Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Fall Seed Saving

November 2nd, 2016

While I clean up some of the garden I save seeds to things I’d like to have more of or grow from seed. Yesterday, I was cleaning out the dahlias in the potager and saw the ligularia seeds. I grabbed a bag and my pruners and saved a few seeds. A few were also scattered around the plant to see if they’d germinate on their own.
I look forward to hopefully growing a few plants for other spaces in the garden. My garden is very large and mass plantings look best. Since it’s expensive to buy plants, I’m starting loads from seed and dividing perennials as well.
Are you collecting any seed this fall while you clean up the garden?

Fresh Seeds

August 20th, 2013

Earlier this summer when I planted my fall carrots I decided to to an experiment. I’ve noticed that fresh seeds often germinate faster and much better. Even though many seeds will technically store for many years, germination rates will often go down each year. When you’re planting fall crops, a week can make the difference between a good sized vegetable and a baby vegetable.
Carrot Seedlings 1
This first image is a row of carrots planted with fresh seed I purchased this season. The following photo is carrot seed that is two years old. Notice the difference in germination. The fresh seed germinated very quickly, after only 5 days. The older seed had spotty germination and some of it is just now germinating, two full weeks after the first photo.
Carrot Seedlings 2
I’m thinking from now on, I’ll focus on making sure I have fresh seed each season, at for fall crops when time really is of the essence. I’d rather spend a few dollars on a pack of fresh seed than wait two or three extra weeks for germination to occur. I’m already weeding through my seed stash culling the older seed, they’ll be sprinkled in flats this winter and grown as greens for the chickens. Some seed are fine with longer storage, like tomatoes, those I’ll continue to save.

Have noticed differing germination rates for fresh seed?

A Good Cause

May 9th, 2013

This past weekend, I stopped at a few of our local conservation district plant sales.  At one, there were a few grade schoolers selling packs of seeds to raise money for a new garden shed for their school garden.
school seed sale 3
school seed sale 1
school seed sale 2
I couldn’t pass them up without buying any seeds from them, they were so enthusiastic about their fundraiser. I loved that the seed packs are decorated by students. They even had a little catalog.
school seed sale 4
There’s nothing I love more than helping out industrious kids, especially when they’re trying to better their school garden. I didn’t really need any more seeds, but I couldn’t pass this up!

Have you purchased any interesting items from local kids recently?

Shifting My Sights

January 17th, 2013

With most of my seed orders in, I’m now shifting my sights on setting up my seed starting area. Originally, I planned on putting it up in the garage, but the ducks are currently residing in the space I was planning on using. Our new basement has a double door with big windows, so I’m thinking that will be the perfect spot to set up my stuff.
Potting Bench Supplies
All of the potting supplies have been carried down from the garage, it’s like Christmas looking through them. I’m not quite sure when I’ll be starting things, generally I have my onions started by now, I may wait until closer to the end of January for those. The celery will be started as soon as possible, I’m just waiting on a few supplies from my local Agway to mix up my seed starting mix. There will also be few pots of lettuce and herbs seeded to get me through the rest of winter. I can hardly wait to get going!

Have you started any seeds yet?

I’m in the process of writing an ebook about Seed Starting, stay tuned for that.

Seeds are Thrilling

February 5th, 2012

The idea of any seed is thrilling, a potent, compact repository of dormant life waiting for the gardener’s whim and the forces of nature to spring into existence, wax large, and reproduce.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

Sometimes when I look at a tiny seed I’m amazed by what it will turn into. When you open up that seed packet and take out the tomato seed in February you can see your harvest basket brimming with ripe tomatoes in August. This tiny seed will grow up and produce food for your table and nourishment for your soul.

Those onions seeds I planted earlier this week started popping up on Friday, not bad since they were seeded on Tuesday. I’ll give all the credit to my seedling heating mat, worth it’s weight in gold in my cold house!

Which vegetable are you most surprised by it’s bounty from seed?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


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.