Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I received my first seed catalog. Like clockwork. I looked through it, glancingly, overwhelmed. Already? I am not ready to think about choosing what to put in the little beach farm. Every new offering seems to be sweeter, milder, faster growing, longer fruiting, more resistant, the new standard. Ack! As if growing new vegetables wasn't enough, we must also pursue new varieties of the same old vegetables. Which, of course, we want to do, especially to replace those that didn't perform. But wait, weren't those varieties described as solid performers, good for the beginner, reliable, easy to grow, disease resistant, standard in home gardens, widely adaptable, heat-resistant and cold-tolerant? Sometimes it is hard to see these descriptions for what they are -marketing.

Bella Rosa, two seasons back.

First things first, then. What seeds do I already have? Ahh. Look at that, a whole pile of packs.

I have Kitchen Garden Seeds (Scheepers), but they do not date their packs. Yes, yes, I could've dated them, but didn't, and now I will try to germinate them. I've a bunch from past years: Black Russian, Orange Pixie, Sungold Cherry, Bella Rosa, Milano Plum -all tomatoes, then Sugar Ann Snap Peas and Salad Bush cukes. 

Black Russian, two seasons back

I've a ton of Page Organic Seed (The Page Seed Co., based in Greene, NY) packs I got for next to nothing (maybe nothing?) at J&L last fall. If it's hard to think of vegetable seeds in autumn, it surely is worth doing so if your nursery has a supply they really want to get rid of. No one wants to store seeds nor sell last year's lots. I have new packs of Brandywine, San Marzano, Roma Bean, Wax Bean, Kentucky Pole Bean, Swiss Chard, Wisconsin cukes, Bloomsdale spinach, Cherry Belle radishes and Acorn squash. On top of these, a bunch of open packs from different sources and of questionable viability.

So, what will I order new? White or yellow cukes, Pak Choi, leek, turnip, white radish, carrot, poblano and red sweet pepper. Something else? Probably, but our 122 square feet is hardly enough room for a fraction of these. I wonder if we will find a way to expand? 

2008 pea seedlings near the cold frame.


  1. I love seeing the new seed catalogs and it's hard for me not to go crazy and buy everything that I want. I made a spreadsheet with all the seeds I already have and it was quite a lot. I'm planning on adding some seeds I want to try to the mix like leeks. I also want to try to grow different types of peppers like Jalapeno. Good luck with your choices. BTW, not sure why, but those images on your post didn't display for me.

  2. Oh, its because I just copied them from my other posts online. This time I uploaded.

    Choose well!

  3. I only have 2 catalogs so far, Johnny's and Pinetree. Not sure if I'll get any more. I'm on a mission to reduce my snail mail to practically zero so I regularly remove myself from mailing lists. I've browsed my options, but I haven't made any firm decisions. Choosing is part of the fun though so I'm not in a rush.


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