It’s a perfect time this weekend to get your seeds, whether you order them or pick them up from a local shop. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this but they all boil down to “don’t let doubts stand in your way of getting your seeds!” Here are my tips:
Organic and well-sourced are nice, but not essential: if this is your first time planting seeds or starting a garden, it can be overwhelming to think of where you should shop. I’m all about conscientious purchasing but I also think a packet of radish seeds from Wal Mart is better than no seeds at all. We get into traps when we want to order a few varieties online because there’s a desire to make a big order and save on shipping. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. Get absolutely what you cannot find elsewhere online, but stop by a local nursery to pick up more common things. In subsequent years, you’ll get a good idea of what you want to plant and try out and you’ll be more aware of seed companies you’d like to patronize. I’ve got packs from Johnny’s and Seed Savers but I’m also happy to get Burpee’s from the local home & garden store – anything to get seeds in pots and going.
Heirloom is great, but don’t get muddied by them: There are dozens of heirloom tomatoes to get; thyme plants that replicate pineapple and lemon and anything else. These are cool – watermelon cucumbers are cool – but at this time of the year, you’re burning the growing season. Get something halfway interesting and add seeds to your wishlist for next year!
Don’t worry about lack of space to plant: I have to remind myself of this a lot. My tactic now is to buy anything I fancy because seeds are cheap. If I don’t use them this year, I’ll freeze them or give them as gift to someone who can grow them. Get the seeds NOW and you’ll find a spot at some point. You’ll find a way to grow something cool; life always finds a way.
Write your wishlist and stick to it: Divide into three sections: early, midseason and late. Mine goes something like this:
Early: radishes, cress, lettuce, chervil, basil, sage, thyme, mint, favas
Midseason: Zucchini, squash, tomatoes, kale
Late: chicories, spinach, winter greens
You can plan, therefore, what you want to grow now and what you can wait a little bit on. You can bet I’m bursting to get my early season seeds in the ground this weekend. Look for an article on it coming up soon, by the way. For my chicories, the weirdest of the weird cold-season Italian seeds, I can wait at least a few months. This gives you the gift of time to get your successive plantings figured out for later in the season.
What are you excited about growing this year?