Delphinium, Fantasia Mix - I used the whole packet, which contained 65 seeds. We've never grown delphinium before, and this is one of the first packets of flower seeds we've actively picked out at a local store to grow. The kids liked this one because it's various shades of blue. The package says the flowers can get to 36" tall but need no staking and can be grown in containers. It also said these will take a full year before they bloom, so patience sill be important with this variety.
Massachusetts Wrapper Tobacco - This one may seem strange. We do not use tobacco products, and we have no intention of getting the licensing to process and sell tobacco products. So why are we growing tobacco? Well, for a few reasons. First of all, they make good companion plants because they keep would-be grazers away. No squirrel or mouse wants to come near a tobacco plant. If you plant them with tomatoes and peppers and sunflowers, you might stand a better chance of getting more harvestable yields with fewer predator losses. Second, the blooms are said to attract beneficial insects and even hummingbirds! Third, the ground leaves can make a wonderful insecticide. Also, sprayed around the outside edge of your house or barn it will prevent mice and other unwanted critters from coming in. A word of warning, I'm told it smells strongly, can stain your skin, and can actually make you sick from the amount of chemicals in it - so wear gloves when processing it. And lastly, this particular variety is supposed to be alright for fresh/dried (uncured) chewing, as well as a fine wrapper when properly cured - since we know nothing of either of these, I can always give the resulting leaves (unprocessed) away to someone who knows what to do with them. A bartering tool. These seeds are incredibly tiny. I think I sprinkled about 200 seeds in this big jug, but I didn't sit there and count them out.
Chives - This simple perennial is too easy to pass up. Plant them once, let them go. They will form a large patch over time. What you don't use will form pretty purple flowers and abundant seed. The seed can be traded, or used to plant even more. An established chive patch can be harvested almost daily for your fresh use. I used the last of an open packet. It looked to be about 100 seeds.
Milkweed - Synonymous with monarch butterflies, milkweed is the plant they lay their eggs on, the plant their caterpillars need to survive. Due to monoculture farming and products like Round Up, it's becoming harder and harder to find decent swatches of milkweed that the monarch butterflies to depend on. At our old house we had a bike path nearby that someone had planted some milkweed seeds along, and we responsibly harvested a couple seed heads (leaving a lot behind to reseed the area). In our new home I have seen a few shorter milkweed plants along the highway, railroad tracks, and on the very edges of the property. We want to make our home as wildlife friendly as possible (without loosing out on our food garden production). It seems only natural that with a property featuring several open fields, we could use at least a portion of the land to plant some milkweed. I used older seed - the ones we harvested from the old bike path - but I hope they come up. Milkweed really needs to have cold time before it will sprout, so it's perfect for winter sowing. Furthermore, I am experimenting. While trying to do research, I heard that they should be surface sown, and I read that they should be sown under 1/4" of loose soil. So we covered 2/3 of the seeds under a fine layer of moist soil, and left 1/3 of the container surface sown. We will wait to see if one side grows better than the other. There are about 75 seeds in this jug.
Snapdragon, Tetra Mixed Colors - A packet of clearance seeds from a local home improvement store. I did try to research this, but all I found was a little blurb about planting it early because it grows so slowly. As a result I put these seeds in a smaller container, figuring they won't need as much head room as some of these other varieties. there are about 100 seeds in this jug. I think they will be headed either to containers or to the septic mound for a splash of color.
Red Freddy Basil - Because why not? I mean, if we're growing green basil, and purple basil, then shouldn't we try red too? A side-by-side-by-side comparison of the different colors should be interesting. I used up the last of this packet since I had two packets. There are probably 100-150 seeds in this jug. Overkill, probably, but RED basil? OK, I get that it's actually purple, but with a name like RED Freddy, it has to be a different shade than the Dark Purple Opal basil I put out yesterday, right? I want to see them side by side to compare.
This year I'm trying a variety of different designs. Some of the jugs have a series of drainage holes drilled throughout the top, while some have bigger holes cut out, and a few have even bigger chunks taken out. I worry about losing too much humidity to having too much of the top missing, so I'm trying to find a happy balance. I will try to keep track of success rates versus amount and size of top holes as we start getting seedlings.
This brings our winter sowing total up to 42 jugs outside!
Today Tony took the kids to the community center to go swimming. I guess they have free swim on weekends during school months. Very neat, and the kids had fun. It also gave me a little time without the younger ones. I love my kids, but sometimes an hour of quiet time is incredibly refreshing.
Tomorrow is a big day for us. We've picked out a couch, Tony will be using his gift certificate thing to pay for it, and will be going to buy it and bring it home tomorrow. Yay!! Since our house flooded last April and took out our furniture, we have been without a living room couch. Insurance still has not paid out, but with this gift card that he won, and couches being on clearance there right now, we are finally getting a couch! It's brown, and plain. Nothing fancy. No automan or recliner or hide-a-bed... Just a three seat couch in chocolate brown. It's new, it's clean, and it will be ours tomorrow. We're really excited about it. Finally, somewhere to sit in the living room other than the floor!!