This is the latest post about how we store seed at Tourne-Sol. Today we’ll look at how we label the seed in that room,
You’ve likely noticed that seeds of different varieties of the same vegetable all look the same.
- Tomato seeds look pretty much the same.
- Brassica rapa seeds look pretty much the same.
- Beet seeds look pretty much the same.
That means that once the seed is out of the vegetable, it needs to be well labeled so that you know what seed is what!
Today we’ll look at what information needs to be on your labels, and how to label your seed containers.
3 Things For Each Label
This is what we want to know for each of our seed lots:
- The product code for the variety (or SKU)
- The variety name
- The seed lot – a lot is usually the seed produced in a given year.
If you don’t use product codes in your seed company, you really should.
At some point this winter, I will go into the advantages of using product codes.
Label The Outside Of Your Container
We store dry seeds in sealed plastic bags. You might store them in another container. As long as the seeds are dry and will stay dry, the type of container doesn’t make too much of a difference.
We label the outside of the storage bag so we know what is inside.
This is the information you can see on the picture below.
- BR401 – The product code
- SR18006 – The seed lot
- Arugula – The variety name
But even if you use a Sharpie, labels can be rubbed off !
So you should also …
Label The Inside Of Your Container
We place a label on the inside of our seed bag. We use a seed packet as an inside label.
This label has all the same information as the label on the outside.
If ever, you discover that your inside and outside labels are different. YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.
This is another benefit of double labelling. It helps spot any handling mistakes.
Inside Label As Humidity Indicator
Your inside labels have one more amazing power.
When you open a container to handle a seed lot, you should feel the inside label to see if it crinkles. If it doesn’t feel crisp, your seed is too moist to be stored in a sealed container. Get it out of that container and spread it out before it gets mouldy or starts to germinate.
I learned this moisture indicator trick from Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds. It has definitely helped me on a couple of occasions when I was too hasty to pack up seeds!