Thursday, January 21, 2010

Save 40% on Garden Seeds

My feet make squishy sounds when I walk on the wood-chip covered pathway between the raised beds at my Happy Valley Community Garden spot. It's only January, and even though it was pushing 60 degrees today, I know that winter is far from over around here so tomorrow could be a totally different story. It's way too early to plant anything outside, but it did seem an appropriate time to inventory my seed stash, update my seeds inventory spreadsheet and give some serious thought as to what I want to plant, when and where for the upcoming 2010 gardening season.Last year I created an Excel workbook with a spreadsheet to track my seeds inventory, another to tally my gardening costs and one for diagraming the layout of my garden. This worked out very well for me, but I found that when I set up my seeds inventory spreadsheet, I had included a few columns that had perhaps sounded good at the time, but in reality turned out to be not particularly useful. There was also other data that, looking back, I had wished that I had tracked - like the quantities of fruits, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers I had harvested, and their approximate values at the local Farmer's Market or organic farm stands. So, not only did I end up inventorying and oganizing my seed stash, I made some major changes to my original spreadsheet.
I also began sketching out drafts of my garden spaces so I could start creating the planting diagrams to use for my two 10' X 40' garden spaces.
After completing my seed stash inventory, I drafted a list of the additional seeds and plants I would need to purchase this year, and clipped this coupon from the Fred Meyer weekly ads in anticipation of saving a little money on my seed purchases.
Ed Hume has the reputation of being one of the highest regarded garden experts here in the Pacific Northwest, so I certainly trust the quality of their seeds. Saving 40 percent sounded good to me too, so here is the list of Ed Hume and Lilly Miller seeds I purchased using the coupon:
  • Summer Squash - Crookneck (Hybrid Bush), Scallop Bush Mix (Summer Pattypan Types) and Yellow Zucchini (49er Hybrid Bush)
  • Cucumbers - Muncher (Tender and Burpless), SMR-8 (Pickling Variety), Marketmore 76 (slicing), Armenian (Cucumis Melo) and Lemon (Cucumis Sativus)
  • Beans - Rattlesnake Snap (Pole), Stringless Horticultural Beans (Horto Semi-Bush) and Lima (Burpee Bush)
  • Parsnips - Andover
  • Bok Choy
  • Leeks - Giant Musselburg
  • Peas - Oregon Giant Snow Peas and Oregon Sugar Pod II
  • Egg Plant - Long purple
  • Sweet Corn - Peaches & Cream (Hybrid SE Bicolor)
  • Sweet Peas - Royal Family Mixture (Climbing Variety)

Wanting to grow soy beans last year in my garden but after forgetting to include them in my 2009 seed order and unsuccessful at finding any available locally, when I saw packs of soy beans on the New Dimension Seeds rack, in addition to the Ed Hume and Lilly Miller seeds I bought, I also purchased two packs of Sweet Sansei Soy Beans (Edamame).
Not usually big on "gadgets", I did buy this Mini-Seedmaster too. It seems that year after year, I over plant row after row of those tiny seeded vegetables - like lettuce, carrots, parsnips, etc. Then, I always end up having to do some serious thinning. I have considered making my own seed tapes using this method - Best-Ever Seed Tape - as a solution, but I just never seem to get around to making up all those seed tapes. Having seen these Mini-Seedmaster gadgets in almost every seed catalog I have ever received and have thought that perhaps I should buy one, here it is, my impulse buy of the season.My new Mini-Seedmaster promises to make "planting small seeds easier and faster." The packaging goes on to say, "With the help of the Mini-Seedmaster, you can accurately and easily plant the smallest of seeds," and that it "Helps prevent seed waste while eliminating the need for thinning." Is this just a marketing ploy? Has anyone ever used one of these little gadgets? Do they really work? Or, or did I waste my money?

1 comment:

  1. you are much more organized than me. Last year was my first year of gardening. I have a heart condition and I made a garden on my deck right off my dining room area. I had a wonderful time with it. Ended up planting flowers everywhere in my yard. ended up with a bed made for my extra tomatoe plants I had and I grew more green beans there. So I like you right now I am diving into my ideas about what I want to grow this year. Funny thing is I am seriously considering buying the mini seedmaster as well. Last year I hated trying to deal with those real tiny seeds. I can't read without reading glasses so something so small doesn't work well. I too would like to know if anyone has used this. Good luck with your garden this year!!


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