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Endless supply of seeds and how to have your own

Lovely veggie basket

If you wanted to plant variety of vegetables this year, you probably noticed there was shortage of seeds, at least in Ontario it was. I didn’t find any arugula, Bell pepper seeds and early pickling sort of cucumber seeds also. Green onions were not that good, they really took abnormal time to come up and, generally, they were not doing that great. It was the seed tape. What do you do if you really want some particular vegetable and there is no way to get seeds on time in the middle of pandemic? Online ordering was out of question for me because shipping would have taken way too much time.

You have probably seen and watched time-lapse videos about how beautifully seeds start to sprout if you use the real vegetable. For me, it happened accidentally with tomatoes on the vine this spring. I was digging up soil. It was also time to prepare garbage for the next morning and I had really soft and not appealing tomatoes on the vine in my fridge. They were ready to be thrown out. I simply buried these tomatoes at one end of the future vegetable bed and forgot about them. After a while, I’d say, quite a while, I noticed new tomato plants had appeared in that spot.

Tomatoes on the vine

I had read before that if you use seeds from a real vegetable, there won’t be much harvest or possibly such plants won’t produce at all. That is not true at all. It certainly took some time (May-July) to see they will produce, but these plants are actually stronger than plants which I started from seeds which I had bought. Tomatoes on the vine are doing great, they will be red soon.

The same goes for paprika or Bell pepper. I just used seeds from a real Bell pepper which we had bought at the grocery store. These plants are doing really well, they were just blooming last week, and I cannot see why these blooms wouldn’t turn into vegetables. I have used my own seeds which we normally harvest for the next year: calendula, nasturtium, dill, cucumber, tomato, paprika, pumpkin and so on, basically, anything which has collectible and visible seeds.

Basket of veggies from my backyard

I also buried pumpkin seeds from a previous year’s pumpkin in the soil. It had survived all winter, and I just never got to pickling or using it. My pumpkin plants are doing really well. The problem with pumpkin or sunflower seeds is that backyard squirrels and chipmunks will go for big length to get to them. I had to build a firm fence around, so that the roots of tiny startup plants would not be disturbed. Other than that, just place these seeds in rich soil on a small hill, and pumpkins will do fantastic.

Beautiful dill

For green onions, I cut off the part which has root, allow it to become stronger in water and plant it outside. Such green onions grow much better than the ones from seeds. I’ve been using these green onions all summer and will plant a few more as soon as it’s not abnormally hot.

Backyard gardening

Here is my rating of plant health depending on type of seeds or plant seedlings from worst to the best.

Seedlings and young plants from a nursery or garden center are usually doing the worst. Such plants are much more susceptible to changes in weather, as well as to plant diseases. I’m not buying any ready plants for about 5 years already. It might seem it is going to be much slower process when starting, for instance, tomatoes, Bell peppers and cucumbers from seeds, but that’s not true. They catch up pretty quickly providing the weather cooperates. Day and night temperatures need to be reasonably high for faster sprouting.

Second place take plants which I started from seeds, and seeds were bought at a store. Depending on what type of seeds are available: organic, not organic, colored or on tape, results will vary. I find that some seeds on tape are fine, for instance, lettuce and cucumber, and some are not, I can mention green onion. The best for me have been organic seeds with no color applied to them and not on tape. Certainly, that depends.

The absolute winner among plant seedlings are the ones for which I used either the real vegetable or gathered and prepared seeds on my own. As always, do it yourself from start to finish appears to be the best way to do anything. That includes collecting and preparing seeds or just using suitable vegetable which otherwise would go into food garbage.

Lovely veggie basket

August is time when we can still plant some seeds. In fact, we have to wait until it gets cooler and then we can plant radish, spinach and lettuce again. Depending on variety, kale will do fine also because it requires cool weather. Parsley and basil will have enough time to come up and then, you just take them indoors in October. Plant arugula since it takes no time at all. In fact, depending on your region, there are many more plant varieties, but I’m just mentioning the ones that fit the growing season for me in Ontario.

When it comes to gardening, experimenting is the best way to find out what your plants want and like and what results in rich harvest.  I’m seeing companion gardening is mentioned frequently. I must say that I have used it for as long as I can recall. That was inevitable because my gardens have been rather small and I had container gardening here and there, therefore, I could never plant some group of vegetables or one type of plants in a separate bed. Everything was always mixed up. Like I said before, some flowers literally protect vegetables, and, thus, we have much better harvest.

