Spring may feel like a thousand miles away for the gardener, but there are still some projects we can do to chase away those winter blues. Like picking out seeds for your spring garden! But what do all those terms you see like “heirloom” and “GMO” mean and where to buy seeds? This is what we are tackling today!
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The Importance Of Gardening
Gardening is the preservation of a way of life, keeping alive the gleaming embers of a way left behind by the march of progress. Every time you pick up a garden tool and begin working in your vegetable garden you are in a way nodding toward those who have gone before us. Relying upon the land to support them and their families throughout the year.
Gardening also gives you a way not to be reliant on grocery stores, and food supply chains by providing your family with food in your own backyard. As we’ve seen the grocery stores may not always have what we need, so buying your own vegetable seeds and planting a garden can ensure that you will have fresh vegetables. Need some help starting your first garden? We have tons of articles on how to start your garden from scratch.
Why is gardening important? Because it reminds us that we aren’t in control. It teaches us to rely on God who spoke creation into being and appreciate the little things. Gardening teaches gratitude and thankfulness like nothing else I know.
Heirloom, hybrids, Organic & GMO Seeds What Do They Mean?
Heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds, organic seeds, non-GMO seeds, and GMO Seeds? What’s the difference? Should I avoid one? Does it matter? We’re going to break down all these terms to help you pick the right kind of seeds for your spring garden.
Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that pass their characteristics on to the next generation of plants. There is no concrete definition of what an heirloom seed is, some gardeners say anything introduced before 1951 while others insist they are varieties introduced before 1920. Generally, consider heirloom seeds as seeds that can be regrown and passed on from generation to generation.
An Heirloom is the only kind that passes its specific characteristics on to the next generation. Heirloom seeds can also be grown organically and non-organic, so it’s important to remember that heirloom only refers to the heritage of the plant.
Hybrid sounds scary but it really isn’t, simply means that it’s a crossbreed. A hybrid plant is the product of two varieties cross-pollinating. A hybrid can be created naturally or through human intervention. Because they are a hybrid they don’t pass on their unique characteristics to the next generations of plants. Hybrids and Heirloom seeds can both be considered a natural occurrence, unlike GMO Seeds.
GMO seeds are not naturally created and require scientists to create them. Essentially scientists alter the DNA of the seeds to create the desired characteristics and traits.
Heirloom seeds or GMO seeds which are better?
If GMO seeds are bred for useful traits why bother with heirloom or hybrid seeds? Heirloom seed varieties are known to have better flavor, be more nutritious, and help to preserve the genetic diversity of the plants. Many heirlooms varieties come with an amazing history also!
Where To Buy Seeds
Seed buying is one of my favorite winter garden tasks. I love curling up in the window seat with a stack of catalogs, my garden journal, and a laptop to put together a list of everything I hope to grow in our spring garden. It makes spring seem just a little closer and helps to chase away the winter blues.
Wondering where to buy seeds? You can find a selection at local stores like:
- Home Depot
- Farmers Co-op
- Ace Hardware
Where To Buy Vegetable Seeds Online:
While your local stores will carry a selection of seeds chances are if you are looking for really unique vegetable seeds they aren’t going to have what you are looking for. When that happens we turn to the online vegetable seed companies to find what we are looking for.
Where to buy vegetable seeds online:
Seeds For Generations is a family business that sells organic heirloom vegetable seeds and related gardening products that makes our list of where to buy seeds online.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. offers nearly 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs—the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the USA. Baker Creek carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century, including many Asian and European varieties. The company has become a tool to promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage. Baker Creek is where we buy many of our seeds each and every year- so of course, we had to include it in our list of where to buy seeds.
Through good times and bad, great depression and world wars, Burpee has been a beacon of hope for Americans for over a century. Despite the invention of the radio, television, cell phones and ipods, nothing is more amazing and powerful than the enchantment of planting a seed in soil and watching it grow. We, at Burpee, certainly did not invent it, but we have been dedicated to enabling you to share, in a very small but significant way, the astonishing magic of nature. Burpee is a well-known brand that you can find in most garden centers offering a wide variety of seeds, so we included this trusted company on our list of where to buy seeds.
- Seed Saver Exchange also makes our list of where to buy seeds
As a nonprofit, Seed Savers Exchange aims to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.
Amazon is another great resource for where to buy seeds online, however, you’ll need to be careful about where your seeds are originating.
- Seeds Of Change also makes our list of where to buy seeds.
Seeds of Change was founded in 1989 to make organically grown seeds available to gardens and farmers. They’re dedicated to preserving the heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the “advances” of industrial agriculture. Their seeds are certified organic, sourced from trusted growers in the United States, and certified to be free of GMOs.
Seeds Now also make our list of where to buy seeds, they are an online seed company with tons of options to pick from.
Since 1995 they have been supplying gardeners with the highest quality seed in the most beautiful and informative seed packets on the market. Curtis and Judy started Botanical Interests because they believed that gardeners were not getting the information they needed from their seed packets. Their desire for more information along with their passion for spreading gardening wisdom led them to create a unique seed packet that is not only beautiful but filled with facts, tips, recipes, and quality seed.
Another great place on our list of where to buy seeds is Ferry-Morse:
At Ferry-Morse we passionately believe gardening should be fulfilling and fruitful. It is a passion we want to share with you. We hope to not only inspire your home gardening, but to give you the tools you need to be successful at it. That’s why we take great care to ensure a quality selection of seeds that will enrich your garden with beautiful and fruitful plants. All of Ferry-Morse’s seeds are Non-GMO and many of their seed selections include organic and Heirloom varieties.
Planning Your Spring Garden
Picking the right type of seeds for your spring garden is almost as important as where to buy seeds. Always buy seeds for what will grow well in your area, from reputable sellers, and never plant anything that ships from outside of your country. Choosing what you are going to grow is an important winter garden task along with buying seeds. Whether you go with GMO, organic, heirloom or even hybrid plants buying seeds from a credible source will help to ensure the success of your new vegetable garden.
Did we answer all of your where to buy seeds questions? If not drop them in the comments and we will do our best to answer them! Where is your favorite place to buy seeds?
Before you go, check these out!