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Organic seeds & heirloom seeds—what they are and how to choose them
Mar 19, 2011 - Charlotte from Peaceful Valley
It may be the hardest time of the year for gardeners.
So many seed packets, so little garden space
Did you see Tricia in our video on selecting seeds? She’s standing in front of a wall of seed packets. All great seeds. But which are the best for your garden?
You can’t just choose the most appealing package because, frankly, all our newly-designed seed packets are stunning. We have worked with a local artist, Randy Griffis of North San Juan, for several years and we’re very proud of the results.
Safe Seed Pledge
First of all, buy your seeds from us, because they are all safe. We signed the Safe Seed Pledge.
We only carry seeds that are organic or sustainably grown. You will not find any GMO (genetically modified) seeds, nor seeds that are treated with fungicides. We also stock as many heirloom and open-pollinated seeds as possible, to help farmers and gardeners continue growing for generations to come.
How long is your growing season?
Most warm-season vegetables are tender and cannot live through a frost. Your “growing season” runs from the date of the last springtime frost in your area to the first frost of fall. Get the local frost dates from your Master Gardener or Cooperative Extension office. In California you can find your Master Gardeners by county with this list. There’s a national map too, to guide you to your local Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners.
Make sure the seeds you plant will have time to mature in your growing season. This is a particular issue for those of us who live in short-season areas with chilly springs and cold snaps in the fall.
Don’t just buy one packet of cucumbers and one packet of tomatoes. Try several varieties of a vegetable. See which one works best in your garden and which one tastes best. Next year plant your favorites again, and try some new seeds too.
A seed glossary
Want to swap seed stories?
There’s a group on Twitter that meets Wednesday nights to hold learned and sometimes rousing discussions about seeds. Experts abound in the group, but they’re welcoming and helpful to gardeners at all levels. If you’re ready to meet some seed enthusiasts, join in at #seedchat on Twitter, read their blog, or find them on Facebook.
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