Friday, October 19, 2007

Saving annual seeds

Note to fellow gardeners (and self):

It's that time of year to share your seeds. Think of those annuals that could easily be mistaken for perennials because of their consistent tendencey to reseed themselves. You always have a supply of cosmos, more or less in the same spot, without even trying.

Instead of just enjoying the bounty, why not share? You know that come next year, you'll be spending some of your weeding time removing the crowded volunteers of calendula and alyssum anyhow so collect some of those extras as seeds to give to your fellow gardeners.

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Black lace elderberry intertwined with morning glory.

Note to self (and fellow gardeners):

Think of how much money seed companies are making on some of those seeds that your neighbour is ruthlessly weeding out and tossing on the compost pile. If it's touted as heritage, heirloom, open-pollinated, easy to grow, and re-seeding, heck someone you know may well grow it.

Here are some easy to collect favourites:

1. Cosmos
2. Morning Glory
3. Calendula - herb
4. False Sunflower - native
5. Poppies
6. Bachelor's Button
7. Nigella
8. German Chamomile - herb
9. Fennel - herb
10. Parsley - herb
11. Nicotinia
12. Cleome
13. Amaranth - herb
14. Orach - herb
15. Alyssum

There are lots more and your growing conditions may allow for more or less annuals to self seed. Let me know what works for you!


Seeds of Diversity - a network of seed savers, and information.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The October Tomato and frost watch 2007 - end game

So it's October. Halloween, pumpkins, colourful leaves and frost... Right?

Well in the normally chilly north of Ottawa, strange things have been happening with the weather or should I say climate. At any rate, after a slow start to last winter where it didn't really snow until JANUARY!!!, they are predicting temps in the upper twenties (Celcius for you nonconformist Americans) this weekend.

I not only have one October tomato, but many, enough for sauce and salad. Not only that but the peppers are rebudding and the eggplants are still going strong. I would show you pictures but my camera is on the fritz.

According to some, the average first frost is October 5th which would make this an average year (the weather network is showing frost possible around the 9th of October), but it sure feels unusual as I throw on my sandals and summer dress. Perhaps it's not so much the lack of frost as the balmy weather that has me thinking, which means googling.

According to The Weather Network, a normal for this time of year is 16C. It was 25C yesterday. The record is 27C in 1950. Just be thankful it isn't 1975 when it was -1C.

Get out there and garden but remember the frost is on the pumpkin some time next week!