The garden may be dormant and the ground frozen solid this month, but it’s not too early to start thinking spring and making plans for the garden. Now is a great time to do some research on seeds for the growing season.
Ordering seeds is easy when you think ahead a bit. Believe us, we’ve learned to do this through trial and error.
The most important consideration is to order from a trusted seed seller. How do you know if a seller is trustworthy? In this age of technology, it’s easier than ever to find out about seed companies. If you’re not a “techie”, you can find out by word of mouth, talking with other gardeners.
Next, figure out what seeds work for you and your garden by checking the plant’s zone. It’s a disappointment when we notice too late that something grows well in Zone 12 — and we’re in Zone 5B!
Here are some other things to keep in mind when ordering seeds:
- Ease of starting: How easy is the seed to start? Does it have special germination requirements (dark, etc.)? When do I need to start the seed? Can I sow it directly?
- Soil: Can the seeds I’m choosing be grown in my type of soil? Will I need to amend the soil?
- Space: Do I have the space to grow this type of seed?
- Light: Do I have enough light to grow this type of plant?
- Yield: How many plants must I start to yield the produce I need?
- Design: What do I want my garden to look like? We like to draw a crude plan of where to plant what — it’s quite helpful. If you’re a square-foot gardener, this is something to consider.
- Consumers: This is where family and friends come in the picture. What would they like in the garden?
- Water requirements: Will I be able to deliver the amount of water this plant needs?
- Height: What height do I want or need the plants to be?
When your seeds arrive, store them properly in a Seed Keeper Deluxe, an easy-to-use filing system with A to Z and Monthly Dividers printed with lots of garden information, recipes and places to keep notes. A kit of tools is included to make you a smarter seed starter! Store your Keeper in a cool, dark place once your seeds are filed away.
Carol Niec and Kerrie Rosenthal, founders of the The Seed Keeper Company, are longtime participants in the Marketplace and supporters of the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Learn more at https://seedkeepercompany.com.