Every garden writer out there will give you their tried and true list of seeds they plant. They’ll give you their way of selecting seeds. It all sounds so very authoritative as if there were a scientific way to select seeds for your garden. Let’s be honest… sometimes I throw a dart at a seed catalog and go with that one. Other times I have the “oh look that’s pretty” syndrome. Ok, most of the time. There are times I give the small child a seed catalog and a packet of sticky notes and say have at it kid. I’m willing to try anything.
That being said, I do have my set of tried and true seeds that work for me. I dislike blanket statements that say, “don’t plant this because you live in the Northwest.” How will you truly know unless you try, and fail (or succeed). There is one thing we say at the nursery.
Vegetable gardening is the one thing we are not afraid to fail at.
Yes, we all want to be highly successful gardeners. It disgusts me when I plant something in my garden and it never ripens. I’m giving up on you melons. It’s not personal. It’s me not you. Take for instance the Purple of Sicily Cauliflower I have growing in the garden. I planted it last Spring and it is a huge beautiful robust plant that my neighbors stop and ask me what it is. Yet nary a head to be found. I leave it there to put up the front that I know what I’m doing.
If it isn’t rocket science how do I go about selecting seeds for my garden? Mostly the shiny method. There are a few considerations though.
- I start out with the seed catalogs I like (Baker Creek, Johnny’s & Territorial).
- I make a list of the seeds I need to fill in my regulars.
- I then take my seed wish list pages and go section by section and fill in the holes that are missing in my inventory.
- I look for varieties that have short maturity times (that number in the description). The smaller the number the better in my opinion.
- I like varieties that originated in a climate similar to my own (England, France, Easter Europe).
- Then there is always pretty.
- If all else fails you can go to your local independent nursery and ask them what they would plant.
See, it’s not rocket science. Simple. The most important part is don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t fail you won’t learn.