Seedy Ideas….

It’s time. Time to start the forward motion for a gorgeous and productive garden in 2012. First up, is selecting seeds. I’ve been browsing the offerings from my favorite suppliers as well as some ‘new-to-me’ suppliers to determine my projects for this year.

One of my new veggie choices for this year is beets.  I’ve never done much with them but I have become more interested since learning about all they have to offer.  For example, you can not only eat the beets but also the beet ‘greens’ a.k.a. young foliage.  Also, I have come across more and more simple recipes (TODAY FOOD,  WELL-NY Times Blog, Eighty Twenty ) that include beets and this is probably because they are known to contain antioxidants and anti-inflamtory and detoxification support. Since they are full of fiber, magnesium and potassium not to mention beta-carotene, calcium and iron and are easy to prepare there is a lot to like about beets!

So I’m trying Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for my beet seeds (‘Bulls Blood’ and ‘Golden’).  I’ve never purchased from them before but they have an excellent reputation (only selling non-GMO seeds), very reasonable prices and the largest selection of heirloom seeds available in the U.S.  They recently put out a book titled, ‘The Heirloom Life Gardener’ that I first heard about on NPR’s Morning Edition this fall.  The book looks to be quite a resource for learning about gardening with heirloom varieties.  Have you heard of it?

Another new-to-me supplier with very reasonable prices is The Fragrant Path from Nebraska.  This company focuses primarily on fragrant plants, as the name reveals and has a nice selection of annuals, perennials, grasses and herbs.  I’m ordering Datura metel or Angel’s Trumpet as an ornamental for my back patio.

Of course, there are just too many temptations from a company like Johnny’s Selected Seeds to not place an order.  Besides, I’ve been able to germinate seeds from Johnny’s that were many years old and had not been stored properly so I think they have quality seeds.  You can always count on Johnny’s to find something you like and for me this year, it’s arugula, kale, lettuces, Gold Rave tomato, Baby Bear pumpkins and Buttercream and Chocolate sunflowers.  Doesn’t that sound fun?!

Seeds of Change, Rene’s GardensTerritorial Seed Co., and Botanical Interests are other wonderful seed companies that I always purchase a packet or two from.  I’ve got a few things from them already but have not finished my selections just yet.  In other words, I have to garner up some self-discipline and make sure my seedy ideas are not out of control before I place my order.

I had gotten away from growing with seed but went back to it last year and although it is inexpensive, gives you more control over what you grow and is very rewarding, those little guys can be time-consuming when it comes time to pot up, harden off and plant out.  So good to remember the old saying, your eyes can be bigger than…your available garden time!

How about you?  Who are some of your favorite seed suppliers?  Are you growing a new vegetable or fruit this year?  Do you have a special flower you are trying from seed? Are you planning to grow more with heirloom and organic seeds this year?