try some new seed catalogs
I’M MAD ABOUT SEED. So mad that I have to have some “rules” for seed shopping. For instance: I restrain myself before binging in the new catalogs until I do a careful inventory of my leftover seed, and see what I really need. My most important rule of all:
I buy organic seed when available, and seek out regionally appropriate varieties, too, in the hopes of best garden success, since seed is alive and I want to make it feel at home.
I explain my thinking on this and more in the December-January 2014-15 issue of “Mother Earth News” (as I did in a much briefer piece in “The New York Times” in 2013).
I hope you’ll “meet” some of the stars of the organic seed breeding and growing world in the articles and podcasts linked below, and add their websites and catalogs to your list of possibilities for the seed-shopping season.
- My Seed Series: podcasts and posts with leading organic seed experts.
- Why does buying organic matter in seeds?
- Hybrid or heirloom or “modern O.P.’s”? Which should you grow?
- Are last year’s leftover seeds any good? My Seed Viability Chart.
- When to start seed (my handy calculator tool).
- The Open Source Seed Initiative: why to support it.
- My “Mother Earth News” article (and one from “The New York Times.”)
q&a’s with organic seed companies
- Adaptive Seeds
- High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Horizon Herbs
- Hudson Valley Seed Library (now Hudson Valley Seed)
- Native Seeds/SEARCH
- Peace Seedlings
- Prairie Road Organic Seed
- Siskiyou Seeds
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
- Sow True Seed
- Turtle Tree Seed (biodynamic)
- Uprising Seeds
- Wild Garden Seed
- Plus: My Resource Guide includes other recommended seed companies.
growing from seed: overall how-to’s
- My seed-sowing calculator, for when to start seed.
- How long do seeds last? A viability chart for leftover seed.
- How to start seed indoors (the basics).
- How to prevent spindly seedlings.
- My seed FAQ page.
growing specific vegetables from seed
- How to grow beets.
- How to grow carrots.
- How to grow spinach.
- How to grow kale.
- How to grow melons.
- How to grow squash, cucumbers and other cucurbits.
- How to grow tomatoes.
- How to grow onions.
- How to grow peppers.
- How to grow dry beans.
how to save seed
(Garden “doodles” by Andre Jordan for A Way to Garden.)