Seeds forum: Seed organizing

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 1, 2011 7:14 PM CST
>> So it's contagious but only if you already have it?

I think we need to do a study. A controlled study!

I never had much interest in other people's templates except as a source of ideas for MORE DETAILS that could be added.

I wish there were more-widely-recognized abbreviations, but I've even had people ask what [P] meant, or DS after last frost. So for pkt label I trade, I try to spell out as much as fits.

Before I realized that other people might have to read my shorthand, I had a collection of abbreviations .. let's see if i can still find it.

I like the idea of storing by their sowing date, but i found too many ambiguities: some people say "before last frost", others say "late fall", etc. I'm still learning what works for me, and i wnat to be able to find a seed despite not remembering anything about it but the name I use for it.

For a while I thought I would sort by "annual / perennial / indoor / direct sow", but that is even less definable. Instead I have lists of "outside planting dates" and "inside planting dates" based on reading - some things are in both lists and some things have a range of suggestions.

You really can't even go by "weeks before or after last frost", becuase some things may be fall crops in the PNW that are spring crops elsewhere. And "how fast spring heats up" is a big factor, as well as "rains every day all spring and summers are very cool".

In Texas, it seems that the controlling factor is how early in the summer it heats up so much that the rocks catch fire.

Every climate is different.

How many abbreivations can I remember?

FS - - - prefers full sun (like almost everything)
FSPS - - - full sun to part shade
DT - - - drought tolerant
WD - - - needs well drianed soil
WW - - - keep well watered or constantly mpost
DS - - - direct sow
HP - - - hardy perennial
HHP - - - half-hardy perennial
TP - - - tender perennial to tropical
P/A - - -perennial grown as annual (always a challenge to me!)
TX - - -transplant
JC or surf - - - just cover, sow on surface (or "light" - needs light to germinate)
strat - - (allegedly needs or benefuits from cold-moist stratification)
out AFTER - - DS outside after last frost
ASAP - - - DS outside as soon as soil can be worked (BEFORE last frost)
6-8 B4 - - - start indoors 6-8 weeks before average last frost
NS - - - almost NOTHING likes soggy roots.


Corey
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Aug 1, 2011 8:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

Rick, I read your post with great interest. A couple questions come to mind.

You say ".... after last frost" How do you define last frost? In direct sowing some Castor Beans this spring, the package read after last frost. UMASS extension defines it, at a 10% probability as: April 29 @32F, May 23@36F. INSIDE the seed pack further instructions were provided which I calculated put last frost at or around April 15. Of course it was then May 21.

FS, FSPS-Are there official or widely recognized standard definitions?

I personally appreciate your coding systems and wonder if somewhere on ATP a running list could be developed. This, of course, could share space with a dictionary of short-hand gardening terms or Slangonary. One phrase coined by ge1836 "pinch and stick" comes to mind. Short and sweet and describes the whole process.
Evan
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 1, 2011 9:43 PM CST
I think the only standard ones are
DS - - - direct sow
HP - - - hardy perennial
HHP - - - half-hardy perennial
TP - - - tender perennial to tropical
P/A - - -perennial grown as annual (always a challenge to me!)

"WS" for winter sow.

I love one "germination database" that is no longer posted online, and called 'out of print". Here are some abbreviations they used, and each category also has a "usual time to sow".
It started at Thompson & Morgan, then went to "Virtual Seeds" .

I wish we had tabs or columns!

