Beat the rush and buy your vegetable seeds for the next planting season before they run out.
In northern climates, the luxury of putting the garden to bed begins when the last fall vegetables have been harvested. It is a rhythm that is repeated each year when the days get shorter and the nights get colder.
It is a time of year that I embrace because the pace becomes slower and there is plenty of time for reflection. During this slower time of year, I look forward to perusing seed catalogs that still come in the mail. They get you in the mood for the next planting season and make the winter season more bearable.
However, this year will be a little different. I think those that have a garden and those that want to plant a garden in 2021 might have difficulty obtaining seeds. I remember this same issue for the 2020 planting season where many seeds were either sold out or the purchase of seeds were restricted.
VEGETABLE SEED PLANNING
If you are brand new to gardening decide which vegetables are the easiest to grow for your growing area. You don’t have to go gang busters. Start with a few vegetables and give gardening a try. The following year make a bigger garden as you gain experience.
What vegetables does your family enjoy eating? Make a list.
Which vegetables are most expensive that you either routinely buy or cannot afford but you love? In a separate column list them.
Decide which vegetables will grow in your area. You can look at this USDA map of hardiness planting zones here, if in the United States.
If you have to rely on the food from your garden as a main food source what would you plant? The world seems to be in free fall these days and your garden might very well become your grocery store. Here you will need to ask yourself which foods does my family eat that will keep a long time or which foods can I preserve in the freezer or by canning? This is especially helpful when your garden is no longer able to produce.
You are well on your way to developing a plan for planting vegetables.
WHICH TYPE OF SEEDS SHOULD YOU GROW?
Heirloom seeds are those that have been saved and passed down from one generation to the next. The seeds from an heirloom variety can be dried, saved and used the following planting season. This variety of seeds assures you that you will always get the exact same outcome.
Hybrid seeds are not genetically modified as you might have thought. Even though their parents are different they are still in the same species. This means, both parents are tomatoes each is a different kind.
Each parent has been chosen for their particular traits. Think of this like having your cake and eating it too. It is a way to make the plant hardier and more resilient. It might be able to handle drought or cold better. Or, it might be more tolerant to bugs or disease.
One important item worth noting here is that hybrid seeds cannot be dried and saved. The seed must always be purchased.
Organic seeds can be either heirloom or hybrid. You must keep in mind that organic seeds planted in soil where pesticides were used will not be considered organic. The same holds true if you plant organic seeds and then use pesticides on your vegetable plants. When necessary there are alternative organic options for pest and disease control.