Post last updated: October 26th, 2018
I have days, like this guy, when I wonder where I left my head. The one with a brain in it. As it has become a political habit to blame the other guy, let me do the same. It’s the fault of the stingy seed companies.
Most gardeners don’t want to admit having a gambling addiction but, let’s face it. Every seed we pat into the soil is a gamble. Like playing the lottery or roulette wheel, it’s a game of chance. It may come up, it may not. Personally, when it comes to seeds, I like to increase my chances.
The seed companies, like the “house,” are always trying to separate me from my dollar without giving me much of a sporting chance. Too many of them are trying to get a quarter out of me for every seed they sell me whether it sprouts or not. It just offends me to pay $2.50 or $2.75 for 10 seeds. Take your common Echinacea or Purple Coneflower. It’s been around for years and grows wild in prairies. Why do the seed companies have to be so stingy? I don’t have a lot of luck with Purple Coneflower whether I grow it from seed or buy plants. I refuse to give up on it because I like the idea that it’s a perennial that comes back every year. Well, for some people it comes back. This spring I finally got one plant to realize it was a perennial. Obviously, since I don’t happen to live next door to a prairie, I want more than 10 chances to succeed.
Some seed companies don’t want to admit how few seeds they are giving you for your quarter. Their seeds are weighed and the weight is printed on the seed packet. Just how many seeds are in 125 mg? Well, gee, it depends on the size of the seed. I don’t like this. I don’t like it at all. If they don’t want to count seeds, an admittedly tedious job, they could at least count them one time and give us a clue about our chances. For instance, the seed packet should say “125 mg (minimum 30 seeds).”
Unwilling to be nickel and dimed to death, I have drifted in the direction of more generous seed companies. I prefer to lower my cost and increase my chances. For instance, I bought a packet of 900 perennial yarrow seeds for $1.75. I figured that gave me an Even Steven chance of getting maybe five of them to grow into actual plants. The seed packet didn’t appear to actually have 900 seeds but I wasn’t about to sit down and count them to make sure I got my 900 seeds. I wasn’t going to weigh them, either. I don’t know how these yarrow seeds could have been weighed. The seeds were small and as light as one strand of a feather.
However, when it appeared that all the seeds sprouted, I stopped breathing for a moment. If there were 900 seeds in that packet, what was I going to do with 900 yarrow plants? I don’t have 895 friends to fob them off on. I started thinking about giving myself a new title: Headless Brainless Gardener. I mean, what fool plants an entire packet claiming to hold 900 seeds?