Friday, September 04, 2009

A bit seedy today

I am ready to order my seeds and I’m considering my options. Do I stick with my previous supplier or do I try someone else?

The important factor is delivery time. After leaving things for so long I want my seeds delivered yesterday.

So far I’ve chosen 15 different types of seed to order. Thirteen are vegetables and two are flowers. The choices were not as easy as they should have been and I was troubled by the following questions:

Do I stick with the same things I’ve tried in previous years or should I get more adventurous? Apart from trying some new types of veggies should I change the kind of beans I’ve had in the past?

It’s easy to get used to a particular type of bean, cabbage, beetroot, zucchini (name a veggie of your own choice) and so miss out on a potentially BETTER kind.

At the moment my garden is growing small turnips and kohlrabi. Both of these were a bit of an experiment. We’ve never bothered with eating turnips in the past, but they seemed like a nice addition for winter casseroles. However, despite being labelled “harvest in 40 days” it has taken 4 months for them to develop enough to use them.
The same kind of thing has happened with the kohlrabi. It should also have been ready 3 months ago but is only just starting to show a swelling in the stem that will hopefully develop into something more or less tennis-ball sized.
(I gave some seedlings to my boss and we have a competition going to see who will be the first to bring a tennis ball sized kohlrabi to work).
Apart from the esteem of beating my boss, I’m not sure what use the mature plant can be put to. Again it was intended to be used in casseroles, but now we are moving into spring casseroles will soon be off the menu until next winter.

On the whole I’ve decided to take a reasonably conservative path, taking only two or three less predictable detours.

The choices so far (probably subject to change):


1) Mary Washington Asparagus
2) Lazy Wife Beans (our usual)
3) Purple King Bean (still beans but trying a different type)
4) Bulls Blood Beetroot (branching out again to see how they compare with our usual “globe beetroot”.
5) Royal Chantenay Carrot (have yet to find a preference – so hopefully this will be the one).
6) Jolly Roger Corn (not much choice available and this one’s picture looked most tempting – oh the subtle power of an advertising image!)
7) Lebanese Cucumber (the only one Gloria seems to like).
8) Black Beauty Eggplant (I’ve never grown or cooked this before but I love Moussaka.)
9) Plum Purple Radish (a change from the French breakfast)
10) Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb (supposedly bright red).Our current rhubarb has the merest hint of insipid pinkness along predominantly green stems. We wasted a lot while we waited for it to change colour, only realising our mistake when most of it had spoiled.
11) Mesclun Salad Mix (non-hallucinogenic I hope)
12) Zucchini Black Beauty (another vegetable from the stable of the Anna Sewell fan club).
13) Turnip purple top


1) Pentstemon
2) Larkspur

These are all potential ADDITIONS and do not take into account what I already have in my seed collection. The most noticeable absence from the above list is a tomato. Last week I bought the Burkes Backyard magazine and received some free tomato seeds. They have been sown and are hopefully germinating in a makeshift indoor "greenhouse" (a clear plastic storage container in the garage).


Anonymous said...

I only ever buy seeds once, from then on if they do well I save the seed, if not, I buy a different variety.

Suppliers are sometimes a pain in the proverbial, once you find a good one stick with them lol

Onesimus said...

Hi Molly,
I'm not oragnised enough to collect seed for everything

I'm not too bad with the easy things like pumpkins.
I've also tried to keep some bean seeds, but as yet I don't know how viable they are.
Last years attempt at saving beans was a failure but I didn't let the pods dry out first.

Anonymous said...

Hey One, I've had a few failures too early on, but you soon get the hang of it. As long as you make sure they are completely dry before storing in envelopes (keep dark) you will be fine:)

Onesimus said...

Yesterday evening I found that several of my free tomato seed have germinated.

I also have some successful mini-cauliflower seedlings and the very first sign of a successful shallot in a seed tray I started a coupl eof weeks ago.

Soon I'll need to find enough garden space for them when they are ready to be transplanted.

Thomas said...

I sometimes forget that it's actually getting warmer in other parts of the world. Ha! It looks like your garden is really starting to flourish. All I can hope for is that some of my plants will exercise some resilience in their coldframe.

My problem when I comes to purchasing seeds is that I want to grow EVERYTHING so it's hard to get stuck on a particular variety...though it's sure tempting when one grows exceptionally well.

Thomas said...

Also, I think your blog title is one of the best I've seen! I'm a huge U2 fan.

Onesimus said...

G'Day Thomas,
If only I could grow a veggie garden as impressive as yours!

I'm not as big a U2 fan as I once was - obsessions can wear you out after time so the intensity needs to be relaxed for the sake of other things.

If it were not for U2 I would not have met my wife. We both attended the first (and only) meeting of a U2 fan club in Sydney.

Onesimus said...

BTW Thomas,
thanks for making me aware of the homemade seed mats.

I made my first few on the weekend and will now wait and see...