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The Amazing Seed

 

Kathy
Henderson
Columnist

  There are a lot of gardening activities that I love to do - tilling, pruning, weeding, planting, cutting flowers, etc. but none beats planting a seed. You take this tiny bit and place it in a pot of soil and have the faith that you are going to see a plant emerge. First come the roots to anchor the plant and give it water. Then you see a bit of stem followed by two rounded leaves (these are called seed leaves and they look nothing like the real leaves). Then comes the true leaves with their own special shape.  All this came from that tiny bit that you planted. If I were a preacher, I could spend a sermon on this. I think it is a miracle every time I plant a seed.

  Enough of the 2nd grade lesson. Let’s get busy with our spring seed planting of peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, herbs and so forth. But first, we have to order the seed. I love to get mine from catalogs because I get more for my buck and I get to choose from a lot of varieties. It takes me hours, hours and hours. And when I realize that I must hone my list - too many seed and far too much money for the space I have, then I spend more hours making these hard decisions. Seed catalogs are like cookbooks - I can read them like a novel and often my results are fiction just like the novel. But the pictures, information and flavors are exciting. Of course, the catalogs are going to seduce you into buying far too many seed, so get with a friend and share the bounty and the price tag.

  When making your decision, remember, these catalogs list varieties that might be for the west or north or southwest. Do a little research for the best cultivars for our zone and area. Prices vary greatly from catalog to catalog and so do packet quantities.

  These are some of my favorite catalogs. I have ordered from all of them at one time or another and had great luck with most. If not, they will refund your order if you plant correctly (but that is another column).

  Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co: www.rareseeds.com (best to use online catalog).

  Burpee: www.burpee.com or 800-888-1447.

  The Cook’s Garden: www.cooksgarden.com or 800-457-9703.

  Harris Seeds: www.harrisseeds.com or 800-544-7938.

  Johnny’s: www.Johnnyseeds.com or 877-564-6697.

  John Scheepers: www.kitchengradenseeds.com or 860-567-5323.

  Park Seed Co.: www.parkseed.com or 800-845-3369.

  Pinetree: www.superseeds.com or 207-926-3400

  Totally Tomatoes: www.totallytomato.com or 800-345-5977

  For the tomato aficionado and those of us who love reading and history, there is also www.tomatofest.com (which has information on 600 varieties, mostly heirloom and also have some for sale). Enjoy these sites or catalogs and try to get some sleep.

 

 

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