Spring fever really can be a problem. You go to the nursery and want them all! As I prepare for Ampersand's Fundraiser Plant Sale on May 6th, I find myself assessing how well I have done with each species. I've really tried my best to plant the seeds at the right time and give them the right growing conditions. Each variety of plant needs it's own kind of care to be at the perfect stage for transplanting in your garden in the days or weeks after the plant sale. Officially we plan to wait till May 15th to avoid danger of frost, but after having had a late winter storm yesterday and a warm spring day today, I'm wondering if we can get the frost sensitive plants in the garden a bit earlier. Often we can, especially if we are prepared to cover them at night if we get a stray frost.
I'm growing over 40 different varieties of seedlings. Sadly, I don't have the garden space to even plant one of each so see it reach maturity, so I'm counting on my babies going to good homes. This post is dedicated to sharing with you a few important factors that go into seedling selection for your garden.
The first one is the plant variety. Gardeners like me get a bit crazy with the seed catalogs in January. I love befriending new food plants that are native to or grow well in the Southwest US. So I have ended up with some enchanting oddballs like Tarahumara Chia and Desert Huckleberry or Chichiquelites. When I find an heirloom variety that has been grown for generations within 100 miles or so of my location, I'm all over it. Which is why I have Santo Domingo Ceremonial Tobacco and Corrales Azafran (used as a dye, a saffron substitute, and for dry flower arrangements).