Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seed hoarding!

Hey folks,

I've been lugging around a huge box of seeds for years now, adding to
it from time to time, planting some of them, forgetting what's in there and buying more. LOL. Last night I had a big ol' Seed Roundup and dumped them all out on the desk and organized them.

I had seeds in there that I bought back in 1987!!! LOL. I have some unidentified seeds that people gave me or sent me, some seeds that I bought at Monticello on our trip to VA way back in '90, seeds I snatched from public places, etc. etc.

I was going to do research to look up the viability of seeds, how long specific ones last, but decided to sort them first. When I was done, I had three of those plastic shoe boxes filled up and they are sorted by spring veggies, fall veggies, herbs, flowers, grains and natives. I didn't know where to put the gourds. LOL.

Now I'm going through each section, and culling the oldest ones. I did some of them last night, and am dumping those all together in a big plastic bag. I'm going to throw those on the compost and see what comes up. I could NOT make myself throw them in the trash. You never know, there might be ONE seed that sprouts. LOL!

Dig it!

bobbi c.


easygardener said...

I'm the opposite - I sort my seed box at the end of every year. I've convinced myself this is an essential trade off if I'm to buy new varieties. I can't resist a new variety!

About Bobbi C. said...

Hi easygardener.....I'd like to get to that point where I'm organized enough to do that. I'd also like to phase out the hybrid seeds and focus on the heirlooms, too. A friend told me that they are viable much longer than the hybrids. I didn't know that!

bobbi c.

Susan J Tweit said...

Heirlooms and native seeds are generally viable longer than hybrids because hybrids aren't bred for the seeds to last a long time. Breeders select hybrids for other traits, not for their ability to wait it out until conditions are right for their success.

Seeds are embryonic plants after all, and their ability to survive in this dormant state is all about the plant not wasting its genetic resources. A seed needs to "know" when the best time to germinate is, a time that will be more than likely conducive to it growing into a plant, flowering and setting seeds to pass those genes on into future generations.

So think of your hoarded seeds as embryonic plants waiting for their time in the sun. . . . (By the way, seeds of some desert annual wildflowers are still viable after a century of waiting for the rains to come.)

About Bobbi C. said...

Thanks, Susan! Great information. I feel better now about saving these five year old seeds. LOL

bobbi c.