Once you start gardening, you will probably find yourself the proud owner of a bunch of seeds. Eventually you will need something to hold all those seeds. That thing is called a seed box.
The DIY seed boxes I saw online were made from shoe boxes, cigar boxes, recipe card boxes, curb-scored dresser drawers, discarded library card boxes, tackle boxes, plastic pill boxes, old 8-track cases, photo organizers, antique letterpress printer’s drawers, old filing tins, cash boxes, ziplock baggies, Mason jars, and lidded cardboard shipping boxes. One was even made from an old fashioned metal lunchbox! Clearly, there was lots of inspiration out there, but what would suit my needs?
What do seed boxes do?
All that variety got me thinking about what seed boxes are for. There’s no point in saving seeds if they get eaten or sprout too soon. Seeds need to be kept in a cool, dry, dark place to avoid germinating before you are ready for them. Plus, you need to be absolutely sure there is no moisture present if your seeds are going to be sealed in something airtight. [If you store your seeds in plastic or glass, it is a good idea to include one of those tiny silica packets you find in show boxes and other products.] I prefer exposing my seeds to as much of the local weather as possible, without getting them wet (or eaten). Also, I am working on reducing my use of plastic, so I decided that my new seed box had to be made out of something else. Since I have a bunch of scrap wood, I decided to take a look in my wood box for inspiration.
How to organize all those seeds?
There’s always alphabetical order, but I decided I needed something that I could organize by planting time. Here, in California, that means separate categories for every month. In colder regions, you might be better off organizing your seeds by plant type: tomatoes, peppers, beans, etc., or by season. I used some heavy duty paperboard to create a divider down the middle of my seed box and index-style cards for each month. Then it was a simple matter of looking at my local monthly planting times to file my seed collection. Or so I thought.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!
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