It truly amazes me that you can take a tiny seed (that might look like a piece of lint or dirt), lay it in soil, water it, nurture it, and then watch it grow into a beautiful thriving plant.
I have sprouting seeds, my friends, and new ones coming up each day.
If I can do this so can you.
The hardest part for me was trying to keep it all organized and manageable so that I know what each little seedling is as everything starts to grow.
Organizing a seed planting project
Gather, group, sow.
All the seeds I had came in pretty little packets with a picture on the front showing off the flowering plant. Sure, it’s easy to identify your seeds when you can look at the picture, but once you take seeds out of the packet, you can mix up your seed types in 30 seconds flat. Most of the seedling look very similar when they start to sprout: two little leaves sprouting out of the dirt…
See tips for how to read seed packets, here.
Bottom line, planning and organization goes a long way.
I broke my plan up into 3 phases: gathering, grouping, and then sowing.
I started with gathering everything that I thought I would need to do the seed sowing part of the project.
Here is everything I gathered and ended up using to organize and sow:
- Seed Planting trays (or clear storage bins, or low-sided cardboard boxes lines with plastic garbage bag)
- Seed starter pots (if using clear storage bins or cardboard boxes)
- Seed starter mix
- Watering can or spray bottle
- Bucket to hold the moistened seed starter mix
- Dirt scoop (we used a plastic water bottle with the top cut off.)
- Tray covers – or – Clear plastic wrap (if using clear storage bins or cardboard boxes)
- Seed pouring tray or dish
Use a light colored tray or dish to dump the seeds onto so you can easily see and handle them during the sowing process.
- Plant markers (buy or diy, like these)
- Seeds/ Seed packets
- Tape (To tape the seed packets back together if not planting all seeds at once)
- Index Cards (I cut mine in half and used them to label the seed groups)
- Pen or Marker
- Rubber bands
Create a bundle for each seed group type and rubber band together the packets, plant markers and seed starting information
- Bin with separators to keep the seed packets organized (see other organizer ideas further down in this post.)
How to groups seeds together can depend on what types of seeds you have, so it wouldn’t make sense to say that there is only one right way to group seeds for sowing. The best suggestion I found is to group them on what makes sense to me.
I grouped the seeds together by answering “the where” and “the when” questions.
Where – Sow indoors / When – 8-10 weeks before planting outdoors in the ground
Where – Outdoors / When – Winter, Spring after frost, or Fall
Other examples could be:
Where: Outdoor – fence line/ When: May 1st
Where: Outdoors- flower bed./ When: January 15th
Where: Indoors – for flower bed / When: April 1st – 7-14 day germination
Where: Indoors – for flower bed / When: April 1st – 21-30 day germination
Next I could have broken it down by germination times for indoors, but most of my seeds ranged between 7 – 30 days, so I decided to sow them all together and separate the early germinators into a new tray (or clear storage bin.)
I labeled each group on an index card, rubber banded each group together along with the plant markers and then placed them in a divided bin.
If you don’t have a divided bin, a basket, or even labeled zip lock bags would work, too.
Also see these other seed packet organizing ideas:
Old photo album from Lovely Greens
Card board box from Reformation Acres
See-thru pill box from Recreated.ca
Once we were ready to sow the seeds, I can assure you, this was indeed the funnest part. I won’t go into details on how to actually sow the seeds, following the seed packet labels was very helpful in my opinion. But Garden Betty’s guide to starting seeds indoors has some great details on the subject.
I had company for some of the sowing. My great nieces came over and we had a little seed planting party. They each got to take a tray home, and I’m pretty darn sure that they actually had fun doing this.
I didn’t sow everything all at once. I’ve broken it down into doing several batches each weekend.
New seedlings are sprouting daily, except unfortunately for those that my overgrown kittens have gotten their little mittens on, ugh!!
I’ve had a revolving door of seedling bins and trays going from room to room. The sun room, the laundry room, the office. Honestly keeping the trays of growing seeds away from the cats has been about the biggest challenge of all.
Note: Many of the seeds I choose to plant can be planted early indoors, or outdoors, after the frost. Instead of starting all of my seeds indoors, I started a portion of seeds from each packet indoors and will be starting the rest outdoors. Most of the packets contain 200+ seeds, so I will try to give some of the seeds to gardening friends, as well.
Start with a Seed Series
Part 1: Intro
Part 2: Printable for garden planning
Part 3: How to read seed packets
Part 4: Organizing a seed planting project
Also: 4 Easy plant marker ideas
PS – Stow and Tell U is getting a little makeover. Thank you for your patience while she’s getting an update 🙂
Oh my gosh. I needed this post a few weeks ago. I’m pinning now! Thanks for linking up with Be Clean Be Green With Kids. Hope to see you back this week. 🙂