As my sister has been posting about her gardening adventures, I ache inside to see anything green that isn’t evergreen. I miss that fresh smell of new growth and the sun actually being warm. But the idea of actually planting anything yet is still a bit frightening. Just because it’s sunny, doesn’t mean it’s warm. We still have the whole of this month to get through.
That said, if you are planning on growing a garden this year and ordering seeds to do so, now is the time to order seeds. The benefits of ordering now are that you can spend hours perusing seed catalogs (which almost makes you believe it will again be spring), you have a better variety to choose from than if you wait to order (believe it or not, they do sell out of the cool seeds – if there is such a thing – and we have already missed out on a few), and the seeds are better stored than the ones you buy at the store. Seeds ordered direct have been kept under controlled conditions, and not in the sun of the Home Depot during hot days and cold nights for weeks on end.
Seeds are wonderful little things, containing the whole potential to be a plant. But they need to be taken care of, and if they are, they can last you a long time, up to five (or more) years if stored properly. That means, keep them dry and cool, but not cold. I store mine in my fridge in zipper bags, and keep them there. When planting, I put them back as soon as possible after removing what I will actually plant. No, I am not a “rip off the edge of the seed packet and drag it down a long row shaking it, with the hopes it will be about even” kind of girl. Because, when seeds are cared for, you have an excellent germination rate, and you only need to plant one for every plant you want.
I am also the type to start seeds at home, but we’ll talk more about that later. For most people, it’s still too early, although when my seeds arrive, you better believe I’ll be starting my cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and lettuces. Somethings have to be started outside – like peas and root vegetables, but not everything.
I ordered most of my seeds from www.rareseeds.com. I liked them because they are all heirloom types, and because their shipping is a flat $3 rate. I also got together with Erika – another contributor to this site – and we are splitting about half of the seeds we’re ordering. That makes it cheaper and more fun, because you can order more varieties.
I ordered my seed potatoes from Johnny’s Seeds. Unfortunately they are not organic, but since I won’t actually be eating those potatoes, but planting and growing them organically, that seems okay by me. And I found a code for free shipping for orders over $30. Type 09-1014 into the special offer code box (not the coupon code box) for free shipping.
Good luck, and don’t get lost too much in the catalogs. Here are the sites I recommend, and get them all to send you their catalogs, because the more reference you can get (i.e. more pictures), the better. And if you have more good ones, let us know and we’ll add them.