Thursday, February 4, 2010

And Yet More Seeds

Hmm seems to me I've used that post title before. I must have too many seeds in the house now. I had a package from Canada arrive last week. I knew what that meant. Seeds from Dan.

He sent me some Little Gem Romaine. Now I have 12 varieties of lettuce. Where, oh where will I put them all? At least this one has "little" in its name. That must mean it is a dwarf variety and won't need as much space. Maybe I should plant it with my Tom Thumb lettuce from Stefaneener. Two cute little heading lettuces together would be nice.

He also sent me some Tiger's Eye Beans. These will be part of my dried bean growing effort this year. I want more things to eat over the winter from the garden. And as you have all probably figured out, I love dried beans and eat them all the time. It would be great if more of them were my own.

The other two are Cherokee Purple and Big Chili II. I've been wanting to grow Cherokee Purple all summer long as people rave about the taste. It takes a bit longer than the other tomatoes I grow, but I'm going to try it anyway.

I know there are a couple of folks that said they would send me seed and haven't yet. Well I really, really don't need anymore. I have too many varieties of too many things.

The one thing I need and I haven't gotten yet is my onion seed from Fedco. My charts say my target date for planting is Feb 6th, just two days away. I only have my red variety right now. Varsity, my white storage type is nowhere to be seen. I might just have to pick up some from the garden center soon. I really wanted to try Varsity. Fedco's description was that it kept better than Copra and can get as big as Ailsa Craig. That is saying a lot. But if it doesn't get here, I'm sure I can find something locally to plant easily enough.

I placed an order from the Fedco Organic Supply too. I ordered a lot of things, one of which was more seed. I always find it amusing that cover crops and grains are put in the garden supply section and not in the seed section. I ordered their soil building seed mix. I'm a fan of an oat and vetch combination, but to buy them separately costs too much for me. The mixes are cheaper. Their mix is an oat/pea/vetch mix. It ought to work well at any time of the year as vetch overwinters. Around here most do a rye/vetch mix for the fall into winter as rye is also winter hardy, but I like oats much better. All the research I've seen shows that oats, even though they winter kill, is better than rye because it isn't allelopathic like rye. So crops after oats grow better than crops after rye.

I also ordered some hulless oats on the outside chance that I'll get a community garden plot to put it in. The thought of growing a little grain seems really quite intriguing. I haven't a clue how I would harvest it yet as I don't own a scythe, but I'll cross that bridge if I get a plot and actually plant the oats. For now you can laugh at the image of me cutting a patch of oats with scissors as that is the best tool I have right now.


  1. Hmm, I'm going to have to check out that mix. I have a list for Fedco's organic supply that I haven't finished yet.

  2. I just realized that I needed to purchase some crimson clover cover crop seed and had not included that in my big seed orders! I go through several pounds of crimson clover seed each fall. I guess I will wait abit to order it though - as I don't need it until fall and I imagine the seed companies are all scrambling to meet the usual spring order rush right now.

    I am growing a few of Dan's Cherokee Purple tomatoes too this year - along with a few of the Market Miracles you sent me. Not sure if either will do well in my growing area but I am excited to give both of them a try.

  3. You're gonna love the CP, but make sure they are completely ripe before eating! That's when they have that sweet taste that I love so much.

  4. I know what you mean about too many seeds. I've got all that I need for the coming year. However, the SSE yearbook hasn't arrived yet....

  5. I was just thinking that you'll need to get out your scissors to cut that grain! great minds and all that ;-)

    I just removed a bed of virtual onions and replaced it with virtual lettuce (don't need pencils or pens with the laptop!). I have a feeling I'll be planting stuff in the neighbor's yard again this year. Mr H just will not let me expand my garden into his lawn.

  6. I grew a rye cover crop this year. What you say about oats is interesting. Will consider them next time. Thx for the info.

  7. I've been hesitant about cover crops as everything has to be hand-turned, but the reality is that I am going to have to to improve the soil. Maybe next year.

