On Wednesday I talked about some seeds I had received from my sister that she hadn’t planted. Some clever readers might have noticed the date on the back of those seeds–2013.
There’s nothing wrong with “older” seeds. Many will germinate far past their packaging date. Careful gardeners will do a germination test, taking several seeds, laying them on a wet paper towel and seeing what percentage germinates to see how thickly to sow the seeds (in other words, if only 50% of the seeds germinate in the test, sow twice as many as needed).
I’m not quite so “careful”–or perhaps it’s always that I have planted by the Native American saying anyway: if I have it correct, the saying goes, “One for the rook, one for the crow, one to die and one to grow.” So I always plant more than I need according to that saying, although in my yard, it’s more like, “one for the squirrel, one for the chipmunk–” you get the idea.
The above packets, from Renee’s Garden, also arrived on Saturday with my sister’s seeds. I ordered these, although Renee’s Garden is always very generous to garden writers in providing sample test packets for the garden. Since my garden yields have been so sporadic over the past few summers, I didn’t want to ask the company to subsidize my anymore since I couldn’t in good conscience promise to rave about how wonderful they were if rabbits, deer or crop failure kept claiming them as they had in the past. But whatever I have gotten from Renee’s Garden has always been wonderful and I love to patronize them.
The ornamental amaranth is going to be one of my “experiments.” I promised to try some new things this year and so this will be one of them. It’s just for fun–it will not attract pollinators (well, its colors may, but it won’t feed them). So in that sense, it violates almost all my “rules” of gardening: it’s not native and it’s not beneficial and you can’t eat it. But heck, it’s pretty and it’s annual so why the heck not, just for one year?
What about you? What are your seed starting plans?