Shortly after Christmas, I went through Veseys Seed Catalogue and made a list of seeds I wanted to order for the coming growing season. This year’s order was small though I’m still contemplating a few other things. I’ll make up my mind before the end of January and make a second order if needed.
Why is my order small? Over the years, I’ve ordered many packages of seeds from various companies. I often don’t use all the seeds in an envelope, so I store them for the future. Seeds are good for a few years if they are kept in a dry, dark, cool (not below zero) place.
Last year, I put time into gathering seeds from plants in the garden. Once I learned how, it was easy to save many seeds. Usually I buy a few different varieties of tomato seeds, but I’m not buying any this year. I have about 300 seeds ready to be sown, but I’m not planting that many. I usually put in about a dozen plants.
The bonus about learning how to harvest seeds for future use is I save money. I usually spend about $50 a year on seeds and root stock. Since I don’t have to buy many seeds this year, I’m expanding my collection and buying a few different things I’ve never grown before. Two of those things are watermelon and stevia.
Buy Sooner Rather than Later
If you plan on buying seeds, don’t wait too long. If 2021 is a repeat of 2020, seed companies will sell out fast. I believe it was April 2020 when seed companies had to freeze their websites for several weeks to give them time to catch up on orders.
I worked at a garden centre last spring and into summer, and we were extremely busy with plants and seeds selling out early. So don’t wait. Decide what you want to grow this month and make an order soon.
Plant What You Eat
That’s right. Don’t waste time, money, space and resources on growing food you don’t like. It doesn’t matter what other gardeners say about how great a plant grows. If you won’t eat it, don’t grow it.
While this sounds simple, I’ve had discussions with other gardeners about this. They’ve grown things they don’t like, and they end up giving it away.
Don’t Plant More than You Need
I hear from a lot of gardeners who give away a lot of produce because they can’t possibly eat it all before it rots. While it’s nice to be generous if one is forced to give up food because it will spoil, it wastes resources that could have been spent on growing other food.
I have two solutions:
- 1. Grow only what you need: While I love cucumbers, I can only eat one a day. Last year, I grew five plants, and they gave me cucumbers for three months. I was able to consume all of them except the 15 I gave to family and neighbours. These were prolific producers, but I didn’t know that when I planted them. I probably needed only four plants to fulfil my daily intake of cucumber.
- 2. Learn how to prolong the life of the food: If I pickled cucumbers for winter storage, I could have grown twice as many plants. Since I freeze my tomatoes to make sauce throughout the year, the few hundred tomatoes I harvested were perfect. I ate tomatoes daily and had plenty to pop into the freezer.
Seeds Have Arrived
I ordered my seeds in late December, and they arrived earlier this week. Now I have to be patient and wait. It’s too early to plant. Well, except I sowed a few onion seeds I had gathered two years ago from an onion plant I had let go to seed. They take forever to sprout, so I won’t see any sign of life for weeks.
I also planted one seed potato (a small potato I had harvested from the garden in October) in a big pot. I do this every year and have a few new potatoes to eat in early May.
Though snow is on the ground, I’m anxious to get back to the garden.
Where to Buy Seeds Online
These seed companies are located in Canada. I’ve either bought seeds from them in the past (either in person or through the mail) or heard good things about them.
- Annapolis Seed: Located in Nova Scotia. From their website: We are growers and stewards of heirloom and open pollinated seed. Our goal is to cultivate the greatest possible diversity of seeds for our region. Our collection acts as a living seed bank for the Maritimes and Eastern Canada.”
- Cochrane Farms: Located in Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. It is certified organic and has vegetable, flower and herb seeds.
- Heritage Harvest Seed: They specialize in rare and endangered heirloom/heritage varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs. They have over 800 varieties.
- Hope Seed: Located in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. From their website: “Hope Seeds is a small but committed seed company, with a dedication to local and sustainable agriculture since our beginning in 1994. This little but growing company officially became a co-operatively owned business in December 2015.”
- Prairie Garden Seed: Located in Saskatchewan. They have rare and organic seeds.
- Salt Spring Seeds: Located on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. “Dedicated to a safe and sustainable agriculture.”
- Seeds of Imbolc: Located in Fergus, Ontario.
- Veseys Seed: A wide variety of seeds, bulbs and starter plants. Located in Prince Edward Island.
- Whiffletree Farm and Nursery: Sells all sorts of fruit trees, berries and such. Located in Ontario.
- Yonder Hill Farm: Located in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.
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Happy Reading and Happy Gardening