It’s time to consider holiday gifts for gardening friends, and this week I noticed a couple of interesting items. First to catch my attention is a windowsill heat mat, intended to keep the root zone of young seedlings warm. Not everyone has a set of tiered plant lights and the traditional method of starting seeds in pots set on a bright windowsill is still used by many gardeners. But sunny windowsills are chilly when the sun goes down, and a heat mat with dimensions to fit standard windowsill widths and lengths would keep your tomato and pepper seedlings cozy on chilly nights.
One of my more challenging fantasies is to grow giant pumpkins, the kinds that require a flatbed truck to transport to the county fair. (I really want to do this!) I need all the help I can get if I’m seriously going to compete, or perhaps I should get my farm friend to do it. In which case, she’ll be getting a copy of World Class Giant Pumpkins, by Don Langevin, and a packet of ‘Atlantic Giant’ pumpkin seeds. Growing secrets and seeds from a champion giant pumpkin should get her off to a hopeful start.
The heating mat, pumpkin book and seeds are from the 2013 Stokes Seed catalogue (stokeseeds.com) that arrived this week. Already my mind is turning to the next growing season as this year’s garden draws to an end.