The Right Seeds for Your Garden

Choose the best seeds to grow in your garden by following this guide to different types of seeds.

| June 2018

  • lettuce
    One way to ensure success in your backyard garden is to get the right seeds for the job.
    Photo by Shaye Elliot
  • seeds
    Spending time planning your garden and doing research on ordering your seeds will pay off big time.
    Photo by Shaye Elliot
  • cover
    “Welcome to the Farm” by Shaye Elliot is a comprehensive guide for all readers wanting to grow their own food and live a homestead life from their backyard.
    Cover courtesy Lyons Press

  • lettuce
  • seeds
  • cover

In Welcome to the Farm: How-to Wisdom from The Elliott Homestead, Shaye Elliot teaches readers how they can live a homestead lifestyle without a farm. In this fully illustrated how-to, Elliot shows readers how to harvest their own vegetables, milk a dairy cow, can jams and jellies, and more! The following excerpt is from Chapter 1, "The Home Garden."

Let's talk about seeds. Obviously, one of the foundational ways to ensure success in your backyard garden is to get the right seeds for the job. While the seeds available on the market are as numerous as grains of sand on the beach, there are a few ways to determine which are the right ones for your garden. Spending some time during the winter months (preferably curled up next to a fire with a warm mug of chamomile tea) planning for the year's garden will really pay off. A wee bit of research in ordering your seeds will reward you big time.

Organic vs. Conventional

Organic seeds are seeds that have been grown by a parent plant on an organic farm. The farm must meet specific and stringent requirements in order to become certified as organic. Organic seeds are guaranteed not to have any seed treatments and often perform better in the garden. They are a common choice of the home gardener because they're the starting point for a garden free from synthetic pesticides and herbicides. A big perk of purchasing organic seeds is supporting farms and research that promote organic gardening methods. Think of it as a small investment in the future of our agricultural system.

Alternatively, conventional seeds are often treated with a variety of chemicals (most commonly synthetic fungicides and insecticides) prior to being sold. While they come with a slightly smaller price tag, conventional seeds are grown from parent plants in non-organic soil that could have been sprayed and treated with a variety of synthetic chemicals. If minimizing chemical exposure is important to you, avoid conventional seeds.

While a garden may start with organic seeds, this does not qualify it as an organic garden. In order to maintain an organic garden, one must avoid all synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. What's the use of organic seeds if you're going to spray them anyway? Likewise, conventional seeds can be used to grow vegetables in an organically managed garden.

Has your head exploded yet? But wait! There's more...

6/29/2018 4:32:01 PM

I have looked closely at both organic seeds and what are called just processed seeds normal, I have grown both for some reason the organic seeds take longer to germinate and not as many are successful I'm not sure why this seems to be with my efforts I do use Miracle Grow and I control the pH the potential hydrogen in my soil, I use wood ash for a base and non cooked lime? I have been very successful growing potatoes mixed with some sand into mulch! The worms are incredibly large and they seem to flock to it. I've been looking in all of my magazines to find that snowball plant there Giant flowers that are snowball size fist-size! I would really like to get my hands on a plant it's a bush that grows about 4 ft tall and is a diameter F-450 if cultivated correctly the Snowballs have been White and red and pink but I haven't seen this plant for a very long time. And just to say thank you to all of the staff at Grit I appreciate all of your efforts and hard work and my granddaughter has kept one of my magazines because she loves it it's about chickens it's amazing grit is amazing thank you all very much make sure and tell the staff it is very important that they know how much they are appreciated

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