Friday, January 12, 2007

busy work

I finally got around to doing some major cleaning in my kitchen yesterday. I discovered that I have the ability to make a Mr. Clean Eraser cry for mercy.

My hands were tired after all the scrubbing, but not enough to dissuade a few rows of my stranded project. The Inga Hat by Sheila Macdonald So far, this project has taught me how to weave in my contrasting color every second stitch, do a purl braid, and a magic loop. Speed in two handed knitting is starting to develop.

Why yes, that is my seed basket the project is sitting on. It is currently out in plain sight as a reminder to me that it is time to order seed. I was over at Cold Climate the other day, and Kathy had this great Q & A that she posted by way of Carol at May Dreams After I had answered my questions, I found that my "seed habits" have changed over the years. Those of you who garden will most likely enjoy the Q & A...I hope you will play along and let me know how you answer too!

What kind of a seed buyer are you?

Do you carefully read all of the seed catalogs sent to you and then browse the Internet to compare and contrast all the options, then decide which seeds to buy?

I am a catalog buyer. I compare and contrast all the options and prices from the catalogs, and then order from them. I like to read and study the ones that speak about the cultural requirements. I cannot imagine spending the same amount of time reading it all from a computer screen.

Do you buy seeds from 'bricks and mortar' stores and get whatever appeals to you as you are browsing?

Rarely ...mostly because I think what they offer is pretty much run of the mill..but I admit to buying a tried and true variety if the price is good.

Do you buy vegetable seeds in bulk where they scoop them out of seed bins, weigh them and put them in hand-marked envelopes?

Whenever I get the chance to. ..or not enough!! There is a great one that is down in South Jersey, and I am like a kid in a candy store!

Do you buy seeds for just vegetables, or just annual flowers? Do you buy seeds for perennial flowers?

Yep...that is yes to veggies, yes to annuals and yes to perennials.

Do you know what stratification and scarification are? Have you done either or both with seeds?

Yes...stratify your columbines...scarify your morning glories...I used to stratify in the fridge...then I realized I could plant most of the ones that needed to be stratified in the fall of the year, and they would emerge in the spring.

Do you order seeds from more than one seed company to save on shipping or buy from whoever has the seeds you want, even if it means paying nearly the same for shipping as you do for the actual seeds?

I used to do this more often than I do now. Sometimes, I really ..really wanted a certain variety, and bit the bullet to pay for the shipping. Now I am more conservative and wind up dealing with the company that has the majority of what I want.

Do you buy more seeds than you could ever sow in one season?

I used to do this too. Now I only order what I know I will plant.

Do you only buy seeds to direct sow into the garden or do you end up with flats of seedlings in any window of the house with decent light?

Both! I start some seeds early to get a head start, and then when the soil permits, I will direct sow. This is esp. true with lettuce. I can never have enough lettuce.

Do you save your own seeds from year to year and exchange them with other seed savers?


Do you even buy seeds?

Oh ..yes.

Do you have a fear of seeds? Some gardeners don't try seeds, why not?

I have always loved seeds. I don't know why everyone does not love them the way I do...

Do you understand seeds? I once bought seeds at a Walmart in January (Burpee Seeds) and the cashier asked me, "Do these really work? Yes, they do. "Isn't it too cold to plant them now?" Well, yes, if you are planning to plant them outside. I don't think this cashier grew up around anyone who gardened.

I think I understand seeds pretty well. It is extremely important to understand seeds if you want to grow A LOT of things.

Do you list all your seeds on a spreadsheet, so you can sort the list by when you should sow them so you have a master seed plan of sorts?

Um, yes. I started doing this about 10 years ago. I found it to be a very enjoyable process! Once I listed my seeds, I then made a chart for planting, and then narrowed it down to the moon planting chart..with dates and temps...I save these charts, and look back over the years and compare how different the harvests were. It is very helpful to figure the timing for early and late crops.

Do you keep all the old seeds and seed packets from year to year, scattered about in various drawers, boxes, and baskets?

I keep all my seeds in one place, my seed basket.

Do you determine germination percentage for old seed?

Yes, but not as often as I would like to. Sometimes, I don't plan enough in advance, and just throw them in.

Seeds always give me a thrill. I still daydream about getting some magic beans someday....


Judy said...

I dream about someone cleaning the garden out for me so I can start this years garden!!! I asked the oldest if she would help seeing as her grandmother won't be able to do much and she said no. It was worth a shot! I am going to be soooo sore this year.....unless I don't plant....NOT an option.

Kathy said...

You should tell Carol that you posted.

cyndy said...


Cathy said...

I love looking at seed catalogs but it seems it's more for eye candy then for actual ordering and planting. Sunflowers are my major crop. If you can call them that - maybe it's the goldfinches I am trying to grow?

Fiberjoy said...

I'm not an avid gardener and tending the plants tends to bring out allergies.

That said, last summer was the first in ages that we didn't get a garden planted. I really missed it -- fresh green pole beans to can, tomatoes to eat in the garden, and all the other goodies to munch on, as well as feasting the eyes.

Planning ahead would be a good thing.

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