Seed sorting...

21 July, 2015

One of the most enjoyable gardening tasks of the year is one that doesn't even happen in the garden. Around this time, one cold wintry night or day I pull out the seed boxes and start the wishful planning of the summer garden.


This year round it just happened to be on one of the coldest nights of the year, hence the heater is blazing.

Firstly I took stock of what seed I have. Actually, I have plenty.

I sorted the cucumber seeds (5 varieties; might look at more), eggplant (4 varieties; must get more seeds), cantaloupes/rockmelons (4 varieties; enough), watermelons (3 varieties; plenty), zucchini (2 varieties; more than enough), pumpkin (3 varieties; that'll do)  into sowing for October, when I get back from my next holiday.

Unfortunately, I'll be overseas during September and the start of October, which is prime gardening time. It's not that sad, as I'll be having a lovely time in Italy and Spain I'm sure, but it does mean a little forward thinking will be required to ensure the summer garden harvest doesn't suffer too much.

I've prioritised tomatoes and peppers for early sowings, hoping that with a bit of time between now and when I leave I'll be able to coddle them enough to survive until I return.

Of my approximately 45 tomato varieties of which I have seeds, I have prioritised 21 varieties for early sowing. I will probably sow more as the year progresses. At least I am honest with myself. I will also try early sowings of capsicums/peppers, as last year sowing in late September didn't work that well. The plants weren't developed enough and when the hot weather hit they suffered. I'm hoping an earlier sowing will mean stronger plants. We will see.


I've also got some more onion seeds, lettuce and turnips/swede to try. I've never sown these so late, but looking at the seed packets they saw sow between august-spring. Again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Overall, I could easily get by without buying much. The only seeds I really need to buy is corn. But knowing me I'll end up with a couple more varieties of tomatoes, some cucumbers and peppers, maybe another pumpkin to try. I can't seem to stop myself.

Now I just need to think how I am going to sow these seeds and get them growing. But I have the beginnings of a plan. Just need to nut out the details. Stay tuned.

21 comments:

  1. That is a very fun time. I always love planning next year's garden. And I can't help but buy things when I'm planning the garden. I always have a long list.

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    1. It is so positive, all the things you could grow. Reality is a little less so, but anyway. Enjoy the fantasy!

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  2. So impressed with your planning. When do you envisage the earliest planting out of your tomatoes and capsicums?

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    1. Cheers. I'm hoping first planting will be this or next week. Definitely before end of July.

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    2. Sorry, I just re-read your comment and realised I completely misread it first time around. I'm guessing planting out will happen around mid Oct. Traditionally Melbourne Cup (early Nov) is tomato planting day in Melbs, however I've always planted them out earlier and never had them frosted off. Sometimes I plant them out late Sept with garden fleece over them to protect from frost, but I don't think it is that beneficial.

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  3. Gosh your seeds look so organised. I am continually going through my seeds to fill in gaps.

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    1. Cheers. I find I only go through my seeds thoroughly once a year, at a time like this. Otherwise if I run out of something then I make a note to get more, if I really liked it.

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  4. Italy! spain! ohhhhhhh how lovely!
    I must pull my seed collection out from last summer and start planning. a perfect thing to do these cold dark nights. I've just made myself a post-it note for when I go home.

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    1. I know! I'm very lucky. Sadly blogging has been a bit quiet due to holiday planning, as I have only so much spare time. But I can't wait!
      Planning the summer garden is the perfect activity on a cold winter night. The fantasy land you can create in your mind is particularly vivid I think.

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  5. I got really organised and planted most of mine 2 weekends ago when it was freezing and raining outside.The timing was based on what I did 2 years ago whereby I needed all my plants pinched out into tubes ready to go overseas in the second week of September. Last year I sowed things a month later and my tomatoes were still tiny at the end of October. I am not sure what the capsicums, chilies are doing but the first of my tomatoes from my own seed (yellow pear and mini roma) are just popping up now. I got a free pack of diggers Tommy Toe but they seem to be struggling to germinate. I planted more tomatoes last weekend- some of them are the seeds I got off you about 3 years ago. No idea if they are still viable but will give them a go.

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    1. Cheers for the info! I will be planting my seeds this weekend. Good to know there is germination happening elsewhere.

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    2. An update on your tomato seeds..... 3 years later and your seeds have germinated ! There are a couple of varieties that haven't been great but all in all plenty of tomatoes to go round!

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    3. Awesome! I have been meaning to sow my toms for the past few weeks, but time has been getting away from me of late. I WILL sow my tomatoes this week!

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  6. I love how you plan your spring planting and admire how you grow tomatoes at different times. Very innovative :)

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    1. Cheers! We will see how it all goes. :)

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  7. I love your seed boxes! They look very organised. Mine are all in brown paper bags shoved together in a tub. Sometimes I even neglect to label them, because of course I won't forget what they are... intrigued to know how you are going to plant AND go away. I will watch and learn.

    Here in Tas I always plant tomato seed straight into the ground at the beginning of October. I haven't found that faffing with seedlings makes the plants any more advanced, they seem to have a timetable of their own in our cold climate. At least they never suffer from heat stress!!

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    1. Cheers Jo. They are the only think to keep me somewhat sane with seeds and garden planning. If I kept my seeds in a box they would be messy in no time, and I would go crazy trying to find the seed I wanted, or I would give up and just buy more to save myself the trouble. Not efficient or thrifty.
      While I am away I have a very helpful person coming past to feed the cats, so I'm hoping I can get them to also water a few very special plants, on the premise they will get a proportional harvest of the plants that survive until I am back. How's that for motivation! Last time they fed the cats they got repaid by picking my asparagus. I traveled at a similar time so I expect they will have the same benefit this time around.
      I will likely sow more seed later in the year as well, but I do like to get a head start. I hope it is worth the effort.

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  8. One of my favourite jobs too. However I left my seed box at the farm and it is three hours away and I want to start planning and planting as I think the weather is about to start warming up. I love your seed box it is so colourful.

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    1. Oh, no. I'd feel bereft without my seed boxes.
      Thanks. I was in a crafty mood when I put them together, and I'm ever so glad I did. It cheers me every time.

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  9. Is that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Veg Every Day book I see? I try to grow what I know I'm going to eat lots of and what isn't so readily available in the shops. I'm trying to chuck out seeds as I go along over here in UK - there have been some that were poor germinators so I'm making notes as to what will need replacing next spring (Jan/Feb here in UK). Enjoy your garden planning!

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    1. Close, its his 'Light and Easy' cookbook, which I borrowed from the library to see if I thought it was worth buying my own copy. That said I do have 'Veg Everyday' and most of his other cookbooks, though that one is a favourite.
      Good point about poor germinators. I just tend to sow until I get something, but maybe I should be a bit more ruthless in weeding out poorly germinating seeds from my stock. It's worth some thought. Cheers.

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