Whether you're looking to add some unique new flowers to your garden, or planning out your raised veggie beds, here are a few tips that'll help ensure your seed-growing success.
Despite being the off-season for most gardening work, winter is the best time to buy seeds as you'll likely be able to source everything you need with ease. This also gives you plenty of time to get things organized if you intend to start your seeds indoors (Note that some seeds need to be started 10 weeks before the last frost date). I do the majority of my seed buying in January and February and largely avoid the dreaded "sold out" label on my favorites – especially if you're shopping from super high-demand sources like Floret Flowers. In short, get them now.
Go organic and non-GMO (and heirloom too)
It pays to be mindful of the quality, origin, and treatment of the seeds that you're buying as this will no doubt have an impact on the quality of the plants and subsequent fruit and vegetables they produce. Conventional seeds have been grown on plants that have likely been treated using chemicals, so they produce plants that rely on this chemically-dependent style of gardening. Organic seeds have been grown on plants (you guessed it) organically – free of herbicides, pesticides and aggressive fertilizers – so are often more resilient, and prosper in gardens that are cultivated in this way. When possible, it's also a good idea to select heirloom varieties. Heirlooms are a key way of maintaining diversity in a plant family which ensures longevity and vitality.
Buy from reputable sources
There are some fantastic seed sources both big and small that grow and sell strong, reliable seed stock and offer interesting varieties as well. Here are a few of my favorite sources for seeds:
- Floret Flowers (mostly flowers, some ornamental veg)
- Annie's Heirloom Seeds (flowers, herbs, veg, and fruit)
- Chiltern Seeds (flowers, herbs, veg, and fruit)
- Jekka's (some flowers, tons of herbs, veg, and fruit)
- Seeds of Change (flowers, herbs, veg, and fruit)
- Tucker's Seeds (flowers, herbs, veg, and fruit)