Question about NARGS seed exchange

ljrmiller(z7 NV)January 18, 2006

This is my first year participating in the seed exchange--looks like 2006 will be my first year as a donor, because I don't have enough room left to spend all of late summer to late fall planting bulbs any more (that means I can take the time to collect and package seed).

I promptly sent off my seed request form, and in spite of infinite patience GROWING plants from seed, I have about zero patience when it comes to receiving catalogs, seeds, bulbs and/or plants in the mail.

My question: about when should I start racing home to see if my seeds arrived in the mail yet? I know donors get first pick, and that second round won't start for about another month, but I'm hopelessly excited (a hyperactive toddler on crack probably would be calmer) :-)


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sagebrushred(zone 5)

Ljrmiller you crack me up! I always figure about two weeks. This way if they show up earlier I'm pleasantly surprised.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:50PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

sagebrushred, that was a bad thing to tell me! Once you gave me that information, I went diving back into my garden journal to see when I mailed my request, and checked my bank account to see when the check cleared (yesterday) so now I'm in a complete welter of anticipation. After all, the seeds should have arrived yesterday, too, right? :-)

I don't know HOW I'll survive until my RHS order arrives--they don't even START mailing until January 31!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 4:34PM
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sagebrushred(zone 5)

Lol! If I hadn't been so busy I'd have been just as impatient/anxious.

Happily for me the wait is over. I had a padded manila envelope full of seed packets waiting for me in my mailbox tonight. I can't even remember when I sent my request in so I couldn't tell you how long it took this year. It doesn't seem like it took very long though.

I sorted the list I had in excel and cut and pasted it to the spreadsheet I have set up with this years seed that will be sown in the next couple of weeks.

Now I just have to dig out a spot where I can set the pots of seeds. We got 10" of snow yesterday. BRRRR and it's going to be cold so it won't be melting anytime soon.

I hope you get you seeds soon!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 9:43PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

You guys crack me up too, because I am just the opposite! Once something is out of my control(like when I send in my order), I let it be. It was studying the seed list that kept me anxious, trying to find enough time to get it done. I usually read something before I go to bed until I get sleepy; the seed list was a bad choice 'cause my eyelids never droop! Yup, there were several "sleepless" nights.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 11:17AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

Well, now I'm in an absolute frenzy of anticipation! I didn't receive my seeds Friday or Saturday, but I did get Ron Ratko's list via e-mail and he has lots of things I Simply Must Try but some of them overlap with my NARGS request and the NARGS seed listings, so I'll do my best to not order from Mr. Ratko until I get the NARGS seeds/second round list.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 7:05PM
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juniorballoon(Z8a WA)

This will be my third year as non doner participant. I'm sorry but I can't remember how long it takes. I always submit mine late. In fact I have it here at work with me today. I have to go and get a 6 cent stamp to reach full postage.

Who, may I ask, is Ron Ratko?


    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 10:03AM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

Ron Ratko runs a small seed company called something like Northwest Native Seed (I'm not sure about the name). I'll provide full details when I get home from work tonight.

I still haven't received my NARGS seeds--I'm absolutely dying from impatience here--so I consoled myself by purchasing a bunch of seeds on sale at Park Seed, then not content, I ordered five packets of seed from Fine Bush People in South Africa (Three Protea species, one Leucospermum species and Cotyledon orbiculare). I finished up my Mr. Fothergill's order, which I will toss in the mail today. And STILL not sated, I bought a few packets of seed at Target and one at a local nursery. Okay, so the impatience was just an excuse. I would have placed all those orders and bought all those seeds anyways.

My first seedling germinated late last week: Echium russicum. Too cool.

Also, if anyone knows where I can obtain Helleborus vesicarius and Helleborus thibetanus seed, I would be thrilled to find out!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 1:04PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

My first germinated seedling (although it is the only thing I have planted so far): Hudsonia tomentosa.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 2:33PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

NEW question: I have lots of plants that have now matured so I can start exchanging seed. Thing is, I don't want to send unviable seed.

Some of them haven't resulted in fields o' seedlings, and I'm not sure whether the seeds aren't viable or because of allelopathy around the parent plant. Specifically, my Allium senescens produces lots of seed, but I never see any new plantlings.

My Kolkwitzia amabilis bushes put out enough seed for me to curse every time I have to get close to them (the seeds get in my hair and clothes), but that MIGHT be where the allelopathy is coming into play, because other plant species don't grow well or at all under the Kolkwitzias.

Other plants known to be wild self-sowers aren't self-sowing at all in my garden--and some of them would be fun to share (I LOVE Knautia macedonica, and I wish it WOULD self-sow for me!)

Bottom line is: should I collect seed this year, test it for viability and wait until next year to be a contributor, or is this a normal thing for seeds to want "nicer" conditions to self-sow?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 2:17PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

You can pretty much bet that under bushes the soil is riddled with that shrub's roots. Yes, I suppose there could be an allelopathic thing going on, but more likely the free moisture that seeds need to germinate just isn't there long enough.

Most alliums reseed well under good conditions. You could cut seed open with a razor and see what's inside(if it has an embryo), rather than trying to germinate them and taking another year. You would need a magnifying glass, and you could check other species seed too. The foat test with water works for some seeds and not for others, so forget that unless you know.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:17PM
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ljrmiller(z7 NV)

leftwood, thanks for the suggestions! I don't have a magnifying glass or razor blades, BUT...I do have scalpel blades, a good compound microscope and access to stereoscopic dissecting microscopes. The only downside to this equation is that I LOVE microscopy, and there goes a whole day collecting specimens and peering through the eyepieces :-)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 6:49PM
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