Garden · Uncategorized

Seed Shopping

Have you started shopping for your garden seeds yet?  Here are some ideas to help you get started.

  • Browse the seed catalogs, (a nice thing to do on cold, snowy days!)  Stop by the store and see what seeds they have available.
  • Inventory the seeds you already have.
  • Make sure the seeds you have saved are viable and will grow for you.  Nothing quite as disappointing as planting, watering, tending and….nada…nothing.  (More on that later)
  • Decide what you want to grow this year. What is your reason for growing vegetables?  Flowers?  Are you planning on canning and freezing or just growing for fresh eating?  Are you wanting to make cut flower arrangements or just enjoy beautiful flower beds?  (More on this later)
  • Consider the days to maturity, habit and size of the plant and fruit, disease tolerance
  • Grow what you will eat
  • Comparison shop
  • Shop early for the best selection and supply and to avoid shipping problems
  • Know you growing zone

  • Know your frost dates

  • Mix of seeds may be better than a straight variety
  • Will you be growing hybrids or heirlooms?  Or a mix of both?
  • All American selections are always a good choice-tried and true
  • Save the seed catalogs-there is usually valuable info there you can refer to later.

Have you started buying you seeds for this year yet?




Garden · Uncategorized

Reasons to Start Your Own Seeds


Have you considered starting your own seedlings this year?  It may seen like a difficult thing to do, but with a little know-how it is easy to accomplish.

Here are some reasons to start your own seeds this year.

  1. Better selection.  Buy your seeds early to avoid not getting what you are wanting and had planned on growing. Seed companies have so many more varieties than the seedlings that are grown by the nursery, greenhouse or big box store.  In a previous post-SEE HERE-there is a list of some of the seed companies that can be ordered from.  Most of them have a website and you can order on-line. Or you can request a paper catalog be mailed to you.  I always so enjoy taking my time to read through the paper catalogs before I place my order.  The choice is yours, not only what has been started by the garden business.  A word of caution!  Be careful and thoughtful or you will get carried away and order way too much!  Don’t ask how I know this….
  2. Save money.  You get more for your money when buying seeds as compared to buying the usual 6-packs of seedlings.  For the price of the six-pack you get many more seeds in a packet. If you only need a few seedlings, most seeds can be saved for future use.
  3. Growing Practices.  You can have control over the growing practices.  If you are concerned about pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, etc, you can make sure of how your seedlings are being grown.
  4. Planting and Harvest.  When you grow your own seedlings you have control over the planting time.  You may want to start seeds early to be set out under a protective cover for an earlier harvest or start seeds late to have a later fall garden.  You can grow just the amount you need.
  5. Earlier Harvest. Some types of plants will need to be started indoors as the growing season is not long enough to get a harvest before frost, but many of the plants that can be direct sown can be started indoors to get an earlier harvest or flowers.  You can get a jump on the season.
  6. Successive Planting.  You can have control over successive seed starting to give a long season of harvest.
  7. Proper Plants.  You can make sure that you are growing plants suited to your region and location.
  8. Seed Saving.  Many of the plant varieties (open pollinated or heirloom) can left to go to seed and the seeds saved from year to year.  This is another way to grow plants that have become acclimated to you location.
  9. Quality Control.  You have control over the quality and quantity of the seeds grown.  You can grow strong, healthy seedlings.
  10. Food Security.  Growing your own plants is a good way to enjoy some food security in this unsettled time.  Grow enough to can and freeze and you will have food all year long.
  11. Avoid the Spring Crowd.  I always make a trip (sometimes many trips!) to the greenhouse in the spring, but if you want to avoid the frantic rush of everyone in town scurrying to buy those plants to get them in the ground in a hurry, you do not have to go there.
  12. Sharing and Swapping.  Starting your own seeds is a great way to do sharing and swapping with others.  For many years I started seedlings to sell at the Farmer’s Market in the spring.  The left-over seedings I would take to church and share with whoever wanted any plants, usually tomatoes. When church was over I would pull my van up to the church entrance and open the back with a sign-Free Tomatoes!  I grew lots of unusual heirlooms and got lots of questions about each kind.  It was a great joy to share with others.
  13. Fun.  Seed starting is a very good garden activity to do when those long winter blues are feeling heavy.  How nice to get your hands in the ‘dirt’ and be growing things when not much is happening outside. It is very fun to watch the seeds emerge and grow.

Have you ever started seeds before?

