This Is How Martha Organizes and Stores Leftover Garden Seeds

You'll turn to this seed storage system after the close of the next growing season.

It's no secret that Martha likes to start her bountiful gardens from seeds. Doing so, however, often leads to a copious number of leftover packets and loose seeds to manage. Of course, Martha has several solutions for corralling all of those extras—and she's been sharing her tips on the subject for years. We dug through the archives and found an old clip of The Martha Stewart Show (above) on Martha's genius tips for seed storage. Follow her method, and you'll be able to use up every last one.

martha stewart in greenhouse organizing seeds

Put Leftover Seeds in Your Basement

Martha's favorite place to store seeds is in her basement. When she lived at Turkey Hill, her first residence, she headed to the property's cool, dark subterranean level when she needed to stow extra seeds away, she previously said on an episode of The Martha Stewart Show. But she didn't just toss those leftover gardening essentials into boxes: In true Martha fashion, she made a system—one that not only kept seeds fresh, but also ensured they stayed organized for the season to come. "You'll make the most out of that packet of seeds if you store them correctly," she told her audience.

Place Leftover Packets in File Boxes

Martha suggests placing leftover seed packets in long wooden file boxes (skinny vintage drawers work, too!) where they can sit back-to-back. To keep each variety organized, cut out several cardboard dividers and label them according to the type of seeds filed behind each one, such as peppers, spinach, and squash. Just don't forget to include a divider specifying the varieties you planted this season—including the date they went into the ground.

Store Loose Seeds in Mason Jars

Another way Martha likes to store seeds? In glass mason jars, which can house loose seeds or packets. Toss in a desiccate, made from a cheesecloth filled with dried milk or untreated cat litter, to absorb excess moisture, which will prolong their shelf life. And if all you have laying around is a zip-top bag, that will work, too. Just don't forget to include a label on the outside specifying the type of seeds in the bag.

Keep Seeds in Dry Areas

No matter what container you choose to hold your seeds, the most important thing to remember is that they must be placed in a dry place, says Martha. Ensure that the area is also cool and dark, where the temperature is about 40 degrees Fahrenheit—no exceptions.

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