14 March 2015, by gj
Over the years we have tried a number of methods to keep straight which seed was planted in which tray.
Probably the worst one was when we put a label on top of the tray lid, indicating specifically what was what for each spot. Of course, when we removed the lid to water the seeds, we weren’t sure which way it was supposed to go back on. Doh!
In other years we used plant markers, which we found cumbersome; and with starting a large number of plants, somewhat tedious. We also tried writing the plant name on the cup, but that takes up a lot of room and makes reusing the cups more difficult.
We then went to a layout on the computer, making a diagram of each cell, and labeling the front of the tray. That worked really well, except of course for the tray that got dropped.
So we finally settled on a system that works for us. Each small plastic cup is numbered with permanent marker, likewise that number is on the seed packet. As the seedlings get transplanted into a larger cup, that one is also numbered. The cups are then washed and set aside for next year.
A simple list would be enough to keep track, but we use a spreadsheet because we are also tracking the days to germination, to harvest, etc.
Hopefully we have eliminated all room for human error, or gardener error as the case may be.