Gardening 101 ~ Buying Seeds
Buying seeds is my very favorite part of the getting ready to garden process. I love looking through catalogs and comparing different plants to ones I’ve ordered before. I love looking at all the pictures of the plants and the veggies and the yummy things that I will have in a few months. There is just so much green in those catalogs and I love looking at it when all I can see outside is white and brown.
I get dozens of seed catalogs each year. I think when you sign up for one somehow your name gets out and all of the sudden you will find yourself buried in seed catalogs with so many options! Obviously price can be a factor in where you decide to order. Most seeds are around $2 a packet. Last year we ordered from Pinetree Seeds. They are very reasonable and have a very large selection. If you want to go with organic seeds, Seed’s of Change has a good selection. Personally this year we decided to go with Heirloom Seeds. I wanted to be sure that my seeds were non-GMO and I want to learn how to save seeds, so I needed to get heirlooms. I ordered from Baker Creek Seeds. (I will also be getting THIS book on how to save seeds)
After you decide what kind of seeds you want and where you are going to order from, then comes the fun part. Picking out what you want to grow! Of course there are many many things to pick from! I’ve had several requests from you to tell you what I personally ordered so I will show you my list and tell you my comments on each item that I’ve grown before. Alot of items on my list are new to me because I haven’t grown heirlooms before. Here’s my list:
Golden Wax Bush Bean
I love yellow beans. I’ve tried all colors but yellow is still my favorite!
Purple Podded Pole Bean
My hubby loves the purple beans and I love that these are pole beans. I’ll show you how to take care of these in a future post!
Calabrese Green Sprouting Broccoli
I’ve tried broccoli the last couple years. 2 years ago it washed away and last year the grasshoppers got it. Hopefully we will get lucky this year.
Fin De Meaux Cucumber
These are pickling cucumbers. This is a new variety for me.
Marketmore 76 Cucumber
These are slicing cucumbers, but another new variety for me.
Red Wonder Wild Strawberry
Growing garden fruits is a new things to me. Yes, we’ve done strawberries and rhubarb before but these are different. They are annuals instead of regular fruits which are perennials. I’m excited to try them!
I’m so bound and determinded to grow these! Mine didn’t get enough water last year and they failed so this year I will have to try harder! These gourds you let dry and you can take out the insides and make your own dishcloths.
We love this lettuce. It grows very well and is green with red tips.
Little Gem Lettuce
This is a kind of romaine lettuce. I started growing romaine last year and it grows well and I love romaine!
Honey Rock Melon
I haven’t tried this variety yet but I did grow small melons last year and they did well here.
I’ve never had luck starting onions from seeds but I will try it once again! Most of the time I have to get the starter onion sets.
Tam Jalapeno Pepper
A mild jalapeno that we will use for making salsa and taco sauce.
Orange Bell Pepper
I’m not going to be growing a green bell pepper this year. The orange, red, and yellow ones have more nutrients in them than the green.
Golden Marconi Pepper
This is another new variety for me, I got it instead of a sweet banana. It should be similar.
I love my crookneck squash! They grow in abundance and are so yummy!
Yellow Scallop Squash
I get these to pickle! Sounds weird but they are so yummy!
Black Beauty Zucchini
A classic. I always grow zucchini!
Amish Paste Tomato
These are a kind of roma and are supposed to be very very good!
Principe Borghese Tomato
I grew these last year and I absolutely loved them! They are the best for drying. They are like a grape tomato with hardly any liquidy insides so they dry very well.
Another new variety for us. These are supposed to be very good in our climate. This is my main red tomato for canning.
Yellow Pear Tomato
I always grow these sweet little tomatoes. The hubby likes to eat them and I like to dry them.
Kelloggs Breakfast Tomato
This is a yellow large tomato. Not so great for canning because they have less acid than the reds, but this will be our main eating tomato for the summer.
Sugar Baby Watermelon
I grew mini watermelons last year and I was surprised on how well they did. I’m trying a red variety this year. Last year I did a yellow watermelon.
My mom grew these last year and just raved about them so I decided to make these my winter squash for the year. They get HUGE.
Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin
Normally I grow sugar baby pie pumpkins but I’ve read that this variety is supposed to be better.
So that’s my list! I pick the vegetables I know that we will eat and the ones that I need for preserving. Both canning and cold storage. Another thing to keep in mind is that I start my seeds ahead of time in the house. If you are not planning on doing that you will need to buy starts instead. So then you won’t need to order seeds for things like tomatoes and peppers. Something you need to remember while you are looking through seeds and seed catalogs is the maturity time. I know that I need to get tomato seeds that mature in under 80 days otherwise they won’t make it because the season is not that long. There are a lot of things I can’t grow here like large watermelons and some gourds because the season isn’t long enough for them to produce.
Check out the entire Gardening 101 Series!
The Gardening and Preserving Journal is here! If you are gardening or planning on doing any preserving this year, you NEED this wonderful sprial bound journal! Get your own copy here.
What size is your garden? I think we’re doing 25′ square. You have a great list! My dad always grows the Marketmore cucumber. This is a classic one and very successful (for PA growers) and is the most common one. I am excited about starting our garden too!!
My garden is either 50×50 or 50×75.( I think it’s the second one)
Thanks, Merissa!!! Have a great day!
How did the Fin De Meaux cucumbers do? I also live in good ole SD… always like trying something new…I love your site…
I like getting seeds from Seed Saver Exchange in Iowa.
You are growing so many of the things we are planting this year! Luffa squash, my Mom grew when I was a kid, it was so much fun peeling and drying them, then using them for bath and kitchen sponges ~ They last a long time too! I’m growing Lakota squash this year, a new one for me, but it looks so interesting, and I like it is native to North America. My 12 (almost 13yr. old daughter) is growing the Sugar Baby watermelons, along with Moon and Star’s too. My 13 (almost 14 yr. old daughter), always grows Hale’s Best cantaloupe ~ it tastes so wonderful, mild, and crisp right off vine. We don’t like the ones the grocery stores have to offer. Crookneck squash…always! We grow lots and lots of tomatoes and peppers, too many to mention, but I am adding Amish Paste this year. I order my tomato seeds from tomatofest.com . They give incredible customer service! I grew sweet red cherry stuffer peppers last year too, which were incredible green or red, and keep forever. Those came from Burpee. We’re adding a mini yellow belle this year too from Burpee also. Can you tell I love to garden and preserve as much food as possible?!? It’s my idea of ‘fun’!!
I find that some of the hardest decisions I make all year are simply what I’m going to plant in my garden each spring. 🙂
Hi Merissa, We live in the Maritime Provinces of Canada and was wondering if you ship your books up here? Love the site….
Hi Hope, are you wondering about shipping the Garden Journal? If so, yes we can ship to Cananda. The rate is $15 for 1 to 3 garden journal books. If you are interested just send me an email at [email protected] and we will get them sent out to you!