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DIY Seed Bank

Why you might need your own personal DIY seed bank:

  • I once had a disorganized drawer full of seed packets.
    • As a result, when I was ready to go planting, it was a frustrating waste of time to find the seeds that I was looking for.
    • To make things worse, the corners of the drawer were filled with a heterogeneous mix of lost-anonymous loose seeds that had escaped the seed packets.
    • With all of this mess, I would often not find what I needed and end up buying the same seeds again… knowing full-well that I already had multiple duplicates of those same seeds – somewhere.
  • Whether you are part time gardener, homesteading, getting ready for the next natural disaster, or just preparing for the zombie apocalypse, having your own personal seed bank will be a major advantage.


What to do?:

  • In the past, I have tried several different options for organizing my seeds.
  • I wanted something simple, secure, portable, organized, reasonable and flexible.
  • With this criteria in mind, I have recently refined a solution that I am very happy with and ready to share (see below).



How to create your own seed bank:



  • This is just a modified use of a portable file cabinet.
  • Sure it sounds simple… but does it have to be complicated when it works?


How to DIY:

1. Get a portable file cabinet.

  • I like the ones that you can completely close so critters can’t get in.
  • I also like the option of having a little drawer where you can store miscellaneous items such as a pencil, tape, clips and envelopes.
  • portable file box that allows you to bring your organized seeds directly to your garden also a big plus.
  • I found this Portable File Box with Bottom Drawer on Amazon that is rather perfect for the job.
  • I have not seen something like this elsewhere and it is really awesome.
    Seed bank

    A portable file cabinet becomes your seed bank with just a simple label.

2. Get hanging files.

  • Any type will do, as long as it fits the cabinet you are using.
  • Here’s some hanging file folders that fit the file cabinet mentioned above.
Best seed bank

Seed bank with the top opened at the back hinge. Pic also showing the cool little drawer at the bottom where you can keep your pencils, clips, tape, etc.

3. Get some little clips:

  • These little clips are key because they prevent your seeds from moving around in the file folders.
  • They also allow you to clip the seeds up high where they can quickly and easily be seen.
  • You can get these small binder clips (that are in the photos) on Amazon or you can probably also get them at most office supply stores.
Best seed storage

Seed bank with clip holding the seed packet in place (yes my daughter photo bombed the picture)

4. Label the files.

  • Ok, most people would just hand write the name of the seeds on the label tab.  But if your handwriting sucks like mine, you might want to print the labels out.
  • I found that 14 point Calibri font works very well for this.
    • However, Arial, Georgia and Tahoma font in the 12 to 14 point range should be very similar.
  • Just type the name of all of your seeds in a word document (one line for each plant) and print.  
  • Then cut the names out to size for your new file name tags.

More seeds filed away for just the right time.



Free DIY seed packets:

  • If you are harvesting your seeds, you can also make your own free seed packets very quickly and easily.


Step 1:  

  • Cut some of the envelopes from your junk mail in half.
  • This will make 2 seed packets for each envelope.
free seed packets

Cut a junk mail envelope to make 2 free seed packets.

Step 2:

  • Label the envelope
    • It’s a good idea to label the envelope before you put in the seeds so you don’t damage the goods.
    • Fill the envelope with your seeds.
Free seed packet

Label your new seed packet

Step 3:

  • Fold over the edge and tape shut or use one of your clips to hold the packet shut.
  • Those small binder clips are great for this so you don’t have to keep re-taping.
    • Therefore, those small binder clips are also great for use with your store bought seed packets.
  • File it away for when you need it.
Magic seeds for future planting

Magic seeds for future planting

Happy planting!


About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.


  1. Read your article on brid droppings, I used dry chicken droppings 1 teaspoon to 16 oz. of rainbarrel water. Watered all my dragon fruit. Got my beast production of fruit yet.

    I read somewhere that dragon fruit won’t grow on a metal trellis, wrong, I’ve been growing mine on a metal gazebo.

    I don’t mind if you post my email or blog on your blog. Please let me know if it is ok to reprint your article on dragon fruit diseases as many of my friend grow dragon fruit. I also sell cuttings and I like to keep informed. I will be passing your web site on to the two tropical fruit groups I belong too.

    This is the best site I’ve ever found on dragon fruit.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Steve
      Thanks you so much for the wonderful feedback.
      It sounds like we have a lot of similar interests.

      Selling cuttings:
      The more people know about these dragon fruit diseases the better. Furthermore, when people know what to look for, they will be empowered to avoid the diseased plants… and will therefore be more likely to seek out the healthy ones. This is clearly a great advantage for people who have healthy plants to sell.

      Reprinting my article:
      Here is my general take/policy on the topic.
      1. First off… Thank you asking, I definitely appreciate it. (it is a bummer to find out when someone reproduces your work in a way you did not intend). Just by asking, and being a responsible fellow blogger, it is clear that you are one of the good guys.
      2. The big picture goal of this site is to help fellow gardeners & farmers be successful. Therefore, I am honored and happy to be a part of someone elses plant-growing success.
      3. Please feel free to reprint paper copies of the article for your friends. I only ask that you reference the source (TastyLandscape.com) somewhere on the page. Better yet, save some paper and send them the link http://tastylandscape.com/2015/09/05/dragon-fruit-diseases/.
      4. If you would like to reference my article from your blog then a common/preferred practice is as follows. First, share your own thoughts and insights about the topic on your website. If you like something you have read somewhere else, then describe your thoughts about that other article and add a link to that page for additional info.


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