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Is It That Time Already?

January 7th, 2012

For gardeners, this is the season of lists and callow hopefulness; hundreds of thousands of bewitched readers are pouring over their catalogs, making lists for their seed and plant orders, and dreaming their dreams.

-Katherine S. White in Onward & Upward in the Garden

Even though I feel like I haven’t had any time off yet, it’s already time to start thinking about making that seed order and planning the 2012 garden (where does the time go?). Throughout the gardening season my seed stash slowly degrades into a chaos, then in the middle of winter I gather everything around me to organize and sort it back into tidiness. It’s a bit like weeding the garden after being lazy for a few weeks, it’s a very satisfying chore!  Perhaps I subconsciously do it because I enjoy it so much?

All the packets must be sorted back into their respective folders. Any seeds I didn’t like will be put into a pile to be given away to someone who wants to try them. Seeds that are needed will be written on a list and then I’ll sit down with my catalogs to order what I need and a few extra interesting things to try. I probably don’t really “need” to order any seeds. No doubt your seed stash is like mine, much larger than any garden space you’ll ever own!
While you’re sorting through your seeds, keep in mind that seeds to have a shelf life and different seeds will be viable for different lengths of times.  I won’t rewrite the post I already did about The Shelf Life of Seeds, but here’s a handy chart. (click on the image to head over to my Flickr and you can download it to put in your seed box for reference).

A few years ago I developed a really great seed organization system and I must admit it’s been working rather well for me. I’ve been researching new ones though, and will be making an Ethel video soon to demonstrate a few option so you can find one that suites your needs.

Do you “spring clean” your seeds before you make your order? What do you do with old seeds & varieties you weren’t happy with? Do you think this time rolled around faster than usual? 

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.