Sunday, January 9, 2011

Seed Order Season

We no longer heat this greenhouse space in winter - too costly
'Cocktail' is the variety name.
This red blotch ( S. curtisii )means this bulb will not stay in my collection - it MUST go!
Grafted tomatoes are available at Territorial - not a bad price either.

Making decisions is always difficult - making the seed order at 9 degrees with drifts of snow at the back door leading out to the garden is just that. But the anticipation of what the garden could contain is what these seed wish books are all about. Those perfect pictures of what might be only fuel the desire to fill every inch of the garden with those plants and hopefully one's plate with the same delicious produce. So decision time is upon me so that several months from now I can harvest those dreams.

Today I sorted through the seed boxes to remove the very oldest packets (I will make a few rag dolls with some to test the germination) and to get an idea of just what I have - too many cucumber packets and a nice selection of pellitzed lettuce seed. The plan this year is to very selective with cucumbers as last year's greenhouse cucumber growing was successful and could possibly replace any field grown cukes. I was also going to try to buy only pelitized lettuce as it is so easy to seed into flats. Melons were not as successful as I had hoped and so this year we will work with only a few (trying to keep the choices two types and one of those for the greenhouse)

The seed catalogs have been highlighted with a wish list and now the work will be to finalize the list down to the best choices. Once I have got the list done I will share. But don't expect total rational thinking on my part for I too can be fooled by tempting pictures and mesmerizing catalog copy.

I was especially pleased to see that grafted tomato plants are available to the American gardener this season thanks to Territoal Seeds. Grafted plants have been available to the English home gardener for a few years already. A few internet threads show gardeners who are still surprised and new with the concept of grafted vegetables. I have been looking for a tomato grafting workshop that I might attend this spring, but as yet nothing real close has shown up. If anyone hears of one let me know - nothing like some hands-on training to help in my experimentation. I have been told that grafting melons and cucumbers is a bit easier than tomatoes so I will have to look into some tough gourd seeds for that experiment.
Happy gardening


  1. Hi Dave...
    I too have been lusting over the seed catalogs; some I toss without even looking at but keep the best! A question regarding onions.... this is the first year that I have had onions sprouting so early for me. And I do mean sprouting!!! Have you had a problem as such or do you have any ideas as to why? I think it is too early for them to be doing it; any words of wisdom?
    Kathy, the crazy cat lady

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Good question - I really don't know but storing them with potatoes is supposed to be a bad thing, plus some varieties are just better storage types. Check the description of your variety for a hint. Yellows are the better storage type - white and red keep less. I have even had some store bought sprouters this year already. The best storage is in a mesh bag in the cool & dark. How long did they cure after harvest?
    Happy Gardening