Spring is still a good two months away here in Anchorage, and the "safe" planting date is another couple of weeks beyond that. Does this fact stop retailers from putting out all sorts of seeds and corms and tubers with seductive packaging? Nope. Does this fact stop me from buying them even though I know better? Nope.
Granted, I can and do start spring early with fluorescent lights. But every year I start things too early, and I plant too many, and I have a lot of fun trying to fit everything on a limited number of shelves. I usually make shopping lists to help limit the number of plants I bring home, but being a dedicated optimist I usually tell myself I can fit in a couple more flats of seedlings somewhere. Then into the cart go those kale seeds (even though I have six other varieties of kale at home.) Into the cart go twice the number of begonias I have on my garden plan. (The colors are all mouthwatering!) Into the cart go those cherry red lupine seeds. (I have no place for red lupine in in my yard. But it's red lupine! It belongs in my garden!)
Anyhoo, for any who are interested, here is my list of recently acquired plant goodies:
1. Tuberous begonias for hanging baskets, in hot pink, apricot, and red
2. Dinner plate dahlias 'Kalinka' and 'Aloha'
3. Shallots (I had shallots for the first time last year because of a friend's recommendations. At first I was inclined to believe they were just glorified onions until I sauteed them in butter and then broiled them on some halibut with parmesan. Holy freakin' yummy cow!!)
4. Onions (Which come in a bag of two billion bulbs. Who in the world needs that many onions? Sadly, shallots come in a bag of five.)
5. Mizuna seeds (What? You've never heard of Mizuna? Unbelievable.)
6. Impatiens 'Rose Bling' seeds (Anyone up here ever grow impatiens? How do they do for ya? Any secrets you want to share?)
7. Kale 'Lacinato,' aka dinosaur kale
8. Pea 'Progress no. 9,' which is a shelling variety. (It's a new one for me. Anyone ever try it? Is it any good?)
So there you have it. Has anyone else been lured into buying green things too early? If so, then what?