Seed Packet Albums

Forget the shoes.  A girl can never have too many seeds, I say!

I could really care less if I own  a pair of shoes that match with every outfit in my wardrobe, but a seed for every season – now that  is an absolute must have!

Truth be told, I only own and wear a handful of different shoes:  rubber boots, jogging shoes, sandals, and a couple of pairs of “church” shoes, and they all fit nicely in a plastic shoe rack that hangs on the backside of my closet door.  Seeds, on the other hand, is a different story.  I’ve own hundreds of different seed packs, and it wasn’t until recently that I was able to organize and store them in a place as neat and tidy as my shoes.

Before finding a storage solution for my over-abundant seed collection, I simply stored my seed packets in clear, plastic bags in a shoebox.  They were sorted into various categories: cabbage family, nightshade family, flowers, herbs, winter plantings, summer plantings, etc.  But, if I wanted a particular variety to plant out, it took me a lot of time to sort through the jumble of  bags to find the category I was looking for, and then still more time to find the specific plant… it just wasn’t a very efficient system.

While rummaging around at a local second hand store, I stumbled upon a slew of old photo albums (I guess now that we’re in the digital age, no one really uses these things for photos anymore?), and a light bulb went off.  These would make the perfect seed packet storage/organizers!  I snatched up a handful of them — each one was less than a dollar — brought them home, and started organizing:  carrots went into the orange colored album,  tomatoes into the one with the cherry red pages, flowers into the pretty white embossed one…

Now, with the turn of a page,  it’s quick and easy to find what I’m looking for!

A few of the albums have little windows on the front – perfect for displaying the type of  seeds that lie inside…

An old seed catalog comes in handy when looking for pictures to place inside of the windows.

The only drawback to using these photo albums is that they don’t work very well for plants that have large seeds, like peas and beans, and even with packets of small seeds, there is a limit to how many you can have in one album before they will no longer lie flat when you close them.

If you want to use this method, I suggest that you use albums with 50 or fewer pages.  If you purchase albums with more than 50 pages,  simply cut out half of them — it will work much better.

I love the way these seed packet albums turned out!  They’re so pretty.  I’d love to display them out in the open, on a bookshelf.  Unfortunately, the seeds  fair much better if stored in a cool, dark place.  So, I store them in an old, wooden crate in my pantry.

I am thinking about using this same idea to create a garden journal of everything I’m growing from seed in a particular year.  What a terrific way to keep track of photos (from seed catalogs, and my own)  and growing information (written on 3 x 5 cards and placed in the pockets) on all of the wonderful fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs that grow in my garden from year to year.  And, when the journal is complete, wouldn’t it be the perfect thing to display on a prominent shelf or coffee table in the house?

So, now, along with my saying that “A girl can never have too many seeds”, I must add that “A girl can never own too many second-hand store photo albums”.  They are the perfect place to organize and store one’s bounty of seeds…don’t you agree?

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4 thoughts on “Seed Packet Albums

    • Tori, yes they can, but the germination rate goes down as they get older. I planted 10 year old tomato seeds this spring and every one of them came up!

    • It depends. I seem to have good luck with most of my seeds lasting past the “expiration” date. Some, I’ve had for about five years, and they are still germinating and producing wonderful food for our family. You can do a seed germination test to check for viability before you plant. Simply take a few seeds from the pack, lay them in a damp paper towel. Fold the towel up, and stick inside of a plastic ziploc bag. Wait a few days to a week to see if the seeds have sprouted. Or, if you’re like me, and you don’t want to wait, go ahead and try planting them out (either in seed pots or in the ground) and see what happens. When I plant seedlings, I give them about a week. If I don’t see any activity, then I replant them again. If they still don’t sprout, then I toss the seed out and purchase a new pack. Hope this helps!

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