Sunday, March 8, 2015

Seeds to Sow

When I was young and hanging out at Grandma's on winter days, one of the my favorite things to do was look through the seed catalogs that would flood her mailbox.  My Grandmother had a very large garden and ordered dozens of seed packets each year, and so got tons of catalogs, too.  If I was really lucky, and I usually was :), she'd add a flower or veggie variety that caught my eye to her order.

That interest she fostered in me still drives me to put out a small garden each year.  I don't have a lot of space in my tiny backyard, but I do have some good Lancaster County dirt, so I try to make the best of it.  I tend to pick tomatoes because they're fairly easy and the colors and shapes they come in fascinate me.  Always something new or different.

Grandma would collect butter tubs and milk jugs and anything that would hold dirt, more or less, to start her seeds in. I use peat pellets, they help me keep the operation organized. 

An old pencil is great for poking little holes in the peat, then covering up the seeds.  These are pepper seeds getting the treatment.  The last few years I have gotten my funky heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seed Co.  They seem to be a really great company and have a crazy good selection of stuff.   

In December, I heard about an outfit called DollarSeed.  The selection is limited, but I paid about 85 cents per packet of seeds, so I can't complain.  I'm sure I'll be ordering from them again.

So, here's the end result:  four kinds of tomatoes, two kinds of cucumbers, tomatillos, and two kinds of peppers.  The paper you can see in some of the pictures is my chart, which is the way I manage to keep what I planted where straight.   

 I always plant more than I need, in case some don't make it the transplant stage.  Most of them do, of course, so then I'm stuck pawning the extras off to friends and family.  So come May, if plants show up on your porch I don't know a thing about it!

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