Buying Garden Seeds
Part 1 of 4
Planting and tending a backyard garden leads to one of the most fulfilling activities you’ll find outdoors, harvesting (outside of going for long walks with nowhere particular to go.)
Gardening is food for the soul, just as it is nourishment for you and your loved ones, neighbors and random visitors included. It gives you a sense of pride, accomplishment, and joy, as it increases your awareness of living in harmony with nature. That is if you choose the route of gardening organically.
With all the chemicals and GMOs in commercially produced foodstuffs, why would you choose any route other than growing naturally and organically at home? You wouldn’t. And that is why you are here, to learn more ways to be kinder to the Earth, to remember what gardening was like before the industry took over. Do not forget what good, wholesome, homegrown food tastes like. Think back to your childhood and reminisce about the flavors of a juicy tomato fresh from the vine, seeds squirting every direction and dripping down your chin.
Those robust seeds, the vital force of life and self-reliance, where have they all gone?
They are not lost, but you will have to hunt for some of them. The information in this article should help you decide what to plant in your garden and where to find the best seeds.
Basics of seed selection
Before getting overwhelmed by a luscious, brightly colored seed catalog, flipping through page after page full of hybrids and exotics, stand your ground and figure out just what you need before being lured into a disaster of wants. Start simple. Know your plant hardiness zone whether you are in the United States, Canada, Europe, or elsewhere in the world. That alone will provide you with an excellent base for what vegetables and herbs should grow in your area. An exception here would be a greenhouse, or polytunnel-grown vegetables, where the success is more dependent on your input.
The next thing to do is talk to and ask questions from other local gardeners, as many as you can think of! What are they able to grow successfully? What hasn’t worked for them? Do they save their own seeds? Can you get a small palmful if you are just getting started?
To avoid disappointment, you’ll have to choose garden seeds that are right for you and your garden space.
Naturally, this will take trial and error over several years, so be patient with the results. Not everything will work out, while others will surprise you immensely with their abundance or resilience!
An excerpt from Buying Garden Seeds: Everything You Need to Know, Rural Sprout.