Need Help on # of Seeds/lb

Lisa_H OK(7)January 10, 2011

I am ordering some seeds to send to Haiti in a few weeks (if I can get them in time!) The seeds will be going to two with 40 people or so and the other with probably 80. So...their gardens will need to feed a lot of kids :)

Here's what I'm thinking I ordering WAY too many seeds? I can't tell how many are in a pound. I am somewhat bound by my own budget or I would order more varieties. If this is too many, I could add a few others.

Eggplant, Black Beauty 1/4 lb.

Okra, Clemson Spineless, 1 lb

Squash, Saffron, (yellow summer) 1 lb

Squash, Black Zuchini, 1 1b.

I am ordering from Wilhite, or at least planning to. If you see anything that might not be a good idea, please let me know!


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Lisa, I think a quarter pound of any of those would be plenty, and that would allow you to order more things. I would like to see you add beans to that. A green bean for summer consumption, and maybe another that could be grown for dry beans that would feed them in the winter. A butternut squash might also be a good addition because it would keep a long time. A pound of beans would be OK, but a pound of squash is too much in my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I agree with Carol that you might need to adjust your bulk seed order quntities a little.

I can't necessarily tell you how many seeds per pound for a specific variety, but I can give you a good ballpark figure for each type of vegetable.

Here goes:

Eggplant, Black Beauty: With eggplant, there's between about 82,000 and 96,000 seed per pound. So, I think even a quarter pound would be too much.

Okra, Clemson Spineless: Clemson Spineless Okra averages 8,500 seeds per pound.

For the Saffron Squash and Black Zucchini Squash, you can expect between about 4,000 and 5,000 seeds per pound with any summer squash.

Hope this info is helpful.

You know, the people at Willhite Seed are very, very nice. If you call them on the phone and ask for their recommendations for the right amounts of seed to send to the orphanages in Haiti, I bet they'd be happy to recommend however many ounces you might need of each.

As for other vegetables, I think that green beans and southern peas could work, but I don't know what Haiti's summer temperatures are like. Some green beans won't set well once the weather is too hot, so for them, timing the planting would be crucial for success. Pinto and other dry beans probably would grow there and would be a great source of protein.

Carol or someone else who has grown yardlong beans could tell you how they perform in heat. I don't have much experience with them but think they're a definite possibility.

What about tomatoes? Do tomatoes grow well there or is there too much humidity/disease? If tomatoes grow there, then some fruity tomato relatives like litchi, wonderberries, huckleberries or nipplefruit eggplant might grow there. You can see these fruits that are raised from seed (and others) at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (

Sweet potatoes would grow very well in Haiti, but I don't know if you can make the timing work out since sweet potato slips aren't available until much later. I suspect it is easy to get sweet potato slips there since they grow so well there.

Of course tropical fruits would grow well there, but many of those are not commonly grown from seed because it takes so many years to get fruit to bearing size from seed size. Cassabanana might grow well there, and I think the last time I saw Cassabanana seed, it was at Baker Creek.

I also think melons are a definite possibility since they like heat so much.

And peppers! Don't forget peppers! Like tomatoes, sweet pepper production can be impeded by high heat, but hot peppers produce great in heat. Not all hot peppers are real hot and there are some that are only a little bit hot.

Good luck with your seed project,


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 2:50PM
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Owww - Melons, good catch Dawn. I didn't even think about those.

Eggplant is a vegetable that many people don't like and it is one that bugs love. Other than a VERY occasional worm on a tomato plant they are pretty much insect free, but eggplant is a feast for flea beetles and very hard for me to grow. I have no pepper pests at all.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 3:11PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Carol and Dawn...oh thank you! Your information was QUITE helpful. Yeah, I think you might be right!

My contact there requested tomato seeds, and I'm pretty sure tomatoes grow there...but I have been hesitant to send any because they are so hot there...and I'm not really sure what type to send.

I ordered quite a bit less of each of those and added a small amount of purple hull peas, green beans, cantaloupe, california wonder peppers, cubanelle peppers, and howden pumpkin.

The smaller amounts I will just send to the smaller orphanage. I can communicate with the director there to see how they do. I don't have a way to communicate with the larger group.

Thanks for your help!

I've sent seeds with another organization in the past, but I never saw the amount of seeds that arrived (ordered and mailed direct to them), so I wasn't sure how many I actually sent!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 4:07PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Carol, I think they must eat eggplant there. It's been requested several times. I would agree with you though...I don't know many people who eat them voluntarily!

I may send a small packet of hot peppers. I honestly thought they ate spicy foods, but the experience I've had with our Haitian student and another family was they their particular food preferences were fairly bland.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 4:20PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I would think that varieties that grow well in Florida would grow well in Haiti. With that in mind, I'd suggest varieties like Tropic, Phoenix, Amelia, Christa, Fletcher, Talladega, Plum Dandy, Sweet 100 and Florida 91. For added disease-tolerance, any of the BHN types would be good, like BHN 444, BHN 589, BHN 410 or whatever.

I googled and found some tomato variety recommendations for Florida and linked them below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Recommended Tomato Varieties for Florida

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Dawn, thanks! I will look into those. I asked her tonight what kind of tomatoes they grow there. She said she mainly sees roma types, but I got the idea she would love any kind.