Companion gardening

Good luck with your garden whether it is big, small or tiny! The most important factor with gardening is the willingness of gardener to take some risks and experiment, as well as observe results. Just like in art which I’m writing about in my art blog.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. I did an experiment last year, taking a cutting from a Sungold tomato before the frost got the garden, and then rooting it in water, then keeping it in the plant room under lights all winter. I planted it this spring, and it is making tomatoes. Tomatoes can be propagated that way, too. One plant can yield a number of cuttings for the garden. I even had one Brandywine tomato this spring I accidentally broke when planting it. I took the broken top, stuck it in the ground, covered the base with lots of soil and kept it wet. It is as tall as the others, and making tomatoes. They seem to root readily.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 13, 2020
    • Thanks Lavinia!
      Tomatoes do well whatever way we get their plants and they grow amazingly.
      Sounds great how you describe keeping it alive all winter!
      I have tried to keep some plants under lights, but it became too much of a hassle, so, I do everything in spring now.
      Experiemnt is the key!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 13, 2020
  2. The important thing is that from your own garden

    Liked by 1 person

    August 14, 2020
  3. Anonymous #

    If you have seeds from ripe tomatoes or green paprika, for example, the seeds come out if you plant them and harvest rich. I heard that in the old days of hard times our grandmothers planted the skin of potatoes as well and they came out and harvested. Af for green onions, if you cut off their roots and put them into water for a while so that the roots can grow then plant them, they will come out and will grow faster than the on
    ions grow from seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 2, 2020
    • I just planted a few green onions yesterday, cut-offs. I’m already so old that I have planted potato peels and they did just fine. I planted that way tomatoes, paprika, dill, calendula, pumpkins and probably more things. I do that because such plants are much healthier. I also never buy seedlings and young plants of whatever from the nursery or garden center, these plants were always very susceptible to plant diseases, heat, cold and humidity.
      Nowadays, you do everything what you can on your own. There’s so much bad stuff out there since it’s always about profits and not that person who purchases the stuff.

      Like

      September 2, 2020
  4. Nicely explained

    Like

    September 18, 2020
  5. Nice blog👌🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    November 26, 2020
  6. theburningheart #

    Woe to a garden!
    I miss my childhood, old houses with huge yards, full of trees, fruits and vegetables, and now I live in minimalist, urban living conditions, for more than half of my life.
    I suppose I could have made better choices in life, but there is no point in regretting what you cannot change, and I have the spirit of living day to day in happiness, and peace, regardless of our circumstances, although I keep fond memories of those old houses from Grandparents, Parents, relatives, and friends, I occasionally sigh remembering, when traveling I always choose old Hacienda Hotels to stay.
    Great for you, it looks like you have a green thumb, and the best part is Spring, its near, and you will get back to gardening, Inese 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 1, 2021
    • Our choices always depend on many circumstances. I’m sure you’re going with the best choice that can be utilized.
      Since I’m always renting a place, this means trying to find such a place. It also needs to have other parameters, and I’m rather non-standard because I also need studio and lots of light indoors. I can tell honestly, it’s very difficult to find something. The least I can do is check whether I can make a garden. When I arrive, there’s usually no garden, not even flower beds, normally some grass and that’s it. While I have been in Canada, I have started 5 gardens from scratch. Not everything can be harvested the same year, and I feel very sorry to leave some great plants behind. I don’t plant just anything, but sometimes chase for a particular plant for many years.
      I probably have green thumb or you could call it very logical thinking and decision making ability. It’s no rocket science to start a garden. It takes lots of physical work, daily work, and I love that. I learned everything from my grandparents, parents, but especially my mom. She used to work in soviet greenhouses, we had no kindergartens or nursery schools there, so I was always with her. Later, we always had a large garden and also fields with crops, orchard, etc. So I have been gardening there since age of 5, but disturbing even earlier. I think it would be weird if I hadn’t learned anything.
      Wherever I live, I make a garden. Life is pretty much a garden and painting for me. That’s cool I think.
      I can understand your longing for more green space. Believe or not, I love living in big cities, quite frequently I have, yet, I managed to get my gardens, too. In Europe, that was much easier to do, not easy in Canada.
      Yes, I’m a spring and summer person. Judging by your understanding of this all, your background also involves the green space. We cannot actually lose it completely, I would say regardless of where we live.
      Definitely, I cannot wait when it will be warm again. Thanks very much! Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 1, 2021
  7. theburningheart #

