Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mail Time

No matter how comfortable I am with electronic media, news and connecting socially, there's still nothing that compares to receiving mail from the friendly uniformed person wearing blue. Maybe I speak more for those over a certain age, then again, maybe not - what grandchild doesn't like receiving a birthday card with a check (or iTunes gift card) from Grandma? And what gardener doesn't like the flood of seed and plant catalogs that arrive in January - some come in December amid the holiday cards and Harry and David fruit. Two more catalogs arrived at my house today. Heaven, joy...turn off the T.V. computer, cell phone, pour a cup of tea and wake me in the morning - I'm going to be busy this evening (and all week) dreaming and dog-earing catalog pages.

What about you, are you getting catalogs by snail mail? No criticism if you're new school and prefer to save resources by only subscribing to on line looking. Please don't hold it against me, I recycle. 

So, where does one go from here after the catalog items are circled, the pages are bent or drooled on, "sorry if that is too graphic, maybe I should leave out this reference, too late." Do you have decision fatigue over what to purchase or are you totally in control and stay within budget which in fantasy could be anywhere from $5.00 to $500,000. "Wouldn't it be great if the publisher clearing house van arrived right after the mail carrier?"

Here's why it is so hard to choose - many of the descriptions sound so wonderful...a la J Peterman Style from Seinfeld.

Description from Tomato Growers Supply Company, just an example and no endorsement intended:

'Stellar VF Hybrid' 
"What a fitting name for a beautiful round, red tomato with greater yields and high resistance to late blight plus intermediate resistance to early blight and Septoria Leaf Spot. Stellar gives gardeners who experience high disease pressure (THAT'S ME) a slicing tomato they can count on. Smooth, lovely fruit is medium-sized at 5 to 7 ounces, perfect for tucking into sandwiches or cutting up into salads."  

Forget diamonds, give me 'Stellar' tomatoes!

What I do is order a few seed packets (well under $500K) and shop my local garden centers. The key is getting an early jump. Some of the new seed introductions or plants sell out early, so get your on line orders placed (they'll ship when it is planting time, now or later for seeds). Get out to the garden stores soon because their 2017 seed racks are filled to capacity. Grab some other supplies too, new seed trays, potting soil, and if you have some dollars left over from the holidays, trade out your old fluorescent shop lights for higher efficiency full-spectrum or LED bulbs. For the thin T-5 bulbs you may need new fixtures. Here are two quick grow light primer videos - how to choose a grow light and wikiHow to grow vegetables with grow lights.

I need to close now, there's a lull in the wind, no snow predicted (except in the mountains) and the stores open soon. Happy shopping!


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