Saturday, March 24, 2012

Are You A Seed Saver Or A Seed Hoarder?

I am a bit of a hoarder. A restrained hoarder mind you. My main 'hoarding' is fabric, books and seeds. I buy them and then they sit there because I don't want to use them. Not so much of an issue with fabric and books, as they don't really have a use by date. But seeds...they do have sow by dates.

Boy oh boy, some of my seeds have sow by dates going back almost 20 years! [Mind you some of those I did inherit from friends.] I have packets of seeds I have no idea what they are! I really should remember to label them when I get them.

All the seeds I planted in the last few days.

As I have been planting in my vegetable garden the last three days in a row, I decided it was time to let go of my hoarded seed collection. What is the point of keeping seeds if you don't plant them? The answer that often crosses my mind, is 'I don't want to kill the plant/what if they don't grow?'. When looking at it, it's a pretty stupid reason. Sometimes things don't grow [like me and spring onions-I can't get them to grow!] and sometimes plants do die-not always from human hands either. Eventually though, those hoarded seeds will no longer be viable and no joy can be gotten out of a packet of unviable seeds.

Introducing the seed 'Mix and Throw' method. Basically its rather simple.  

Get some seeds that grow at the time of year it is. Currently it's Autumn/Fall here in Adelaide, so all my seeds that can be grown in Autumn were bought out. Sort into basic categories. This doesn't really work with larger plants like broccoli or cabbage, which really need their space to grow well. I had three categories flowers, herbs and assorted edible greens. 

Edible greens mix, flower mix, herb mix.

Open all packets and dump into a cup or container. Finally I found a use for those irritating new plastic Hungry Jacks cups.  

An edible greens mix, containing; silverbeet, chives, shallots, radishes, lettuce and rocket...and possibly other stuff.

Find a patch of ground and scatter the seeds across it. Cover with a light sprinkling of dirt if you wish. Wait and see what comes forth.

Oh look, my seed mix grew a puppy!

Now I have almost everything planted for Autumn from my seed collection and my seed box now is much much lighter. Only two things remain to be planted. Some more peas, which I need to find room for and brussel sprouts...if I can make up my mind to plant them or not!
My vege bed now...all planted with a guard dog installed.

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