Garden Seeds Arrived

garden seed identificationInto Garden Mode

This morning I had a rather fun chore of preparing garden seeds for planting this spring. Our order of seeds arrived in the mail from Seeds ‘n Such and I noticed that the envelopes did not have any pictures on them.  Arrrgh!

When it comes time to plant in the garden the words don’t really help me remember which-seeds-are-what. The names don’t always describe the plant. Collage, glueing and scrap-booking fun was in order! There is real truth behind the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words!”

garden seed 2Last fall I saved what seeds I could, drying them and putting them in plain brown and white little envelopes. See the tomato and spaghetti squash envelopes in this picture. Notice that these saved seeds were also “picture-less”.

garden seed 3Since I still had the catalog that I ordered the seeds from, I was able to look through and cut-out pictures for almost all of our seeds.

garden seed 4After glueing them onto the envelopes we have a much cooler set of identifiable seeds for this spring’s planting.

Ready to Plant

fence Gates 10
drive in gate

Gardening is a large part of our lives here in Inland Northwest. Here is a view of the garden after Pete disc’d it with the tractor last spring. It was ready to plant the next day. As soon as ski season is over, we are looking forward to working in our garden this summer again.

Baby asparagus

What does young asparagus look like?

Identifying who are not the weeds.

Never having grown this before, I had a hard time trying to figure out which were the weeds and which were little baby asparagus sprouts. I know I pulled out many of them before I figured out they do not look like the spears that we steam and put on our dinner plates.

From the pictures you can see how different they are from what is harvested. They have a skinny little stem with fernlike leaves, almost looks like a carrot top at first. They grow taller kind of fast, almost making a hedge as they branch out with more feathery leaves.

  

At the roots more spears appear peeping their heads out of the soil. The rules are to let the shoots smaller than a pencil go on up and make seeds, if you take a look you can see the seed pods beginning to be formed as small green orbs about the size of a sewing pin head. They proceed to turn black before they fall off onto the soil below. If you squish them in you hand they crack open and have many many tiny seeds inside.

We harvest the fatter spears that are between 6-9 inches tall. Simply using a sharp knife I cut them off right at the ground and drop them into the basket. Homegrown steamed asparagus is very tender and sweet at the table. It is well worth the effort to grow.