Garden Windup: Sorting Seeds, Mapping the Vegetables Looking Ahead to Forced Bulbs

* Before you put leftover seeds away, go through and discard everything more than 3 years old …unless it’s some kind of rare heirloom bean or what-all that you’re SURE you will plant next year, before the seed expires completely. Next, applying the same criterion in the rarity department, throw out all the asters, parsley, onions and delphiniums, which seldom last more than one season. Not every old seed is a dud, but in the North, the window for second tries is small, so there’s no point in risking failure unless you really have to.

* While you’re seed-sorting, supplement your notes ( if any) about how all this stuff did. Start next year’s list – catalogs are already coming in. And if you didn’t map this year’s vegetable garden; waste no time. You won’t get far with rotation planting if you forget what went where..

* If you potted up some spring bulbs to force for winter bloom, don’t forget to buy some winter rye seed now, while it’s still available. About a week after you bring the bulbs out of storage, scratch the grass seed into the soil surface. There should be a pretty green lawn around the stems by the time they bloom.

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