Today I sat down during a massive deluge of precipitation and came to a realization, I’m a seed collecting addict. It wasn’t a conscious choice to collect all these seeds, it kind of just happened over time. I counted 53 varieties of vegetables and 16 varieties of herbs. I didn’t even attempt to count the ornamental and flower seeds that I’ve collected! It seems I have seed from almost any common vegetable from Arugula to Zucchini.
I was shocked to find I had three different varieties of watermelons. ‘Moon and Stars’ was a great tasting heirloom watermelon but I also have two hybrid watermelon varieties I could try. Many of the other vegetable seeds are also hybrids (which are a result from cross pollination with two different parent varieties) but there are several heirlooms, particularly in the tomato department. One of my goals this year was to begin converting to heirloom seeds to help reduce my seed budget in the future by collecting seeds from the genetically stable heirloom plants. While I’ll definitely acquire a few more heirloom seeds this year I will concentrate on using up what I already have. Seeds can remain viable for several years if kept cool and dry and I’ve had peppers and tomato seeds from 5 or more years ago germinate.
So what else is in the seed collection?
Heirloom tomatoes like Brandywine (one of my favorites), Cherokee Purple, and Yellow Pear. Romain lettuces, summer squash, Sugar snap peas for the cool season, Nantes carrots, chard, two types of beets, broccoli, and onions. Really there are just too many to list!
How does this happen? I make lists every year of what I have so I don’t buy more of what I don’t need. Then I forget that handy list when I’m in the store and I end up with an extra variety of beets, or tomatoes, or whatever looks really enticing. Lists are never where you need them most. Maybe this will be the year to hold back on the seed purchases! Maybe…
Most of the ornamental seeds are from the garden, seed swaps, and of course I do buy a couple every now and then. Over time it’s easy to accumulate way more than you need. That’s one reason why seed swaps are good because you can exchange what you have too much of for what you need. It won’t be long now before it’s time to plant Sugar snap peas and cool season greens – I can’t wait!