Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ordering Seeds: How Much is Too Much?


I get excited looking at the seed catalogs.  Maybe excited is the wrong word.  How about giddy?  No, that's not right either.  I know...I get REALLY FREAKIN NUTS.  People that don't garden don't quite understand this feeling I have towards seeds.  They look at me with bewildered or condescending expressions and wonder if I am on drugs. Perhaps she has been snorting compost again...maybe she has been licking the new frogs? Anyways, ordering seeds gets me excited for several reasons.

1.  The possibilities.  When I look through the catalogs, I am filled with wonder thinking of all the things I could grow. Names like Christmas lima beans, Rosa Bianca eggplants, and lacinato kale sound like so much fun to grow!  I imagine planting nearly every variety and watching them fruit and mature.  Nothing seems to farfetched or impossible (until I am actually trying to grow it).

2.  I want to grow everything myself.  My ultimate dream is to grow all my food on my own land.  Since I probably won't ever own a farm, that most likely won't happen. But that doesn't stop me from growing as many different kinds of food as possible. Some of it is being a perfectionist, or wanting to be a master of all things.  All I know is the list of things I grow and eat gets longer every year.

3.  The stories.  When you order heirloom seeds, they often have a history, or a story.  People have saved them in their families for generations, carefully preserving them and protecting them from mixing with other varieties.  Heirlooms can be decades to hundreds of years old.  It feels really neat to grow something that people were growing two hundred years ago, in almost exactly the same way.  It is a way of connecting to the past.

4.  Expanding my gardening abilities.  I have only been gardening for about 5 years.  Everytime I look at the seed catalogs, I am excited about learning to grow so many new things.  Sometimes I bite off more than I chew.  I also tend to buy first, worry about what I'm going to do with it later.  I love growing something that most people just buy in the store.  It also connects me to the past in a way.   

Here is what I'm planning on ordering this year:

  1.  October
  2.  Tiger's Eye
  3.  Speckled Cranberry
  4.  Christmas Lima

  5.  Chiogga Beets
  6.  Paris Market Carrots
  7.  Dragon Carrots
  8.  Strawberry Popcorn

  9.  Japenese Climbing
10.  True Lemon
11.  West Indian Gherkin

12.  Farellenschuss Lettuce
13.  Lacinato Kale

14.  Yellow of Parma
15.  Long Red Florence

16.  Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck
17.  Tomatillo Green

18.  Blondkopfchen
19.  Nebraska Wedding
20.  Mortgage Lifter

21.  Sunberrys
22.  Borage
23.  Cumin

24.  All Blue
25.  La Ratte
26.  Yukon Gold

27.  Kohlrabi
28.  Mars Celery
29.  Copia (a tomato)
30.  Spaghetti Squash

And I'm sure there are more that I will end up buying here or there, but these are the ones I am ordering from Seed Savers Exchange and from High Mowing.  Do you get a little crazy at seed time?  What are you ordering this year?



  1. The Christmas Lima are pretty neat. I'm thinking of getting those this year.

  2. Yeah, I hear ya sister. I went into the West Coast Seeds office and bought the place out. Now I have to find room for my 100 or so new packets. But I got some gems - orange spaghetti squash, something called goblin eggs, blue peppers, and orca beans (black and white spotted dry beans). Bring on spring!

  3. What is strawberry popcorn? It sounds cool. And a mortgage lifter tomato sounds awesome. My tomatoes didn't make it this year. That's because I planted the thing too late and they didn't ripen until it was already freezing. I believe Greg left them to rot in the grass. "They're biodegradable," he said. LOL

    I think I might actually plant seeds this year instead of waiting until the clearance sales and buying the half-dead plants. Know of any good sites to buy from?

  4. All things considered, seed addictions are pretty cheap, so I say go for it! I'm challenging myself to grow everything from seed this year though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. ;-)

  5. Yes, I am growing a lot more from seed this year...not sure where I am going to start them all. I think I am going to have to buy some more seed lights, or shop lights with 2 different bulbs. I get mine from Seed Savers...they represent values that are important to me now. I am going to try High Mowing this year as well.

    Stevie- those seeds sound neat, I'm going to have to look them up. what are blue peppers?

  6. Great list! - nice to "meet" you and your blog! and I can relate to the frenzy you feel this time of year. Last year I came up with a garden "theme" and I think I may have to again this year - it's the only way I was able to narrow it down from the huge selection.


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