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Choices, Choices, Choices

January 17th, 2012

A gardener who hopes to find the answer to all his needs within one catalogue might be able to, if these needs are not to special.

Katherine S. White from Onward & Upward in the Garden

There are some gardeners that can look through one catalog, make a list, place their order, and never even crack the cover of another seed catalog. That is not me!

When it comes to seed catalogs I find myself inundated with choices, as you are as well I’m sure. My first year of serious vegetable gardening, every seed packet came from Baker Creek. I had a small garden and didn’t have space or the knowledge to try anything out of the ordinary. As my garden space grew, I found myself reading more books and finding new things I wanted to plant. These items could not all be acquired from one company and the number of catalogs I ordered from grew each year along with my garden space. Trying new things is also something I really enjoy doing; after all, you’ll never find a new favorite if you don’t branch out. Renee’s Garden was like this for me, I ordered one year and I was hooked. This year I’m really excited to try the new ‘Wasabi’ arugula from Renee’s because the spicier the better is my motto for this green.

If you’re in need of seeds for make sure you check out the Heirloom Seed Company List I’ve been compiling here. You might even be able to find a small local place that specializes in region specific plants! I’ve also been collecting Seed Potato Sources if you’re in need of those. It’s always wise to order your potatoes, onions, and seeds early to make sure you get what you want. There have been a few times I’ve missed out on being able to plant what I want because I waited too late to order.

This week, my goal is to get all of my seeds ordered, I actually don’t need too many this season. For some reason I’ve been dragging my feet on getting my seeds ordered, perhaps I’m just not ready to admit that spring will be coming sooner than I’m ready for it!

Do you order from one main source each year or do you have a variety of places? Do you have your 2012 seeds ordered already?

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? 

Reading & Watching

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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.