I love this time of year because my mailbox starts to fill with seed catalogs. It reminds me that Spring is right around the corner. Browsing through the huge varieties of vegetables, I’m excited to see the new heirloom tomatoes and some old faves. I want one of everything! So what should you choose for your garden? Do you like leafy greens or want to try a different type of melon that you grew last year? Where to begin?
Organic: Stick with organic seeds. Seeds sold as organic are grown on certified organic farms and have never been treated with pesticides or chemicals. Choosing organic also means that your seeds have not been genetically modified (GM). Genetically modified seeds have been altered by insertion of bacteria, yeast, and other organisms. If you’re growing your own vegetables, why include this in your harvest? Buying organic seeds assures you that your garden will grow the healthiest of vegetables.
Heirlooms: Vegetables are sometimes referred to as “heirloom” or “heirloom variety.” They were grown in earlier times, before large-scale agricultural practices came into existence. Fans of heirlooms will argue that many of the best tasting crops come from heirloom plants. Heirloom tomatoes are the most common and favorite to grow. Their flavor and texture reminds us of our grandparent’s garden. All heirloom varieties are open-pollinated (though not all open-pollinated varieties are heirlooms), and that means you can save seeds from this season’s harvest to plant next year. Our friends from the Seed Savers Exchange offer all heirloom seeds with a huge choice of vegetables, herbs and flowers at exceptional prices. They are “dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.”
Seed Catalogs: Here is a great list of organic seed catalogs to choose from. Go online and order them now. Don’t wait too long because popular plant varieties will run out. They’re free and offer a huge variety. Sure, you can get some organic seed packets at your local stores, but the choices are small and offer few varieties.
Gardening should be fun. Even the experts are learning something new each day. You’ll be amazed the first time you eat lettuce or a tomato you grew yourself!
Stay tuned to the Garden Eats blog. Next up- The Makings of True Organic Soil.