Posted in Behind the Scenes, Plants, Progress

Making our 2019 seed list–part 2

Notice: I’m a bit tuckered, but I want to get at least part of this out tonight, so I hope to post part 3 either late tomorrow or Monday.

My partner will swear to his death that he is a black thumb.  “If you want something to fail, let me plant it,” he says.  I’m determined to continue to prove him wrong, but also acknowledge that sometimes this is his way of trying to take no responsibility for the gardens too.  He knows better, but he still bandies that oath about–even when it’s in reference to simply choosing plants.

Still, I finally managed to wrangle his attention away from his impending Ork match tomorrow long enough to both have some discussion about this year’s seed order, as well as toss around a very rough higher priority outline for what we would like to happen outside this year.  The latter still needs a lot of thought and tweaking, to be honest.  I also know, given last year, that much will change, and those changes may be often no matter how many times we tweak it in what seems the right direction.

Last spring, our seed budget was $20.  We came in just over that with our initial order, then went a little more over with some seeds we found locally, and I bought a few starters and companions at our local farmer’s market.  The last time I recall thinking of the budget for seeds and starters all told by the end of growing season, my brain wants to say it was about $35, but some we bought late enough that they’d really be for this year.

Last fall, we had hoped to spend about $20 on bulbs and maybe get a dwarf fruit tree late in planting season for a discount, but given all we still needed to work on with the house itself, those plans were put off another year.

The first thing I had done before starting to rough out our seed purchase list for this year was check my seed tin to:

  • see what we still had leftover,
  • find a few things that–try as I might to recall where they came from–I cannot,
  • remember how many seeds I took from produce (an experiment for this year’s planting) are still in whatever drying receptacle I had them in and not sleeved,
  • uncover some seed envelopes or small bags that I hadn’t filed,
  • and realize that so far there is at least one seed envelope that is missing (red poppy).  Now I’m wondering what else I might have misplaced along the way.  I also keep asking myself, “Did we really plant all of them (the poppies)?”

The last means a bit of scanning 2018’s planting list to recall what else might not be in the tin, and likely finding at least the poppy envelope in a basket in the garage, but nothing is ever easy and I’m not going to the garage at this hour, so it’s not something I’ll be attempting tonight.

Having done the above, I first went to the site we bought the bulk of our seeds from last year.  [To be clear, I am not an affiliate with/for any company/business.]  Although we had some spectacular failures from those seeds, the fault was definitely ours (whether directly or by not protecting them from critters) so we planned to get more there because we were satisfied with them, and what did work despite our newbie blunders felt like it could only be due to their reliable product.

There are a few other companies I had looked at both last year and this.  Sadly, again this year one of them was out of pretty much everything I wanted, and Heirloom did actually have something very similar to the one thing the other site was not out of so it didn’t make much sense to only order one packet.  So I just tacked the similar flower to our Heirloom order knowing we could always order from the other next year.

A few other sites, my interest was really about specialty items they had, and when I looked at our already long “to be planted” list here, and then realized how many other seeds I had completely forgotten we had on top of the order I had roughed out to discuss with my partner…I felt overwhelmed.  I also started wondering if maybe we should just stick with what we had.

Some of the seeds in our possession are ones we simply never got into the ground last year.  Some are seeds that we did plant–sometimes with more than one method–but didn’t have actual harvest from even if they did make it past the seedling stage (our worst mistake: we were terribly late starting last year).  There are a scant few–the ones I can’t recall buying last year–that may be leftovers from before we moved to MA and who knows if they’re even viable or not.

So despite starting to worry if maybe we should simply not add to the seed tin this year, I saved the shopping cart and later we went through it, which resulted in both deletions and additions.  We’re also just under our $20 budget for seeds, which I’m happy we managed despite some late additions.

We still won’t put the order in until next Friday, so we have a week to change our minds on any or all of it.

In my next post about our 2019 seed list, I’ll get into the decision process and also what our budget is outside of seeds.  That post may also touch on some of the seed saving we managed from last year–or that might roll over into a fourth installment.  Time will tell.

Other posts in this series:
Making our 2019 seed list–part 1
Making our 2019 seed list–part 3

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