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Feb 25, 2010

Fun With Catalogs

It's been a productive past two days. I finally got my first set of seedlings repotted and off to another set of lights. I think my first flat sowed was overall a huge disappointent, as much of it was old herb seeds that I think had passed their prime. Now I know and they are trash. The rest are slowly coming around, but ugh! - herb seeds are a pain, as many of them take 20-30 days to sprout. Just yesterday, my first parsley sprouted! I was finally able to move on to sowing the tomatoes, peppers, and some flowers on Monday, and they are much quicker and I am excited for them to show their faces in the next week or so. My zinnias sprouted in under 2 days, so I think I will just direct seed the rest when it warms up. It's my first time starting flowers from seed, so many I am doing indoors just for learning and watching purposes. Even though I am doing flowers, I will admit they are not just for looks, all my varieties are specifically for bees and other beneficials, with the exception of the Job's Tears which just look plain fun!

So here is this weeks new seed flats:
Brandywine (H, Baker Creek)
True Black Brandywine (H, Baker Creek)
Unidentified Polish Heirloom (given to me by an old Master Gardener, saved seed since her Grandmother's time, 1-3 lb fruits, very exciting!)
Red Zebra (H, Baker Creek)
Vorlon (H, Baker Creek)
Paul Robeson (H, Fedco)
4th of July (Hybrid, swapped seed)
Orange Wellington (Hybrid, swapped seed)
Yellow Pear (free, Hometown Seeds)

Quadrato d'Asti Rosso Bell (H, Baker Creek)
Sweet Yellow Stuffing (H, Baker Creek)
Jalapeno - Craig's Grange (H, Baker Creek)
Fish Hot Pepper - (Fedco) -anyone seen this? It's cool in a pot, looks like Koi Fish!

Other Novelty Veggies:
Purple of Romagna Artichoke (H, Baker Creek, 2nd sowing, only 2 viable plants last time!)
Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry (from Kenneth of The Indoor Garden(er))
Litchi Tomato (H, Baker Creek)

Greens & Onions:
White Lisbon Bunching Onions (Seeds of Change)
Val d'Orges Lettuce (H, Baker Creek)
Gourmet Mix Greens (free, Hometown Seeds)

Florence Fennel (Ferry Morse, old seed)
Giant of Italy Parsley (H, Baker Creek, old seed!)
Gigante d'Italia Parsley (same variety, Fedco)
Greek Basil (saved seed)
Oregano (old seed, Burpee)
Marjoram (old seed, Burpee)
Sweet Mace/Mexican Mint Marigold (H, Baker Creek)

Carpet of Snow Alyssum (Fedco)
Gypsophilia (seed swap)
Burgundy Gaillardia (Fedco)
Butterfly Flower (store bought ?)
Red Hot Poker (Burpee)
Job's Tears (Fedco)
Bee Balm (Fedco)
Giant Snapdragon (Fedco)
Persian Carpet Zinnia (Fedco)

I am waiting to sow Calendula and Marigold until next week, since it was backordered from Fedco and due in this week. I know the extra info is a bit unnecessary but some of my seeds I sowed them all threw away the packet, now I have a record of the variety and where I got it! You will also notice some of my seeds are from what I refer to as "the WalMart of the seed world", aka Burpee, and while I no longer order there, I am not one to waste seed, either! BTW, my mystery seed never sprouted, so we may never know....

On to the next new thing - has anyone used this yet? I got sucked in the other day at a big box store. I told my 6 year old weeks ago that he should not let me buy seeds or plants at the store, and he grabbed my arm and said "No, Mom!" when I quickly veered away from the light bulbs (our primary mission) and ran into the seed starting area trying to evade him behind a gardening magazine display. Well he found me after I had already grabbed this: "But it's NEW", I exclaimed in true 4 year old fashion, and "I never said I couldn't buy dirt, only plants and seed stuff"! But he's a pretty intelligent little kid and pointed out that there is NO DIRT in seed starting mix, and in fact it was considered "seed stuff". Damn, why do I try and educate him, it's coming back to bite me. Anyway, I played the "I'm the mom, and that makes me the decider" card and came home with what looks to be a wonderful way to store seed starting mix. It's small and compressed, you just add water and it's supposed to puff up into a bucketfull of mix. Can't really tell from the pic, but the package is only about 2 inches thick. I'm still working on a just opened big bag of the stuff, but wondered if anyone else has experienced this and if it works as advertised. If so, I may stock up at end of season it's so easy to store!

