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Where it all begins. All of my other spreadsheets build upon this one, so if you’re starting to make spreadsheets in the garden this is the place to start. Managing seeds efficiently is crucial for your own mental sanity and getting that bumper crop. Whether you’re a seasoned farmer or a backyard gardener, keeping track of your seed inventory, monitoring their lifespan, and organizing seed orders can be a daunting task. This can get complicated fast, so I’m going to share with you a spreadsheet I designed specifically for managing seeds in my context at Red Acre Farm where I manage about 1 acre diversified vegetable production year-round. I encourage you to make a copy and alter it to your needs.


Keep in mind that your requirements will be different! My goal not to have you copy my spreadsheet as is, but to empower you to discover your own requirements and give you the tools to meet them.

  1. Variety Categorization: I grow a lot of variety at Red Acre Farm – organizing them into types and varieties is essential. This categorization not only facilitates easy navigation but also aids in planning and strategizing your crop rotation/shuffle.
  2. Seed Inventory Tracking: The heart of any good seed management system is an accurate and up-to-date inventory. Once per year I go through and weigh all of the remaining seeds prior to placing our annual seed order. Knowing how much we have on hand allows us to know how much to purchase.
  3. Weight to Count Conversion: One of the unique features of my seed management spreadsheet is its ability to convert seed weights from grams to count. This ensures precision in knowing how much seed to order by eliminating guesswork, ultimately contributing to a more efficient and productive garden.
  4. Lifespan Analysis: Understanding the lifespan of each seed is vital for knowing how much seed you can order, ordering larger quantities generally comes with a discount, but its easy to overdo it and get more seed than you need. This feature not only helps you prioritize the use of seeds with shorter lifespans but also minimizes waste by avoiding the use of expired seeds.
  5. Seed Order Tracking: This feature not only provides a clear overview of your pending orders but also helps in resolving any discrepancies with suppliers promptly and tracking seed orders is necessary for Organic Certification.

Example Spreadsheet: Seeds

sheet: Seed Types

The concept of a “Seed Type” is at the core of the entire system. Once they’re defined here we’ll reference this sheet throughout our system. Think about how you want things to sort in a list alphabetically, so I have seed types for “Kale, Baby” vs “Baby Kale” for example, so that when I sort alphabetically, both “Kale” and “Kale, Baby” are next to eachother.

Column Headers:

  • Name [String]:

SHEET: SEED Varieties

Column Headers:

  • Seed Type [Seed Type] : This must be one of the seed types referenced on the ‘Seed Types’ sheet. I generally recommend not using the character ' in any of the variety names because it will limit your ability to use the =query() function down the road if you choose to I like to use Data Validation to make this a dropdown box.
  • Variety [String]

SHEET: SEED Type Viability

Column Headers:

  • Seed Type [SeedType]
  • Minimum Years [Integer]
  • Maximum Years [Integer]

SHEET: SEED Type Viability

Column Headers:

  • Seed Type [SeedType]
  • Seeds Per Ounce [Decimal]
  • Seeds Per Gram [Decimal]


Column Headers:

  • Name [String]: Vendor Name
  • Total Spent [Decimal]: Calculated Total Spent on Orders

SHEET: Orders

Column Headers:

  • Order ID [String]: A unique three digit number, increment by one for each new order
  • Date [Date]
  • Vendor [Vendor]
  • Vendor Order ID [String]: Order ID supplied by the vendor
  • Subtotal
  • Shipping
  • Tax
  • Total
  • Order PDF: Link to PDF of order
  • Packing Slip PDF: Link to image of packing slip

SHEET: Seeds

Column Headers:

  • Flags
    • Recieving
    • Reorder
    • Active
    • Retired
    • Production
    • Plant Sale
  • Categorization
    • Form
    • Type
    • Subtype(s)
    • Variety
  • Attributes
    • Year
    • F1 / Open-Pollinated
    • Organic / Biodynamic
  • Order
    • Vendor
    • Lot
    • Order ID
    • Amount
    • Unit of Measure
    • Price
  • Reorder
    • At Count
    • At Grams
  • Inventory
    • Grams
    • Count
    • Last Updated Date
  • Notes


In conclusion, everyone will need to think about seeds differently based on their context – but there are some core features that I believe every garden will find useful – the ability to track inventory, converting weights to count, analyzing seed lifespans, managing seed orders, and categorize by types and varieties. By incorporating these powerful tools into your gardening arsenal, you’ll not only save time and effort but also increase the likelihood of success.

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