The True Confessions of a Seed Hoarder
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The True Confessions of a Seed Hoarder

The Quirks and the Nuggets of Wisdom not withstanding

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The True Confessions of a Seed Hoarder
Going and Growing Blog

Some people hoard household décor. Others collect magazines. Some people can’t get enough Knick knacks and souvenirs. I hoard seeds.

I found the taste of gardening success one year with a small seed tray of tomato seeds in my apartment window. I didn’t realize at the time that I had started the seeds sort of late in the season or that initially I chose the wrong window in my house to start with, but my little seedlings still chose to sprout in May. Of all places, I was shopping at an office depot when I found an “as seen on tv” Topsy Turvy tomato planter and a pack of starter seeds. I didn’t think I had a green thumb, I was just thrifty. We liked making salsa and bought loads of tomatoes every week and I thought, “What If I grew some tomatoes on my balcony? How hard can it be?”

The seeds grew, I followed transplanting instructions, and I got a big healthy tomato plant in November. By December it started setting fruit and was in danger of freezing so there I was transferring the plant inside every evening and putting it out in the sun every morning. By January I had 60 red tomatoes on the vine and my husband came home from deployment so impressed that he bought me books about gardening in containers. My obsession began.

I began ordering seed catalogues online for the New Year and I studied companion planting guides to decide what I should plant in each pot and with what. In early January I planted seeds in small trays in the windows and in the evenings I placed the tray under the stove light so they could have a bit more light and warmth a bit longer (hoping they’d sprout sooner). As the seeds matured, I thinned them and transplanted them into slightly bigger containers. I watched and waited for that first day of spring date each March that couldn’t come soon enough and then transplanted the seeds into the bigger the pots. The rest of the year I savored the success of watching them grow and fruit until at last the winter got too cold and it was time to refresh the pots for the next season.

Each year I developed new quirks and hoarding habits such as…

Saving egg shells. Instead of tossing cracked egg shells in the trash I began to rinse them and place them in my window to dry. My kitchen is sometimes cluttered with egg shells that I’m saving for the garden A).as small containers to plant seeds in and B). crushed compostable material to mix into the soil. My husband, who hates clutter, even leaves me egg shells in the sink when he cooks breakfast—true love! Currently I have several cartons of dry egg shells taking up space in my pantry.


I buy interesting looking fruits and vegetables from farmers markets and Whole Foods so that I can save the seeds. My favorite has been the yellow pear tomato which turned out to be my most productive tomato plant to date!

While other people are making New Year’s resolutions I’m thumbing through seed catalogues highlighting and making notes while book marking my favorite gardening book “Carrots Love Tomatoes”.

While other women cringe at the sight of creepy crawly insects I’m making a note of what they look like so that I can check my “Good Bug, Bad Bug” book to see if the bugs will eat my plants or eat the bugs that do. Here's an example.

I love worms. They create liquid gold in the soil that helps plants perform well. I’ve occasionally found a worm in the yard, scooped it up carefully with a shovel and placed it into one of my pots so that it can get to work fertilizing my plants.

Occasionally I throw caterpillars. I love butterflies so I feel bad killing caterpillars (unless there is an infestation) but I don’t want them eating through my veggies so I pick them up with a shovel and throw them far away to munch on something else.

I’ve actually stressed about how to transfer my seed collection in moves. I worried that TSA would confiscate them because they didn’t want plant matter to go to another country or that there would be an obscure rule in military shipping policies.

When some people see dead flower heads on plants, I look to see if I can find the seeds they produce. I’ve occasionally picked dead heads from road sides, neighborhood flower beds, and public landscapes and stuffed them in my pocket to save for later.

I have bags and bags of seeds I’ve collected with dates.

One time my husband gave me a hundred dollars to spend on seeds from rareseeds.com at Christmas. I used every penny.

The parable of the sower in Mark 4 never made more sense to me than when I started planting seeds in my garden. Even though it’s a metaphor, it reminds me of truths about gardening. As I garden I am reminded about the truths of life. Sometimes you try to do good things for others, but they are not ready to receive it. Other times you scatter good words and good works and a lush beautiful harvest results after some time has passed. Sometimes you seed your seeds bloom and other times you don’t. Planting seeds reminds me that nothing in my life is guaranteed, but everything in life has possibility.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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