Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get Your Seed On!

Ah, seeds. Nothing helps get me over the winter blah's quite like a few of my favorite seed catalogs! Even better when pouring over them with my mom and grandpa while at my his farm in northern Iowa. Which is precisely what I did this past weekend as it snowed buckets of the fluffy stuff outside.

Stacy, really? It's not even into February! Why are you looking at seeds now?

The early bird catches the worm in several ways if you start planning now!

1. You get a deal. Many seed companies run great $25 off a $50 order offers at this time you want to take . There are even a few that will offer $25 off a minimum of a $25 order to new customers(read: FREE!). Now, my new customer days are long over so I don't get those anymore.

2. You get your pick. I've actually waited too long and missed out on planting a particular variety I wanted because it was out of stock.

3. Start seeds indoors. Many vegetables and flowers are best started early indoors about 8-10 weeks before your area's last frost. Trust me, it is very tempting to pony up the big bucks for plants from your local nursery when Spring first rolls in. Been there, done that. It's fun but gets expensive very quickly. So consider starting some of your slow growers inside in the next month or so!

4. Do your research- don't miss those Spring crops! You'll want to plan the garden, get the seeds and put the plant dates on your calendar for the various things you plan to grow. Some do better to start in cooler temperatures, like peas and beets. (These same Spring crops can be planted a second time in the fall to really maximize your harvest!) Spring may even be the proper time to plant various fruits if you'd like to add those to your yard.

Starting to get overwhelmed? Don't be! Just grab a piece of paper and start jotting down vegetables and fruits your family currently eats plus a couple that you think might just be fun. Know that it won't go perfectly but you'll learn as you go. If you're a novice, I'd suggest sticking to 6 different kinds to start.

Want to know what I've got on my list? Who am I kidding, I just want to share because I'm so excited!

2 new dwarf apples- Braeburn and Gala
1 dwarf self-polinating plum- Green Gage
Bush Bean
Brussel Sprouts(our new thing to try this year!)
Peppers- Bell and Hot
Melons- a musk and water variety

And that's all I can think of at the moment. Sounds like a lot, right? It's not too bad really. I have something like 200 square feet scattered throughout the yard in raised beds. For any naysayer out there that says, 'Oh, but I can't grow anything in my yard!' I call bunk. If I can garden in 12 inches of water(my yard floods when it rains hard or consistently) then short of being in a volcano, you can, too.

Have any questions about how to get started? Feel free to shoot me an email at crazygreenmommy at gmail dot com. Always happy to help!


tbonecats said...

We *finally* might have a house with a yard in about 2 months, so I'm looking to have my first garden, as well as a front yard to landscape with flowers, and an indoor herb garden. What seed companies would you recommend starting with? I would be a new customer, so any companies offering new customers a deal would be greatly appreciated.

Jen said...

We did our garden from plants this year but I would love to try seeds as well. Got any tips for getting started (when in a cold wintery environment)?

Where do you get your seeds from?

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

For seeds it depends if you are wanting untreated or organic vs. well, everything else. =) I generally trend towards the organic seeds, of course! Garden's Alive is a fav. I have also ordered from Gurneys, Pinetree, Jungs and I'm sure some others.
Jen- You may want to consider using the peat pellets for some of your plants and starting them indoors about a month and a half before your projected last frost. Tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, melons and herbs can all be started earlier indoors!(Just to name a few)

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