They’re here! They’re here! And indeed they were! The friendly USPS postman even drove them to my door!
Opening my seed package is like Christmas morning!
If you are a gardener then you know what I am referring to…SEEDS! We all do it we drool over the seeds catalogs pour through the online lists. Then one fabulous Christmas like morning they arrive! I literally did a dance and threatened to throw them out on the bed and roll around in them. Then the realization hits…it’s time to get to work!
So you may wonder what and where I order from?
Well as seen in previous post Coastal Bend You Say You Want A Revolution… you will see that I bemoan the fact that our local nurseries are just not carrying the kinds of seeds that I require. So I must order them in the mail and due to the fact that I am ready to plant usually long before there are seeds in the stores.
In the past I have ordered from Seeds of Change This year however with a less than awesome germination rate, bad experience with ordering potatoes and seedlings and some rumors that they were partnering with some big conglomerate seed organizations that may have ties to Monsanto I decided to forgo them. I did notice just today while buying organic seed starter at Walmart (yes this is not the best option, but it’s today’s option and time and resources will eventually take care of this) that they are now carrying Seeds of Change seed packets…probably another indicator of said rumor; however they are USDA certified organic seeds so it is a start and they are reaching a larger audience this way. Additionally if Walmart sees the value in carrying organic seeds, then when our local nurseries say there is no demand it kinda just makes them look really out of the loop (not to jump on that soap box again).
Photo of the Seeds of Change display of Organic Seeds at Walmart
This year I ordered the majority of my seeds from Sustainable Seed Company, in the spring about half of my seeds came from this company. I ordered mostly organic, heirloom; of which they have a great variety of seeds you will recognize that grow well in our area. Additionally I have never had any problems with back ordered seeds or seeds being replaced with other varieties. My seeds were shipped about 6 days after my order (I had to call them and change address, no problems, talked to a nice young sounding guy) and arrived 3 days later. And they sent me four extra packets of seeds as a thank you!
These are my packing slips from Sustainable Seed Company. I love how they are hand written on, highlighted and a hand written thank you note at the bottom with my name. Makes for a nice feeling that the packer cared about me and getting my order correct.
Last year I ordered cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumber from this Texas company; Willhite Seeds, was happy with germination rate, although they did substitute variety with out my approval. I have not ordered from them this year because they are not organic, but the cucumber and cantaloupe we had were very good.
Another place to check for seeds in bulk, potato starters and Texas onion bulbs; in addition to the nurseries, is the local feed stores. We usually use Naylor’s. I’ll be heading over there soon to get my potatoes. Which in case you were wondering…it is time to plant asap.
So what varieties did I order for my Spring/Summer garden (which grows into mid June)?
I am also listing planting dates and whether I sow them directly into the garden or transplant. Starting transplants right away in greenhouse.
Tomato: Beefsteak, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Homestead, Large Red Cherry, Roma, San Marzano, Old Fashioned Garden Peach, Pink Cherry, Rutgers, Isis Candy Cherry (from transplant Feb.20th -March 10th)
Eggplant: Black Beauty, Long Purple, Rosa Bianca (Feb. 20-April 1 from transplant)
Squash: Black Beauty Zucchini, Cinderella Pumpkin, Cocozelle Zuccini, Scallop Yellow Bush, Golden Summer Crookneck, Spaghetti, Scallop Early White Bush (direct sow Feb10-April 10)
Peppers: Sweet Banana, Emerald Giant, Serrano, Early Jalapeno, Pablano, California Wonder Bell, Cayenne (from transplant Feb. 20-March 10)
Beans: Blue Lake (bush), Contender (pole), Kentucky (pole) (Direct sow Feb 10- March 15)
Cucumbers: Marketmore 76, Wiscinsin SMR 58 Pickling, Homemade Pickles, Straight Eight (direct sow Feb. 10-April 10)
Melons: Green Flesh Honeydew, Sugar Baby Watermelon, Black Diamond Watermelon, Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe, Cal. Sweet Supreme Watermelon (direct sow Feb. 20-April 1st)
Pumpkin: Cinderella, Big Max, Jack O’ Lantern (direct sow March 10- May 1)
Okra: Clemson Spineless (direct sow March 15- June 15)
I will also buy Organic Black Eyed Peas from Sprouts and plant those as well (direct sow mid Feb. 15-May 15)
Ok everything below is kinda dependent upon space and whether I got enough from the winter garden. These are things you definately need to plant right away if you are going to do them at all (and preferably transplants)…otherwise just hang on to the seeds and plant in the Fall.
Lettuce: Bibb, Merveille Des Quatre Saisons, Buttercrunch, Jericho (Direct sow or transplant January 15-March 15) LETTUCE DOES NOT LIKE TO GET HOT! As soon as it gets hot it will turn bitter and begin to bolt. Does better in the garden in winter.
Spinach: Bloomsdale (direct sow or transplant Jan 1-Feb. 15) My suggestion is to plant just a little and give it a go….but wait until Fall/Winter when it does awesome!
Swiss Chard: Rainbow, Ruby Red, Lucullus (direct sow January 15-April 1st)
Carrots: Danvers, Tendersweet, Imperator (direct sow January 15-Feb 10)
Beets: Early Wonder, Bull’s Blood, Detroit Dark Red (direct sow January 15-April 15)
Kale: Dwarf Blue, Dwarf Siberian (direct sow January 15-March 15) Greens do better with a freeze…so I wouldn’t plant past end of February personally.
The following are herbs…and to be honest I haven’t direct seeded my own herbs yet except for Basil so this will be new for me and I am going to give it a go in the greenhouse.
Basil: Purple, Italian Large Leaf, Genovese, Thai
Cilantro: Coriander Slow Bolt, Indian Dhannat (cilantro bolts very quickly in the heat, my best advice is grow when its cool and then just keep replanting!)
Parsley: Dark Green Italian, Triple Curled
American Flag Leek
Mammoth Dill (careful dill grows like a weed)
Oregano (grows like ground cover)
Large Leaf Sorrel
WHEW!!! That’s it folks that’s all I got for you today! Good luck I hope you are as excited as I am. Now I gotta head outside and actually get some gardening done! Email me @email@example.com if you have questions and make sure to check out our farm page on Facebook Freedom Harvest Farms