Organizing and Ordering for 2016

The seed catalogs started arriving in November but I’ve just begun putting in orders. I really enjoy seed shopping and like to drag out the process. Often I groom my online "shopping cart" for weeks. There are a lot of great companies out there. Check out the Garden Watchdog list on Dave's Garden for ratings and reviews.

My first order was to Johnny’s Selected Seeds - I got some trays for starting micro greens. The trays fit nicely into my black plastic bottom pans, but I may have to make some adjustments so I can water from underneath efficiently. It looks like I'd need almost an inch of water in the pan to reach the bottom of the microgreen tray. I don't think I want that much of a reservoir under there growing fungus and who knows what else. (and yes, I'll be cleaning that bottom pan before I get started)

This is my first heating mat. In the past I've sprouted everything on the radiator cabinet. Before that I tried using one of those heating pads for cramps and muscle aches (it belonged to our cat), but I do not recommend it. I'll still use the radiator cabinet for most sprouting, but now I can get more warmth under my plants once they move to the light table in the basement.

I also ordered seeds, mostly stuff off the clearance list. Johnny’s is my usual source for disease resistant varieties and hybrids like the Little Leaf Cucumber (resists the beetles) and Eleonora Basil (resists the downy mildew). Of course, I somehow forgot to add their mild microgreen seed mix to my shopping list.

After placing my Johnny’s order I remembered to organize the seed collection. Next year I should do this first so I don’t end up duplicating things. I consulted my garden notebook to see if any of the older seeds failed to sprout last year. (many seeds are viable for a few years but eventually they stop germinating) I also removed empty packets and made notes of things to order.

I keep my vegetable seeds sorted by type. The plastic sandwich bags don’t get sealed, they just served to keep the seed packets organized in the box. The flower seeds are sorted into two categories - wintersow and other.

New flower and tomato seeds from the Sample Seed Shop should be arriving any day now (always need more tomato varieties!). I’m also considering trying to grow some heritage grains for Dylan’s bread making. Baker Creek has an interesting selection.