January 10th and winter continues. We are still about 9 weeks away from being able to sow any seeds in the garden.
But this has not kept me from getting six packets of seeds from Botancial Interests Seeds to try in my garden this year.
The first thing I noticed about their seed packets, in addition to the beautiful paintings of the flowers and vegetables on each of them, is the amount of information they have managed to get on one packet of seeds.
They put information on the front and back of the packet, as you might expect, and they also printed information on the inside of the packet.
These have got to be the most informative seed packets I’ve ever seen, and yes, I have seen a lot of seed packets in my gardening days.
And, every packet, even the vegetable seeds, includes the botanical name! Even the vegetable seeds.
In a comment on my recent post about Temporary Botanical Names, MSS from Zanthan Gardens asked why we don’t use botanical names for vegetables. My short answer is probably because most people don’t know them. But with seeds from Botanical Interests, we can learn them!
Using this wonderful botanical name information on the seed packets, let me just say that I’m excited about the Lactuca sativa seeds that I’ll be sowing in early spring, the Lycopersicon lycopersicum seeds that will hopefully be the beginning of a new adventure in tomato growing and the Zea mays var rugosa seeds that may give me bragging rights for the earliest sweet corn.
(For what it’s worth, I don’t generally think it is a good idea to use botanical names when talking or writing about common vegetables, I just think it’s fun to know what those names are.)
They also included on the outside of the seed packet other information you would hope would be there, including common name and variety, weight, price, whether or not the seeds are organic, description of the variety, when to sow outside (or inside or both), how to sow, days to emerge, depth to sow, spacing within a row, and spacing of rows.
They seem to have thought of everything in the design of these packets because there is also the unexpected feature of a section of the packet that you can cut out to make a label.
And did I mention they also put the name of the artist for the botanical illustration on the packet?
Even though it’s going to be awhile before I can sow seeds outside, I opened up the Lactuca sativa seed packet to take a look at the additional information inside.
Wow… they’ve packed the inside with several paragraphs of good information and stuff that is helpful and just plain fun to know. Stuff like plant family, where native, hardiness info, more descriptions and general information about the plant, special sowing and germination instructions, optimal growing conditions, and when and how to harvest (for vegetables).
There is also a drawing of what the seedling looks like and a place to record the date you sowed the seeds, that ends up on the back of the cut out label, along with biographical information about the artist who painted the illustration on the front of the packet.
I’ve gotten seed packets before that literally included a one line instruction like “sow outside 3 – 4 weeks before last frost”. Because I’ve sown seeds since I was a kid, and most of the time I know how to sow them, I’ve gotten by on this little bit of information.
But someone new to gardening or seed sowing might need or like a bit more information. They’ll find all the information they’d ever need, and then some, on packets of Botanical Interest Seeds.
Oh, and by the way, Lactuca sativa is Lettuce. The packet I got from Botanical Interests is Mesclun, Gourmet Baby Greens. According to the packet it contains 18% Black Seeded Simpson, 16% Buttercrunch, 17% Green Salad Bowl, 17% Lola Rossa, 17% Red Oakleaf, and 17% Rough d’Haver.
I’m going to sow some of this lettuce mix in a container near the back door just as soon as it starts to warm up around here, or March 17th, whichever comes first.