Whether you save your own seeds or buy them in packets it is important to know what seeds you have on hand and how long the seeds are good for in storage. Like most things here at the Reaganskopp Homestead we have a a Google Sheet for seed saving and seed inventories. I know you all are shocked (#sarcasm). As and added bonus we even made a handy dandy printable seed saving chart too! (gasp… paper?!)
But First: Why a Seed Saving Chart?
So what do we mean by “How long are seeds good?”. Well, seeds are only viable for certain lengths of time. Meaning if seeds are properly stored and then properly planted you are likely to get a certain percentage of healthy seedlings after a certain length of time.
I repeat: Properly stored and properly planted
For example, if I take my saved tomato seeds and keep them dry and cool, I can likely still have good germination after three to four years. That means that if you have half a packet of seeds from last year, that you loved, there would be no reason to throw them out and spend more money this year.
But Why a Seed Inventory?
To get the most bang for your seed buck I combined a seed saving chart with a seed inventory. Why? Because you can think you will know what seeds you have, and how many you have, and how long they are good for, and you will be wrong. Then you will see a deal on seeds and end up with about 50 varieties of cherry tomatoes and space to plant out three. Which is even more exciting because out of six family members only you actually eat cherry tomatoes… Or maybe you won’t because you have control when it comes to plants… In either case, it is good to know what you have and when it expires. It makes garden planning a cinch and if you opt for the online version you can reference it when out shopping for seeds.
But wait there is more!
So why do we also have a printable seed saving chart when we usually focus on non-paper solutions? The Reaganskopp Homestead is hosting their first community seed swap and garden planning session. We partnered with a local gardening/homesteading store (Fifth Season Gardening – Asheville) to host the event. Since we are having an in-person seed swap I wanted to have print outs of guidelines for the seed swappers. We made a printable seed saving guide and inventory to take with us.
Spoiler: It is pretty too!
How do you use the Seed Saving Chart & Seed Inventory?
Both the electronic and paper versions are pretty easy. Log your varieties of plants, how much seed you have on hand, and the year you purchased the seed. The electronic version will calculate the expiration date automatically once you put in the year. The paper version will require some addition. I update my sheet once I have everything planted out, so that next spring I’ll have a complete list of what seeds I have left.
How Do I Get a Copy?
Click the link below and you will be prompted to make a copy to your Google Drive. Make the copy and then run with it. Please note, I only give copy access to the Seed Saving Chart and Seed Inventory. This avoids someone accidentally messing the entire sheet up. There is a tab that has examples of use.
You can also get the printable version by clicking below
What Do We Ask For In Return?
If you like/use the Seed Saving Chart & Seed Inventory we simply ask that you spread the word about it to others and send in suggestions via comments. Each year we try to incorporate what readers want to see. You are free to use it for personal or business use. Just don’t try to sell it as your product because that makes you a meanie, not nice person.