This old gardener learned some new seed tricks this spring!
(Yes, I can call myself “this old gardener” since I was inducted officially into SGAFO – Society of Gardeners Age Fifty and Over – earlier this winter. And I’ve got the official pin and a certificate to prove I’m a member. )
My new seed trick is to grow onions from seed. Now some gardeners are going to say, “Is that all? I’ve been growing onions from seeds since the get-go.”
But it's new to me. That's what's fun about gardening. What's new to me is old to others, and what's old to me is new to some. There's always something new to try, no matter how long you've gardened.
Anyway, I always grew onions from onion sets, little onion bulbs, purchased in the spring. I’d get a handful of white, a scoop of yellow, and top it off with reds and plant them out at the same time as I planted out the peas, around March 17th.
Then this spring, on a whim, I bought a packet of onion seeds, sowed them in May, and now I’m reaping the harvest, a few onions at a time. These are delicious cut up on salads, or just eaten like a carrot stick. And now, I’m going to sow some more onions seeds because…
Seeds aren’t just for spring!
There are lots of seeds we can sow in the late summer and fall, both in the vegetable garden and in the flower garden.
Here are six that I’ll be trying this summer/fall in the vegetable garden and in the flower garden, compliments of Botanical Interests.
Nodding onion - Allium cernuum. I just like the sound of something “nodding” in the garden.
Penstemon Firecracker – Penstemon eatonii. I have so little red in my garden that I decided I should try this. Plus, I think it will attract hummingbirds!
Leadplant - Amorpha canescens. It attracts butterflies!
(By the way, I passed up on the Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum, because they warned that you should sow this one where you want it because it is has a long tap root and can’t be easily moved. I took that to also mean that it might be hard to get rid of. Plus it can grow up to nine feet tall. My “inner gardener”, the one who whispers in my ear to warn me of danger, said maybe this one wouldn’t be good for my suburban garden, but if you’ve got a big garden, go for it, and let me know how it works out for you)
Spinach Bordeaux – It looks pretty with green leaves and burgundy stems, plus you can sow seeds up to four weeks before the first frost and still get a nice harvest. This means that I can sow seeds for spinach until Labor Day or so.
Lettuce Romaine Parris Island – I like the sound of “crunchy leaves”, "heirloom" and you can sow this one up to two weeks before the first frost!
Bean Bush Roma II - I’m kind of tired of green beans right at the moment, but by September, I’ll be ready for more. These are supposed to take 55 days from sowing to eating, so I have enough time to grow a good crop of these before frost returns to my garden.
But I don’t want to sow alone, so I’ve arranged for Botanical Interests to give away six packets of seeds to one lucky commenter. You can get seeds for fall or get a big jump on spring. Your choice!
To enter, go to the Botanical Interests website, look around at the seeds, then come here and
- leave a comment about what you found of interest (you might entice me to buy more seeds)
- put your name in the Mr. Linky widget by Friday, July 31st, 5:00 PM EDT.
I’ll use an online random number generator to pick a winner from those listed on the Mr. Linky widget and notify the winner late Friday night. Please make sure your link leads me to a place where I can get your email address.
Good luck and happy fall seed sowing!
(Note: Botanical Interests currently can only ship to U.S. residents.)