Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seeds and Your Personality

It seems obvious that when planning one's garden, one should consider how much time and effort she is willing and able to devote to it, as some plants will require much more pruning, watering, etc. than others. The same goes for seed-starting, which ranges from quick and easy to painfully slow depending on what you're growing. Here are all the things I've grown from seed this year:
Cucurbits like these squash and cucumbers (which, yes, I'm growing on a chain-link fence) grow super fast and easily. My cucumbers got wilt and my squash got borers last year, but the good news is that these suckers grow so fast you can just start over (in a different spot of course).
Tomatoes are also pretty easy to grow, though not nearly as fast as cucurbits. Look how healthy my tomatoes look! I'm growing beefsteak, yellow pear, and black krim.
Annual flowers are great for the impatient gardener. These zinnias and marigolds were quick to germinate and grow, and will be pretty much problem-free.
(The marigolds are planted between the squash in hopes that the borers won't like the smell.)
In my limited experience, perennial flowers grow much more slowly. Here are seedlings from some black-eyed susan seeds I had laying around and decided to plant. I'm going to keep them in pots this summer and plant them in the garden in the fall. It's too hot and dry for these babies to get established in the perennial beds right now, at least with the amount of care I have time to give (not much).
Of course, there's nothing like the payoff of perennials if you're patient. Here are some black eyed susan plants started from the same seeds just a year ago. They are HUGE now.
Clockwise: Eggplant (INSANELY SLOW), basil (moderate growth rate), bell pepper (VERY SLOW), beans (INSANELY FAST)

Growing from seed is very gratifying, but if you're not the most patient gardener out there, grow beans and zinnias from seed and buy eggplant and bell peppers at Home Depot! There is no shame!


gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

Looks like you're having great success. Your tomatoes do look very healthy. I love the yellow pear, you'll get lots of them, and maybe even a few volunteers next year. I agree eggplant is painfully slow. By the time it had flowers last year it was fall.
I've never heard of cucurbits, I hope you post pictures of them.

Prairie Chicken... said...

Eggplant I hate you! (way toooo slow). Datura is another painfully slow starter.
This year I'm going to try growing squash UP corn & sunflowers like the First Nations people did.
Black eyed susans - I bought three plants last year and none of them came back this year.. do they just self seed or does the plant itself come back?

EB said...

Yes, I agree with your findings on time. I'm also far too impatient for perennials from seed. Sadly though in England marigolds are anything but trouble-free because the slugs love them more than any other plant I've found!

Heather said...

This year I planted most everything from seed and only bought the peppers and tomatoes as plants. Next year it will be everything from seed as I now have a great place to start them in my garden shed. Your plants look very good and healthy!

millie said...

I've only bought a few things from seed. It's nice to get a headstart on the cucurbits here in the north, although I haven't bought any yet. I started tomatoes in a friends GH, and peppers. Haven't put them out yet. I get frustrated with things like melons because they take a lot of garden space, and mine never produce very well. Beans...and peas, lettuce..usually small space, big production. Nice article.

Dirt Princess said...

Seeds...ugh! I have a love hate relationship with them. First of all, I learned that I planted my seeds 4 months too late....thus the problem. The zinnias and cosmos have all been planted. Some Lupine, but the salvia, vinca, daisies, columbine, coneflowers, hollyhock and black eye susans are just sitting there idle. They are all above a good millimeter!!! AAAAHHHHH! BTW my word verification is CONSEEDS!!!! LOL!

Ginger said...

Catherine- my lil tomatoes last year were clementines, which I LOVED but forgot to save any seeds - and of course you can't buy them. Hopefully I'll like yellow pear as much!
BTW - curcurbits is (I think) the term for all veggies in the cucumber/squash/gourd family!

Prairie Chicken- my BES came back like a normal perennial (not from seed --- it only had one measly flower and grew to be about 6 in the first year!)

EB- oh no! it gets too hot and dry here for slugs in the summer, so I only have a problem with them in the wet spring. Guess I should put a geographical caveat in these posts!

Heather- knowing you and how you don't do anything half-way, it's going to be the biggest and best seed-starting operation EVER!

Millie- melons frustrate me, too. I've had I think one cantelope ever come to fruition, and NO watermelons or pumpkins!

Dirt Princess- I always start mine too late, too! but perennials just aren't going to thrive their first year from seed (see my BESs from this and last year). Your yard is going to be freaking Eden next year!

Susie said...

Looks like you will be enjoying fresh veggies for awhile. My green beans are very slow growing. I don't think they are getting enough sun.