Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thoughts about Seeds

I enjoy sharing and trading some of my excess seed with other gardeners. One way that I share my seed is through our local library’s seed bank. Recently Elena Acoba, a local writer, interviewed me about my thoughts concerning the Pima County Seed library in our local paper, the Arizona Daily Star. Apparently, I was contacted by virtue of the fact that I was one of the only people who left contact information with my donated seeds.

Seed Libraries help build community.

On a side note, Gardener’s Supply Company has this really interesting chart to guide you as you seek to start your seeds this spring.  I have moved from using the planting calendars to using charts like these because the decision to plant not just about what month it is but also what the recent temperatures were, what present temperatures are, as well as what future temperatures may be. I try to think about how air temperature trends affect the soil temperature before I plant.


  1. Hmmm...I wonder if all libraries have seed banks. Never heard of it! Thanks for sharing the chart, it will come in handy.

    1. Dear Colleen,
      Thank you for your reply. I don't think all libraries have seed banks but it would be really neat if more libraries did. (=

  2. I have never planted vegetables. What veggies are easiest to start small? And when should they be planted? This is for the Central Valley of California. Thank you!

    1. Dear Daughter of the King,

      So far I have lived in the South Bay (Cupertino), Grand Junction and Greeley, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona. That being said, I do have some bits of advice that may help.

      #1: Determine your level of commitment to gardening. You may be the kind of person who enjoys watering each evening or you may opt for a soaker hose on a water timer to manage your water needs. How many free weekends or evenings would you like to put into the initial investment of a garden? The larger the garden the more there is to weed, till and care for. If you are not ready for a garden, don’t do it, but if you are – starting small allows you to gain the “learning curve” experience without having failures on a large scale.

      #2: Determine where you can garden. Do you have access to a lot of sun, a little bit of sun or partial shade? Is there a lot of work to be done to prepare the ground for gardening? Is your climate and location better for winter or summer gardening?

      #3: Determine what grows in your area. The Central Valley grows most everything – vegetable wise. Though quite a lot can be grown in the Central Valley, growing the same plants as farmers is a big liability. For instance: growing tomatoes within 5 miles of a large tomato field or growing cucumbers within 5 miles of a pumpkin field could end up with blight on your tomatoes or cucumber beetles on your cucumbers. Each place where I lived had incredibly drastic differences in planting, so I would say to check with a regional cooperative or master gardener in your region. There must be some resources in Fresno or the surrounding area that may help you.

      #4: How much do you want to babysit your veggies? Each climate and location has veggies that grow there only when subjected to constant nurturing. Starting with a vegetable variety that does really well with minimal effort builds confidence and allows the grower to feel success for more complex ventures. Tomatoes, muskmelon and other fruiting vegetables are perishable and may fruit when the family is on a 2-week-long road trip, so a friend may need to stop by and pick fruit so that it doesn’t rot and spread disease.

      I am sure there is something that you can start growing now. My personal favorites have been carrots, cucumber-melons and sweet potatoes, but I am sure tomatoes can grow where you live too. Good luck and keep me updated on what you decide to do!

      Happy Gardening!


Dear Gardening Friends,
I look forward to learning more about gardening with you. Your comments help me recognize that gardening is a life-long journey.

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