Total Vegetable Insanity

retiredprof(7)March 31, 2009

OK, just after I told you all that I was normal, I took delivery of a few (right!) seed packs and plants today that convince me that this WSing and Gardening stuff has ruined a brilliant mind.

Please, somebody, tell me you have done this: ordered or purchased seeds or plants (not via exchange) that you 1) can't possibly grow, 2) really feel "iffy" about but want for your seed collection, or 3) heard other people raving about, so you bought them anyway. Then , too, there are always those great deals that cause you to buy more than you really need.

Are you ready for this confession? So far, I have the following (all just purchased):

- An entire unopened packet of "Early Sunglow" sweet corn. I have absolutely no room for corn or the right exposure.

- An unopened pack of "super" zucchini seeds . Ditto above. And "iffy." The fact that the zucs can grow 12" in a week has nothing to do with my hormone replacement therapy.

- More beet seeds. I eat beets once a year and in small doses. In the pic they look like Xmas tree ornaments.

- Cantaloupe. It's all I can do to find room for Minnesota Midget on a trellis, let alone a larger variety. Who can resist a happy family chowing down on a 'lope while they have a kumbaya moment?

- This is the best: How about 40 crowns of asparagus? What convinced me that I live on a 2-acre plot, when I'm trying to find room for a few shirley poppies? It was the BOGO deal, plus the allure of hacking off some spears while the neighbors watch in envy.

Maybe it's time for an intervention or a 12-step Gardener's Anonymous program.


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token28001(zone7b NC)

There is no program. There are only enablers. I have corn seeds too. I'll have room for about 12 stalks. I plan to let the cucumbers climb all over it. The trellis I have will be used for gourds and cantaloupes. I've also got watermelon and a single seed from an 800lb pumpkin. Now where the *$^@ am I going to grow an 800lb pumpkin?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:34PM
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1,2,3 and great deals. I'm there, prof. Not time for 12-step - time to get more land! :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:45PM
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I have just over half an acre and have collected 15 types of corn seed, 20 aspargus roots, have ws 470 plants so far and still have close to 300 to go. My gardening eyes are definitely bigger than my yard and I think my neighbor noticed that. Needless to say, I've been offered a 10 x 20 garden space just beside our property line. THANK GOODNESS! I'm going to help her with an herb and flower garden in exchange for use of the space.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:50AM
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Welcome to the cult.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:37PM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

How about this... I have seed packets for about a dozen different kinds of herbs and veggies, yet all I own for gardening space is northern exposure... about 150 square feet of it... all of it set aside for shade tolerant flowers.

I love where I live, we've been here forever and I really don't want to move... but DANG! Eating off the land ain't gonna happen!

Nibbling perhaps....

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:21PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Can't help on this one. I'm still trying to figure out why I absolutely had to have those seeds for the Royal Empress Tree. On a balcony.

But Prof, I did grow a cantaloupe up here, pre WS. Never again. I did get one fruit, about a pound and a half, nice and sweet. About 16 people had a piece of that thing .....


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:51AM
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kiddo_1(NE OH 5)

Prof, what variety asparagus? I had 10 asparagus crowns at my old house in a 3x8' raised bed (1/3 acre lot). Now I have 1.25 acres and have 20 asparagus crowns in an 8x8' by 16" raised bed. You can't get anything like fresh grown asparagus. Yum yum eatum-up!

Jersey Knight - (all male, no berries or seeds to deal with). You would only need 8x16' bed for 40 asparagus and they will keep you in succulent deliciousness for 20-30 years! Grab a shovel and start diggin'! or better yet do a raised bed (easier on the ol' back), grab your drill and start scre.....nah, not going there.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:45PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)


Just in case you were wondering, this IS the 12-step program. For those of you that may not remember all the steps, I have outlined them below.

1) save milk jugs, juice jugs, and other suitable containers. Draw maps of your gardening space and plan for what you are going to plant this year. Don't worry about being too crowded--something inevitably doesn't germinate well, so plan for a lot and know that you'll be able to rearrange the plan later ("be able..." HA! HAVE TO is more like it)
2) Go out and shop for seeds. Check out all the recycling bins on the way home for additional containers, because you always need more; denying it is not going to help.
3) review the seeds you already had, compare to those you just bought, and see what else you're missing. Make lists, and put all your seeds into separated plant families. For some, creating an Excel spreadsheet helps.
4) go to ebay to fill in the gaps. Look up "Peter Pepper" and have a laugh or two, seriously consider adding these to your front flower bed to annoy the neighbors (their dog should find a better place to lift his leg?), then think better of it. Review what other seeds that seller has to offer--I guess I'll have to get some borage to plant near the tomatoes this year, thanks for the suggestion. Look and see if that is the best price on that type of seed, and research what other sellers are offering, remembering to look for heirlooms too so that you won't have to buy the same seeds again next year. Begin to look up all kinds of seeds that will never grow where you live, and then begin to devise plans to make that sub-tropical acai tree live in your zone 4, dry-as-a-bone home--it can overwinter inside, right? Okay, probably won't WS that one, but goji berry bushes, now that's right at home in temperate climes...
5) go to GW to make sure everybody else is keeping up with their sponsors. Check in with yours--dang it, Token has sprouts already! Gonna have to plant some of what's sprouted in Token's garden, because "if Token can do it, so can I..."
6) while on GW, post some seeds for trade, and get some more seeds that you didn't previously have. Read several other posts, and reply to several yourself. Check the get-togethers forum for an upcoming plant trade, and plan to WS some seeds just for the trade.
7) Go to Walmart, Lowes, or even the grocery store for something entirely un-garden-related, like groceries or new light fixtures for the front porch. Hear a subtle, alluring, sucking sound coming from the seed racks (resistance is futile), and have spouse locate you about an hour later checking out seeds, buying another bag of seed starting medium, and eyeing the variety of non-tomato-cage ways that you can tie up your tomatoes.
8) wait for a big snow storm, then fill jugs with moist starting medium and plant seeds. Have no mercy: throw 'em out there in the cold! The snow will protect them. You don't HAVE to wait for a snowstorm--I find the best planting time is when I should be doing something else, like laundry, planning dinner, or working out.
9) realize you aren't going to remember what you planted in all those milk jugs, gatorade jugs stolen from the neighbors trash, and containers from Johnny Woo's Chinese takeout down on the corner, so start a journal to keep track of what's planted in which container, and plant about several dozen more. Scream in frustration when you accidentally "water" your journal, and can't tell what that inky blob will be when it finally sprouts. Relax, knowing that your group will be able to help you identify the various plants if you are unable to.

  1. Wintersow some more, after re-reviewing all the seeds that you have. Realize that there is at least one last tomato strain that you just have to try, even though you don't have room for the ones you've already planted. Check to see if it's suitable for WSing--yes! It's Siberian, for crying out loud!!! Send prayers of thanks up for Trudi and all the knowledge she has shared, and the new cult that has begun. There will be no suicide pact, although the occasional seedling may be sacrificed to an unexpected hard freeze...
  2. Check daily for li'l sprouts. Panic when you don't see any, or that container with tomatillos hasn't sprouted even though the last of the tomatoes were up a week ago.
  3. return to step 1, and don't forget to remind everybody at GW that while this is all perfectly normal, but that you have to go now and trade for some seeds that you hadn't been able to find... And peek out the window to see if the sanitation truck has picked up the neighbors trash yet... Might as well go turn the compost, since it's been warm for a couple of days...

Ain't insanity fun!?!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:07PM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:01PM
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Mayberry: This is too funny (and spot on). I'm printing it out and pasting it in the front of gardening journal.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:57AM
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