Obsessive Seeding Disorder (O-Seed-D)

IMG_2000Hello, I am a gardner and I have a problem. Whew, what a relief to get that off my conscience!  But I actually do not want any help getting over my condition, in fact I hope it is contagious! I wouldn’t call it an addiction, per se, I could stop if I wanted to (ha!), more of a vice (because I choose to spend many hours during my week thinking about seeds).  My husband refers to it as my obsession.  Obsessive Seeding Disorder. Guilty!

Because our growing season in Nova Scotia is roughly 20 weeks frost-free, a lot of thought has to go into what seeds I will plant, how and when they will be started and where they can be planted without getting devoured by wild life once outside.  Thankfully, Nova Scotia has a fairly large collection of gardeners who share my O-Seed-D affliction and there are many good resources to help with the daunting task of picking the right variety of seed!  I have found kindred spirits and had great conversations in the church nursery, at my daughter’s basketball games, over a glass of wine at bonfires down the street, during “meditation” time in yoga class and even during the odd moment of down time at work (I would say don’t tell my boss, but I think he is part of the club).  I have been surprised by some of the people that speak up when the topic of seeds pops up – there are many closet gardeners you would never suspect!


My seed box and seeding journal…sigh…so beautiful!

Seed planning for this year started with seed planting last year.  I have a small journal that I keep notes in from year to year with planting dates and techniques used.  I track germination rates, successes and failures.  I make notes about what I started far too early, too late and which varieties were a complete flop so as not to repeat the same mistake twice.  Einstein proved his brilliance when he said “The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results…” That said, I often forget this quote and black out a bit when I pull out my trays – my obsession takes over and it seems entirely reasonable to start 100 tomatoes when I can only actually fit 20-30 plants in my garden! I also have a specific seeding calendar (one of the many charity ones that come in the mail) for tracking planting dates for inside and out.  I find this method using the calendar a quick and easy way to keep myself on track without too many fancy spreadsheets or by trying to keep seed packets sorted by starting dates.


Annual Family Seed Organizing Event – (my gardening minions get to vote and veto what they didn’t like last year). Only the favourites get to go into the box and on the list for this year!

I am not a psychologist or geneticist, but I am quite certain that this condition is genetic.  My grandmother always had far too many seedlings for the amount of pots she could plant and my girls are exhibiting the same quirks to which I simply cannot say no.  Just last weekend my wee girl and I were going to seed just 12 jalapeños and 12 munchkin broccolis so they would be ready to plant out in the early tunnels. Fail.  I gave her the scoop and seed starting mix, turned my back to bleach few more cells left over from last year (to make sure there were no diseases to spread) and before I knew it I heard her counting “22, 23, 24, 25…” of each!  Some celery also managed to find it’s way into trays, and some lavender, and some columbine (because we saw those at the store and thought we may not be able to live without them any longer), and some chamomile (because we weren’t sure how we managed to live without them until now), and some Black Eyed Susans (because how could we go on living with such an unfulfilling ditch)……….you get the picture. Just one more reason to add to my list of the thousand reasons I love that little girl!


See?! I am not alone! Thanks for the support Green Sparrow Gardens!

Selecting the variety of seed can be overwhelming – this is where seed catalogues and a support group come in.   I try to use Canadian seed as much as possible, and preferably grown by sources from the maritimes to ensure the best chances for my Nova Scotia garden.  Each catalogue has planting guides and friends who have been in “the club” for much longer than I have shared their wisdom and extra seeds freely. I have discovered some delicious veggies that I would never have tried myself simply by spreading my roots and soaking up any borrowed wisdom that comes my way.  Somehow, even reporting back how a new veggie is doing has strengthened some great relationships with truly wonderful people.

I select seed for many reasons – storing, freezing, drying, overwintering, canning.  It all started as a small summer garden in my first house and over the years has grown into…well, alright, I admit it, an obsession!  Anyone who wants to join my club is more than welcome, there is always room for more in my garden, even if I run out of space under my lights!

This is the seeding guide from Halifax Seed  and my calendar and for this year:imageimageimageimage image   

This is my veggie list for this year (sorry about the printing):


These are my new picks (so far) for this year:


Peppermint Swiss Chard (Halifax Seed) – Thanks Niki!

Sub Arctic Plenty Tomatoes (Still looking…) – Thanks Brenda!

Green Envy Cherry toms (Burpees) – Thanks Wendy!

Black Plum Tomatoes (Still looking) – thanks Margeurite!

Sicilia Violetto Cauliflower (Suttons), Tonya’s Pick Pod beans (Annapolis) and Purple Sun Carrots (Suttons) for the “Purple bed”

Celebration Squash (Veseys)

Gonevese Basil (Gusto Italia)

Market Express Baby Turnip (Halifax Seed) – Never thought of turnip tops before last year – Thanks Deborah!


