Gardeners, Start Your Seed Search!

comments (5) November 2nd, 2010

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yourownvictorygarden Greg Holdsworth, contributor
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As I was flipping my calendars from October to November, the thought occurred to me that I needed to start choosing my crops and varieties for next year's garden. Or should I say this year? Let me explain.

One of the staple crops in my Victory Garden are peppers. If you start them yourself from seed, you need a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks for them to reach full transplant size. Down here in North Texas, where mid-March is the linchpin of the early growing season, that means you are actually starting next year's garden in late December (at least unofficially). How's that for an early Christmas gift!

My point? I need to get cracking and make my selections. That means getting my garden porn... I mean, seed catalogs ordered. I can start by reviewing the ones from this year, but to take advantage of new varieties and information, I need to stay current.

As I was surfing around, I immediately noticed that online seed suppliers aren't just about ordering seeds, plants and supplies. They have become an outstanding (and unexpected) source of information. Tips, videos, newsletters, blogs and other items are absolutely free, regardless of whether or not you become a customer. For example, Johnny's Selected Seeds has a calculator to determine how many seeds or plants you need... sweet! Not to mention the beautiful catalog from Baker Creek that deserves a spot on your coffee table.

Viewing all of the selections online is great and immediate, but if you have the time, then nothing beats being able to plan your garden during the cold months with your favorite easy chair, beverage of choice, and a handful of freshly printed catalogs.

So, allow me to "put a dollar in the tip jar" and kick off your seed search. The following is an alphabetized list of seed companies and their URLs. I can't list 'em all, but most of the heavyweights are here. Get ordering!

American Meadows
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
read a review...
Botanical Interests, Inc.
read a review...
read a review...
The Cook's Garden
Evergreen Seeds
Gurney's Seed & Nursery Co.
read a review...
Harris Seeds
Henry Field's
Home Harvest Seeds (Ferry Morse)
Johnny's Selected Seeds
read a review...
Jung Garden and Flower Seed Company
Kitazawa Seed Company
New Dimension Seed
Park Seed Co.
Reimer Seeds
Seed Savers Exchange
read a review...
Seeds of Change
read a review...
Stokes Seeds
Territorial Seed Co.
Thompson & Morgan
read a review...
Tomato Growers Supply Co.
Totally Tomatoes
read a review...


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Comments (5)

jessyjackson writes: Looks nice I am definitely going to try this
Posted: 5:30 am on July 13th
IhateBugs writes: I had trouble with my peppers; I checked the roots and the nematodes stunted the plants growth and size of the peppers.
Next year, God willing, I'm going to use sterile soil and grow them in pots. Hope this helps you.

Another good Texas seed company is Willhite Seed Company located in Poolville, in business for over 85 years.

It's comforting to know you can order seeds that will grow well in our climate. We live near the coast, south of Houston - zone 9B; semi-tropical, humid weather in the summer.

I always search for plants with good disease resistance and nematode resistance, such as tomatoes (I think that helps no matter where you live); for spinach and lettuce grown in the spring, bolt-resistant; for sugar snap peas, mildew resistant.

Willhite is one of the few seed-catalog companies who sells the Sweet 1015 Onion seeds and/or plants, short-day type and send an excellent "how-to-grow onions guide". They also have an on-line website. I placed an order in Oct.; they just delivered my onion plants this Dec.

Posted: 9:41 pm on December 22nd
arddwr writes: Fantastic list! I really appreciate you putting this together. I always enjoy reading the articles you post.
Posted: 3:03 pm on November 4th
yourownvictorygarden writes: alethor: I had mixed results with my peppers this year. My banana, cayenne and serrano peppers did very well, but the larger square varieties were also small. To answer your question, I feel you can't go wrong with the undisputed bell champ, California Wonder. I also put in some bought transplants of the variety Big Bertha, which did OK.
Posted: 12:00 pm on November 3rd
alethor writes: Could you suggest a good BELL PEPPER variety for the DFW area, please?
I like the red ones.
This year all my bell peppers were so small ...
Thanks in advance

Posted: 10:35 am on November 3rd
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