Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What to do with too many seeds!

I have a lot of seeds.

No, really: A. Lot.

Partly because I was moving last year so I couldn't garden as much as usual, partly because I was in collection mode for my new larger digs, partly because I have lots of generous friends, partly because I won't throw out seeds, and mostly because I love gardening.

I can live no longer with so many unsown packages of promise! Thinning has commenced.

Step 1: Really old seed that will probably not pass the germination test is being tossed into my new garden compost pile. Maybe some of it will germinate and if so YAY! If I recognize the seedlings, they will add to the garden with no further effort from me.

Step 2: Anything that is marginal for germination and an edible green is going into my indoor salad bed.

Ancient peas and spinach that might be as old as my youngest child (5) sprouting along with the fitful starts of short lived orach seed.

Step 3: Bags of left over nitrgoen fixers such as lentils, beans and so on (where did these things come from?) and other quick growing bulk plants are going to be sown when appropriate as green maure.

Step 4: Anything that can handle cold stratification (or prefers it) has either been fall sown in the garden or is to be wintersown in containers. I have retained some precious seed for more controlled germination but the rest is OUTSIDE.

The first set of wintersown containers. These are what I like to call deep wintersown. I have other seeds that I'll start later, sometime in February or March.

Step 5: If I don't want it / have extra and it will probably pass a germination test, it is up for trade. Any remainders will appear on the Seedy Saturday trade table or be donated.

Phew done for now. Still too many seeds. Maybe I'll try some weird tomato growing experiments. Can a tomato grow in the shade, on a rock, in a tree, on a boat, with a goat, eating green eggs and ham.

Order will be restored.


Stefaneener said...

I think seeds are easy to hang on to too long. I tend to freecycle mine at a pinch.

Your indoor sprouts look tasty. Good reminder to me to get out there and sprout some.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Freecycling. Thanks for the reminder. Plantcycle Ottawa is also a good place to off load extras.

meemsnyc said...

The seedy Saturday looks awesome. I wish they had seed exchanges like that around here!

Sue Swift said...

Oh I'm so glad it's not just me who hords seeds... :)

sherry said...

Hi there,
Thank-you for sending me those Magenta Spreen seeds back in November. I never thought of using extra legume seeds as a green manure/nitrogen fixer - what a great idea. Hope to see you at Seedy Saturday. Sherry

Ottawa Gardener said...

Meemsynyc: It is awesome. The trade table is a mixed bag so to speak but there are always lots of small seed suppliers there which cuts back on shipping costs. Besides, it's fun to see old gardening friends.

Sherry: Hopefully we'll cross pathes. I try to go early and stay late :)

Sue: You are so not alone.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

lol! I am in the same boat, as always! Every year I say that I am not going to collect any more seed that I do not use! Alas, I still manage to accumulate a lot of seed. A. Lot. lol!

I have decided to toss many of my annual seeds, like the bags and bags of peony poppies, into the wild field and see if they grow there.

I gave a huge bagfull to a friend last week. She will take what she wants and pass it on.

McArtor said...

I don't have as many seeds, but we have some mystery seeds that dropped out of their packages, so we will plant in containers and be surprised what grows.

Year Round Vegetable Gardener said...

What a great blog! I live in NS and also have a lot of seeds (there should be some type of therapy for compulsive seed-buyers?!) :) I re-organized my boxes of seeds this week.. which gave me enough space for the new orders, which have been arriving almost daily! :)

Nathalie said...

I live in Ottawa and I've been doing a lot research on permaculture and during my obsessive searching, I found this blog and I adore it! It's so nice to hear from someone that lives in the same place I do! I loved reading about sweet potato (that's what actually brought me to your blog) and I would love to try growing some.

Where do you start collecting seeds? I'm going to start a food forest (well, edible food garden to start) and there are a few plants I'm looking for but I have no seeds to trade for them.

Thank you for this wonderful blog! Please post more!

Ottawa Gardener said...

Nathalie: Sounds fun! What sort of seeds were you looking for? I might be able to help you find a supplier if you email me (right hand side under profile). Some great permie plants are easy to source, and others as you have no doubt noticed, are like hen's teeth.

As for when I start collecting, it'll be spring sometime. I've just moved properties so my gardens are just being set up here. I really miss winter harvests!