Tag Archives: seed viability

TO SAVE OR NOT TO SAVE, & A FREE BOOK!

New Seeds Needed?

    “Ring out the old, ring in the new.” But not all the “old,” when it comes to seeds for this year’s garden. I’m flipping through my plastic shoeboxes (I think that’s what the boxes are meant for) of vegetable and flower seeds, assessing what old seeds are worth keeping and what new seeds I need to order.    Seeds are living, albeit in a dormant state, and, as such, have a limited lifespan. The longevity of any seed depends, first of all on the kind of seed, its genetics. Most seed packets come dated; if not, I write the date received on the packet.    Few seeds have as short a viability as parsnips. (No matter to me; I don’t grow them.) More astounding is the longevity of some seeds, especially the current record-holder for longevity, Silene stenophylla seed, possibly 32,000 years old, found buried in a squirrel burrow …

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The Tipping Point, Passed

We’re now at the tipping point. No, not the global climate one after which our climate permanently veers off in a new direction. Nor a sociological tipping point that describes, for example, how many instigators are needed to create a mob action. Nor the biodiversity tipping point, the threshold after which biodiversity irreversibly plummets. This tipping point is more down-to-earth and not open to debate: buds on houseplant stems are poised to grow, seeds are ordered, and the sun is slowly rising higher in the sky and lingering longer each day.

I feel it and act accordingly. As soon as buds start to open on indoor plants, I’ll put a little fertilizer in with the water when I water them. Not the tablespoon per gallon per week that’s recommended on the packet label. The plants can’t use that much yet; any extra is wasted and contributes to salt buildup …

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