And you MUST order this catalog! It's another one that's worth the price of the tree it's printed on LOL! It's chock full of gorgeous tools, incredibly useful items you never knew you needed, and a bunch of awesome stuff that is completely unneccessary but fun nonetheless! Link here for catalog order request. It's really a good thing this catalog didn't come until after my seed starting was underway, or I would be broke.

Here's a sampling of some of the items I found:

This product makes me want to turn my entire property into a spider web maze of bamboo poles!

This hat would is helpful for those times when you feel you could fly... liftoff!

Speaking of flies, how 'bout some flypaper for your ponytail? Oh, yes, if you can dream it, they have it, LOL

BTW, if any of you enjoy working with wood using hand tools, they also make a catolog for woodworking tools that my husband loves ogling at.

With that, I will leave you for the day to go head to the library, and then catch up on some housework, exciting stuff planned today. Wish I was outside planting peas, but it's still too cold...


  1. Ha! A couple of years ago, we (the immediate family) all joked about making it a Lee Valley Christmas. All of us only giving things found in one of the wonderful, luscious, to-drool-over, Lee Valley catalogs! And the really great thing is that ALL of their products seem to be top-notch and super-durable.

  2. Lee Valley is one of my favorites. We get lots of stocking stuffers from them.

    Can't wait to see your koi peppers

  3. Hey Erin -- save me some seeds from your unidentified polish heirloom tomato this year, okay? Pretty please with sugar on top??

  4. Well, where the heck have I been? Never knew the joys of Lee Valley before now. Between them and Duluth Trading Post, I've got my husband and I covered for Christmas gifts next year, everyone else will get bad knitting :) Jo, of course! I am very anxious to see them sprout, she gave the seeds to me in a paper towel complete with shaky handwritten instructions on them, I hope they get to see the light of day!

  5. How fun with your Polish Heirloom tomato seeds. Those kind are always the best. If they're really good, you should think about sending some to the Seed Savers Exchange. They would probably love to get something new!
    I've been bad and still haven't gotten your Bloody Butcher corn to you. But, I do have the envelope. Things have just been a bit wild here recently. I'll try to do better....

  6. Wow, you have been busy! My tomatoes sprouted pretty quickly as well but I'm still waiting on my peppers and eggplant.

    I will have to check out that catalog! I have a thing for good gardening tools as well. Although that fly paper on that woman's cap is pretty gross. hahahaha

  7. Erin I just spent some time reading your blog and I'm tired! lol You guys have a lot of energy and creativity... great remodels. Good luck on all the seeds, but my guess is you don't need it. I'm about to start my heirloom tomatoes, one heating pad at a time and things are sprouting. Have a great weekend.

  8. Lee Valley is one of our favorites, too. Another great one for woodworking (no garden tools, sadly) is Highland Woodworking.

    My curley leaf parsley was slow to come up (almost three weeks), but the flat leaf parsley popped up before the lettuces. I have no idea why there was such a difference.

  9. Hi Di! Thanks for stopping by, I always love to hear from new blogging friends! And I always need luck with my gardening, lol! I only have one heat mat too, so I have to stagger my flats a bit... makes for a long, drawn out, messy house for most of spring. Agwh, my parsley is just now sprouting after 30 days... 2 out of 6 cells so far, ugh!

  10. Erin, thanks for the tip on the catalog, I really should have requested 2 garden ones, mine is now officially covered in drool, oh well I had fun!!!

    Thanks again!