Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Seeds Considered

The seed catalogs are coming fast and furiously now. The companies are playing to our weakness, especially those of us that live in the north. We're all rested from last year's hectic gardening season and we're ready to get back at it. The beautiful photos of the flowers and seed packets make us want to roll up our sleeves, grab our gloves and get planting!

But we're still in the planning season because the weather dictates it. It's still too early to start seeds inside. And I don't know about you, but I can't exactly make up my mind just what I want to grow this year. I always want to try a couple of new things and I'll be doing that again, but there are just so many wonderful things to choose from! And those seeds hold so much promise...

Lycopersicon esculentum 'Sungold'

"Who plants a seed beneath the sod
And waits to see, believes in God.
~ Unknown

I know I told Romie that I don't want a larger garden, but unless I tear some existing things out, I'm not going to have nearly enough room (again) to grow all the veggies and annual flowers that have made it onto my list for the coming season.

It isn't as if I really even need to buy any seeds at all. I've got three Seedkeeper Kits full of seeds and another box full of big bags of saved seed from previous seasons. I took inventory of my seed stash last weekend and honestly, I could probably supply my entire hometown with seeds for this year. (My hometown boasts a population of only 180, but still.)

The thing is, what I have here doesn't contain packets of some of the things I want. As I said before, I want to grow Brussels sprouts this year. Since they have a long growing season, I've considered buying young plants, but I've grown them from seed before and it's quite doable. Maybe I'll even grow the purple ones ('Red Rubine').

I want to grow tree cabbage, too. Not for eating, but for the novelty of it. Native to the  Channel Islands, that cabbage grows to heights nearing seven feet tall! How fun would that be? And it's doable here. 'Megaton' would be fun, too. Imagine a cabbage that grows to 22 inches in diameter! If we grow that, we're definitely going to need a bigger garden, because I'm not giving up bean or beet space.

'Tuscan' kale makes the list. I've never grown kale before and I've never eaten it before either, but I want to make some of those kale chips everyone was raving about last summer.

Purple okra bloom from my 2008 garden

There was a big bag of purple okra seeds in my saved seeds collection. It's been several years since I grew it, so I know the seeds aren't all that fresh. I'll overplant and thin them if I have to. The plants are gorgeous and okra is great to add to vegetable soup.

There are some annual flowers on my list, too. I skipped a year growing calendulas and I missed them. It's such an easy annual to grow and it will self-seed if you let it. Commonly called pot marigold, there are several varieties, and don't you know, I didn't find a single packet in my seed stash. Must buy some.
Moluccella laevis in my 2008 garden

I might try Bells of Ireland again. I've tried to grow this annual several times and while I get some seedlings, few of them ever make it to a large enough stage to produce those ├╝ber cool stalks of green bells. Only once did I get to see them in my own garden.

If there's one flower that I've tried unsuccessfully to grow more than any other, it's the elusive Himalayan blue poppy. I bought seeds (again) when I was at Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island last summer. I've never had the privilege of seeing one in bloom in person and it might be that I never will. But I'm willing to give it another go.

Are you going to be trying something new this year?


Chiot's Run said...

You'll LOVE the tuscan kale - kale is one of my favorite all time things to grow here in Ohio. It lasts all season long. I just harvested a huge bunch of tuscan kale yesterday and make kale, leek and potato soup!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat! I've got more than enough seeds right now, yet there are some things I still want to try. Space is limited, and so is sunlight in our yard, so I have to not overdo it.

One thing I will definitely be adding to the mix is Okra - I LOVE it. That purple variety with the yellow flower you have pictured is gorgeous!

I'm also going to try growing tomatillos for salsa.

I have several perennial flowers I want to add but will have to narrow them down. Being realistic is one of my goals this year, haha! Time to start!

Carol @ OhWhatABeautifulGardden-Chicagoland said...

I think it is the nature of a gardener to try something new, even when there is officially no more room. We can't help ourselves. Nor do we want to.

Terri said...

I grow poblano peppers every year, but I'd like to grow a pot of Medusa peppers just because they are so unique looking.

RobinL said...

I was thinking the opposite and don't want to try anything new this year. But I bet I will! I just get frustrated that I plant so many seeds that just don't work out. Hey Kylee, will you do me a favor and make note of my new blog address? My old one was deleted due to someone else's fraud. Grrrr!

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