Advice on Ordering Seeds


A photo of AmySeed catalogs have been streaming into my mailbox and whetting my appetite for spring. If there was a 12 step meeting for vegetable seeds, I surely would be a candidate – I find the descriptions irresistible and want to plant everything I see. However, I've learned over the years that carefully selecting which seeds to grow in the garden will greatly enhance my success. Here are some thoughts for you to consider.

Length of Growing Season  

Probably the most important aspect for you to consider when purchasing seed varieties is the length of your growing season. For example, there are many wonderful heirloom varieties that I would like to grow, but some of them require a very long period of warm weather to mature and I might be better off choosing a different variety. Conversely, there are some cool weather crops, such as peas and lettuce that require a period of relatively moderate temperatures to grow well.

So, when deciding whether or not to purchase a particular vegetable seed, you first must ask yourself this question: Is my season long enough for this particular vegetable to grow? Answering this question can be a bit complicated. Finding out which zone you live in can help you determine your period of frost-free weather for planting frost-sensitive vegetables. But there are other temperature related variables that are important as well, such as considering just how hot your daytime temperatures are likely to get, amount of rainfall (which will affect your soil temperature) or if your nights cool off significantly due to your proximity to the ocean, etc.

With time, the answers to these questions will come to you easily. But if you are a beginning gardener, calling the seed supplier and providing details as to your growing conditions will help them answer this question. You can also ask other gardeners, such as neighbors or gardeners on forums such as the Kitchen Gardeners forum.

Melissa savoy cabbage 

MegandKris DiMercurio
2/6/2013 3:27:16 PM

I get so excited over the description of seeds too! I have made 4 seed orders this year because I can't NOT open the magazines that come in my mailbox! Check out my blog - I just made an indoor plant stand with directions too :) -Meg

3/1/2011 7:37:00 AM

kathy, alfalfa hay will have alfalfa seeds in it. you could let hay rot for a while and the seeds will die. sometimes you can find a farmer with rotted hay which he will give away. very good for your garden. regarding the money saving ideas for seed, bean seed couldn't be easier to save yourself. just let the last beans dry on the stalk. good free way to have as many seeds as you need and enough to share. tomato seed is another easy seed to save. you could even buy heirloom tomatoes from the market and just squirt out the seeds and plant. corn, too. as long as they are not hybrids.

Kathleen Pedigo
2/28/2011 1:03:38 PM

I cannot find straw; would high grade alfalfa hay be ok to put in my vegetable garden? Thank you. Kathy Pedigo

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