Seed Savers: Essentials for a DIY Kit

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin

Seed savers believe in miracles. Or as Henry David Thoreau put it, “I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”

With summer underway, I am collecting: poppy pods, foxglove seeds, and columbine seeds to save for winter, when I will sprinkle them in my northern California garden and await the wonders. Meanwhile I’m storing the seeds in a slim lidded tin, a very satisfying way to organize envelopes, labels, and little jars.

I wish you the same happiness. Here are a few simple supplies to assemble your own DIY seed saving kit:

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.

Watchmaker’s Case

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: I keep all my seed saving supplies in an metal Watchmaker’s Cases. The aluminum case is only 2 inches tall, has a lid, and is $14.80 from Lee Valley Tools (the cases come in several sizes).

Screw Top Jars

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: The watchmaker’s case came with 20 jars with screw-on lids. (the jars are just the right size to hold seeds).

Cotton Tape

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: I labeled the jars with white cotton tape. A similar spool of 1/2-inch Waterproof Tape is $5.95 from B&H. A box of 12 No. 2 Cedar Pencils is $5.59 from Dick Blick.

Kraft Paper Envelopes

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: A set of 25 brown Kraft Paper Seed Envelopes with cord clasps, big enough to hold large poppy pods, is $7.24 from Goldberg Gartenschatz via Etsy.
After poppy pods dry and turn brown, you shake out the seeds (like shaking salt) in the garden.

Seed Packets

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: Packets of Flower Seeds such as Amaranth Green Tails, Zinnia Oklahoma Ivory, and Chocolate Lace Flower are$3.95 apiece from Floret Farm.

When I buy seeds to sow, after I open the envelope I store any leftover seeds in the airtight jars.

Wooden Plant Labels

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: A package of 50 6-inch Wooden Plant Labels is $4.45 from Horticultural Products and Services.

DIY Seed Saving Kit

seed saving kit by Mimi Giboin
Above: The seed saving kit keeps everything organized and tidy. Plus, the little jars make a nice clicking sound when you arrange them in rows in the watchmaker’s case.
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