Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds!

Obsession. on 365 Project

I really need to stop buying seeds. Today's haul....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Peach Preserves - Yum! And Other Things....

I'm trying my meatball recipe again tonight, only this time using Michele's peach preserves. I believe it must be basically the same recipe she uses for her wild plum jelly, though I noticed some peach chunks in it. Here's a link to her original post on jelly making: Link! Well, I tried some straight from the jar, and these preserves are DELICIOUS! She is definitely getting tapped to tutor me in the fine art of canning this season!

I'm still waiting for my big seed haul to arrive. I don't intend to start the seeds until early February. I had a problem last year with late frosts. The weather was too cold to put my seed trays out in the warm sun. I don't have a great sun spot for seed trays or a grow light (yet). Consequently, some of my seedlings grew "leggy" (long and skinny, kind of like alfalfa sprouts) and ended up in the compost pile, too weak to survive Texoma's winds and spring rains. So despite receiving several emails from plant selling companies advising me to start now, I'm holding off a bit longer.

The warehouse depots in our area are selling seeds and bulbs right now. I know that Michele already picked up her onion bulbs, and I think I'll do the same. Onions are about the easiest thing you can grow round these parts, and so tend to be in high demand. They sell off pretty quickly, so you may want to grab yours while you can. Just store them in a dry place for now. You can get them in the ground even in cold weather, though I usually like to wait until the danger of frost is gone. But onions are very, very hardy and can take a lot of abuse.

Whup, I hear the water boiling for the egg noodles. Must run. Looking forward to dinner tonight!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jenny - Seed Shopping

I'm having a great time tonight seed shopping online! I have a few favorite places: Penny's Tomatoes, Pepper Joe's, and good old Burpee, but there are lots of great places to find seeds, including your local home repair warehouse or supermarket. My husband and I have plans to expand our vegetable gardens this spring, so I'm sure that I'm getting carried away with seeds. :)
If you're a nut like me, here are a few tips on seed shopping and storage:

- Read. Read. Read the growing information. Seeds become plants. Make sure that those plants will grow well in your climate and soil. Don't waste your money on anything that clearly will not suit your garden.
- Store your spare seeds in a dark, dry place. I keep a seed case in my kitchen, tucked away next to my cookbooks, away from the fridge, stove and sink. Moist seeds are ruined seeds, so a damp basement or next to your stove where steam will get to them are bad places. Your motto: dark and dry.
- If you don't use all of the seeds in a packet, don't be too hasty with trashing it. Tape the package firmly shut and store it away. While an old seed packet tends to have a few more duds than a newer one, I have yet to fail with growing successful plants from seeds 3-5 years beyond the date stamped on the package. Might save you a little money.
- Consider taking the time to put together a card or electronic catalog of your specific seeds and their growing information. I know there are some smartphone apps out there too, but I have yet to find one that I like. While this kind of information is also readily available online, you'll want something close at hand. When you can spread out your cards and see how long each plant will take to fully grow, it's easier to plan out your garden space and know when to sow, especially if you don't have a lot of space to work with!

More on starter plants later. In the meantime happy seed shopping!