Carol, the butternut squash idea has been brought to my attention SEVERAL times in the last two days...I should listen to it, I think!

January 1 is Haiti's Independence Day. As part of their celebration, they eat pumpkin soup. I made a batch for our Haitian student. Bless his heart. He ate it, but I heard through other channels later that "it was okay, but Lisa is not Haitian." LOL I am told that no non-native Haitian can replicate it correctly! I had never made it, so I was grateful it was edible. Actually, I thought it turned out okay, but it tasted more like cream of squash soup. Then, yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, who I have heard makes really good pumpkin soup. She told me when they lived in Australia, she used butternut squash to make "pumpkin" soup. It was the way she learned to make it.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:43PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Most if not all canned pumpkin sold in the USA actually is winter squash and not pumpkins the way we think of them (big ol' orange halloween jackolantern-type thingies). I won't say "all" canned pumpkin in the USA is specifically butternut squash, but a lot of it is.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Lisa, what about corn? Isn't that a staple of their diet?

I would think red and black beans would be most familiar to them.

Just some random thoughts.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 7:39AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Rice and beans is a basic staple of their diet, but they are also fairly easy to get. Actually, I think both are probably imported. I know the rice is.

I thought about corn, but we have limited space and weight left. I can send some later. We have to hand carry everything in by suitcase and the airlines limit each passanger to 3 50 lbs bags. The mission this time is primarily medical checkups for all the kids in the organizations. There's 850 total in one and maybe 100 in the other. Our part of the group gathers items for the older kids' "gift" bags. We are sending school supplies, emergency sewing kits and, new this year, checkerboards! That was my big project that year! We made 500 of them from vinyl tablecloth and then counting chips I found at Oriental Trading. We have one bag that is completely filled with those!

I think I will have another chance to get seed to them in March. I want to send some tomatoes and probably some green peas too.

Thanks for all the help! I'll let you know how it goes.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:56AM
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Peas are a cool weather crop so I think you might need to check and see if they can grow those.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 1:46PM
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Lisa, I did a little research on their diet and it seems to follow Creole and French more than Spanish.

They live largely on rice, corn, millet, yams, and beans. They like a strong pepper flovor, spinach, onion, okra, peppers, sweet potato, and fig.

They grow avocados, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, and guava easily. Deserts are french. I didn't list meats, but this should give you a good idea. The spinach threw me for a moment, but I bet it is Malabar or something else that we might consider a sub for spinach.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 2:18PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Carol, thanks! You and Dawn are so sweet to do my research for me!

One of my first request lists mentioned spinach. I bet you are right though, that it is Malabar. Currently weather temps are lows 60, highs 89. I wouldn't think they could grow spinach even right now.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

But they could grow Malabar in these or in slightly warmer temperatures.

Malabar spinach germinates best when soil temps are in the 70s, and Haiti's soil temps might already be that warm since their days are in the upper 80s. In general, you don't want to plant Malabar until nights are staying in the 60s and higher because it doesn't grow well in cool soil or air temps.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I ordered seeds from Wilhite, they came in yesterday. There was a slight mix up, and the okra didn't get sent. That turned out to be a huge blessing! Who knew?! Thanks to a suggestion Larry sent me, I checked out my Farmer's Grain store and got some really great deals. They were clearancing out 2010 seeds and everything was 1/2 price! I picked up some great stuff.

I did find some New Zealand Spinach at Horns. They said it would be more of a warm weather spinach.

Between Wilhite, Horns and Farmer's Grain, here's what I got
(there are duplicates because I found such a great deal at FG!)

1/2 lb black eyed peas
2 oz black eyed peas
1/2 lb henderson bush bean
200 seeds festina bush bean
4 oz pink eye purple hull peas
1/4 lb purple hull peas
1/16 oz. California wonder pepper
1/16 oz cubannelle pepper
1/4 lb black zucchini
1/4 lb yellow squash
1/4 oz howden pumpkin
1 oz black beauty eggplant (wow, tons of seeds!)
50 seeds passport cantaloupe
10 g hales best cantaloupe
1/4 oz crimson sweet watermelon
4 g sugar baby watermelon
14 g collards
6 g kale
3 pkgs butternut squash
1/4 lb contender bean (looks like a small kidney)
1/4 oz anaheim pepper
1/8 oz basil
1 oz new zealand spinach
1 oz red swiss chard
2 oz cow horn okra
1 lb clemson spineless okra

Thank you everyone for your help!!! I let you know (if I hear) how they did.

Larry, your suggestion really was fantastic. There's another organization that will also be blessed with seeds from FG.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:55PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Just bumping this up for Gardenbug, but as an update to the last post, I actually went back and got more seeds after this post. I lost count (and my head) when I saw the clearanced prices and the second time I went back I ended up buying for the 3rd organization that runs an agricultural training program. Those seeds were just delivered in the last week, so I hope I will hear something about their program too.

Wow, I just realized three sets of seeds from Oklahoma were delivered to Haiti this week!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Ha, I am still referring back to all this information! (this time for the Philippines!) Thanks for all the help AGAIN :)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 8:05PM
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