HA - - - Hardy Annual Late winter/early spring.
HHA - - - Half Hardy Annual Early/ late spring. Normally 4-8 weeks before planting outside.
GBb - - - Greenhouse Bulb
GP - - - Greenhouse Perennial - - - Anytime of year.
GSh - - - Greenhouse Shrub
GT - - - Greenhouse Tree
HP - - - Hardy Perennial - - - - - - Late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.
HHP - - - Half Hardy Perennial - - - Late winter/spring.
HBb - - - Hardy Bulb - - - - - - - - Late winter/late spring and late summer/autumn
HHBB - Half Hardy Bulb - - - - - Late winter/spring.
HB - - - Hardy Biennal - - - - - - - Late spring/early summer.
HHB - - - Half Hardy Biennal - - - Summer/autumn.
HSh - - - Hardy Shrub - - - - - - Winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.
HHSh- - Half Hardy Shrub - - - Any time of year.
HT - - - - - Hardy Tree - - -- - - Winter/late spring and late summer/autumn.
HHT - - - Half Hardy Tree - - - Any time of year.

I don't know about trying to standardize: in the software business, it means "why don't you-all do it my way?"
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Aug 1, 2011 9:46 PM CST
you all are good!!

I usually just put the lint covered seeds into a letter sized envelope (after digging them out of my pocket/purse/whatever's handy), stick them, un-labeled, on a shelf and pray that I remember which ones are which come spring...
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 2, 2011 10:49 AM CST
I try hard to keep a name with the seeds and the seedlings in starting trays. I generally forget which was which after I transplant them into the ground!

I typically have one plastic label per 6-pack or per row, but then one plastic label has to cover 6-8 plants in the ground and I don't stoop very well. But usually the bloom makes it clear which was which.

Corey
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 2, 2011 11:07 AM CST
>> You say ".... after last frost" How do you define last frost?

Gambling.

I should have said "after the average date of the last Spring Frost".

One year there were two cold snaps with more snow than we have in an average winter AFTER that average date!

I'm stil learning, but here's my thoughts after dealing with last spring, which stayed rather cold into June!

I think we have to come up with coping strategies. First, look up your part of the state and pick, say, the 50% date and the 20% date. Then, over several years, get a sense of whether your yard is warmer or cooler than your county, and pick some other dates.

I think it also helps to know how mild you late winter happens to be, and how slow or fast your spring warms up.

AND whether your favorite annuals benefit from being started as early as possible, or whther they might just as well wait for warmer weather.

Then gamble. Sow some 1-4 weeks early, most around the 50% or 30% date, and some 1-4 weeks late.

I would say to only "push" plants that need as much time in the ground as possible to bloom when you want them. For plants that do well in your zone, it's easier to wait for the 30% or even 10% date, and plant them all at once. Then, if you get zapped by a late forst, re-plant or fgive up on that plant that year.

My plan is to make some small light-weight hoop tunnels that I can move around or assemble easily, then plant the things that would benefit from a head start around the "frost is still 80% likely" date, and cover them at night. I already have a collection of 2-liter bottles for plastic cloches.

If that works well, I'll do it to more plants, like anything I wnat to bloom earlier. I have a mild winter and long slow spring, so this may stretch my growing season by a lo

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Aug 2, 2011 6:45 PM CST

Moderator

wow I am impressed.. but would never remember all that *Blush* good for you for making that list though!!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 2, 2011 6:49 PM CST
If it means less typing, or crowding more onto a label, I'll do anything!
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Onewish1
Aug 2, 2011 7:00 PM CST

Moderator

well sweep herb farm has crazy labels for plants.. but it works for them I guess .. they give the key in there catalog

page 14 - 15
http://www.wellsweep.com/Catalog_2011.pdf
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 2, 2011 7:04 PM CST
I like their ambition to abbreviate EVERYTHING, and it makes sense in their catalog where the key to abbreviatons is right there.

But if you go too far in that direction on labels you give to other people, the desire to COMMUNICATE the inofmation may be thrawted.

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Aug 2, 2011 7:09 PM CST

Moderator

I agree.. it annoys me to have to carry the catalog every time I shop there.. but I do love the place

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 2, 2011 7:20 PM CST
Yeah, someone there has the same disorder I do:

O. Seed D.

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
Onewish1
Aug 2, 2011 8:23 PM CST

Moderator

Rolling on the floor laughing

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