Sunday, November 08, 2009

Who Ordered All This Damn Spinach?

I know it may be hard for a lot of people to believe, but when it comes to some things, I am not the best planner. Like my vegetable garden. I usually wait til the last minute and run out to the big box to buy plants and seeds, usually getting everything into the ground around, oh, mid-June. And as I'm planting I realize that I bought seeds that I already have 4 full packs of - like Bloomsdale spinach.

I am determined to change my ways! Who can eat all that spinach?

This weekend I spent some time inventorying my left over seeds. I have them listed by their plant types, variety names, amounts and age. Although many seeds remain viable for years, some have a shorter lifespan; I kept that in mind as I planned for which seeds I still need. I was surprised to see that I had most of the seed that I would need for next year.

Turns out, I have over 30 different kinds of vegetable seeds in hand right now:
Maxibel beans, edamame, jalepenos, sweet onion, AmericanFlag leek, Brandywine Pink tomato, Wayahead tomato, sweet basil, Romanesco broccoli, Listada de Gandia eggplant, Triple Treat pumpkin, Sweet Pie pumpkin, Black Beauty zucchini, buttercup squash, Table Queen squash, cantaloupe, SugarBaby watermelon, Blue Vates kale, Bloomsdale spinach, kohlrabi, turnip, mustard spinach, salad blend, Sweetness carrot, Baby Star lettuce, Buttercrunch lettuce, Ruby lettuce, Caesar Salad blend, Early Prolific straightneck summer squash, Waltham butternut squash, Packman broccoli, Swiss chard, and snow peas.
I just need:
beet, carrot, sweet pepper, parsnip, black eye peas, shallots, sweet peas, potatoes, rutabaga, brussels sprouts, pak choi, corn salad, arugula, and cucumbers.
I have been looking at the R.H. Shumway catalog (since they are now owned by Jung - a Wisconsin company). I have read some great things about them, and some not so great things. Generally the reviewers said that they have fantastic product, trouble is they may not ship it in time. I figure though with seed I should be safe, because if I do not get the seed when I need it, the stores should be stocked by then and I can just purchase from them. And seed will hold until the following season if necessary.

I'm trying to pace myself, but who knows... if I get the seeds early enough, I might even start some plants indoors!


Blogger vrtlarica said...

I also have the same problem - just cant stop buying seeds... but I use it all sooner or later...

11/09/2009 5:05 AM  
Blogger Daphne said...

I inventory my seed every year before purchasing new seed. Usually I do this in November so thanks for the reminder.

11/09/2009 6:48 AM  
Blogger Northofsweden said...

Nice blog you got here-regards from North of Sweden

11/09/2009 4:47 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Vrtlarica, I always forget what I have when I am standing there in the store grabbing seeds from the display. And it all looks so good!

Daphne, you seemed like a gardener that would have that under control :)

North of Sweden, thanks! I like the detailed posting and pictures on yours.

11/09/2009 5:23 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I'm also a seed collector. The biggest problem is a cold winter's day, glossy seed catalog in front of you. Everything just sounds so great and with all the varieties, ya just gotta try them!

11/09/2009 9:31 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Wendy, they are like Pokemon - gotta catch em all!

11/10/2009 12:26 AM  
Blogger Yan said...

Ha, you struck a chord here too. I'm an impulse seed buyer and have opened and unopened packets dotted around everywhere. The thought of cataloguing them, yikes!

11/13/2009 7:15 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Yan, I am so glad that I am not the only one! It would be easy to loose track of them if they weren't all in one place, but I do have mine in one container and my flowers are separated from my vegetables - so how am I ending up with 7 packets of chives and 5 packets of spinach? Chives are even perennial here!

Anyone need a packet of chive seeds?

11/13/2009 8:35 AM  
Anonymous joeltheurbangardener said...

Can you come sort seeds at my house too? -Seriously, I'll pay you.

11/14/2009 11:11 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

I'm scared to count how many seed packets I have. But one thing I do know; I don't have enough yet. lol By the way, I like Shumway. I ordered a little late from them last year (it seems like everybody and their brother was buying seed last year) so I can't complain about the speed of delivery. I shouldn't have waited so long to order.

11/17/2009 2:33 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

JoeltheUrbanGardener, send them to me, I'll sort them out. Maybe even give you a spreadsheet.

Linda, I know I'm already getting my order together for MORE SEEDS! Thank you so much for giving me your opinion on Shumway. I was hoping someone would tell me if they had tried them.

11/17/2009 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Curbstone Valley said...

Oh, I used to have the same problem. Now I too use an Excel spreadsheet, which helps track the seeds I have/need. You do have some great variety though. Do you have a 'seed swap' group near you? Might be another source for seed, and a way to change out some of your excess spinach for something you need.

11/22/2009 9:45 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Curbstone Valley, if we do have one I don't know about it. Spinach seed lasts for quite a while so I'm set for a few years. And my dad just started vegetable gardening again so he'll be getting some. I wonder if I can donate them to the food shelf; they have classes on home gardening for their users and they have gardeners that produce for them. It's an idea.

11/23/2009 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Lou said...

Hi Sylvana, I'm glad I'm not the only one with a seed-hoarding problem. I agree with Wendy, those seed catalogs are seductive. Do you suppose they're DESIGNED to be that way to get us to buy more than we actually need? Hmmm.

But this is a good reminder to me to update my inventory sheet and put some organization into my seed box. Have you seen the photo of Thomas' seed box at "A Growing Tradition?" Very organized.

11/24/2009 10:16 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Lou, thanks for pointing me to Thomas' blog! I spent a little time looking for the post that you were talking about (very spiffy seed box!) and found tons of interesting posts along the way.

11/24/2009 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Avis said...

Hi, popped in to let you know that there's an award waiting for you on my blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

11/25/2009 7:55 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Sylvana - thanks for visiting my blog! I am slowly building up a rather large seed collection myself. I will have to make a full inventory list one of these days. There's just something so alluring about a nice display of seed packets that it can be VERY difficult to look the other way! Which is why I found myself purchased 18 seed packets the other day!

11/28/2009 7:27 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Avis, going there to check it out...

Thomas, it is so very tempting to want to try out all the varieties; while forgetting how much growing space we actually have for it all!

11/30/2009 12:14 AM  
Blogger azplantlady said...

Hello Sylvana,

Your post had me laughing, because it is something I do often and not just with seeds. Every year, I buy Christmas ornaments for my kids and then when I unpack last year's, I find that I already bought them new ones for this year when they were on sale last year.

Your vegetable garden list is very impressive. I look forward to seeing your harvest next year.

12/01/2009 11:23 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

AZ Plantlady, I have lots of multiples in my house too! Mostly because I can't find what I need when I need it and it will only surface once I have replaced it. Seeds, I just forget what I have left.

I have new beds and all that seed; I look forward to seeing my harvest too!

12/02/2009 9:10 PM  

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