As the temperature gets colder and the days shorter, the idea of garden planning seems a flimsy manner to spend your weekend. But soon, as the post office changes their shipment of holiday catalogs to seed catalogs, your vision of bounty can begin to take shape, even from under the snow covered raised beds in your backyard.
I don’t know about you, but the arrival of seed catalogs forcefully change the mental season for me.
Sure, it’s still winter outside, the temperature is in single digits, the snow still falls, but the planning can now seem a worthwhile expenditure of my time. The holidays are officially past, it’s time to dream of what my garden can produce this year.
Before you just set out picking the seeds from the prettiest catalog to come across your desk, consider these four important rules as you buy seeds to grow in your precious space.How to buy seeds for your vegetable garden #weekendfarmer Click To Tweet
This is the most logical and yet overlooked part of the seed buying process: Seeds that are bred in your area, have a better chance of finding success than seeds bred in other regions.
Think about that for a second; I live in high-altitude, dry, sunny Colorado, if I bought seeds bred from cool, moist, closer to the sea Maine, will I get great results?
Johnny’s Selected Seed in Maine is one of the absolute best purveyors of seeds that our country has to offer, and one of my favorite companies, but that doesn’t mean they are right for my garden. (I buy my tools there instead since, as I mentioned, they are one of my favorite companies)
Seeds, like all organisms, adapt over time to their conditions and can begin to build up natural resistance to the pests and diseases found in the area they are bred.
Buy seeds from companies that grow their seeds in a zone close to yours, and your success rate will go up.Buy seeds from companies that grow their seeds in a zone close to yours Click To Tweet
Not All Seed Companies are the Same
As more and more people take up home gardening, or as we call it, being a weekend farmer, a multitude of businesses pop up to take advantage of the growth.
When you receive a seed catalog, there is still research to be done into the company advertising the sales. First, find out if they grow this seed themselves or if they are a reseller.
There is nothing wrong with companies that act as a middleman between seed growers and weekend farmers, but as you read in the point above, there is a great benefit to knowing exactly where your seed comes from.
I like to go straight to the source, working with companies that grow their own seed. Not only does it benefit me, but I like to reward those companies putting in the time and effort to preserve the lifeline that seeds provide us.
Use Your Resources Wisely
As a weekend farmer, chances are you don’t have an over-abundance of space to mess with. Maybe you have one raised bed to grow a square foot garden, or it’s a small deck at your apartment in the city that gets a lot of sun, or you live in the suburbs and have just a small corner of your ¼ acre lot allotted for growing.
You need to be selective. There is no point in growing things that look cool in the catalog, but no one in your home will eat.
For example, one year I decided I wanted to grow parsnips, which take a lot of work and time, but no one in the family was all that excited about eating them. Wasted effort.
Outside of our simple formula to decide what is worthy for our limited garden space, we poll each member of the family to see if there is something they want to be a part of growing (and eating). Tastes change, but if your kid says I really want to grow fresh cucumbers, like my middle child did, that is a better use of your time and space than parsnips.
The more your household is involved, the better the experience for everyone.Work with your household to select seeds to grow, no use growing something no one will eat Click To Tweet
This isn’t a political statement, and isn’t meant to get the dander up of those who believe organic is an unnecessary and expensive step, this is just logical reasoning.
The EPA confirmed that the use of neonicotinoids – a pesticide used in seed coatings – is contributing to bees dying in record numbers. It took them 20 years to confirm this fact.
I pledge to you, buy organic, because the seeds are grown and processed as nature rightfully intended. You can rest easy knowing that these seeds will produce healthy food for you and those close to you, instead of looking over your shoulder and wondering – what will they find out about these pesticides and GMO’s next? And what if the health problems aren’t confined to bees?With new discoveries into the harmful effects of pesticides, buy organic seeds, it's a smarter choice Click To Tweet
When you buy seeds and follow these simple steps, you stand a much better chance at having a bumper year!