In this house the fella mainly just grunts when I discuss my seed wants. Unless he thinks I’m referring to a different kind of “seed”. In which case he grunts and then smiles.
There’s something about picking out seeds that makes me all swoony. And the seeds you can get through actual “seed” stores is impressive. Sure you can get seeds at your grocery store. They usually haul out the dust covered carousel of 3 year old seeds around April. With such tantalizing offerings as “Tomato”, or “Radish” or “Cucumber”.
Go to an actual seed store, either on-line or in person and what you’ll find are things like …
Organic Purple Tomatillo Seeds
Organic Watermelon Radish Seeds
Organic Lemon Cucumber Seeds
You must admit, just a *tad* more interesting than a plain old tomato, radish or cucumber. Of course, you can also get regular old tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers from seed stores, but they’ll have the benefit of being fresh seeds with a really good description of what variety it is which will determine the taste, germination rate and growing season.
I’ve grown cherry tomatoes for years, but only “Sweet Baby Girl” tomatoes because they’re among the sweetest cherry tomatoes you can find. Now, if you go to your garden centre and buy seeds or even a small cherry tomato plant, you usually have NO idea what variety it is. That’s why growing your own from seeds that you select is the best way to go if you can when you’re starting your garden.
The other thing to consider when you’re picking out your seeds is whether or not you’re going to enjoy eating it once it’s grown. Yeah. I know it sounds stupid but those seeds and plants can look really tempting even if you don’t like eating them. I also like to grow things that will keep either in a root cellar or dark cupboard. Things like winter squash, potatoes, turnip, beets … stuff that you can grow and store for months. Unlike cucumbers or tomatoes which don’t keep unless you preserve them in some way.
Another thing you want to consider when planting your vegetable garden is where you’re gonna plant this stuff. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye from a rogue squash plant you don’t really have room for. If you don’t have a huge yard that gets at least 8 hours of sun a day you CAN still have home grown vegetables. A lot of vegetables do well in containers or in small spaces. Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers are all small garden/container friendly. Among about a billion other things.
My final tip on seeds is to buy some heritage varieties. These are also known as heirloom variety. What is an heirloom plant? There are a few definitions, but basically an heirloom tomato or carrot is one that has been around for several generations, and has not been genetically modified. It hasn’t been hybridized with anything else to alter it. BECAUSE of this, if you grow an heirloom plant, you can take the seeds from the vegetable you grew, plant them again next year and you will end up with exactly the same fruit/vegetable from it. If you save the seeds from a regular hybridized seed and plant them again the next year you’re never really sure of what will sprout up.
O.K. Lesson is over for today. I pass things over now to Laura from Cubits Organics and the $75 giveaway she’s kindly offered The Art of Doing Stuff readers.
Laura’s a rockin, gardening mom in Toronto who runs the wildly successful Etsy shop, Cubits, Organic, Rare & Heirloom seeds.
She’s giving one lucky reader this $75 package which includes a hand forged garden tool, wood plant markers and 12 packets of seeds.
The best part? She’s letting YOU pick out whatever seeds you want.
To enter, just go to the Cubit Etsy site, have a browse around and decide what your favourite seed is. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me what your #1 seed pick would be.
Contest closes March 6th at midnight, winner announced March 8th. (winner will be randomly selected by automated computer program)