It’s February 13–and that means I am awfully close to the first seed-starting project of the year. There’s lots to do in preparation–getting the basement seed-starting area cleaned up, washing and sterilizing the seedling trays, changing the light tubes and cleaning my light fixtures, assembling all the ingredients in the germination mix.
And because I saved back some Blue Solaise leeks from the 2008 season to grow out a seed crop in 2009, I need to do some seed-cleaning before I can start 2010’s crop.The seed heads were dried down on their stalks in the garden last fall until they were brown and crisp enough that I felt it was safe to clip them. Since then, they’ve been stored in a paper bag hanging from the rafters in the basement.
The seed-cleaning process looks like it’s going to be somewhat of a pain, but I think I can find a winnowing screen small enough the handle the job. Then it’s just a process of rubbing the dry material off the tiny black seeds and letting the chaff fall through a sieve.
It’s a little humorous, I guess, that when I finally decided to start saving these seeds, this heirloom variety seemed to show up in a lot more catalogs than I’d seen it in before.