    Well, I wish you success, in your gardening, nonetheless if you got to struggle from scratch every time you move, even if may cause a lot of work for you, it seem it gives you a purpose, and keep you busy, doing what you love, my problem it’s more Proustian, trying looking at a place, in an  age, and time, that it’s gone for good.
    Maybe  it’s my old age, too many memories, and my sentimental nature.
    Thank you for your best wishes, likewise, take care Inese. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 1, 2021
    • Nothing wrong with sentimental, pleasant memories. Especially, when we cannot be in a place when we once were and experienced something great, calming, fulfilling, the memories come to us to remind that there is a point in life when this pleasant experience was acquired. Body and mind, they remember the nice feelings, and seeing pictures or reading about that can cause one feel as nice as in childhood or many years ago. Recalling good things is rewarding anyway.
      I don’t see gardening as work, although it is. Realistically, nobody pushes me. I suppose it’s that feeling when spring comes, I just cannot stay away from soil. Even more so because some early plants already show their sprouts.
      I’ve heard from other people who’ve done gardening all life regardless of anything, that it becomes such a necessity which one is unable to resist. I don’t even think about food or how good it will look, it’s pretty much a part of who I am.
      Thanks and I hope this year is nice to you so far!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2021
  8. theburningheart #

    I clearly get you, I grew up as a child in a country with mostly rural farmers as our Grandparents, both my of my Grandparents where relatively rich landowners, and both very successful at it, unfortunately for both families both died relatively young, one died just a couple of years after my father was born, and the other eight years before I was born, but both my Grandmothers more or less had the same background, and both at their houses kept yards difficult to imagine in a big urban city, and were very good at gardening, as children we will help them a little bit when visiting, they both lived on small towns with beautiful large houses, that by the way had being sold and destroyed to give way to what their new owners see fit,  one after destroying my Grandmother beautiful house and big garden full of trees, and flowers, with plenty space on the back to have a large chicken coop, who you couldn’t see from the house due to the  foliage,  converted now on a large garage workshop for big trucks and trailers, a sad fact that weight on my memory of  once a beautiful country house and garden were I spent many days when visiting Grandmother, until se died when I was twenty and two years of age, and they sold the property since, no one of the family lived there, or want to move into it, same fate as my father birthplace as well, the only difference I do not know what they have done with the property since in Google maps the place where the house its located shows the house gone and an empty lot, but very likely the pictures are old, and until they take new ones or I may decide to travel to the town and see by myself I have no way of knowing since I live 2, 045Km away, and of course non of the relatives live there, or has any business there anymore, my old aunts all death, since.
    At least the last house I lived with my parents still stands, and has been turned into a chic Cafe, they have a page in Google maps and Facebook and can peep and see the whole place.
    Kind of a weird feeling to see the place turn into a chic Café!
    I joked with my brother just a few days ago, about going there on vacations, and visiting the place as a customer! I did plan to spend the month of December visiting my old town, and my youth friends who still live there, but the plan fell off because the pandemic, maybe this year, God willing?
    Luckily my town had forbid the destruction of the old houses, and see it as a cultural Historical patrimony, unlike so many other towns who are now devoid of any  connection to their past,  and instead of charming old houses, the trend of utilitarian and ugly constructions are the order of the day. 
    There you have it in a nutshell.
        
    Well, wish you also the best for this year, Inese! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 4, 2021
    • Thanks!
      That’s just a nice comment!
      I hear you, all historic buildings and old houses get torn down whether it is or isn’t necessary.
      Where I was born, which is across the ocean and more than 8000 miles away, also my childhood and youth time houses do not exist any longer. In one place, it’s just a field, in another, there is a new building. All the orchard and garden is gone, they have most likely cut all trees.
      Where I live in Canada, all houses are very similar, that’s too bad because they lack any architectural appeal. You could say they are smaller or bigger clumsy boxes. The inside is also dysfunctional.
      It is so sad that all places must be built up with either high-rises consisting of tiny apartments or these box-type of houses without any privacy since lots are cut very small and you can practically give a handshake to your neighbor without even standing up.
      My artistic side really doesn’t enjoy this type of buildings. I love painting perspective and drawing buildings but these Canadian towns, I mean, the newer part especially, is just rows of quite ugly buildings all consisting of drywall and cheap Chinese materials.
      I can understand how you feel about what it was like some 40-50 years ago and isn’t any longer. The situation is quite similar everywhere: huge construction companies build boxy structures and sell them at huge profit.
      Certainly, there’s no more space for gardens and spacy backyards.
      We have to accept this reality or simply move to remote areas and then again, one doesn’t have medical care and groceries are very expensive and hard to get. It’s kind of either, or, but no good choice.
      It is nice to visit homeland, but who knows when I will do this now? I’m not sure when that will happen and flights might be also problematic for a while yet.
      Take a good care of yourself and, thankfully, memories stay with us as long as we want them to!

      Like

      January 4, 2021

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