I am sure you all enjoyed the short string of sunshine we were gifted as of late. I bet you noticed as well the day length was longer, at dawn and dusk. Time to think gardening! Since humans have been growing food, the challenges have been numerous. With this endeavor came the saving of seeds from the tastiest and most adaptable plants. People today still are making crosses, trying to achieve variety and hardiness. There are many facets to gardening and seed saving is one of the many. It is a challenge and every plant has its own protocol for ensuring next year’s seeds will be viable and delicious. But we have the luxury of thousands of varieties of seeds offered to us through garden centers and seed catalogues. Many of you most likely have packets from last year or even earlier. Check out the seed viability charts and learn what seeds are still useful. It is these you can plant this season AND share!
Here are the simple steps for our seed exchange:
1. You have until March 8 to get your seeds in order. For example, I have arugula seeds to share from a gardener in northern Germany. I have been saving the seeds since 2000 so it is adapted to our area and we enjoy it year round. It is delicate and not bitter like many arugulas.
2. Here is a sample listing for these seeds
Plant Source Quantity
Arugula Heirloom – Germany As needed
3. So I will document the seeds, the source and give my name and email address to Kim. Send your contact info and what seeds you have to share to Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Kim will catalog the information and share it and folks can take it from there.
Some of you do have heirloom and/or seeds saved for a long time and those are great to share. But there are some great seeds in little ‘store bought’ packets, so please go public with them.
I recently purchased a new-to me pak choi from this impressive seed catalogue specializing in Asian vegetables.
I have a good many friends who also are always looking for diversity in their garden and the kitchen. The packet contained 200 seeds. Uh… I will be fine with a dozen to trial, so time to give. By the way, these Asian vegs do really well in our climate, especially the greens. It is a great way to put more diversity in your garden, so very important in these challenging climate times.
Here is how I prepare for mailing. I cut a 2-4 square inch of paper, fold into a little envelope, include a dozen or so seeds and tape shut. Then label with the content and seed company so one can look it up. This goes into a regular envelope and for the price of a stamp, it gets mailed. Easy. I can often get 5-6 little packets in an envelope and not have to worry about higher postage. Larger seeds might require extra postage.
So let us see what sort of diversity we can explore in our gardens this year. Part of the process … and gamble!