Saturday, March 2, 2013

Buying Seeds

I used some time in Hawaii this year to look into improving our small vegetable garden.  We've had the garden for 3 or 4 years now (I can't remember that far back) and it's just not producing as well as it did, mostly due to my laziness/busyness.

One goal was to learn specifically about gardening in our region and a Facebook thread led me to this great blog: NW Edible Life.  Our region is called the "maritime Northwest" btw. 

At first I was overwhelmed because there was SO MUCH information to read and I thought I was an OK gardener already.  Clearly I have much to learn, but at least I've put something in the ground before and I know the work pays off in the end.

I don't want to stress myself out trying to have an amazing garden to impress you readers with.  I know myself and I know that will just make me not want to do anything.  So I'll just post my gardening baby steps here for you to see how I manage our little, summer-only, mainstream veggie plot.  Sound good?  Good. 

NW Edible had some great information on buying seeds.  After I got over the fact that I don't have seed catalogs that I apparently should have been completely obsessed with in January, I made a list of what to buy.
  1. Varieties that are hardy and well-suited to our cooler environment, preferably grown here.
  2. Nothing that needs "a little extra effort" or has to be "harvest promptly."
  3. Heirloom doesn't mean anything if it's not from a similar climate
  4. Try two varieties of each veggie so I can compare them
  5. Tomatoes should be determinate-size.  
  6. Try a bush and a climbing variety of beans and peas.
I have NEVER spent this much on seeds, but I decided if I want to do it right I need to start with the right seeds and soil.  No more Dollar Store seeds for me!  I went to a local nursery, too, figuring the seeds would be more appropriate for our climate and I was right!  Almost everything they had was appropriate for the maritime northwest.  I spent $32.00.  EEP!

I bought 2 types of beans.  The Tenderette Bean is a "hardy and vigorous bush variety."  The Blue Lake Pole Bean is "easy to grow and harvest."  

I bought 2 types of peas from a company in Oregon.  Super Sugar Snap Pea is "disease resistant" and Alderman Shelling Pea is climber that is "easy to harvest and shell." 

The Straight Eight Cucumber grows straight up to 8 inches and can be grown on a fence or trellis.  The Marketmore 70 has "prolific vines" and is "resistant to viruses and disease."  If you've followed my blog long you know how much I love cucumbers and how disappointed I've been in the past.  I really want to baby these this year.

NW Edible wasn't big on pumpkins but my kids love to watch them grow so I'm going to give them a try again.  I thought the girls would like the Cinderella pumpkin and the Jack-O'Lantern is supposed to be a reasonable size for carving.  

I picked up green onions which will be new for me.

I got 5 kinds of tomato.  We love it and I NEVER grow enough.  I'm thinking major tomatoes this summer.  Martino's Roma has "rot resistance."  Red Cherry Large has "vigorous vines" and is a "prolific bearer."  Best Boy "matures early" and is "disease resistant."  Legend is a "very early large tomato" with "blight resistance."  And of course I had to get a yellow plant.  The Amana Orange tomato looks pretty but it's description didn't say anything about hardiness.  We'll see how she does.

Finally, I think I will invest in some sort of trellis this year to expand my garden space and I'm going to bite the bullet and get grow lights.  

NEXT POST: Starting the seeds.



  1. Are you including the seeds in your grocery spending? ;-)

  2. Lol. No, I'm keeping track of my garden spending separately. I'm planning to keep a journal this year with record of my spending, my seed packets, a calendar of what I did when, where I planted, etc. When I get to canning I'll keep a record of that as well, like if I buy more jars or new seals.



So, what do you think?