Gardener on Holiday – The Seed List

 In Go Go Green Thumbs

Written by: Sumati Shah


The seed catalogue arrives in the mail and I act like a kid on Christmas morning. I get completely carried away with grand plans of future constructions and new beds….and I end up with a seed list so long it’s laughable.

Rule of Green Thumbs: Set yourself up with reasonable expectations. Pictures in seed catalogues are from professional trial gardens and generally ideal conditions  ~ not your average backyard.

Experience has taught me it’s best to approach the seed catalogue with a good sense of how much space I have to grow in, and of course the Wish List page(s) in my Garden Journal.

First figure out roughly the square footage that you have allocated for your food gardening.  Roughly will do it for our purposes here, it’s just a guide. Not every plant takes up equal space – so review your wish list and reference the catalogue as you go. This is the lengthy part I enjoy and usually get cozy with a tea and relaxing music.  If it’s not your bag then this should be a short exercise for you!

Consider the space you have, and what the catalogue says about size, sun, water needs….

For example, I like fresh peas, and I like watermelons.

Watermelon: I’d be happy to end up with 1 or 2 fruit and the plant will need a big spread – at least 4ft.

Peas: 3 to 4 plants in 1 sq ft. I’ll end up with at least enough to eat fresh while also freezing some in small quantities when I don’t want to eat it every day.

Peas will stay on the list: I’ll have made the most of my $3 seed investment. I’ll just buy the watermelon in season from the market or grocers. It’s a little like banking! What’s the ROI on a pack of seeds? That part is up to you. Do you garden as a food source? Is it for the beauty of the plants? Is it for the joy you feel?

All the ‘tough questions’ need to be resolved for the summer garden to be worthwhile and efficient. The main thing is be realistic with the space you’re working with. I’m not buying it if I don’t have a plan for where it’s going to grow.

So, enjoy checking your peas and watermelons while you create your summer 2022 seed shortlist, it’s one of my favourite treats that comes but once a year.

Happy New Year Gardeners, and happy garden planning!


Go Go Green Thumbs!


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