Sunday, April 13, 2008

Garden experiments

The seeds I planted April 1 sprouted -- but, as you can see from the photo, not all sprouts are equal. The pots on the left and in the back are Burpee, and the pot on the right is Fredonia. The Burpee seeds sprouted right away, even though they date from 2005, but the other brand was slow to germinate and the seedlings are weaker. This is hardly, of course, a scientific experiment. YMMV -- your mileage may vary!

I've been thinking about planting some heirloom varieties of flowers. The term "heirloom variety" has no legal meaning, but is defined differently by different seed companies. In general, it is a variety that is open-pollinated, dates from some time ago (defined differently), and can be grown next year from saved seeds -- the very opposite of the popular F1 hybrids you see in all the greenhouses.

But I hesitate to put all my hopes on untried varieties. What if they don't grow, or what if I have a whole bed of zinnias that the butterflies don't like?

While I'm working all this out, and waiting for the sun to come out, I'm planting some test seedlings. I seem to have acquired a bunch of different brands of seeds (it's an addiction, don't ask) and so I'm starting some seeds from each one. Let's see what happens!

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