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THE USEFUL AND USELESS GARDEN CATALOGUES

Back in the 1980s in El Paso Texas when I started ordering seeds from Garden Catalogues, I would usually get the catalogues in January and February. Now here in Rockport, Texas on the Gulf Coast, I get the catalogues around the first of December. I continue to get the same catalogues once or twice more through March.

My pattern is that I begin reading and marking the catalogues when I get them looking for seeds I usually plant and for new plant seed that I may want to try. Then in the last week of December I get out all the seeds I have left in the small refrigerator I have in my garden shed. I make a list of all the seeds and note what seeds I need to reorder that are gone or in short supply. The first week in January I pick 2 or 3 catalogues from which I will order seeds and call in my order.

I usually save about 6 catalogues in case I need to reorder during the summer or fall. The catalogues from last year are useless unless they are specialty catalogues. The new catalogues beyond the six I save are useless. The duplicate new catalogues are useless. The useless catalogues are taken to the recycle center in Corpus Christi. Yes, I sometimes look on the internet at the various seed companies’ products, but that is not the same as having a catalogue I can hold and mark up.

Spray-N-Grow is a garden product catalogue that I keep. However, I gave my latest issue to my new neighbor who wants to learn to garden. I marked products in it that she will need to purchase. My wife just got through asking where the latest issue is and fussing because she didn’t get to look it over. Did you see that both liquid and dried molasses were in the 2018 catalogue?

I have already made 30 gallons of Liquid Microbial Concentrate (LMC). I added 5 gallons of LMC to another garbage can with 10 gallons of rain water. I diluted over a quart of molasses in the 15 gallons plus adding fish emulsion, kelp liquid and other soluble organic fertilizers. I used a sprinkling can with large holes to drench my lettuce, spinach, cabbages, onions, peppers, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and squash. I had already been spraying these plants with Spray-N-Grow and Bill’s Perfect Fertilizer. Several of the tomato plants are over two feet tall, nearly two feet wide, with a trunk an inch or more thick, and they are blooming.

One of the lettuces I have grown this year is Allstar Gourmet Lettuce Mix from Johnny’ Select Seeds catalogue. They are multi-colored and textured leaf lettuces that grow back within a day or so after I cut them. The new cabbage I have been growing is Caraflex from Burpee, which has an upside down cone shape. It grows into a large dark green head that is tender and sweet with a crisp flavor. The leaves can be used like lettuce.

-Herman Green

4/25/2018    Garden Journals