One of my favorite Winter pastimes is looking at seed catalogs. However, before I order anything I take an inventory of the seeds that I have left over from last year. Most vegetable seeds are viable for three or four years, so I am likely to have about 125 containers of seeds to keep track of. About ten years ago I started a spreadsheet to help make sense of it all. I group the seeds by type and make note of the following information: variety, date of purchase, quantity of seeds on hand, and supplier. I also include a column for start dates. I throw out seeds that have gone past their viability period. It’s funny, I’ve found that most seed suppliers want you to believe that seeds are only good for one or two seasons. In my experience, the only crop that has single season viability is corn. Everything else is good for three or four years. The next thing I check is seed quantity. If I’m low or out of something, I highlight that line in red. Before I order, I make note of all the highlighted items. I also take the opportunity to check my journal for notes about a particular variety to make sure that I haven’t overlooked anything that might cause me to try something different.
Being organized about your seed inventory is a very good first step toward a great gardening season. It’s time to “get it on”.
All the best,