  8. Little gem is very compact - you can easily grow several in a container. It's slower to bolt than most lettuces. The Cherokee purple are really good! I grew Cherokee and black krim for the first time this year and I'll definately grow them both again.

  9. We grew Cherokee Purple for the first time this last summer, and I am one of those who raves about it. The flavor is outstanding, the texture is perfect (very meaty and juicy w/o too many seed cavities), and the color is gorgeous. Our one plant could not keep up with household demand, so we are growing more this year. I did not know I could love a tomato like this! :)

  10. I'm only growing a couple varieties of red/purple onions this year, which I don't think will keep as well. I just don't have the space or the will to purchase yet another variety to grow...oh well...maybe I'll do a late sowing of scallions to have during the winter months.

  11. The Varsity onions sound really good. I looked them up and it seems Fedco is the only one that sells them. My onions have been pretty lack luster so far but the ones you sent are doing really well. I am starting some more this weekend, I may have to plant half sets again this year.

    I have thought about growing grain as well. I could never do it here though on this postage stamp lot. There was just an article in Mother Earth News about how to seperate the grain from the stalks and then from the residue. Very interesting. I would have to live in the country to be that Hippy though :-)

    Thanks for the link, hope all the seed grows well. I am looking forward to growing out all your seeds, especially the tail of tears beans.

  12. The Mom, this is the first year I'll use it so I'll let you know how I like it. Provided I get my act in gear. I totally forgot to put in my cover crops last year.

    kitsapFG, I wonder how many of us will be growing Dan's Cherokee Tomatoes. I hope the tomatoes have time to produce. You never know this might be a good tomato year (our last two years were wetter than normal and last year set records).

    EG, I can't wait to taste them.

    Michelle, Oh no. I forgot about the yearbook. The only thing I'd like to see if they have though is yellow podded 3' tall snow peas. I'd try snap peas too. I have such a hard time seeing peas on the vine. I figure if they are yellow I would get them all.

    Annie's Granny, my husband has no say at all in the yard. Well I'd listen if he had a comment, but I just change it as I like and he never says anything. As long as he doesn't have to mow, he doesn't care. I suppose if I took over the whole yard he might say something, but I doubt it. When looking for houses I mention where I'd put things in the yard and he is fine even if I take over the front yard with my veggies.

    Miss M, the drawback is the winterkill. Their roots won't get quite as far down as rye roots.

    Stefaneener, if you can make enough compost you don't have to do cover crops. But I like to have cover crops on over the winter to protect the soil. Then in the spring I hate that I did it because I need to plant right away. I just can't make up my mind sometimes. And sometimes I don't turn the crop under, but put it all in the compost pile so I can use the bed right away.

    Jane, I can't wait to taste my first Cherokee Purple.

    Meredith, well this year I'll only grow one, but there are only two in the household that eat fresh tomatoes. One if my daughter doesn't come home for the summer. The guys in the household won't eat fresh tomatoes. Isn't that just weird? But hey more for me.

    Thomas, scallions over the winter would be great. I keep looking at your set up and thinking I would love that, but I'm trying to not do anything major until I get a new house.

    Dan, that is funny that the old onion seed is doing so well. And here I was going to toss it away.

  13. Wow, dried beans. You are amazing! How many bean plants does it require you to grow?

  14. The amount of seeds you have is a testament to how much you're valued as a gardener. You're rich!!

  15. I can see you will be very busy Daphne...I havn't started yet but my hands are 'itching'. I have so many new interesting seeds.

  16. Zach, well dried beans are not the most space efficient that you can get. Last year I had about 40 pole bean plants and got about 4 1/2 lbs of beans. I like them because they are really easy winter storage and I love them so much.

    Kalena Michele, I am quite rich and more seeds showed up today in the mail. :> It never stops.

    Tyra in Vaxholm, I can't wait to grow some of the things I haven't yet. I always love trying new plants.

  17. We had Cherokee Purple in the garden for the first time last year here in Kansas. Bountiful harvest, no disease, but did find they were more sensitive to uneven watering and liked to split. Made fabulous marinara.