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The (Seed) List

Mar 23, 2010


I had a little existential crisis this morning as I was putting the finishing touches on this order. That's a lot of seeds! Somehow, in planning an "easy" vegetable garden, I seem to have let myself get drawn into the most ambitious garden I've ever tried.

Should I cut back? Make it smaller? Try fewer vegetables? Be less of an over-ambitious nut case?

And what about all those 40 lb bags of soil I'm going have to buy in order to plant all this? Can I afford it? Is this environmentally sound? Am I an over-ambitious, soon-to-be-broke nut case who is killing the planet???

OK, panic attack over. Let it ride.

This order isn't identical with the one recommended in Mother Earth News. The differences:

  • I skipped the packet of beet seeds because my husband doesn't like beets and I'm not especially fond of them myself. Instead, I ordered a packet of spring raab.
  • Hope Seeds is already out of all but one variety of potato, a plain white one, so I'll look for seed potatoes locally. They're usually everywhere at the
  • I will buy seedlings of tomatoes (the plan calls for 4 plants), peppers (2 plants), oregano, rosemary, sage, basil, cilantro, and thyme locally as Hope Seeds doesn't sell them and I know they will be easy to find. (I could start the basil from seed but I find it hard to grow so will give myself a head start by using a seedling.)
  • I didn't order garlic because Hope Seeds ships it in the fall. I'll wait on that.
  • I took sunflowers off the list after ordering a "Sunflower collection" (seeds of various varieties of sunflower) as part of a local fundraising drive. The Mother Earth News plan calls for planting giant sunflowers as a support for pole beans. I would never have a garden without sunflowers because, a., I love them and, b., the birds and squirrels love them even more.
  • Borage wasn't part of the Mother Earth News planting plan--I like it because it's so popular with bees. I decided to skip ordering it after finding that I have a lot of annual flower seeds left over from last year, which I'd like to use up.
  • I didn't order any pole beans, though the Mother Earth News plan calls for them. This is because I have both Scarlet runner and Purple peacock beans left over from last year, both in the packet and still hanging on the vines. Though Scarlet runner beans aren't usually grown for eating, I consider them a must have because they are so popular with hummingbirds.

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