Dreaming of Spring

Test Results: Beet and yellow bean seed germination rate 0%. Will need to buy some. Lucky for me, Oakland Nursery is having a seed sale beginning March 7.

It's the last week in February. Still way too early to start seedlings indoors. But the bitter cold and dreary day drove me to lift my spirits the only way I know how....dreaming of spring.

I spent a nice hour visiting with my vegetable, herb and flower seeds. Back in January, by a quick, unscientific inspection and count, I determined I had enough seed for the gardens. The only seeds I ordered from Burpee this year were peas, basil, zucchini and loose leaf lettuce. I had none of these standards.

Leisurely looking through my seeds today, I found lots going back to 2004. Some packs had not been opened and some were still in vacuum-packed pouches. I'm fairly hopeful my penny-pinching decision not to purchase more of what I already have will not backfire.

As of today though, I'm hedging my bet by scientifically testing the viability of the older seeds (lots '04 through '06). In a southern exposure, between two damp paper towels, I placed 10 each of yellow bean, carrot, lettuce, tomato, beet, cucumber, radish, cabbage and radish seeds. The tray is covered with cling wrap to keep in the moisture. I'll check the tray over the next 5-10 days and count how many seeds of each variety sprout. If less than 3, then, I'll be buying new; around 5, I'll have to double plant. Here's hoping the seeds germinate at a high rate!

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