Rudbeckia – Just for Debbie! (Hope Seeds)

Columbine – thanks for posting that picture last year Selena! (McKenzie)

Climbing vine and Ladybird Cream Purple Spot Nasturtium (McKenzie)

German Chamomile (Burpees)

Perennial Dianthus (from our own seed)

Have a look at the Borrowed Wisdom section for my favourite East Coast Resources

” An addiction to gardening is not at all bad when you consider all the other choices in life” ~ Cora Lee Bell

44 thoughts on “Obsessive Seeding Disorder (O-Seed-D)

  1. What a delightful post, and thank you for the giggles, while reading. I would join your gardening club in a flash, if you’d have me. When my late husband was in the military we were posted in the beautiful Barrington, Nova Scotia for 4 glorious years. So, your blog brings back many happy memories for me and I always look forward to your next post. Living in Northern Ontario, where it rains all the time for the last two years, so slugs and earwigs have eaten my garden up by marching in like an army… hugs…

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~


  2. I love your colour coded calendars. I could take a tip from you, I tend to wing it when it comes to planting times and it’s quite a mess of seedlings in all stages all over the place by the time May comes around. Count me right in there with a serious disorder. I have seeds spilling out of my fridge every time I get a glass of juice. Speaking of, I happen to have seeds for mixed columbine (are you particular about colour?) and seeds for Black Plum tomatoes. More than happy to share. Send me an email at canoe corner AT hotmail, with your address and I’ll pop some in the mail for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, you are so kind! I have been looking for Black Plum! I planted a pile of mixed Columbine seeds from MacKenzie, I have no idea what colour they are yet but I hope they look pretty! I am most excited about the bright pink coneflowers (Pow wow Berry, I think) and red and white perennial dianthus that we save from last year – would you like either of those as a trade?


  3. Pingback: Seeds or Seedlings…. that is the question | gardening hands

  4. I am a relatively new gardener, haven’t had much success in the past in my Halifax back yard. Now I am outside of the city with an established garden plot, plans and seeds and I am going to follow your calendar for planting indoors and out. Thank you for all the info!


  5. Ok, I feel like I’m so far behind already! This year is going too fast! I finally have a few spare moments this evening to go through my books and seed catalogs. Have my calendars our and starting to organize now. Hoping to build my grow – op some time during March break! Thanks for the mention … the “Turnip Top Greens” from Halifax Seed was a huge success for my first year and a big hit with my Newfie husband. 🙂 I love reading your posts. Question…did you make your own tunnels? How much earlier can you plant with those tunnels?


  6. Ok, I feel like I’m so far behind already! This year is going too fast! I finally have a few spare moments this evening to go through my books and seed catalogs. Have my calendars our and starting to organize now. Hoping to build my grow – op some time during March break! Thanks for the mention … the “Turnip Top Greens” from Halifax Seed was a huge success for my first year and a big hit with my Newfie husband. 🙂 I love reading your posts. Question…did you make your own tunnels? How much earlier can you plant with those tunnels?


    • I did Deb, they were very, very easy. I describe it a bit in a post I am working on now, hopefully put it up next week. They can’t go out until the soil can be worked anyways…you have PLENTY of time! I don’t think mine will even be thawed out for another month! Last year I planted the early tunnels and beds on April 15th, the year before it was March 30th. I will gladly come help you set up a tunnel when it warms up if you like 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: My top ten steps for starting a new veggie bed…maybe it will help a few dreamers? | Nova Scotia Roots

  8. EHRMEGHERD I am so glad I have found your blog. O-Seed-D is brilliant and I have suffered from it every year for about 25 years. This year I have managed (so far) to control it. I only remember buying 3 packets of a snap pea variety and this years experimental is Cucamelons. Everything else will be from leftover seeds and if it is meant to be it will be. Unless I fall down the seedy rabbit hole again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow – best reaction ever! Thanks for reading and commenting, please share your wisdom anytime!!! (I found seeds in my wallet today that I don’t even remember buying!! I assume I was trying to hide the evidence….I laughed out loud in the check out when I found them and freaked out the lady working the till!) Oh well – keeps my mind active and my soul happy. I don’t think that you can ever have too many seeds anyways because of how fun they are to share! Come back again soon, we can all use the mutual support 🙂


  9. Haha! I can see how that happens. I am only just now getting into seeds, seed-saving, seed-swapping, etc.

    My biggest problem at the moment is BAAD: bird attention deficit disorder. Birdies sure do like the spring.


  10. I am a kindred spirit!!! I have the calenders marked up from year to year -LOL. Refreashing to
    know, I am not the only one out there in the world, but in my neighborhood on my city block- I feel like a weirdo-tee hee-but I know , I am not!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this post! O-Seed-D. Yup, I think every gardener has it. I know I have it. Seeds are life! I have to confess just like your daughter I too get carried away with planting seeds, I intend to just plant a few and then before I know it I have planted over 20 too.


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