Seed Selection Season

It’s cold. We’re indoors. We gaze out the window looking at our bright Denver sun hoping the warmth will come back sooner rather than later. We dream of spring time and the moment we touch soil with our bare hands again. What are we to do as gardeners during this time of dormancy?!

Winter is the perfect time to indulge your dream gardens. Take long naps, fill up on hearty soups, and draw up lists of all the delicious and beautiful plants you want to grow! Planning time is NOW.

Selecting the right seeds and purchasing them through reliable sources can be time consuming, so what better time than the present when we aren’t bombarded by daily watering and weeding duties?

There are so many options when it comes to seeds: herbs, bulbs, brassicas, roots, tubers, annual, perennial, heirloom, hybrid, and much much more. Not to mention all the seed companies who love to send free catalogs for your viewing pleasure: Johnny’s, Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom, Seeds of Change, High Mowing Seeds, and FedCo are a few we’d recommend checking out.

Take your time looking through the options all these companies have to offer. Baker Creek Heirloom and High Mowing Seeds in particular have unique, rare varieties that can be fun to try out if you’d like to challenge your gardening skills and have some fun surprises next growing season. Johnny’s is great for getting large quantities of seeds if you have a large space to grow in or are looking to grow only a few of your favorite vegetables.

If you are too overwhelmed by all the different types of seeds, follow some of the following steps to walk you through the process:

  1. Write down your top 10 vegetables you either like to eat or grow.
  2. Narrow it down to your top 5.
  3. Research one of those top five and limit yourself to maybe just 2 varieties for each of your favorites.
  4. Depending on your space/budget limitations, begin to widen your research to more varieties or more of your favorites! It will get easier with time and experience.
  5. Use any notes you might have taken in previous seasons about how certain crops grew. This can also help shape your seed selection choices.

Our general recommendations when looking for seeds that are good for the planet and people are to look for the following terms/labels: organic, non-GMO, heirloom. If seeds are not labeled as such, you might want to do some more research to understand how the seed companies produced their seeds.

Check out the following diagram to learn about what you might find on the seed packets you see at the store:

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