I suffer from the common gardener’s ailment “winter delusion.” Primary symptoms include salivating over seed catalogs, completely ignoring how much space your garden actually comprises, and assuring yourself that this time you will actually plant all the seeds you bought.
Reality is the winter-time seed file, where good intentions go to die. This year, I’m biting the bullet and ruthlessly cleaning out the seed box, in the hopes that during 2016, I will actually plant all the freaking varieties I order.
An excerpt (by no means a complete recounting) of my internal dialog upon sorting through the seed box.
- Unopened packet of Botanical Interests Asclepius tuberosa (butterfly weed): Why did I think I would start these from seed? Just buy the damn plant at the nursery.
- Botanical Interests Mesclun Blend: Try again this year with a fresh packet, and this time harvest them before they go to seed.
- Renee’s Garden Catalina Baby Leaf Spinach: See above. Also, get on a harvesting schedule for all the leafy veggies.
- Seed Savers Rhubarb Red Swiss Chard: Eh. A noble effort to eat more greens, but I never harvested them. Maybe give it one more year.
- Unopened packet of Botanical Interests Toy Choy: Just buy them at the farmer’s market. If I prove to myself I can and do actually cook them, then I’ll try growing them.
- Unopened packet of Seed Saver Amish Paste tomatoes: I’ve been swearing up and down for a decade that this is the year I will can my own sauce, so I should grow lots of sauce tomatoes. This will never happen. If I do decide to make sauce, I’ll buy tomatoes at the farmer’s market. Stick to cherry tomatoes and a slicing tomato, and don’t bother start them myself.
- Seed Savers Dwarf Gray Sugar Pea: Pretty good, actually. Would date again.
- Seed Savers Hutterite Soup Bean: Hahahaha NO. No more soup beans. I always say I’m going to “dry them on the vine and do seed saving.” But one year I left the “harvested” beans on the front porch for nine months.
- Renee’s Garden Easter Egg Radishes: Why? Why do I keep planting these? I don’t even like radish. No more.
- Renee’s Garden Round Baby Carrots: A decent carrot is my great white whale. Perhaps this year I will find the perfect combination of soil/seed/weather/sacrificial object to the carrot gods. So yes, I will order more carrot seeds.
- Seed Savers Shirofumi Edamame: Yes. I love edamame. I just have to do a better job of sowing regularly and harvesting at the proper time.
- Unopened packet of Seed Savers Giant Form Parsley: Just buy parsley plants at the nursery. It’s not like I use a ton of it.
- Seed Savers Borage: What, am I going to make Pimm’s Cup? If I want borage, I’ll buy a couple plants at the nursery.
- Renee’s Garden Striesen Leeks: I have leeks currently in the garden I planted last March that are getting to be the size of small tree trunks. Doesn’t matter. Leeks look good in the garden, and they last forever. So yay for leeks.
- Seed Savers Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry: Terrific idea in theory, disastrously messy in reality. Probably aces for someone who stays on top of harvesting, but no good for those of us who subscribe to benign neglect. And I never did make that ground cherry jam.
Now, on to this year’s (hopefully less deluded) seed list.