Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Seed Order

I'm finally getting together my seed order. I'll probably put it in after Christmas. Paring down what I want is really hard, but will help next year when I find I don't have the space to grow everything. I still need to nix one of my dried beans. I have three on the list to order (and one coming from Dan). I have a lot of dried bean space blocked out this year, but I really do need to be reasonable. I have a small garden that is only about 250 sqft. It is not big enough to grow all my dried bean needs.

I keep thinking what would happen if I got a community garden plot. I much prefer stepping outside my door to pick things. But if we find a house next spring and move, will I have space for a garden? Will I move into the house in July and not be able to collect any of my seeds? I don't know why I'm worrying. I didn't worry much about it last year (and we didn't find a place we wanted). If I had a community garden plot and we don't have a contract by May, I could plant dried beans and oats, which wouldn't take much time and I'd love the crop. If we did, I could plant out all my summer vegetables there and still be able to keep my seeds. I guess it is probably a moot point anyway. The community gardens mostly had waiting lists last year (at least all the ones with basics like water). But I suppose it is possible. If I go that way, I will need to buy more bush dried beans (I really can justify just about any seed purchase).

My order this year is smaller than last year, but not that much smaller. My eyes are always too big for the garden. Below is the list of new seed I'm contemplating. I might make final changes before I order. I also listed all the new (and old in a way) seed that I'll be getting from my friends out in the blogosphere.

PlantVarietyPriceThanks to:

Asian greenBok Choy

Asian greenBok Choy

Asian greenSenposai
4Asian greenYokatta-Na$1.20

BeanScarlet Run.
3Bean DriedBlack Coco$1.40
1Bean DriedCannelini$1.50
1Bean DriedRed Kidney$1.40

Bean Dried Tiger's Eye
4CarrotPurple Haze$1.80

Chili PepperBig Chili II

5 FlowersZinnia Zowie!$2.60


1LeekKing Sieg$1.60

Miss M

Miss M




LettuceParis Island

LettuceRenee's Caesar Duo

LettuceSweet Valentine

LettuceTom Thumb

LettuceWinter Density
4OnionRed Wing$2.00
2RadishFrench Breakfast$0.70

RadishGerman Beer
2RadishWhite Icicle$0.70
3ScallionEvergreen Hardy White$1.20
1Snow PeaBlizzard$2.00
1TomatilloVerde Puebla$1.20

TomatoCherokee Purple

1-2TomatoHeinz 2653$1.20

TomatoSan Marzano
1ZucchiniCostata Romenseca$1.00

You might have noticed the little column on the left. I'm purchasing my seed from Fedco this year. They label every seed variety with the source of the seed. 1=Small seed farmer, 2=Family owned companies and cooperatives, 3=Corporations not part of a large conglomerate, 4=Multinationals, 5=Multinationals engaged in genetic engineering, 6=Monsanto (only one in the whole catalog).

I have on my (not quite finalized list) eight 1s, six 2s, three 3s, five 4s, and three 5s. I've found the 4s and 5s are all the hybrids. Fedco does a good job of sourcing non proprietary seed from smaller farmers. I know some people have given up hybrids, but I still like mine. Certain types of seed do indeed grow better and produce more if they are hybrids. These are all the outbreeding plants that do better with a large genetic mix. These require a lot of space to save seed from because they will quit producing if they get too homozygous. I personally think these kinds of hybrids are very useful for the home gardener with very limited space.

BTW the zinnias I picked is a hybrid. I love the description, but with only about 10-12 seeds in the pack for $2.60. I'm thinking of changing it. Does anyone have a favorite variety that is a good cutter and I can save seed from? I'd love to try zinnias. I've never grown them before. It has to be one in the Fedco catalog since I'm not ordering elsewhere. Maybe I should go with State Fair or Swirls.


  1. I like the non-double zinnias, and the non-cactus type. They are all really hardy and cheerful plants, despite a tendency to go powdery mildewy on you.

    You remind me -- I owe seeds to plenty of folks. Got to get packing!

  2. You're moving? Oh no....Well, the place you find HAS to have an area for a garden, or it won't be worth it. BTW - the house next door is still available, priced at $109k

  3. I'm glad you liked the Costata Romanesca zucchini enough to plant it again. I love it, and even though I was dismally unsuccessful with it this year, I will grow it again next year. Come on, spring!

  4. I love your list. I've got one also I call..."Next Year"! My eyes are usually bigger than my stomach too and I never have room for all that I want to grow. Then when I do expand, my energy runs low and I don't have the energy to keep up with all I've grown. It's a vicious cycle.

    Happy Gardening!

  5. Very nice list. I am ordering very little this year, if it wasn't for temptation probably nothing at all. I just can't resist all the new 2010 varieties! Even though I am sure they are not very new.... I have done one order already but am still waiting on SSE to get those beans in stock before ordering from them, then I'm done.

    Can't wait to see your 2010 garden, a plot would be great too!

  6. What a great list, and so many seeds from gardening friends - I love that!

    I've just barely started on my list for next year. First I have to decide how many tomatoes to plant - too many this year. And then which of the many peppers that I got seeds for but didn't grow this year... And then fill the rest of the garden!

