An Alameda Garden: Taking Inventory

Friday, January 05, 2007

Taking Inventory

There's something about this time of year that makes me crave order, and since there's not a hope in hell of actually achieving that in the garden, I thought I might at least establish a little order in my collection of seeds. Tonight I sorted through the haphazard assortment of seed packets that I've been tossing into a small box I kept in the laundry room. The grand total (once I tossed out more than a dozen empty packets that were in the mix): 55 packets of seeds. Here's the actual list:


Beans: Romano (Pole), Roma II (Bush), and Emerite Haricot Vert (Pole)
Broccoli Raab
Cabbage: Copenhagen Market
Cantaloupe: Hale’s Best
Carrots: Romeo Round, Nantes, and King Midas
Corn: True Gold
Cucumbers: Straight Eight and Lemon
Lettuces: Buttercrunch (2 packs), Black Seeded Simpson (2 packs), Mesclun (Burpee salad mix), and Farmer’s Market Lettuce Blend (Sweet Greens and Reds)
Peas: Oregon Sugar Pod
Peppers: California Wonder (Sweet Bell)
Spinach: Bloomsdale Longlasting (2 packs)
Squash: Black Zucchini


Basil: Spicy Globe
Thyme: Generic and Magic Carpet


Amaranth: Love Lies Bleeding
Baby’s Breath (3 packs)
Canterbury Bells: Calycan mixed colors
Carnations: Triumph mixed colors
Coleus: Rainbow mix
Cosmos: Little Ladybirds
Delphiniums: Pacific Giants mixed colors
Forget Me Nots: Firmament
Foxgloves: Excelsior mixed colors
Hollyhocks: Indian Spring mixed colors
Marigolds: Lemon Drop and Crackerjack
Morning Glory: Dwarf Early Call
Nasturtiums: Fiery Festival and Tall Climbing single mix
Nicotiana: Sensation mix
Poppies: Oriental (2 packs), California Golden, California Tropical Sunset, and red generic
Sunflowers: Mammoth and Velvet Queen
Cutting garden mix
Wildflower mix (2 packs)

(Note: If you could see how little actual planting space there is in my front and back yards, you'd understand how laughable this list is.)

These seeds are the remains of whatever I've bought over the last three years and I expect that most are still viable. They include freebie packets that I've gotten in the mail, bargain packets that I can't resist when they go on sale 10 for $1, and some higher-class varieties I've purchased from Pinetree, Renee's Garden, and Seeds of Change.

I know I'll only be able to plant a fraction of these seeds this year, and another fraction next year, and most will probably not last beyond that. I need to declare a moratorium here and now on buying new seeds until I have significantly gutted my current collection. It is the rational thing to do.

But already new seed catalogs are arriving in the mail, tempting me with pretty pictures and seductive descriptions. They sound so alluring, so easy. Some even include coupons. I am, after all, only human.


  1. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Hello An Alameda Garden's owner,

    Your seed packet list is quite impressive, but I did notice that there was not a single tomato variety included. Reason, if you care to share?

    An East Bay tomato lover

  2. Well, I have grown tomatoes in the past, mostly to give away since I can't stand the things myself. But I haven't bothered to plant them from seed. The first year I bought a six-pack of seedlings and planted those and every year since, I have had volunteer seedlings sprout somewhere in my yard all on their own. I may not like tomatoes, but apparently they like me.

  3. Anonymous3:23 PM

    I'm sure your tomato recipients are extremely thankful, because if they think like I do, there's nothing better than a beefsteak off the vine. My San Leandro garden sprouted several mini varieties two seasons ago (gift seedlings from a gardening friend), and they were the hit of the household.


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