Garden Planning 101: Seed Inventory

The first installment of the Garden Planning 101 series is a guide to doing a seed inventory.  I know, I know, it's much more fun to dive head first into the new shiny catalogs and dream of all the new seeds we want to plant this year, but I promise it will only keep you from your seed catalogs for a moment (and you might even be able to turn some of your old seeds into new seeds!).   

If you've been gardening at least one season, chances are you have a few (or maybe quite a few) extra or partial packets of seed.  As much as I try to buy only what I need for a given year, there is always that row that needed just half a packet more to finish off, something I couldn't quite squeeze in, or a fall planting that never made it into the garden.  Not to mention all the lovely things that are marked down at the end of the season that find their way into my collection.  As time passes from planting one garden to planning the next, it's actually kind of fun to rediscover the treasures in my seed stash.  
I'm a fan of the "waste not, want not" philosophy, and a quick seed inventory is a good practice in that same spirit.  Chances are the seeds you have on hand right now will last many years, but in truth, they are never going to be better than they are right now, so why not make the most of them? Here's a few simple tips on sorting through your stash: 

There you have it: a little time taking inventory and you're one step closer to planning your garden!  And while we're on the subject of taking inventory, now is a great time to inventory your seed starting supplies, your canning pantry, and (if you didn't store them too far away) your other garden supplies like plant supports and ties as well.  Happy seed sorting! 

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