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Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.

~ George Washington ~
 






























From the GTG Garden and Greenhouse

We walked the aisles of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery trade show in early January. It was just amazing to see the abundance of plants, brought to flower by the miracles of modern day greenhouses. So far, the winter in Tennessee has not shown itself and it has been a real challenge to let the greenhouse get cool enough so the perennials can get a well deserved rest.
I have been introduced to the joys of cooking sweet meat pumpkin, it's scrumptious! Grown traditionally in colder climates, I will plant the seeds and find out if this variety stands up to the heat and humidity of Chattanooga.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, Belle
Green Thumbs Galore LLC


Seed Saving Potluck

by Dava Stewart

A seed is possibility in the smallest, neatest form. We refer to seeds of ideas, seed money to begin businesses, we talk about reaping what we sow, and there are countless other phrases that use the analogy of a small seed growing into something much larger and more substantial. In fact, the idea of the seed is so ingrained, we sometimes don't think about real seeds. You know, the ones that need soil, water, and sunshine to sprout?

I have been thinking about real seeds lately for lots of reasons. It's February, the month when I wish for spring the most. I look out the window on drab, dreary days, at my empty garden, and imagine it full of plants and bees and sunshine and flowers, then I look at pictures of gardens in magazines and online and think about ordering seeds. Little packets of possibility.

I suspect that most backyard gardeners are like me, and buy seeds in a fairly random fashion. The folks who run the Dollar General Store get me every year when they set up a rack of seeds right where I stand in line waiting to pay for my milk and laundry detergent. I always end up buying a few. They cost less than a dollar apiece, after all. I also buy seeds and plants from big box stores like Lowe's and Home Depot, and I order a few from catalogs or online retailers. Until very recently, I never gave a second thought to where those seeds and plants originated.

Not long ago, I read that just a few companies control 98% of the seeds on the planet. That is a stunning number. Even more shocking are the statistics regarding the drastic decline in numbers of species and varieties of plants on the market. When the big conglomerates buy out smaller seed companies, they only continue to sell the seeds that earn a profit. To think that plants are disappearing because they are not profitable is shocking.

Business and commerce are important, but it just doesn't make sense that plants are gone forever because they do not bring in money. Most gardeners I know are not thinking about business when they tuck seeds into the ground in the spring.

Now, when I think about buying seeds, I think about all of those disappearing varieties. Where can I find seed companies that sell some of the 2% of seeds not controlled by conglomerates? What can I do, in my little yard, to help grow plants that produce seeds that no one owns?

It is possible to preserve the older, less profitable strains and varieties. We can teach other gardeners about seeds, and the dangers of allowing a few companies to control nearly all the seeds. We can share seeds with each other through clubs and seed exchange organizations. We can try to buy seeds more carefully in the future.

If you have located small, independent seed companies, please post on our Facebook page and share your favorites. Let’s help each other, and keep our favorite plants available - even the ones that aren’t particularly profitable!


Start marking your calendars: Our Spring Driveway Sale is scheduled for the weekend of May 5th, 2012. Call or check our web site for directions.

 

February in the Garden:

Seed Starting Time

Salsify

Cleome

Triple Purple Datura

Columbine