It’s time to buy your seeds! If you haven’t been saving your seeds, that is. Now mind you, for those of you who are saving seeds, I completely understand how you could become so excited over your tomato crop and making sauce that you completely forgot to save a few ripe tomatoes for the purpose of saving seeds. Yep, you plopped them right into the boiling water for blanching without the first thought to seed-saving. It happens. It’s okay. More tomato seeds are on my list, too.
But take heart! You’re enjoying the thrill of gardening, reaping what you sow and cooking the dickens out of it. It’s understandable that you get carried away. As for my raw food fans, the concept remains the same. Chopping seeds in your Cuisinart isn’t helpful for seed saving, so slow down…take a deep breath and think before you throw the switch. 🙂 I’m just sayin’…
But there’s something very important that you must keep in mind when the seed catalogs arrive. After you eagerly run to the mailbox (or jog—as ice tends to be slippery) and pull out those gorgeous pages filled with plump ripe fruits and vegetables, a colorful array of flowers and herbs, and peruse the list of seed offerings–make sure you’re searching for heirloom seeds. Not hybrid, not super-duper-extra-sweet or double the normal growth potential… Uh, uh. You want heirloom and preferably organic. Why?
Because once you plant hybrid seeds, the ones meant to overcome Mother Nature’s deficiencies (don’t let her hear you say that out loud) and harvest the produce and save your seeds, you’ll be sorely disappointed next season. Hybrids aren’t natural and when you replant the seeds, your new crop of plants will not reproduce the original fruit — if they germinate at all. Say you plant a hybrid Better Boy variety one season—thrilled with the beasts of bounty this seed produces—then save some seeds for next season, you need to be aware that your next crop might be a disappointing array of cherry-like tomatoes. It happens. And it’s sad when it does.
So save yourself the heartache and buy heirloom. Heirloom is straight up what it promises on the label, year after year after year. Plant your seeds according to package instructions and keep moist. Think of them as babies and treat them as such. This spring I’m putting Hungarian Wax back on my list. Last season was disappointing, but this year? We’re going gangbusters!
Wish me luck! Until then…happy gardening!