Thursday, March 5, 2009

Seed time

I know I've promised not to provide any actual gardening advice here, but that won't stop me from passing along items from other people that look worthwhile, if only to bookmark them for my own future reference. Let's start off with this collection of several annotated lists of favorite seed catalogs and companies by Gardening Gone Wild contributors.

Last winter was the first time I'd attempted to grow anything from seed since the ever-popular Lima Bean Experiment in grade school. Exactly one seedling I started indoors--an ornamental pepper (NOT from a package, but instead the offspring of one I'd planted, which ought to earn me a few bonus points)--actually made it all the way through the summer, and even then it was pretty scrawny. Since the whole endeavor cost little more than $10 (including seeds, peat pots, and plastic mini-greenhouse) and a minimal investment of time, I chalked the experience up to Lessons Learned. (Main lesson: I probably need a heating pad after all. But I enjoyed trying to use the secondary heat from various appliances around the house instead.)

Guess I'll try again this year.

PS. Last year's dismal results only applied to the plants I tried to start indoors; seed sowed directly in the ground fared quite a bit better, particularly the Swiss chard, love lies bleeding/amaranthus, and a tall, yummy kashmiri mallow called sonchal that looked and tasted great, even though I can't seem to find it listed in any book or website on either gardening or cooking. The source for all of these was the Upstate Faerie Herbal Collective, a local seed-saving operation I discovered through my favorite used bookstore, of all places, and I hope to sample more of their wares this coming season.


Anonymous said...

I'm doing seeds this year. I'll be sewing them this weekend. I have about 50 packs. It's exciting and scar at the same time.

Ron said...

I know what you mean about the mix of fear and excitement. This whole gardening impulse of mine has much more to do with process than product, so I'm looking forward to giving it another try, no matter what the end result. My biggest problem now is finding the time and the space in the house to get started. (And clearing the space will require clearing some time first, and that's not going to be easy.)

Anonymous said...

If you are planning to home-grow tomatoes this year, I highly recommend The Tomato Stake.

Its easier to use than metal cages or towers, stronger than bamboo sticks, and wont rot or splinter like wood stakes.

Happy Gardening!