A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Friday, January 20, 2006

Just a little obsessive

I ordered my seeds today. I know it's early, but my list kept getting longer and longer. Placing the orders was the only way to stop the insanity! I'm also trying to be more organized than in the past. I may have overdone it, though. I created a few spreadsheets. Okay, more than a few. The first one is a Master List of all the seeds that I ordered followed by individual spreadsheets for each company I ordered from followed by individual spreadsheets for each garden with color-coded tabs (green for the Green Garden, purple for the Purple Garden, etc.).

Sounds a little obsessive doesn't it? There is method to my madness. The Master List allowed me to review my entire order and discover I had left out a few things. The sheets for each company will help me track where I am ordering from and if there is a problem with germination rates from a particular supplier. The sheets for each garden will help me remember which garden I want to plant each type of seed in. I have a bad habit of making elaborate plans in the winter, ordering the seeds, throwing them into the fridge and then when I take them out in the spring to plant, I don't remember my plan(s) and have to start all over again. I have also put in columns for height to help me lay out each garden and germination information. Then I can make notes on my calendar which ones to cold stratify and for how long, which ones need to be planted early (such as poppies) and which ones to soak before planting.

Last year, on this same day believe it or not, I did a post poking gentle fun at myself for the number of varieties of the same flower I was growing. Just for giggles, let's do a little comparison. Looking at my Master List from this year, I note that cosmos and zinnias are tied for first place for the number of varieties. Five each. Last year, it was "only" four. Columbine remains the same at five although I am only ordering one kind. Four are already pretty well established. Morning glories also remain the same at six. Like the columbine, I am only ordering one kind, the rest merrily reseed themselves with no help from me. There are some striking differences. I am only growing one type of marigold this year as opposed to four last year. It may actually be two if the one I allowed to go to seed comes back. My normal order of only one kind of nasturtium has mushroomed to four this year. I am ordering two types of asters plus I have a New England aster that I ordered as a plant that went in last fall. I don't believe I ordered any asters last year. And last, but not least, are the foxglove. Three kinds this year, only one kind last year.

On a personal note, we finally got our midterms back today and I passed! We were all very worried. The exam was much more difficult than we had anticipated.


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Sylvana said...

I ususally procrastinate until it is too late to start seeds. But that doesn't stop me from starting them anyway!

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

It doesn't sound too obsessive to me. It sounds like exactly how I would do it if I had the time. But I almost wonder if a database would work better for the garden plots. Last year when I did a spreadsheet for my plant orders, I included a column for where I intended to plant the new acquisition. No more vague "oh I'm sure I'll find a place for it" assurances, and no more head scratching "Now where in the world was I planning to put this?" It sure kept me honest.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Beverly said...

I've been on pins and needles all week thinking of propogation. I can't wait to put those flats in the bay window. I've been looking for Pot Marigold seeds for a while now. Do you know a reliable source?

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Judith said...

Congratulations on passing your midterm! I knew you'd pass. I like this obsessive post you have written about your seed order. Where will you start these seeds--at home, in a MGA greenhse? My family dreads when I obsess w/seedlings...they end up everywhere. It'll be fun following along w/you!

At 3:05 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Beverly, I always order my Calendula (Pot Marigolds) seed from Seeds of Change. The germination rate is excellent and they readily reseed themselves so I no longer have to order them. Last year, I tried saving seed just see if that also works. I'll let you know how it goes.

Judith, thanks for your constant encouragement. I no longer start seeds indoors at home because I don't trust my cat. This one gets into everything unlike our old cat who merely used the table set up in front on the picture window in my living room as a springboard to the top of the secretary! We will be starting seeds in the floriculture greenhouse at Cook College for the herb and veggie gardens as well as a fundraiser for the MG program. It will be interesting to see the difference between starting seed in a greenhouse and starting it at home.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

What a great idea for using my knowledge of Excel. Maybe I will try it and see if I can get some order into the chaos I seem to be in with all my seeds. I really like the idea for the height of the plants it sure would save me a lot of transplating.

Congrats on your mid term!!!


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