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What a dilemma

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What a dilemma

Post  jumiclads on 1/17/2011, 6:52 pm

I need to order seeds for the coming season, but, with all the work I have to do to get the garden ready I am not sure which to buy. I am buying them from The Real Seed Company here in the UK and they only produce small amounts of seed and are running out already of some seeds so I need to order soon. If I order now and don't use them it will be a waste of a years life of the seeds. What would you do and if you were to order any which ones would you choose. I know its my choice but just pretend your me for a minute.

Last edited by ander217 on 1/18/2011, 9:45 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : fix spelling of thread title)

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Re: What a dilemma

Post  Megan on 1/17/2011, 7:22 pm

Wow, that IS a dilemma!

I would first of all consider what veggies/herbs I love to eat, and already buy regularly. This would form my initial list.

Then I would cross out the ones I know are

  • veggies not suited to my growing region (tomatillos are a struggle, here)
  • tough to grow (celery)
  • easy to find in acceptable quality at the store (cheap, organic!) (carrots and celery, here)
  • space hogs like corn

Then un-crossout any of those that you want to try anyway!! Smile This would be my pared-down list.

Then I would consider whether any of my local friends or SFG forum buddies have any seed to share. If yes, cross those off.

Then decide, what items you want to special-order, versus what you can buy in a local big-box garden store. (Unless, of course, you want to exclusively special-order to support your chosen store.)

For me, that decision comes down to heirlooms / specialty plants versus simple things like parsley, chives, marigolds, lettuces etc. that I can buy in a big box store at a low price. My big-box lettuce mix did GREAT last year and, but I do want to experiment with with some heirloom types. There is absolutely nothing wrong with big-box seed, in my book. It is probably more resistant to diseases/problems than the heirlooms and is popular because it is... popular. (If that makes any sense? Smile ) And hopefully nothing completely wrong for your area is being sold locally. I think I ran into a problem with one tomato I ordered from Baker Creek, that way. It's a nice tomato plant but after growing it last year, something tells me it is not right for Virginia. I think it would do better further south. (Or, maybe I just had bad luck. I don't know.) I don't know if there are lots of growing zones in Britain, maybe that's not as big of a problem for you?

Also, remember that seeds generally stay good for several years, so don't think that older seed won't work. Your germination rate might not be as good, but I have had very acceptable results from 3-4 year old seed in the past. Plus, if you order something and don't use it, perhaps you could use it in trade for something else, too.

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Re: What a dilemma

Post  nancy on 1/18/2011, 9:50 am

Mick - also consider the "IHA' and "ISO" threads here. Several people are willing to share seeds. I plan on ordering from Baker Creek this year and many of the packs contain 250 seeds! Way more than I can use. I scored some gorgeous Black Cherry & Isis tomatoes last year from a friend here. I will definitely be posting extras here. =)

And like Megan said - the seeds will be good for more than 1 year, so don't fret too much if you can't use them all.

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what to plant

Post  ander217 on 1/18/2011, 9:54 am

I second everything Megan and Nancy said, and I would add one thing - don't forget to order seeds now for fall crops, too. If you intend to do three-season gardening, it's sometimes difficult to find seeds for sale in late summer. I sometimes forget to plan that far ahead.

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Re: What a dilemma

Post  jumiclads on 1/18/2011, 10:51 am

Wow what a great response. I really love this forum. You get sensible replies.

I will seriously think about just ordering everything I would like and then store what I don't use for the next season. Like you say most of packets have hundreds of seeds in and I would not be able to use all of them in one year so would have to store them anyway.

I think if I can stay awake long enough in the evening after working on the garden I will start doing some planning and work out some 3 season growing and companion crops aswell.

Not sure about swapping seeds though as I would have to find someone in the EU to exchange with. All my seeds will be Heirloom and Open Pollinated types because I mostly remember the vedge I ate as a child tasting far different from todays and would like a piece of it back.

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Re: What a dilemma

Post  LaFee on 1/18/2011, 1:59 pm

I was just going to say -- Mick, you're spot on about international seed swaps -- you're likely to lose them at customs, whichever way you're sending.

I've had no problem with getting commercially-prepared seed in commercial packets, but I think they'd throw a bit of a fit if you were sending homegrown seeds.

And with commercially-prepared seed, I'm prepared to lose it anyway, and no one is out more than some loose change. I think I'd cry if I lost someone's heirloom seed.


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