This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Cultivate Simple 60: Seeds of Change

January 6th, 2014

On this week’s podcast we discuss buying seeds for your garden. The seed catalogs have arrived and it is time to think about planting even though you may be buried in snow.

Thanks for the support Misti from Wildscape Photo and Samantha. Also a big thanks to Melanie from CA for the lovely food care package from her farm!

Brian’s Geeky Corner

Check out for some time tracking goodness!

Seed Buying Tips

Figure out how much space you have and how much you can dedicate to each item. If possible simplify, it’s always easier to keep track of a few seedlings and varieties than a lot. But that being said, don’t be afraid to try something new!

Find a friend to go in on seeds with!!! Save so much money, even if you have a gardening friend you can try to split up seed starting (though I must admit this would drive me crazy).

Organize, organize, organize – figure out a system that works for you. When you have a decent sized garden and grow a fairly large number of different vegetables you must keep your seeds organized. I organize mine by type as you can see here, I know someone who organizes theirs by planting month. It becomes very difficult to keep track of large quantities of seed.

Books of the Week

Our Amazon link has changed. Please update your bookmarks!

15 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 60: Seeds of Change”
  1. Jennifer Fisk on January 6, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Organize is the one thing I’ve never done with my garden and each year I regret it. Maybe this is the year it happens.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  2. Kit Duffield on January 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I use the spreadsheet program on my computer. I put Beans in column A, Provider in column B, Source – Fedco Seeds in column C,, quantity in D – 2oz, Date purchased in E – 2012, Comments handwritten in as I plant. Then I have a plastic bin that I keep the seeds in sorted by roots, brassicas, greens, tomatoes, corn, made from the cardboard from cereal boxes. I have a second bin for flowers, herbs and wildflower collected seeds.

    Reply to Kit Duffield's comment

  3. Allison on January 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

    I simply catalog them on a piece of grid paper and then group them by type of plant in a small box I have. Granted I think this only works because I have maybe 5 varieties of each type of veg, so my collection isn’t crazy big yet.

    This may just be a problem on my end – but it doesn’t seem like the audio file is up for Episode 60. I can pull up the rest of them, but Ep. 60 is eluding me for some reason.

    Reply to Allison's comment

    • misti on January 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Same here, re: the podcast.

      Reply to misti's comment

  4. Marina on January 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I use your box and index card method, Suzy, is has made a big difference.
    I also have a spreadsheet on my desktop, and a clip board for notes during the day in the garden shed.
    My garden resolution this year is to faithfully keep a garden journal, at the end of each day. I am learning to sketch with a friend who is an artist, and I want to capture with the pencil some of the beautiful specimens I usually photograph.
    I should be able to crash with my cup of tea at the end of long day AND write down the important facts.That would be most helpful to have right now in the planning stage, and fun to draw, to boot!
    By the way, I too have trouble linking to the podcast today…

    Reply to Marina's comment

  5. Mr. Chiots on January 6, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Sorry everyone about the audio file. Somehow the post did not save correctly last night and we were without power this morning. Corrected now. We will see how iTunes handles this (I am sure not well).

    Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

  6. sarah on January 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    I keep all my seeds in an alphabetical file but I could be a lot better about keeping track of what happens after I plant them.

    I don’t have much luck with growing things to transplant. Every year I try and every year the transplants are puny. Luckily most things I can direct sow.

    Reply to sarah's comment

  7. Misti on January 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    We bought card catalogs on Craigslist last spring. Well, pieces of them…but they work great so far.

    Pollo Tropical! My favorite fast food place in Florida! We have a place here in Texas called Taco Cabana which I’d equate to be the Mexican food version of PT and I constantly called it PT by accident.

    I really miss a good plantain.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  8. Wendy on January 7, 2014 at 12:34 am

    I’ve always kept my seeds in alphabetical order, but I’m really liking the by-month-of planting idea. I’ve tried a spreadsheet in the past, but I can never seem to keep it up to date.

    From zombies to boots held together with baling twine, you guys had me laughing this week–and great seed tips as well.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

    • Wendy on January 7, 2014 at 12:38 am

      Just remembered a question–where do you buy potatoes? Catalog or a local source or save some from the previous year’s harvest? Shipping costs seem prohibitive, so we’ve always bought from a local feed store, but I was underwhelmed by the quality last year.

      Reply to Wendy's comment

  9. DebbieB on January 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Just listened to the podcast, and bought the Eating on the Wild Side book for my Kindle, via the new Amazon link (bookmarked! I did a lot of our Christmas shopping via Amazon using the old link, I sure hope you guys got credit for that.)

    Last year I started taking notes in the garden and petered out by mid-summer. I want to get better at that this year.

    I have seeds from last year, they’re stored in my refrigerator (since it’s so warm and humid here). Hoping they’ll be viable… I also need to get some planning done, since it’ll be seed-starting time soon enough around here.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  10. Melanie in Ca on January 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Awwww…You’re welcome! Thank you for the kind words; my message was genuine and heartfelt. Those Asian Pears are my favorite, I hope next year’s crop is more substantial so I can share again. Unfortunately the sheep got to the tree this year and “pared” everything to a height of five feet!

    Reply to Melanie in Ca's comment

  11. Deb on January 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Have my seeds in platic containers with lids. I don’t figure out seed charts and such as I’m way too busy to waste time on that. ic na remember what grew each year, but that really isn’t accurate as the years vary from year to year. I put in each bed what i feel like and go with what feels right. Works every eyar, so I save much time and energy just planting. I start all my own seeds in my greenhouse and plant what feels right, always a little more than I think I might need. Use square foot gardening, kinda, planting very close so weeds don’t come up and I get as much as possible planted each year. At the end of the day I crash, and don’t have time to write what happened each day in the garden.

    Reply to Deb's comment

    • Deb on January 12, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Sorry, I can…

      Reply to Deb's comment

  12. Matt on January 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    A week late but I was just listening to the bit about your truck.

    I’m speaking from experience, keep the truck. There is nothing on God’s green (white?) earth colder then sitting on a tractor moving snow. I would also suggest you just register it. It’s not going to cost that much to do a standard registration (a farm registration is very restrictive), you only need liability insurance and a $12.50 inspection sticker.

    As far as keeping old things going…I play that game. It’s a gamble as you say but you also have to look at replacement cost. I bet a plow for your tractor is going to cost more then what you could get for your truck.

    Reply to Matt's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Little House – no time to waste in spring

"There was no time to lose, no time to waste in rest or play. The life, of the earth comes...