Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It Begins (or, Goofing Around with Seeds)

The thermometer on the front porch is reading 30 degrees F. The ground is frozen because our nighttime temperatures have been in the teens and low twenties for a week or two. It is definitely not ideal weather for doing much gardening outside. The good news is that it is warm enough in the house to start some seeds by the back window.

Around here, onions and potatoes get planted in early to mid-March. These are usually set out as egg-sized chunks of tubers (potatoes) and skinny little plants (onion sets). Seeds for both of these are available to purchase, though, to be started six-to-eight weeks before planting outside, and I have some. However, I didn't exactly buy my seeds.

Last year I planted out a little bunch of red onions WAY too late; the sets made seeds without making bulbs. I saved some of the seeds to plant this year. I do plan to also purchase onion sets at the end of February to add to these, just in case the red onions don't work this year, either, but I am hopeful that these will work.

In 2007, I saved seeds from a couple of potato fruits that had formed on a potato plant in the garden. I didn't have a plan at the time; it just seemed like the thing to do. I'm planting these, too, to see what happens.

This goofing around with seeds could also be called experimenting, which makes my activities sound important and useful, especially since I've thought about what I'm doing; this is not at all like the fuzzy, green, accidental "experiments" that sometimes form in a container at the back of the fridge as a result of forgetfulness.

I think that using seeds can help limit the spread of diseases in the yard that might come to the garden on purchased tubers and sets. In addition, if my plans work, I will not have wasted the money spent on those red onion sets last year, and I will need to buy fewer potato tubers this year.


  1. Sounds like a good plan to me! I had a bunch leftover from my seed potatoes last year, but they didn't keep. The garlic and shallots from a year ago, however, were planted in November and to my surprise came up beautifully. Saved some money on those at least!

  2. Erin,
    My seed potatoes never keep (except for the sweet potatoes), so I am hoping that the actual seeds from the little round fruits will work out for me.

    I'm glad to hear that your garlic and shallots are doing well. Most of my garlics look good, but the Chesnok Red has been very slow to come up. Only a few of those cloves have sent up green shoots so far.

    It has been freakishly cold the last week or two all over the Eastern U.S.--I hope you and your family are keeping warm!

  3. You make an excellent point about bringing contamination into your yard and rebuying things you don't have too! It is raining here, 2 feet is expected, last year we had 6 feet of snow and rarely got about freezing. Stay warm, peace


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