From reputable seed houses you are sure of what you are getting, organic, non-GMO. If a packet is on sale, pay attention to the year it was packed for. Make sure it is current or still viable.
Catalogs have endless marvelous varieties including from far away places! Southern states, warmer countries may have seeds that will do well in warmer weather times or areas.
Consider if drought or heat tolerant, cold tolerant when selecting seasonal veggies
Take a careful look at disease and pest resistance/tolerance.
Though much of companion planting is untested, look specially for plants that enhance each other’s growth, not just pest prevention.
Compare days to maturity. Do you have the land to wait for large fruits or would you like a steady table supply of smaller varieties, favorites. Or will just a few be fine for a taste once a year? Smaller fruits may be perfect if you are a one person family or are not a big eater, enjoy quality versus quantity.
If space available is no consideration, order as you wish, experiment to your heart’s content! If space is tight or you are container planting, note spacing requirements. Think about dwarf varieties
Over planting lets you thin for tender trims for your salads. Then harvest every other over planted plant when it first produces, leaving the others to grow bigger for a ‘second harvest.’
Seed Swap Tips, Considerations and Etiquette!
Planting from seeds, especially free seeds, is frugal and enjoyable! Meet other gardeners! Continue the race of super plants adapted to your area!
Some tips for swapping your saved seeds:
Tips, considerations, etiquette for choosing swap seeds:
It’s not always certain exactly what you are getting or how old the seed is, but the price is right! However, old seed may not germinate at all, you lose time waiting for it.
You get only what’s at the Swap, but the beauty of it is it’s local, adapted to your area! If it goes well for you too, please save some of your seed to share at the next Seed Swap!
Crazy surprises are terrific! You might try something you never would have thought of, and because it’s free you think there is nothing to lose! Hey, I’ll give it a try!
- Take your garden plans, both summer and winter, with you. Find out how big that plant will grow, decide if it will really fit in your available space.
- Take small baggies or envelopes and a pencil with you.
- Label what you get when you get it. Name, date harvested.
- Take only what you need and a few more in case those fail or you love them and want to plant another round or two! Leave the rest for others. Try not to get seed greed fever! 🙂
- Look for the date on packages or containers. Are the seeds still viable?
- Is it a summer or winter, or year ’round plant?
- Ask tons of questions!
Enjoy the suspense, the surprises, the tasty goodness of growing fresh wholesome food!
If you are from out-of-town but near enough, and enjoy adventurous journeys, come make a day of it at our Jan 29, 2017 SEED SWAP in our fair city, Santa Barbara CA!
If you don’t live in our area, please check to see when Seed Swaps will be in your area! If there are none, if you are willing, please, please, please, contact local permaculturists, garden groups/clubs, to see about starting one! Preserving our heritage, not GMO but heirloom seeds, is vital to our continued nutritious future, and for our children’s healthy futures!
ONLINE SEED SWAPS! As the National Gardening Assn says: One gardener’s extras are another’s treasures! Here’s how they do it!
With great gratitude to you and all our ancestors!
Happy seed hunting!
The Green Bean Connection started as correspondence for our SoCal Santa Barbara CA USA, Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden. All three of Santa Barbara city community gardens are very coastal. During late spring/summer we are in a fog belt/marine layer area most years, locally referred to as the May grays, June glooms and August fogusts. Keep that in mind compared to the microclimate niche where your veggie garden is. Bless you for being such a wonderful Earth Steward!