A Seed Saver's Garden 2021

Ridgerunner

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So instead of using your indoor oven use your outdoor grill. But don't get it hot enough to burn up the organic materials in it, just hot enough to sterile it. The temperature I've seen recommended as a maximum is 180 F (82 C). They emphasize don't let it get hotter, bad chemical reactions can start. The minimum recommended temperature is 140 F (60 C).

I used the oven once, never used the grill. But if I were to sterilize soil I'd try the grill next time. If it were -16 C (3 F) I'd try to stay out of the wind while doing this. That wind chill could be unpleasant.
 

Zeedman

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If you wanted to sterilize soil for seed starting, you could probably do so - without the unpleasant indoor odor - by placing the soil in a used 55 gallon steel drum, and just leaving the drum in the sun over the summer. Provided the drum is a dark color, solar heating should get the soil hot enough. Alternatively, if you have a fire pit, you could probably get the drum hot enough there, while enjoying the bonfire.

That could be an interesting experiment... there is a place that sells used barrels & drums a few miles from me, so I may try that next year. Not that I intend to replace the starting mix that I use now, but it would be nice to have a backup plan if "supply chain issues" continue.
 

heirloomgal

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So instead of using your indoor oven use your outdoor grill. But don't get it hot enough to burn up the organic materials in it, just hot enough to sterile it. The temperature I've seen recommended as a maximum is 180 F (82 C). They emphasize don't let it get hotter, bad chemical reactions can start. The minimum recommended temperature is 140 F (60 C).

I used the oven once, never used the grill. But if I were to sterilize soil I'd try the grill next time. If it were -16 C (3 F) I'd try to stay out of the wind while doing this. That wind chill could be unpleasant.
I googled grill because I wasn't sure what that was exactly, and darn it, I got a small one of those for free at the grocery store this summer for a purchase up to a certain amount. I didn't keep it since I've never used one of those!:he

It might be hard to control temps in there, if too high is not good? Daytime temps thankfully are not near as cold as nightime :fl I broke down and bought a bag of houseplant soil yesterday.
 

jbosmith

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If you wanted to sterilize soil for seed starting, you could probably do so - without the unpleasant indoor odor - by placing the soil in a used 55 gallon steel drum, and just leaving the drum in the sun over the summer. Provided the drum is a dark color, solar heating should get the soil hot enough. Alternatively, if you have a fire pit, you could probably get the drum hot enough there, while enjoying the bonfire.

That could be an interesting experiment... there is a place that sells used barrels & drums a few miles from me, so I may try that next year. Not that I intend to replace the starting mix that I use now, but it would be nice to have a backup plan if "supply chain issues" continue.
If you do it right you can turn anything organic into biochar in the process!
 

heirloomgal

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The nicest seed related thing happened the other day. Background - this early spring I noticed 2 seed companies appear in Canada that were new. I checked them out and they seemed like really great seed vendors with some nice collections, so I placed orders with both of them. (Well, one lady actually wanted us to do a seed trade instead of have me pay for my order so we did that.) Afterward, I pulled together two boxes of seeds to send to each to help them along in their seed varieties, making sure I wasn't sending anything they already had. One of the ladies wanted to call me personally to say thanks, could I give her my number. We had a nice chat and she was delightful, loves seeds, is a homeschooling mum like me. She loves flowers too, and we chatted about some of our favourites. I mentioned a favourite rare sweet pea (the flower) I had grown for many years but had finally ran out of seeds, and this was my first year not having it. She really liked sweet peas as well (not common here!), she'd heard of my fave, and was growing some new ones this year too to expand her collection. She gave me a few tips on great seed sources for flowers. It was nice and we agreed to stay in touch re: seeds.

Well, I got the mail the other day and here was an envelope containing a packet of seeds of my favourite sweet pea flower - 'Blue Celeste'. Attached was a note : T - Thank you so much for donating such wonderful samples. The Celeste pea was grown in a tiny amount just for you. I will not be offering it yet as I don't have enough seed but this sample is for you. - B

Oh my gosh! How sweet! I didn't even think this pea was available in CA anymore since it was a one time deal when I had bought it years ago. I can't believe she did this! Seed people are the best!


:love


This is 'Blue Celeste' -
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heirloomgal

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The new-to-me seeds are starting to slowly roll in. 🎁 I think these are the most delightful, colourful packets I've seen yet. 🥰 If anyone is familiar with the Hoj (line through the o) Prinsesse bean, I'd be curious to hear its background and history? I never heard of it.

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I couldn't help but open the Painted Lady Runner bean packet. I was really curious to see what they look like. Pretty! I'd like to increase the number of runner bean varieties I have, since right now I only have 2. It's too bad you can only grow one at a time because of crossing. But I guess it helps to keep me reined in and not get all hogzilla about ordering too many. When I grew Sadie's Horse Bean last year I didn't have many beans to begin with and only the purple ones germinated, which was a bit disappointing, though the harvest was good. I would have liked all the other colours too. We'll see how Painted Lady does; has some stiff competition with Piekny Jas! Hard to imagine a more unbelievable runner bean than that one.
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heirloomgal

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Almost bought the 2022 Baker Creek Seed Catalog while out browsing tonight. It's a gorgeous publication for sure, but when I started flipping pages I saw that most of the photos are contained in the 2021 catalog. I don't think I saw many new beans in there, but there was a few new tomatoes that looked interesting - Evil Olive, Prairie Fire and an orange one with a very pointy nose. They said Prairie Fire was the sweetest tomato they had, it looked to me like a red striped gold plum tomato, Brix of 10. Really trying to consider any new tomatoes thoughtfully since I have so many as it is. There is just so much great tomato breeding out there for OP's right now, more than ever it seems, it is REALLY hard to resist. I already made a seed purchase from a company just because I wanted one tomato they had, so I threw a couple more things in there to make the shipping worth it. I've had my eye on this one for about 4 years or so, and this is the first I've seen it in the CA seed marketplace - 'Sart Roloise'. It's white, with blackish purple shoulders. Ooooh, it's a looker. I guess when standard seed ordering time begins, I'll be all done like @jbosmith!
 

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