Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘select’

Seeds Rock! From Catalog to Seed Swap or Seedy Sunday!

December, January is one of the happiest times of year for veggie gardeners! The holidays are when you give yourself your seeds for your whole garden for the year to come! Catalogs are out, you supplement with what you seed saved yourself. If you have some old iffy seeds that may not germinate, you might want to order some fresh ones to make sure you get good germination!

Seed swaps, or the like, are usually at the end of January in southern locations like SoCal. In northern areas it may be later. Seed swaps are exciting and wonderful, and are a random event! There may be seeds there you want, there may not be. They may be old non-viable seeds or fresh as they need to be! Guaranteed you will come home with some you want to try! Use Seed Swaps as fun backups to your catalog orders. Reliable seed companies have a reputation to uphold. You know what the seed is, how old it is. If you wait until after the Seed Swap, seed companies may be sold out of rare seeds or seeds that they only were able to get a few of due to weather last year and such. However, Seed Swaps ARE LOCAL – seeds of plants that grew well in your climate area!

Catalogs!

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. Harvest to leave enough space between your seedlings or young plants to allow the remaining ones room for their mature size. With some plants, like Chard, thinning can occur in stages. Thin leaving enough room for them to get bigger, thin again, even again. If you have few seeds, you might want to presprout, or plant at the mature distance. That can be a wee challenge if the seeds, like radish or carrots, are tiny. Do your best.

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

Take your best clean seed – no chaff that might decompose and rot the seed. Remember, we want to inspire and be an example! We want new gardeners to succeed, to plant and save their seeds too!

Either take your seeds in a bag or container and let swappers select the number of seeds they need, or pack them in paper coin envelopes or plastic baggies so everyone gets some. Label seed packs with botanical and common name, and DATE – including the year – they were gathered! Note the location they were grown and, if large seeds, the number of seeds in the packet helps. Five seeds per pack for larger and common seeds is good. Thirty seeds or so is good for smaller seeds. If you don’t have small coin envelopes or want to buy little plastic baggies, you can cut up junk mail envelopes into smaller envelopes to hold your seeds. Whatever packaging you choose, make sure it will stay securely closed. No fun losing your little pups on the way home.

If your seed is unusual, you might include growing information as well. Many swappers are new gardeners or never planted that plant before. They will be most grateful since you already have had the real experience with that plant in our locality!

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 to grow.

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!

The last word! Remember, a Seed Swap is a random affair. Get your standby favorites from those reliable catalogs. Use Seed Swaps as a fun backup source and especially for local seeds.

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 Sunday Jan 27, 2019 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!

See Seeds Rock! Choosing the Perfect Ones for You!
See also Smart Design for Your Spring & Summer Garden, Seed Selection!

With great gratitude to you and all our ancestors!
Happy seed hunting!

Back to Top

Updated 12.5.18


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!

Love your Mother! Plant bird & bee food! Think grey water! Grow organic! Bless you for being such a wonderful Earth Steward!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: