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  • Writer's pictureGabrielle Stannus

What's in the box?

Do not worry, this is Gabrielle's (not Pandora's) box. If you are interested in growing your own vegies, then you may want to take a peek inside.

By now, most of you have probably cottoned on that this is indeed a box for storing seed. Until recently, I have been storing our seeds in an old food safe in a cool, dry place in the house. This arrangement has worked quite well until now, with the seeds seemingly remaining viable. However, it was getting a little messy in this safe and hard to find the seeds I wanted, when I wanted them. I wanted to come up with a better way to organise my seeds that did not rely on tying a rubber band around groups of seed ordered by seasonal sowing recommendations.

So, Ludovic and I came up with a little design for a seed storage box. Ludovic sketched various designs until I was happy. He is very patient!

Plan showing dimensions to construct a small seed storage box
Dimensions of our seed storage box

During this conceptual phase, we also had to decide on which materials we would use. Eventually, we settled on plywood.

Plywood sheet used to construct seed box
We used plywood to construct this seed box

Then we got to the task. You can see me below starting to marking out the different sections of the seed storage box that we needed to cut. I did a little bit of the grunt work, but then got distracted on other tasks, so it was left to Ludovic to finish the box off.

Woman marking out plywood sheet to build a seed storage box
Me getting busy marking out the dimensions of the seed box

Et voila! This is the beautiful little creation that Ludovic completed. Ludovic added the hinges to enable the lids to be lifted off without removing them fully. He also included two little straps, one on each lid, to help open them more easily. The observant among you may notice that the lids open upwards, rather than outwards. There is a reason for that, as you will shortly find out.

Seed storage box
Voila! The completed seed storage box

Here is a peek into our seed storage box. I have temporarily created dividers with recycled paper. However, I will create something more permanent over time. You can seed a list of each seed type inside the seed box and its likely sowing time. The list continues on the other lid. You may be able to see that I have put those seeds that can be pretty much sown at any time of the year here in my part of Tasmania at the top of the list. For the sowing method, 'd'= Direct (in the ground) and 'p' = Punnet (or whatever container may suit that purpose). I may simplify this list even more over time, but for now I am giving it a go.

I have grouped seeds into the following categories. However, we are all different and think about edible plants differently depending on how we use them. So, feel free to come up with your own method of sorting your seeds:

  • Asian greens

  • Beans

  • Beetroot

  • Brassicas

  • Carrots

  • Chillies

  • Cucumbers

  • Flowers

  • Herbs

  • Leafy greens

  • Onions

  • Pumpkins

  • Radishes

  • Salad

  • Swedes

  • Tomatoes

  • Zucchinis

List of seeds contained within a seed storage box
Some of you may prefer to use common names. Me, well I have my own style!

Another thing I did was to write a little code for each category. Can you see the 'FO' written on the Asian Greens marker? Well that reminds me that we mostly eat the leaves of Asian Greens, so they can be considered as a foliage (FO) crop for the purposes of crop rotation as follows:

  1. Legumes (LE)

  2. Foliage (FO)

  3. Fruit (FRU)

  4. Root (RO)

  5. Green manure/Fallow - No code for that one. Although I do have some green manure seeds somewhere. Must find them!

LE - FO - FRU - RO ... my new mnemonic for remembering crop rotation.

I struggle with remembering information at the best of times. So I am always trying to find useful mnemonics to help me. If you have any gardening mnemonics that you think may help me, feel free to share them with us on our Facebook page.

My next task is to make a database into which I will transfer my plant list from the Excel spreadsheet it is currently kept in. That will make it more easy for me to record information on the plants that we are currently growing, would like to grow, would like to use in our landscape design or just like want to know about them. Currently, I have over 1,000 plants listed in this spreadsheet, so it is getting a little unwieldy.

As for finding the time to do this, there are other tasks that require our attention. Like starting off those seeds, planting them out and tending to them. Hold on though, I am getting a little ahead of myself. There are three garden beds currently in a half-state of preparation that need a little love before this can happen, as you can see in the picture below.

We are busy preparing 3 new beds in the enclosure to plant out our seeds

So on that note, I will leave the writing for now and head outside to make hay while the sun shines ... or something like that!

A bientôt!



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