Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seeds in the Winter

Unless you're going to start growing the things inside under lights, what's the point of buying seeds in the winter? Or worse yet, late fall?

I'm the kind of person who likes to know the how, why, where, when and what of things. So I sat down today and tried to figure out why it is that I've got itchy fingers at the computer, choosing various seeds to put into virtual shopping carts when I won't be planting most of them until next May.

Wintersowing is fast approaching, being started by me just after the Christmas hubbub is over, so that takes care of part of the need for seeds now. But what about the others? The ones that won't see soil until March at the earliest and May at the latest?

I blame part of it on the melancholy feeling I get when the outdoor gardening season has come to a close for the year. No more daily walks into the paradise that is my garden, with its oranges and reds, yellows and purples, pinks and whites. No more intoxicating fragrance luring me deeper into the green, begging my nose to take a closer whiff. A packet of seeds, with its bright picture of what the tiny grains within will someday become, reminds me of both the flowery days of summer and the hope for future blooms. Those packets are like an anti-depressant.

The mail that comes every day and brings me the seed catalogs that lay out the banquet of possibilities before me doesn't help either. As I turn page after page, there's one then another that tugs at something within me. Something that makes me want to grow it in my garden, even if my garden isn't particularly suitable for growing it. It's not enough to just look at the pictures; I want to hold the packet in my hand, because that means someday I'll really and truly tuck those seeds into the earth that I call home.

Patience has never been one of my virtues. I do better than I used to, but it's still a problem for me. I tell myself at least I have more than my mom. She doesn't have enough patience to even plant seeds. Give her the plants every time; she's all for instant gratification in a garden. I like doing it from the ground up. Must be that how, why, where thing.
But I just can't wait to buy the seeds until I really need them.

I love sitting with the packets in my lap and looking through them, reading the backs to see what special thing I might need to do to increase my chances of success growing them. So I buy them now and I'll spend the next months deciding which to wintersow, which to start early inside next spring, and which to save for direct sowing when the ground is warm enough.

Will I have room for all of the seeds I can't resist buying? Well, we do live on an acre, and I can always dig up more ground for a new flower bed, but I think I'll have room in the gardens we already have. Each year I grow something a little different, with repeats only being those that I absolutely loved in years before, like the 'Bright Lights' cosmos and the 'Chippendale' zinnias.

So I'm off to shop for seeds now. Want to guess what the first one will be to go into my shopping cart? Hint: I've tried it before with no luck, but it's my favorite color of flower and one of my fellow garden bloggers teases me by posting pictures of hers every now and then and I am determined that I will have them at least once in my garden!


Unknown said...

A lot of interesting looking catalogues stacked there, Kylee. I get a few, and I might try a few new ones this year...maybe! You're a definite seed-sowing-star in my books!

Gina said...

kylee - I blame this on the catalogs and garden bloggers. I get a catalog and think WAIT - IT MUST BE TIME TO ORDER SEEDS! or i read that a garden blogger placed a seed order and think it must mean im suppose to do it. since i have no idea what i'm doing, im at the mercy of books and bloggers.

Kylee Baumle said...

Jodi ~ What makes it really bad is that a seed packet costs just a few dollars or less, so before I know it, I've got so many in my shopping cart and then I have to weed out some. I can't possibly grow all that I want to!

Gina ~ You don't get off that easily! Take responsibility for your weakness, okay? You're as tempted as the rest of us by the pretty pictures! LOL!

Shady Gardener said...


Perhaps you'd have some advice for someone who has never begun seeds indoors but is so desirous of trying! I have a little bench in the basement with a flourescent light fixture above it. I want to get a grow light. That's about all I know. ;-)
Want to help?

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

I usually do not plant any seeds during the fall or winter but after reading this post it started to really itsch....didn't I have some poppies somewhere?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee I am more like your mother in that I like instant gratification. I don't plant many seeds. I admire people that have the patience to do this work. It is facinating. I love to see all the little seedlings lined up in the greenhouses I frequent. :) I haven't read you enough to venture a guess at what might be your nemesis seeds. Hmmmm...maybe a blue poppy. Many people try those.

Christine said...

I am so addicted to starting seeds inside in the winter. I guess I just need to be gardening, even if it is inside. Have you ever ordered from T's Garden and Things? I accidently found her- she sells seeds for $1 a package. I have my list of wants DOWN to 83. LOL

Unknown said...

Kylee, I laughed at you putting seed packets into virtual shopping carts. Seriously, I think that any garden retail site that doesn't allow us to save our wishlists and carts is missing out--I swear that's why I end up buying too much! I put literally everything I want in my cart, and whittle it down from there. lol.

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