My bedtime reading for the last for the last couple of weeks has consisted of the seed catalogs you see here and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.
If it’s been an especially long day, all the conquistadors begin to blur together into one vague Francisco Ponce de León de Cabeza Pizarro Cortés… and honestly? I read that book because I find it less overwhelming than the seed catalogs.
Perennial. Annual. Biennial. Hybrid. Open-pollinated. Organic. Heirloom. Determinate. Indeterminate. Semi-determinate. Gynoecious. Monoecious. Parthenocarpic. Mycorrhizae.
My sister’s neighbor’s cousin’s friend said that this one time she said mycorrhizae three times in the bathroom mirror in the dark and then… okay, fine, sorry.
But really, it’s like a whole other language to learn and then — AND THEN — you still have to decide which actual seeds to buy. Pickling cucumbers or slicing? Cherry tomatoes? Beefsteak? Paste? Full sun? Part shade? Full shade?
Which brings me back to the title of this post: gardeners, how do you ever choose?
I think I have finally narrowed my options down to the following:
- two varieties of cucumber (one for slicing, one for pickling)
- Charentais melon
- a sweet pepper and a medium-hot pepper
- cherry, beefsteak, and green zebra tomatoes
- snap peas
- string beans
- napa cabbage (hello, homemade kimchi)
- kai-lan a.k.a. Chinese broccoli (if I can find seeds)
- cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, and dill
- and maybe butternut squash if I still have room
At any rate, any and all advice is appreciated. Whether I will manage to follow it remains to be seen.