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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seed storage and what we plant

I got to wishing for spring today I guess and got out my garden seeds to see what all we had to plant this year. Lots of the staples we saved seed from last year and have plenty. Some I have had to buy this year. I think I have so far eliminated all but about 2 or 3 that are hybrids, the most are heirloom varieties. I didnt realize how many things we plant every year till I got them all out and on the table.

I did sort out all the seeds for things that need to be started in the greenhouse and have them in one place for ease of locating when I get ready to start them. The rest are direct seeded in the garden at the appropriate times. Here is a list of what we plant most every year.

Sweet corn- Stowells evergreen (white), golden bantam (yellow)
Beans- Ky wonder bush, tobacco worm
Beets- Cylindra, Detroit Dark Red
Peas-Sugar snap
Cucumbers- National pickling, Mexican sour gherkins
Eggplant-Black Beauty
Leeks-Giant Musselburgh
Cabbage- Late Flat Dutch, Red Express
Okra- Burmese
Carrots- Danvers half long
Onion- Stuttgarter
Popcorn- Japanese white hulless
Lettuce- mixed varieties
Peppers- California bell, jalapeno, cayenne, hot an sweet banana
Squash-winter an summer varieties, cushaws, pumpkins
Tomatoes- Amish paste, Abe Lincoln, Rutgers
Melons- watermelon, cantalope (football shaped)
Cow Peas-Pink Eye Purple Hull
Mustard- for greens
Turnips- for greens

Some of the things we plant are for our use and some are grown as extra to feed stock. The cushaws, pumpkins, and squash are for us to use and for feed for the hogs. We also raise the Boone county white field corn for cornmeal and to feed stock. Sunflowers are another thing that is used for us an stock feed, mostly the chickens. This year I do plan to raise more sunflowers to harvest the seeds for the chickens in winter. I still may order some mangel beet seed to plant to feed to the hogs as well. They also get turnips, excess rutabagas  an the garden waste once each veggie is done producing. Then just the corn for about 6 weeks prior to butchering.

I think this is the list, but we also plant a lot of herbs as well as strawberries. We have asparagus, blackberries (wild and tame), and several fruits.
The list of herbs is quite long as well.

Sage-broad leaf
Common chives, and garlic chives
Basil- large leaf
Lemon mint
Dill- Long Island Mammoth
Also stinging nettle and comfrey.

Some of the above herbs are kinda new and jus now have the seed for them. The stevia, borage and caraway are new an will be started this year. I sure do need to expand my herb bed a good deal.  Most of the herbs are perienial though and will self seed or some just come back the next year.
I have given some thought to maybe making a bed somewhere out of the way to plant a few plants of some of the veggies that take 2 years to make seed. Seems this would be the safest way to make sure they are left to grow and grow the second year. In the garden it all gets plowed under in late fall to get ready for the next spring planting.
I have always kept my garden seeds stored either in the refrigerator or freezer all my life. I have the crisper pans in the second fridge dedicated to just this purpose. It makes them handy to keep track of and when I am lookin thru seed catalogs I dont have to go dig thru the big freezer to find the seeds to see if I have certain ones.

This makes a pretty good storage method I do think Well at least for me. Cause we all know how bad I am for losin things.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.



Jen said...

You could not have picked a better time to sift through your arsenal. I love the variety. I wish you a most bountiful harvest this 2011. ~'Jenny'

The Apple Pie Gal said...

You've got a very nice collection going on! Someday we will get there too!

We ordered several things just for the chickens also. A beet variety that says it can produce up to a 20lbs beet! I had to get them just to see if they really do get that big :)

small farm girl said...

I want to start saving my seeds too. Is there anything special that you have to do to the seeds so that you can use them next year?

Johnna Sutton said...

your amazing! oh how i covet your seeds ;)

stella said...

Hi yall, Seems I have big plans for a big garden this years lol Some of the seeds, such as beets, i ordered 1/4 lb, that is prolly enough to do me 5 years or more. I leave the seeds in their original packs which usually have planting directions on them and just toss em in the drawer in the fridge. the ones I save, i remove the seed from the veggie, dry them well on paper, usually newspaper, then store them in labeled envelopes. As for corn of any kind, it is left in the garden to mature and it will get hard. Shell off the cob and store in a zip top bag and label. Seeds just need to be kept dry and they remain viable for many years.