatever paper you take out into the vegetable garden with you, soon will be smudged by dirt, wet and unreadable or gets lost including the pens you take out with you to write down your notes.
There had to a easier way and I think I came up with a better solution.

                                                            Super Satchel Box: Double Deep 6996AB Translucent Purple

    A pre-sorted seed pack box.

I actually had been thinking of a seed sorting box for quite a while, but most boxes I found where either too small for my use or had not enough compartments (I had been keeping my vegetable seeds in 3 metal boxes I got at Ikea) then I came across this box when I was looking for sewing notions. It is just perfect for sorting the seeds. It comes with 8 variable compartments and is high enough for most seed packs to fit upright inside. The box also is close-able, so the seeds are protected and keep fresh.

This is how I sorted my seeds to make my planning easier. Since I have so many seeds I actually got two boxes to make my seed sorting system easier manageable.

This box is practically a planting calendar and seed keeper all in one. Each box is for half a growing season.
Purple is for the pre-May planting season. The Green box for the less busy season from May to October. Each compartment is for a specific planting time starting with January and is labeled as such. Since in my area in January there are only a few plants started indoor the label says "January 15th > Indoor" telling me whatever is in this compartment I can seed in pots past Jan 15th. Indoors. February is a very busy month for seeding, so it took several compartments for that month. One for  Indoor early February, two compartments for Indoor after Feb. 15th., then  one for Seeding outside after Feb. 15Th.
Since I also do a lot of succession planting with certain crops, like for example 'carrots' and I have a lot of different varieties I also spread the different varieties over the different planting dates. So I have carrot seed packs in many compartments from End of March until the last planting date possible for them.
Some seeds I don't have enough to spread out like that, so I also have a simple planting calendar taped to the inside of the lid and my plan is to just keep moving the seed pack forward into the compartments each time I plant making the succession of planting easy.

The lid is a perfect place to tape seeding information as vegetable companion charts, spacing charts and fertilizing info.
Now when I go plant my seed, all I need is grab my seed sorting box by the handle, there is no need to bring anything else with me into the garden. I just get the seeds from the proper compartment and plant.
How easy is that?

I don't want to proclaim, it will be a perfect system yet but at least it should lessen the planning time spend. Granted it took time to set up, with sorting all the seeds into it with the help of my Planting chart but if it all works as planned, I never have to do it again, aside add the newest seeds I get.

I'll get back to you later in the garden season how I fared with my new seed planning system.

disclaimer: Not to be shared with the Dervaes Family of Path to Freedom Website. Thank You 


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