It's time! I'm working on my seed order today, and I'm doing one more check of "The Binder" to see where I can save some $$. I swore this year I was cutting down on how much I spent on seeds because you see.... I have PLENTY already! What is THE BINDER, you ask? It contains everything that has to do with my garden, all in once place. I know there are better ways to store seed for long-term, but honestly I've been using The Binder for 3 years now with no ill effects on germination so far, but I am also good about checking dates on packets, etc, and know which seeds stay viable for how long. And of course I am going to challenge you to do a post on your seed stash! For now, here's mine...
This bookshelf sits within arm's reach of the sofa, and has all my garden related stuff so I can surf it whenever I get the urge. A basket on the floor directly below contains my seed catalog mail. See The Binder? It's the big black one with the veggie stuff on the spine. (clipped from the lovely Baker Creek photos of course!)
Here it is again... it's BIG! It has to be because it contains all my seeds along with other important "stuff".
I have the pages divided roughly by veggies/herbs/flowers, also spots for wildlife gardening, soil, homesteading tips & tricks, fruit, etc...
A look inside...
seed starting schedules, I write the day I should start things, then update it with the actual date, how many, specific culture notes, etc
A chapter for bees and native plantings...
Chapter for birds & wildlife preferences and any other "stuff" I happen to deem worthy of clipping and saving
A spot for "other stuff" which now includes fruit and the brewing garden
A place for those pesky tags you know you might want on fruit trees and perennials - like when I saw my potted citrus covered in fruit but couldn't remember buying it in the first place, much less what it was? It's a Calamondin!
About 80% of the book is seeds... I use photo pages to keep things neat and orderly, this makes weeding things out that I didn't like or didn't do well a breeze.
Big page pockets hold random large amounts of seed such as all my edamame, peanuts and even innoculant which won't fit in the smaller pockets.
I keep a calendar stuffed in the back which only contains garden stuff on it such as times of day for hardening off, planting dates, and weather. Below is a shot of April last year, the craziest month for us for everything. It's always a gamble, but I can refer to last year's weather notes when deciding when to put things out for this year. Once you have a few of these calendar's worth of notes to refer to, you can ditch the old "recommended dates" and go from experience in your own garden, which I have found really invaluable especially for fall plantings.
I always keep some loose leaf grid paper in the back along with a pencil pouch with colored pencils, rulers, etc so whenever I get the urge I can do a little planning! I know there are great software programs out there now, but I really enjoy doing it with pencil & paper, it's kind of like a kid's art project for grownups! Bonus is that I can hand out extra sheets of paper to the kids and they work on their "own plans" and stay quiet and busy while I do mine.
Sooooooo...... how do YOU keep your seeds and stuff together? Inquiring minds want to know, so please post on it! Also, don't think for a minute that my seed starting stuff is this organized... it's just thrown willy-nilly into the attic. I'll photograph that embarrassing mess when it's time to get that stuff down!