Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Just as the forced bulbs are starting to fade, seeds are here to take over the gardening-related activities. I have officially received all of the flower, herb and vegetable seeds that I ordered for the year. What you see is a mixture of selections from Botanical Interests, Renee's Garden and Baker Creek. I also ordered some heirloom tomato and pepper transplants from Seed Savers Exchange, but those won't arrive until late May. My seed-growing operation is not powerful enough to grow heat-loving tomatoes and peppers that will get large enough to actually produce fruit, so I'm admitting my limitations and letting others do the work for me!

The only things left to purchase for the vegetable garden will be some hot pepper transplants and onion sets. I would really prefer to grow started onions, but if I fail to find any locally I may have some last-minute onion seeds to buy.

I'm particularly excited about these heirloom summer squash varieties, Trombetta di Albenga from Renee's Garden and Cocozella di Napoli from Baker Creek. The former is a climber bearing fruits described as having a "curvaceous trumpet shape and a mild taste with a hint of nutty artichoke flavor." Let's hope so! The latter is a bush variety with striped fruits. Being "di Napoli" (or "from Naples") myself, I am excited to try this squash that hails from my family's ancestral home.

I'm also looking forward to this trio of organic lettuces from Botanical Interests: Red Sails (leaf), Tom Thumb (butterhead) and Lolla Rossa (leaf). I consume large amounts of lettuce year round so I'm hoping to use some succession planting to have these as long as possible. I'll be growing some other types too, plus Swiss chard.

And I got some hyacinth bean to experiment with growing vines on the patio posts in front of my house. This could be a beautiful success or a massive failure, but I wanted to try this idea with annual vines instead of perennials like clematis just in case of that massive failure. At least I can sweep away the evidence and not feel bad about killing perennials!

But before any of these seeds get started indoors or directly in the garden, it will be time to start my native plant seeds next week! My columbine and nodding wild onion seeds have been stratifying away in the fridge for almost four weeks, and I'm looking forward to officially getting the seed season underway! My annual flowers (cosmos, phlox drummondi) and rudbeckia seeds will be soon to follow, with the vegetables getting started in mid-March. I even bought a pseudo-grow light; it's just a regular table lamp with a fluorescent bulb but it's better than nothing! There are truly no places in my house where I can conceivably hang a proper 4-ft fluorescent light, so this is the best I can do. It's not set up yet, but pictures will be coming soon.

Is it seed-o-rama where you are? What will you be starting, and when?


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's all so exciting! I need to get my act together & sow my poppy seeds outside before all the snow melts (as if!). I do need to order a few more seeds.

Rose said...

I was so excited the day I got my first order of seeds, so I know how you feel, Rose. I still have a couple orders to place yet, but I'm trying to pare down my list so things don't get out of hand here.

Looking forward to seeing your hyacinth bean--I ordered some, too! I saw them last year at the MG Idea Garden here; in fact, I have a pretty good photo that I ought to show some time. Like you, I just thought it would be fun to try it.

I'm not starting any indoor seeds until after the middle of March. Last year I think I started mine too early, and I was gone during a crucial stage when they needed watering. We'll see if they do better...and if I can really wait that long to start playing with dirt:)

Grasshopper said...

This is like buying your favorite toys in the store and you can't wait to play with them when you get home. But of course, it's in a much more meaningful way when the seeds arrive. I hope your hyacinth bean would be a beautiful success. Here in Florida, we just attended the Master Gardener Talk on whether to prune or not on this cold season.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Rose, congrats on the seeds and the hope of greener instead of snowier pastures. We have similar seeds my dear and a similar pic. I didn't copy I promise!~~Dee

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I bought a packet of those Trombetta di Albenga, too! I'm tired of plain old zucchini (even the fancy ones) so I thought I'd branch out this year.

My other big "try" this year is broccoli raab... so far. I haven't really started planning officially yet. I'm still in the hundreds-of-things-circled-in-various-catalogs stage!

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