Planting Seeds

We can plant the seeds of kindness,

Seeds of hope and joy and peace.

We can plant, and we can water.

Only God can bring increase.

All God asks  is faithful planting,

Constant reaching toward the goal.

Then His blessed Holy Spirit

Can reach out to save a soul.

We know God will never ask us,

“Just how well did you succeed?”

All He wants is faithful living,

Faithful planting of His seed.



Garden · Uncategorized

Start With Seeds

A List of Seed Catalogs

While the winter winds howl and the snow blows and you are tucked inside a warm house under a warm throw with a warm drink near by….

It is time to crack out those seeds catalogs that have been arriving in the mail.


What a welcome sight these catalogs are….with thoughts of great garden dreams as I peruse them.

Some of my past seed order packets…

And some free seeds thrown in!  Yes, I started them, planted them out and they grew well.  I had been wanting to grow some ancho chilis for chili rellanos and here they were!

Here is a list of seed companies to order from;

Park Seed

Johnny’s Selected


Vermont Bean

Pinetree Garden




Jung Quality Garden

Southern Exposure Seed

Sow True

Baker Creek Heirloom

High Mowing



Wild Garden


Territorial Seed

True Leaf Market Seed

Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden


John Scheepers Kitchen Garden

Just a few comments about some of the above companies-

I order many of my seeds from Pinetree.  I think you get more seeds for the money.

Territorial-I always get in trouble here!  The garden dreams run away with this catalog!

Totally Tomatoes-Any tomato you are looking for!

Vermont Bean Seed-I always like the thought of growing a huge variety of dry beans, but alas, I don’t have the room, so I just keep dreaming!

Baker Creek-This catalog is the the cadillac of seed catalogs and the unusual variety is amazing. It is real eye candy for gardeners.

Burpee, an old reliable company, but a little on the pricey side.

The Burpee seed display is already out in the local Walmart store.

This is just a partial list of all the seed companies that are out there.

Now is the time to start planning that garden!

Yes and No….

Yes it is nice to have a diversion for house cleaning, but No, I still plan on cleaning my house!  Will be deep spring cleaning the living room today. If only it stayed that way!

Do you have a favorite seed catalog to order from?











Reasons to Start Your Own Seeds


It is the time of year to start thinking about starting seeds

for this summer’s garden.

What are some of the reasons why you should start your own seeds?

  1. More choice of variety.  With the variety of seed choices, mainly through seed catalogs-see here– the choices are almost endless.  Nurseries, greenhouses and big stores mainly sell starter plants and seeds of the most common, familiar, and tried and true varieties. There is nothing wrong with the old tried and true varieties, that is why they are sold year after year, but there are so many more varieties to try.  By ordering your seeds, you are not stuck with the small choice of varieties.
  2. More plants for less money. Most seed packets contain 30 or more seeds, and it is much more economical than a 4 or 6 pack of bought starter plants. This point needs qualifying-the initial cost will be greater.  You will need certain supplies to begin with, but these are mostly 1 time expenses.  Once you have these items, the main yearly cost is mostly just the seeds and soil.
  3. Seeds can be started for the proper and extended planting times in your area.  You can start seeds earlier than usual if you want to plant out early if you have the proper season extending covers, or seeds can be started later for an extended fall and winter harvest.  It is nearly impossible to find starter plants to buy in mid to late summer for a fall and winter harvest.
  4. Seeds can be saved from year to year, and varieties can become custom to your locale. By saving seeds from plants that display certain traits that you desire, such a bigger size, different color or taste, or better disease or pest resistance, or just in general do well for you, you can eventually end up with a custom variety well suited to your specific growing area.  This is how many of the heirloom varieties have come about, they have been saved and passed down through the years.
  5. You can control how the seedlings are grown in regards to watering, fertilizing, and thinning.  Actually there is very little thinning needed if you start your own seeds as you control how they are planted.
  6. The crowds are avoided in the spring planting rush.  I am always amazed at the frantic folks buying their starter plants and rushing to get them planted in the short planting window.
  7. You won’t be disappointed when many of the starter plants are sold out  You won’t be left planting what you really didn’t want because what you wanted was sold out.
  8. You can experience the fun, excitement, and enjoyment of gardening while it is still winter outside.  What better way to spend part of your days stuck inside-watering, tending, and watching green, growing things.

Let the planting begin!

Do you start you own seeds?


Hebrew 12:15

See to it that no one misses the grace of God

and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.