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Today’s Garden Twenty: Starting Seed and a Bit of Raking

Our neighbor gave us a big bag of seeds that she bought last year. They are all from Botanical Interests and most of the packages are certified organic. She had picked them up at the end of the season quite cheaply. I wasn’t going to start seedlings this year since I’m usually very pleased with the variety and quality available at our local Farmer’s Market but this bounty seemed like a good reason to try.

I am still using up a large quantity of organic peat pots that I inherited from my Dad. They are compressed blocks of peat with several holes already formed where seeds can be dropped. I started with over a hundred of them and now I’m down to my last dozen or so!

Today we planted up several varieties of vining annuals:

  • Yellow Crookneck Squash (an heirloom variety from Seeds of Change) Curcurbita pepo;
  • Delicata Honey Boat Winter Squash (a certified organic from Botanical Interests) Curcurbita pepo;
  • Jack-o-Lite Pumpkin (organic from Seeds of Change) Curcurbita pepo;
  • Small Sugar Pumpkin (heirloom from Burpee’s)
  • Burgess Buttercup Winter Squash (from Botanical Interests) Curcurbita maxima;
  • Hale’s Best Jumbo Muskmelon (certified organic from Botanical Interests) Cucumis melo – Reticulatus group
  • All of the seed was old, ranging from one year old back to 2002 for the Burpee Seed. If properly stored, seeds can stay viable for a couple years with a fall off in germination rates. I sowed the seed thicker to account for this fact.

    I sealed the pots in containers from take-out Chinese Food and I wrote the names of the varieties on the lid of the container. I’ve tried other techniques to remember the types I’ve planted but I always end up with a bit of mystery at some point or another.

    The most important thing for seeds at this point is warmth, with wetness coming a close second. Light doesn’t play a part until they sprout. I’m trying something new this year and I’m putting them on the window sill above the stove which should get a bit of indirect warmth from the kitchen even though it’s technically a north facing window. I’ll worry about full spectrum light if/when anything sprouts.

    That’s about all I did today, except I noticed that I dropped my rake in the middle of the back yard as if I was running for cover. When I went out to pick it up, I raked a bit more of the back yard just to tidy things up.

    Posted in • Growing.