Saving Seeds-still time to collect them

giant marrow opened up exposing seeds

I’ve been collecting some of the seeds that I want to replant for next year-rattlesnake beans, giant marrow, Japonica corn, giant pumpkin, scarlet runner beans, sunflower seeds, tomato seed from my 2.11oz tomato, cosmos, and zinnas. Ones I won’t take are cucumbers, most tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, and peppers as I grew several of the same varieties and they could of crossed and I might loose the original strain.

giant marrow seeds drying

When saving big seeds like squashes or pumpkins, be sure to thoroughly DRY the seeds before putting them in a zip-loc baggie or jar. Any hint of moisture will ruin them. I just put the cleaned, wet seeds on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet in a dry sunny place until dry. That way they will release from the wax paper after they are dry. I always like collecting seeds every year. It’s fun when you plant them the following year. It’s also fun when you don’t have to buy a packet of seeds for $2.49 with 20 seeds in them when you can collect the same seed and get 100’s more.  I have a friend (Fran) who walks and collects the wild flower seeds and broadcasts them on her property and the her natural garden this year looked awesome. (Did I tell you that Fran?!) Awesome!

When should we start seeds?


I found this nifty time frame chart about when to start some of our seeds indoors. Not all are listed but as I find more I’ll add it to this chart. Our last frost date here in Santa Fe (zone 5) is May 15 but you can adjust this to your time zone as it is listed as to how many weeks to start seeds ahead of your last frost date.

Please note-Anything you actually put out in the garden early before your last frost date, must have some kind of protection.

TOMATOES-6-8 weeks before last frost (sometimes even up to 10 weeks with proper lighting)

PEPPERS-8-12 weeks before last frost. Big  deal around these parts of the southwest! I find they take forever to start!

EGGPLANTS-6-8 weeks before last frost. I find these take a long time to start also.

LETTUCE-5-6 weeks before last frost if you want to start indoors. (I also like to plant lettuce, spinach and different greens, carrot and beet seeds directly in the soil right after St. Patrick’s Day around here as they can handle a little frost but I still cover them with row cover at night)

SPINACH-5-6 weeks before last frost or plant directly outdoors (around St. Patrick’s Day)

GREENS (broccoli, chard, kale, cabbage,etc)-6-8 weeks before last frost (or plant after St. Patrick’s Day)

GIANT PUMPKINS (or any pumpkin)-2-4 weeks before last frost (but you must protect them if you put them out early) or just wait as they grow fast

MELONS-2-4 weeks before last frost or just wait as they grow fast

CUCUMBERS-2 -3 weeks before last frost or just wait as they grow fast

BEANS-2 -3weeks before last frost or just wait as they grow fast

SUMMER SQUASH-Just plant after last frost date directly in garden

WINTER SQUASH-Just plant after last frost date directly in garden

2010 tomato list

Here is my list of tomatoes I want to grow this year. I grow tomatoes for either excellent flavor, or gourmet or for size (competition). I try to pick some new ones I haven’t tried.



San Marzano-red plum/80 days/AFN

Striped German-bicolor-SFGH

Black Cherry-black/75 days-AFN

Paul Robeson-black/75-85 days-AFN

Cherokee Purple/80 days-AFN

Cherokee Chocolate/80 days-AFN

Prudens Purple-purple/70 days-BH,TOMFEST

Black Krim-black-69 daysAFN

Pantano Romanesco-red/70-80 days-BH,TOMFEST

Great White/80-85 days-BH,TOMGROWERS

Costoluto Genovese-red/78 daysTOMGROWERS

Goldsman Italian American-red-BH

Aunt Ruby’s German Green-85 days-BH

Gold Medal-bicolor-75-80 days-BH


Lemon Boy-AFN

Park’s Beefy Boy-red-70 days-AFB

Big Beef-red/73 days-TOT TOMATO

Bella Rosa-red/75 days-TOT TOMATO


Big Zac-red/80 days-TOT TOMATO/AFN

Church-red/85 days-TOMFEST

Timms-red/80 days-dif growers

Hello fellow gardeners!

Welcome to a new year and to my first blog on growing vegetables and particularly giant vegetables! I wish to share with you what I have learned during my attempts and trials of growing many veggies through 25 years and to share this year’s season as it unfolds.

First I am an organic grower. So I will be sharing my knowledge from that point of view. I don’t believe in spraying for bugs with poisons or fertilizing with chemicals that kill the soil. I don’t believe in GMO seeds and try to grow heirloom varieties as much as possible but do also grow some hybrids.

So enuf! Let’s get down to talking about growing stuff! What can you or I do in winter? Prepare for the next season! Get catalogs, order seeds, prepare the soil just to name a few things. So far I went on line and got my catalogs. Ah, they feed my soul while it is cold and snowing outside. I love going over them by the fireplace, dreaming of what I might try to grow this year…