Round Robin: Growing from seed

Notes from Regional Herb Gardeners


| February/March 2001


I know that I will order more seeds than I can possibly plant, that I will start more seedlings than I have room to set out, and that come August I will be freezing more pesto than I can eat in a year . . . 

Hastening Spring

Leah A. Zeldes

CHICAGO—The best thing that can be said for February is that it’s short. Nature seems to reserve her cruelest weather for Chicago in February and March, a last hurrah of freezing temperatures and ice and snow before things start to warm up in April.

The garden at this time of year is either a snow-covered vista punctuated by leafless stalks or an ugly mess of mud mixed with rotting leaves. But there are compensations: By now, all the seed catalogs have arrived and I can spend my time indoors by a toasty radiator, dreaming of the garden that is to be.

Oh, those catalogs! Old standards, fat with glossy, color photographs and lists of cultural requirements . . . yuppie catalogs full of mizuna and mâche and other upscale greens  . . . ecologically correct lists of organically raised heirloom seeds, printed on recycled paper . . . specialty catalogs of exotic herbs or native wildflowers or 101 varieties of tomatoes . . . old-fashioned books with etchings of cabbages and rutabagas and testimonials from farmers . . . I am a sucker for them all.





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