Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fifteen tiny miracles

Fifteen wrinkled peas scratched into the damp earth with a whispered prayer.  A day, a week, and then...fifteen tiny miracles, stretching towards the sky. 

Golden Sweet Peas.  Mahalo Jane!

Gardeners know that a seed is just a promise with an expiration date. Time, light, and moisture all conspire against the fulfillment of that promise. So how did these seeds, saved in 2012, beat the odds?  Skillful storage and a pinch of luck is my best guess but i'll have to ask the gardener who stewarded them to know for sure. Maybe she'll share her secrets in the comments section.

Germination rates from my own stored seed have been terrible this year. Probably because i moved the plastic snap lock storage containers out of the refrigerator and into the hall closet. I've been working off bad seed karma ever since.

On the up side, it's been a merry time supporting favorite seed companies by replacing all that failed seed. And quite a few new varieties have found their way into my cart. Silver linings, everywhere you look!

How are you storing your seeds this year?


Jane said...

Such sweet little pea seedlings! I can certainly relate to your situation. Last year I had to buy a mini-fridge just for my seeds. Crazy I know but the cost adds up so fast when I have to replace them.

Julie said...

The mini-fridge, not just for beer anymore ; ) What a great solution!

Barry said...

My seeds have probably given up the ghost, being locked in a shipping container for months and unopened for another year or more, but now resting in their tightly sealed container in the permanently cool "shop", which lacks any means for heating. I am looking at the frozen lasagna of cardboard, grass clippings, uprooted dandelions, molehills, leaves, da kine, hoping for all those Actinomycetes and their cohorts to digest the stuff, which I hope to call garden beds when we thaw out in a couple of months. I am leery of ready-made commercially available soil, so I am taking remedial lessons in being patient - it's HARD!

Julie said...

Garden tunnels Barry, you need garden tunnels! Actually, being a Goldilocks Gardener myself (not too cold, not too hot, garden when it's just right) I can' t imagine gardening in that weather. You are doing the right thing and i'm sure your patience will be rewarded with vibrant, alive soil come spring ; ) I hope you enjoy better germination rates than I did but you might want to start some germination tests now over by the wood stove. (Cause everyone in Oregon has a wood stove, right?) Or just buy new ones. That's always a lot of fun ; )

Barry said...

Yeah-yeah-yeah, I will be trying some germination rates with water, plain and 1:10 3% hydrogen peroxide, in "Charmin Wraps", but how you guessed I gotta buy a new wood stove? I wish the little cheapie propane-fired heater we got with this money-pit worked, but it just won't put therms out I can feel. We just got 4 inches of snow today, turning to rain tonight, so I will hunker down with the stack of seed catalogs all weekend!