  7. Man, you are organized! Nice that you are consolidating your order to one Co., cuts down on shipping greenhouse gases, etc. Plus, cool that you are saving/sharing seeds with friends. Good work! Hope you get to plant and harvest it all, moving is the great bane of gardeners. I'm still mourning my lost perennials and trees from our old house, have dreams about going over there and digging them up, if they're still alive (doubtful, since the buyers are not gardeners). Good luck! Oh, I love purple zinnias but usually get them from Seeds of Change. They are HUGE! I might have some left over from last year I could mail you - if I find them and you want to see if they are viable, email me! greenwalksblog@yahoo.com Not sure on the seed-saving aspect, though.

  8. Oh boy, I'm ashamed to say how much I'm spending on seeds this year... but hey, I gotta indulge somewhere. ;) I can't resist. The seed sites and catalogs are just too blatently tempting. :)

    Good luck with your garden next year ! If you do move, I hope you find a place with a plot (I'm sure you will !). Community gardens are a fabulous resource, but like you, I'm happy to garden at home.

    ps. Your seeds should be going out today ! Sorry I didn't mail them sooner. As for the onions, I should have a fresh lot for you in Spring. I figure my indoor crop will start producing in Feb.

  9. I want all of them.
    that is all.
    You'll have fun with these next spring, Daphne. Happy Christmas to you.

  10. Good luck with your seed order Daphne. I just wanted to say thank you for the seeds you sent. I wintersowed about half of the tomatillos, peppers, and eggplant today. I will start the rest indoors....you know what they say about eggs and baskets lol.

  11. Daphne,

    Thanks for the seeds in the trade, I'll try to get yours out tonight before we head out of town.

    I'm not ordering any seeds this year because we are house hunting too. Space for a garden is a must on our list for our first home, but I have no idea how much I'll be able to start with.

  12. That looks like a great assortment of seeds. I love all the seed swapping that goes on, it is community building and so kind. And remember you can built a garden anywhere, even in the smallest spaces! :)

  13. This is quite an impressive list Daphne. I thought I was the only one with seed fever right now.

    If you do end up growing the oasis turnips, I will be very excited to find out how they turn out.

  14. Hi Daphne, I love to read your seed lists, you are sooooo organized and level headed. I already ordered mine and received them from Baker Creek. Tried to go for the weird stuff that would not be available locally. Some of the hybrid zinnias will revert to the parents with the seeds. I would suggest you go with whatever catches your eye. Swirl sounds super!

  15. I was THIS close to ordering some zinnias this year. I've never grown any other flower besides marigolds and they looked so beautiful in the catalogue pictures and their descriptions rocked. Maybe I should get some to try. Great way to organize your seeds. I'll have to do this in January.

  16. Boy I'm really getting behind if it takes me two days to answer people. But it is hard to concentrate on a blog when my son is home and wants to cook with me. Yesterday was four flavors of rum balls.

    Stefaneener, Cactus type? I've never heard of those, but then I've never grown them before.

    EG, well I'm hoping to move. If we ever find a house we want to buy. There is one place I would love to move into that doesn't have land really. It is hard to imagine myself in a condo without a large yard. It has been a while. I'll still garden mind you. I'll just go the community garden route.

    henbogle, oh I loved that zucchini. It tasted so much better than other zucchini I had.

    Diane, lol yup in the spring it is so easy to have the drive for a big garden. I like the size of my garden right now, but sometimes I really yearn for something bigger.

    Dan, seeds are real temptresses aren't they? It is hard to not buy something that looks so good. And the descriptions are all meant to seduce. They do a very good job of it.

    Michelle, you had peppers you didn't have room to plant? You have a ton of varieties as it is!

    Karen, I usually try to just order from one. I used to order from Johnny's and Pinetree, but only occasionally in the same year. Now I seem to have switched from that to Pinetree and Fedco. I'm trying to pick a zinnia that isn't huge. All the fun colored ones seem to be huge though.

    Miss M, I'll be splurging this year. My tomato cages were all thrown out at the end of the seasons because they were rusted out and falling apart after 20 years of use. I think I might splurge and buy some folding ones. I would love to have them fold down. And then there are the soil blockers I want.

    jodi, lol that is how I feel with the first pass of a seed catalog. I try to limit my trials to just a couple of plants though. This year romaine lettuce and paste tomatoes.

    Tenessa Allen, oh yes. I usually start mine indoors because it is safer, but I keep thinking about wintersowing some things.

    Emily, Where I'm looking has space issues. So space might be tight. It has great public transportation though so that helps.

    prue, that is true. I'd have to get better at container gardening if I ended up in a condo.

    Thomas, lol I think a lot of us are infected. It is hard not to think about seeds. I'll let you know about the turnips. I really hope they grow.

    fairegarden, wow and I thought I was early on the seed orders. I think most people wait until Jan or February to get going in it.

    Kalena Michele, I always organize my seeds like this. I do it in a spreadsheet and it has all sorts of info including when to plant. Then I sort by planting date and make up a sheet that I print out that has all the dates and seed on it. I know too organized. Granny knows my secret though.

  17. That is very interesting how Fedco is calling out the source of seed - brilliant!

    I am in the process of finishing going through my current seed stash and finalizing my list of needs. Then it is off to do the purchasing process. One thing I know I need to acquire is some new lettuce seeds. The current bunch is not germinating well and appears to be losing viability.

  18. I love the idea of a seed company that lets you know where the stuff is coming from. Going to have to link to this article.