This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I got out all my left over seeds tonight and checked through them. I threw out the umbellifers (carrots, parsnips, dill, parsley etc) as these seeds don't store well. I threw out the empty packages. And I threw some packages that didn't sprout for me for the past 2 years (a zucchini and some parsnips). Still close to 50 packs left! It would be a nice garden even if I didn't buy any more this year.

Nevertheless, I placed orders for some new varieties. I ordered from Burpee, Johnny's and Botanical Interests. Tomorrow I'll order my potatoes and onion sets from Fedco and a bunch of nice heirloom seed varieties from Sand Hill. Then I'll wait for the mail....

Here's my completed seed list for 2009.


Blogger Jennifer said...

Our carrot seeds this year were from an unopened packet we bought 2 years ago. They sprouted quite nicely. :) We used them all up and hope to get some nice nantes and white purple carrots this year :)

January 16, 2009 12:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My plan is to take all of our extra seeds and plant them in open fields, along woodlines and any other spots I can find when we take walks with the kids. We will map them and come back to see if anything pops up.

January 16, 2009 12:37 AM

Blogger Dan said...

I just had some seed come yesterday from Johnny's. I am trying onions from seed this year so I will be starting them in the next few days.

I've become a bit of a addict, I keep going back and adding more to the cart. Dangerous!

January 16, 2009 12:54 AM

Blogger lostlandscape said...

Good luck with next year's crop--sounds like it'll be a good mix of old reliable seeds from past years with some cool and new options!

January 16, 2009 1:06 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I'll have to watch when you start with your onions Dan. I definitely want to get an earlier start on these than last year. But I need to set up my plant table and lights first.

January 16, 2009 1:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always wondered about using seeds into the next year. I had some great zucchini seeds last year, but didn't finish the seed packet. The expiration date was for 2008, so I didn't save them for this year. Is there a guide as to what seeds last into the next year and which don't do as well?
I'm planning to start onions soon for onion greens - I can get the roots themselves from the CSA - I love garlic greens and onion greens. Any recommendations?

January 16, 2009 3:31 AM

Blogger The Conservative Gardener said...

Why do I have to buy so many seeds? It's like I'm 12 years old again and I can't stop going to the store and buying another pack of baseball cards in hopes of finally getting Fred Lynn! I don't know if you ladies can relate.

January 16, 2009 8:46 AM

Blogger jimmycrackedcorn said...

Interesting comment on the carrot seeds. I had hoped to reuse last year's packet. I still might try it because last year I ended up sowing them so thickly the crop didn't grow. Maybe 25% germination is just what I need.

January 16, 2009 9:48 AM

Blogger seedman said...

Each seed is a living, breathing embryo. Pure magic. I have been growing and selling seeds for more than 30 years now. Seeds are the only part of my business I trust more in now than when I started.

From my research, no one has ever documented exactly when seeds expire. Every chart I have seen is just plain wrong. My own opinion now is that seeds stored in cool, dark and dry locations will routinely outlast most of us. I have had some germination from parsnips after 10 years. Not a lot, mind you, but some. One lot of carrots tested out at 65% after 10 years. One important thing to remember. Age does not change the vitality or genetics of a seed. If it germinates, it produces the same plant it would if it were new. Germination percentage tends to decrease with age. My observation is that this process is much slower than popularly thought.

How can you throw away that one living, breathing little baby that has come so far and holds so much potential? Each seed is more magical than anything else we will ever touch in our lives. My hope is that we will all learn to give them the respect they deserve. You can find detailed seed saving instructions on the website of this 20 year-old non-profit:

January 16, 2009 9:53 AM

Blogger Dan said...

I'm in the same boat, I need to get my light set up. I've only been going to do it since the start of January.

January 16, 2009 10:44 AM

Blogger Daphne said...

I just started my onions today. I'm still going to save leftover for next year. I'll just test the germination rates before I plant.

January 16, 2009 12:20 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Great comments! Every seed is a tiny miracle waiting to happen.

Its true about how easy it is to over seed carrots. I've done this for years and spent hours thinning and then disappointed to throw out many baby carrots. Last year I dropped one or two seeds in little holes 2 or 3 inches apart. It seemed like so few, but the density ended up very good. After 3 weeks I added another seed to the few spots where there was no sprout. If my old seed germination rate was down, I could have just as easily sowed 5 or 6 per hole. There are so many carrot seeds in packages.

I'm so happy to hear that Daphne has started onions already! How exciting.

January 16, 2009 1:13 PM

Blogger lkw said...

I've been sorting through my seeds, too, to see what I have to start for transplant. What fun! There were a lot of different varieties, especially after seed-buying sprees in fall and early January. And, that's not to mention all the other seeds I have for direct-sowing.

But seed longevity is certainly interesting, as Seedman wrote, and aside from the short-lived ones that you mention, so many others carry on quite nicely for quite a few years.

January 19, 2009 9:02 PM


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