Seed catalogs are now the equivalent of the almost extinct “Christmas Wish Book” of my childhood. The Sears catalog contained more cool toys than I dared to dream of having, but that didn’t stop me from circling my favorites when it arrived. Now I highlight vegetable varieties in the thin seed catalogs that show up in my mailbox. With internet seed shopping I can browse the electronic seed wish book much more often – and I do.
Here in Central California I mark the passing of seasons not so much by the weather as by the crops that grow – during our mild winters, short springs, hot, hot summers, and unpredictable autumns. A seed pack or two may be sufficient for tomatoes and eggplants, but succession sowing on a two acre garden sometimes calls for buying “bulk” seeds by the pound or quarter pound or sometimes in one hundred or one thousand seed quantities.
Often these purchases lead to leftovers from year to year and the need to store and inventory seed PRIOR to buying even more. Sleepless hours last night were spent sorting the bags and packets and logging quantities into a list. Part way into the fall planting season I find that I have seed for two dozen different cool weather crops. Not enough! Some varieties and even some whole categories missing.
Transplants have been set out for broccoli and cauliflower. But where’s the seed to go in the greenhouse for midwinter and spring transplants? And how did I end up with TWO quarter pound bags of All Seasons Cabbage seed but not so much as a packet of gailan or bok choi or even a red cabbage?
Last winter I “discovered” how delicious kohlrabi greens are – even when the greens are purple. So I planted them early this year. Not a one came up. Now I have no kohlrabi seed!
Back to the internet. Favorite seed sources. I must have seed for peas in spring. And spinach. Bibb lettuce. More seed, MORE SEED…