Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seed Organization and other stuff

Okay, so I realize now - into my 3rd post on this unread blog that a gardening blog is a slow process. You have to wait for things to grow and develop, bloom and fruit, you even have to wait for them to go dormant and then sit around dreaming about how things might work out next season. It all starts with a few seeds for me every year, so I have been messing around a lot lately with my seeds. I have organized them into monthly sections and again into flowers versus veggies. I even got bored enough waiting for spring that I am trying to better organize my self-harvested seeds by creating a custom seed packet with elmers glue and a visio template:

I have noticed that I may be in for some real trouble this year if my seeds are no longer viable. Most of them are from 2-3 years old now, and may be pretty unviable.. If that is the case, I may be looking at a lot of money being spent on starts from the nursery or else a very bare vegetable garden.

So that said, I am trying to figure out ways to start taking better care of my seeds. I am also starting to think about a few heirloom varieties. I purchased a book called "Seed to Seed"
that will take me through the various vegetable varieties and will tell me about how to maintain strain purity using isolation distances, and otherwise how to create and maintain a constant supply of seeds.

You may have seen from my garden plan, and the pictures of my yard that I don't really have much space for all of this activity, so I might just be deluding myself into thinking I will be able to do vegetables, flowers and bi-annual plants just for seeds all at the same time, and at the same time try and get my isolation right.

I likely will end up just doing some unplanned hybridization (like with my hot peppers for example) and get some sort of habanero and poblano cross or an early girl and roma cross. I do want to attempt to get carrot seed, but have heard that even getting a pure pollination I still might get bad or bland tasting carrots with the seed crop. Whatever, maybe its just seed company propaganda. I probably won't bother trying to get zucchini and pumpkin seed - I am nearly sure they will have to be too close together to not get an unwanted pollination. I'll probably hedge my bets and do a planting of home-grown seed and purchased seed just to see what I can do.

Garden Update:
I planted my peas in the ground, plus a couple spinach seeds over last weekend (3/13 I think). I also planted my peppers and eggplants in pots on a germination mat. Nothing has sprouted yet. I didn't blog about it, but my sweet peas have their cotyledons up (in the greenhouse). I am excited to put them on the deck and enjoy their sweet smell...

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