Seed Sorting

We have so many seeds!  We started putting a database together in LibreOffice Base, but the software is a little buggy and not as user-friendly as we’d need to really make it work in the time we have.

SO!  We’re back to the seed file I put together last year - a long skinny cardboard box with index-card dividers that list the plant’s common name along with some basic timing info - when to seed indoors/outdoors, when to transplant, and how long the plants take to mature.

In addition to that, we’ve got a spreadsheet running with info about seeds - so far mostly ones we’re planning to buy for the upcoming year.  A few highlights include:

  • “Siberia” tomato - Thought they’re described as “inferior” in one seed catalog, we think their positive traits are worth a lot: 10-14 days to maturity, and capable of setting fruit as low as 38F.

  • Two more varieties of ground cherry (“Loewen Family Heirloom” and “Pineapple”, in addition to the “Aunt Molly’s” that we grew last year).  They’re delicious!

  • “Kamo” eggplant - deep purple, round, and barely larger than an egg.

  • “Japonica Striped Maize” corn - decorative and can be ground for cornmeal (photo below)

256px-japonica_striped_maize_001 Japonica Striped Maize Amada44 [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

We picked up some peat moss to use as the base of a seed-starting mix for the blocker in combination with compost and some assorted natural fertilizers that I picked up back when City Farm was still in business down the street.  I miss having a garden store in the neighborhood.  We also grabbed a heat mat (some nightshades need soil temperatures of 80F to germinate reliably - eep!)  and LED grow-light bulb (no more leggy seedlings, phew).

All of which is to say, we’re a whole lot better prepared for starting seeds that I was last spring, when I was working with trash-bag-lined trays, salvaged plastic pots, a constant shortage of starting mix, a cold house, and partially-shaded windowsills.

Oh, and here’s a good video about soil blocking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIPg02U82rI

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