January 29, 2010

Am I overdoing it?

Groan!  The obtaining of seed trays and starting mix this represents, the fidgety seed-planting, the weeks of indoor watering, the hardening off of seedlings.  The setting out of HUNDREDS of baby plants.

Am I overdoing it?  Lets see: totally empty yard . . . nope, I’m not.  Fortunately there will be extras of the vegetable seeds, since our vegetable plot is not very big.  I’ve done quite a few starts in a draughty greenhouse, but never this many, and indoor starts are trickier in my experience–probably further complications of the whole hardening-off thing.  My thumbs are green enough, but plants do have a way of dying for no discernible reason when you start yanking them up by the root-balls and trundling them around the yard.

Consequently I wanted to give myself every advantage by buying top-notch seed grown in my region.  Lucky for me I am just outside the Willamette valley and pretty much share that climate.  I went further afield for some stuff because I was very clear about what I wanted.

The nice part is I won’t have to shell out as much next year, because the flowers are either perennials or will reseed themselves.  I won’t have to go to all the garden centers with their scanty selections of seed.  I’ll also do some seed-saving, as most of the vegetables I chose are open pollinated.  I’m going for a cottage garden with the flowers, so those too, if they’re too picky to grow right from the dirt next spring.

If you like heirloom-style blooms, let me save you the comparison shopping and send you straight to Renee’s Garden and Select Seeds.  Select Seeds is sometimes a little cheaper, but most of the time the difference is negligible.  There are other places cheaper still, but Renee’s and Select seem to do the best job of not damaging the seed in shipping, and getting it to you quickly, according to the Garden Watchdog.  Select’s interface is a lot easier to use, as you can get a list of their entire stock with pictures on one page.  Territorial is great for vegetables tailored to the pacific northwest–especially short season tomatoes–and you can get a discount on larger packages, if you are planting something in bulk.  None of my orders took more than a week to arrive.  Territorial got them to me in just a few days.

It just goes to show what a coward I am that a big pile of seed packets makes me wring my hands instead of just cheering me up.  The truth is that while I love gardens, and think it well worth a lot of work to make one, I am not one of those wholesome people who actually enjoys grubbing in the dirt.  I more of a “sit on a cushion, and sew a fine seam, and dine upon strawberries, sugar and cream” kind of gal.

By the way, those long pieces of wood you can just see on the left are pieces of my new LeClerc warping reel.  They are moldy.  I’m annoyed.  More later.


12 Responses to “Overdone”

  1. Leigh Says:

    What lovely seed packets! I love seed catalogues, I love buying seeds, I love planting seeds. I even don’t mind mulching but weeding I’m not so keen on. And hurray for heirloom seeds!

    • trapunto Says:

      Heirloom seeds are awesome. I can work up an appetite just reading a description of an old variety of tomato, imagining all the generations of people picking them and eating them and sharing them with their neighbors.

  2. Plants are lovely to have about, and you get earth points for putting them in, but if I ever had to choose between the care of them and concrete, then concrete it is. Sorry to hear about your warping reel.

  3. Dot Says:

    Oh no!! Mouldy warping wheel! Bet you’re too angry to write about that just now. I do hope that you get this problem resolved.

    Re. seeds, you don’t have to plant all the seeds in every packet 😉 save some for next year.

    It’s a good idea to plant lots of different kinds of things because you can’t predict the weather, it might suit one thing or it might suit another. At least that’s how it works for us where sometimes we get warm dry summer weather and sometimes it will rain for weeks on end.

    Of all those seeds, you should get some real home grown produce this year … yum! No veg. tastes as good as that which is fresh from the garden

    • trapunto Says:

      You’re so right about planting lots of different kinds. I’m definitely trying. It’s easy to get caught up in a vision of a sea of zinnias or something, then find yourself beached on a shore of slug eaten seedlings!

  4. deborahbee Says:

    Here we go again….its been so cold here that the last thing on my mind had been gardening, but I love seed packets and that pre-reality planning.Seeing your selection makes me want to start. Spring may be just around the corner!! I want to grow some dye plants and now you are stirring me into vegetables as well!!!!
    How come your mill is mouldy??? (just an aside)

    • trapunto Says:

      My mill is moldy because someone in Tennessee was storing it in a basement. I am usually suspicious when I see pictures of equipment that look like they’re being taken in a basement. But this time it was a great bargain, so I took a chance. I didn’t have time to email questions to the seller as I usually would because the ebay auction was ending.

  5. Thanks for this post- I haven’t given gardening a thought yet. You reminded me to take my fuschias and oxalis out of the basement where they are overwintering and give them water and light.

    • trapunto Says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Katherine. I am impressed with your gardening skills, overwintering fushias and oxalis in a mountain climate. I’ve heard of doing it with geraniums, but fushias have always struck me as the delicate Southern belles of the plant world.

  6. Louisa Says:

    The seed racks at the garden shops are already getting to be pretty thin pickings. I think everybody is impatient for gardening! Me too.

    BTW our Canadian Territorial is now called West Coast Seeds. They have been my favourites forever. The plants are suited to our climate and usually do well – depending on the weather, of course. Oh wait. You can never depend on the weather here! 😉

  7. trapunto Says:

    I know what you mean. I have been trying to puzzle out what average last frost date to go by. Are they averaging from the past 30 years, or the past ten, or the past 5, which have been totally crazy? All the plants are saying its spring, and the books are saying it isn’t. Should I trust the Camellias or the Extension Agents?

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