The Impending Arrival of Seed Starting Season

Seed Starting Season

Seed starting season is just around the corner. It happens every year and every year I yell to no one and everyone that I’m not ready and could I please just have another day or a week, but it comes anyways. Then again, am I ever ready for anything garden-related? From seed starting season to the first frost I am constantly begging for mercy and more time while simultaneously wishing for spring and summer to come sooner and end my winter misery.

Apparently, I can’t have it both ways. Harrumph.

I’m REALLY not ready this year. So much so that I forgot about it completely until the catalogs started to appear in my mailbox. What will I grow? More importantly where will I grow? We keep saying this is the year we move. But we can never find the right place or there is too much work to be done and moving is too big a distraction or there is some reason why I can’t move the roof garden right now. And when I look for a new place to live and garden the endless list of requirements are too impossible to meet on a budget. I need appropriate indoor space, and I need some kind of decent outdoor space whether it be in-ground or on a roof or balcony that also gets lots of light because, I’m sorry, but I have to grow my sun-loving vegetables and herbs, and apparently over the years that has become more important than the thousands of things I hate about our current apartment. So this is the year we move. For real! I swear.

But how do I make plans with such a big question mark looming?

Whether I’m ready for it or not the march towards seed starting season presses on. Just today I sent in my yearly Seeds of Diversity membership payment in response to a final, act now or you’re out you irresponsible jerk notice. Is it really time to renew already? And to make matters worse I received notice that Seedy Saturday Toronto is happening earlier than ever this year. February 28! Only a month and a bit away.

Not ready!

Botanical Interests sent me some seeds recently. When they asked what I’d like to try I laughed to myself, chuckling about how early they were. Surely I won’t be making plans or ordering seeds for ages yet? WRONG! Well, at least I know that wherever my gardens happen to be this year, I will be growing the three packets I choose, ‘Zeolights’ Calendula, ‘Ruby Streaks’ Mustard Greens, and ‘Valentine’ Mesclun Mix come hell or high water.

It’s a start….

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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29 thoughts on “The Impending Arrival of Seed Starting Season

  1. I’ve been hit with all my catalogs in just the past 2-3 weeks. I saw a variety of corn in Seed Savers Exchange that said it could be grown in containers, and I thought of you.

    I’m still whittling down my selections for the year. We’re expanding the veggie patch to include a much larger section for tomatoes, especially paste tomatoes so we can do our own sauce this year. That makes the planning a bit easier. I’ll have a lot more room.

  2. ARGH! NOT YET!!


    Thanks for the reminder. That’s been one of the things on the back of my mind for a few weeks and I keep meaning to set time aside to actually plan my attack. I can’t help being optimistic about the energy I’ll have and the things I’ll accomplish now that the anemia is under control (OMG ENERGY?!) and I’m back into yoga (OMG ENERGY!?).

    We’ll see how much the kids actually let me get done. Still, it’s good to be optimistic right? If so, I’ll be spending way more on seeds than I really should.

  3. It is cold, there is snow, and the high tomorrow is zero. While I’m not ready for all of the work fo growing my deal seeds, I am ready for spring weather — sunshine and warmth. So bring it on, I say!

  4. Down here in 7B I should have ordered 2 weeks ago, but I waited until this past weekend. After filling my cart on a couple of sites I was greeted with a message on one “… all orders have a minimum processing time of 28 business days…” WHHAA!!?? I had to back the peppers and tomatoes out of my shopping cart and go with a faster, but more expensive supplier.

    I’m sooo excited to get started. Even my husband made some new requests this year, including Luffa!

  5. Well I actually started the beginnings of my inside seeds yeaterday. I felt it looming over me like a big black cloud, now that it is done, I can breathe easier………until the other seed packets start glaring at me.

  6. I sat down and actually completed and sent in all my seed orders- very excited to purchase the majority from “Sand Hill Preservation Center” in Iowa…new to me, but they are apparently a couple that has a huge passion for preserving and growing heritage varieties of poultry and vegetables. While I had to pass on the chickens, I ordered a HUGE selection of heirloom vegetables for ridiculously low prices. If you are in the midwestern united states, check them out…they won’t accept orders by phone or email, nor can you pay with credit cards. They have a whole philosophy/manifesto in the front of their seed/poultry catalog that I just loved!
    Bring on the -35 weather we’re expecting here in Wisconsin!

  7. Tomatobob has selected seeds on sale for $.25 a pack. He offers a different set of discounted seeds each month.

    just google tomatobob.

  8. I’m having a really hard time deciding from where to buy seeds. I live in Delaware in the US. Anyone have any suggestions?

  9. Sometimes I get a few fancy seeds from expensive mail order catalogs, but I mostly buy my seeds from Crossman’s. Since they are a local company (for me anyways) their seeds are all good to grow in the Rochester area. Their seed packets are also pretty cheap, running between .59 and .99.

  10. We DID move last summer, disrupting the season and breaking my heart (I didn’t tear out the last large planter off of our patio and left tomatoes and peppers growing for my neighbours who said they would water — we’d lived there so long that I knew the management would be renovating the kitchen over at least the last month of summer before new people moved in. But, alas! The first thing management did was rip out all of the plants.)

    So this year I ordered seeds online deep in the dark night of January second. I’m trying out some herb seeds right now with the intention of having them grow in the windowsill. The others will wait for the right time.

    But it’s good to smell the dirt again.

  11. I love the title of your blog! I’m sure you get that just about every day. Your blog is also really pretty to look at — lovely colors and photos. Thanks.

  12. Ruby streaks are fantastic, good choice. You might want to avoid eating big, greedy handfuls though – the spice’ll give you a tummy ache in no time.

  13. SO…it was already this time last year that I COMPLETELY OVERDID IT and killed half of my crop.

    This year I know to take it much..much..slower.

  14. I’m trying to get a melon called “Shark fin.” Finally found a site. I’m very excited. One can eat it when its unripe, like a squash, or let it ripen, and eat it as a melon.
    So many tomatos, so little time! so many new ones “cropped” up, and the war against the evil GMOMonsantoMonster creeping up is making me take a closer look at where I get my seeds, but most of the seeds I get are from heirloomers anyway. Its just so hard to get heirlooms to grow during the hottest hots of summer here. So I guess, in the boycott efforts, that i’ll have to not have a tomato garden in the hottest of august. Such a shame, too, unless someone knows of a good, hot surviving, fruit setting heirloom for Florida. I’ve yet to know one to survive.
    But at least I’ll have my watermelons. They make it ALL worthwhile. Hey, you should move to Florida. With the hurricanes, houses are becoming quite cheap compared to other places. Of course, if you buy a house on the beach, it’ll be swept out to sea as soon as a hurricane hits and your homeowners insurance will pretend you don’t have a policy with them, but our growing season is HUGE and we just don’t get snow. Some years we dont even get a freeze. Just buy or rent a house inland and you’ll be fine.

  15. I have been SO excited about sowing the first seeds of 2009. This weekend I sowed a few – check out my blog post on it:

    Opening those seed packets for the first time made me feel as though I were a child at Christmas. It’s because I have a new garden of my own, which is bare and crying out for flowers and vegetables.

    No doubt in a few years time I’ll be sick to death of making plugs and pressing endless seeds into the soil.

    Fennel and Fern – the Stylish Gardening Blog.

  16. I have been SO excited about sowing the first seeds of 2009. This weekend I sowed a few – check out my blog post on it:

    Opening those seed packets for the first time made me feel as though I were a child at Christmas. It’s because I have a new garden of my own, which is bare and crying out for flowers and vegetables.

    No doubt in a few years’ time I’ll be sick to death of making plugs and pressing endless seeds into the soil.

    Fennel and Fern – the Stylish Gardening Blog.

  17. My solution would be to plan the move for after the growing season. Seriously. Try to find something for October (not quite sure when your season ends?), but that way you get your garden, and you guys still move. Win-win right? There’s no law that says you have to move in the middle of the summer…

  18. The tomato Love of my Life this year is an arbuznyi tomato. I only have 5 seeds, so I’ll have to plant carefully or find another source to buy at least ten more seeds from so I can plant a row. Theyre striped with green and red and rather bulbous-looking. I’m excited! I’ve just put three of the seeds into separate little biodegradeable cups of seed start mixture and little green heads have popped out of two. Its got me all a-quiver.

  19. i’m growing zeolights calendula too!

    here in western massachusetts it’s been in the negatives with the wind chill. luckily, i have a local college greenhouse to start all my seeds in soon enough; it doesn’t mean i’m ready, though…

  20. I’m glad that I’m not the only one that’s not ready to begin the 2009 season. But, I have got to sit down tomorrow and place my seed orders, ready or not.

  21. I always feel better when I’ve gotten some seeds strated. Makes spring seem that much closer. I have some lettuce and spinach up an dputting out a second set of leaves also have some marigolds started. Today my 6 yo daughter and I planted carrots and later I will plant stock.

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