before we left on our trip i was outside pulling up old plants and mulching my garden because i procrastinated and didn’t do it at the end of the growing season. oh and because it was 50 degrees outside on a sunday in january. that is unheard of around here in michigan. you won’t find me complaining though. i’m soaking it up. it’s about this time every year that i get so so excited for garden season here in michigan and i start looking through all the seeds and garden catalogs.
many of you have asked me about my seed and plant sources. what do i grow from seed and what are my favorites sources for seeds and plants. i have learned overtime that not everything needs to be started from seed and there are resources out there if you don’t have the giant greenhouse of your dreams. many of my seeds before i found a local grower (which i’m back to trying to find now because mine retired) i started in the basement or bathroom. i started by buying small seed starting trays and an overhead fluorescent light. i try to grow only the unique varieties that i cannot find at a local farmers market. there is a great heirloom tomato plant seller in grand rapids fulton street farmers market along with an organic herb plant guy. they are both there every spring and plants are 4/$10. i try to limit myself to a few tomatoes each year because i primarily use them for canning. other plants I do not start from seed are herbs, peppers, select eggplants and cucumbers. last year i started an orange turkish eggplant from seed and gherkin cucumbers. planning out your garden spacing in advance will also save you a lot of time with having to start seeds. a packet of seeds will cost you $2-4 pending on the seed but you might only need 2-4 plants. it’s fun to start a little garden club with friends and order seeds together so you don’t have them going to waste.
ok so where do i love to order my seeds from? what are my favorite catalogs and sources? i have a few tried and true companies that i’ve been ordering from over the past few years that i’ve been super impressed with.
my absolute favorite seed company is baker creek seed company. they have the biggest variety i’ve ever seen and i have a 95% success rate with their seeds. some of my favorites from last year were orange eggplant and chinese noodle bean. amongst many other things. i order the seeds on line but barnes and noble sells their full catalog. you can get their free catalog on their site but the full one has everything. it’s nice to keep it on hand when you’re in your garden and are reading up on seeds/plants. i also keep notes in mine for what i grew the previous year and what i did or did not like.
i buy most of my flower seeds from floret. i’ve had about a 70% success rate with floret seeds. I had my stock flowers grow but never bloom. i’ve head excellent luck with their zinnias. if nothing else though her site, tips and articles on the website are stunning and super informative. she is the one who suggested to use the tarp to plant my flowers in. life saver. this led to basically zero weeding.
i’ve ordered plants from a few places on line but have never been impressed. once you order seed catalogs…prepare to be bombarded with a bunch of them. I am going to try out one or two new ones this year just to see how they go.
i’m currently obsessed with the shumways catalog because it’s illustrated and it looks like the seed catalogs from the early 1900’s. the veggies have drawn photos and long descriptions. this catalog was randomly sent to me but you can sign up for it here. another great resources is swan island dahlias. they have a lot of the popular varieties and if you wait until the last minute they go 50% off the entire site. i’ve had about 60% luck with their dahlia bulbs.
i order most of my seed and growing supplies from johnnys seeds including the ground cover i grew my plants in this year. i didn’t use it in my garden beds only in the open field and it worked awesome.
i hope this helps! remember you can always join in on our garden conversation on facebook in my garden club group.
i also send out emails about garden updates and blog updates. you can sign up here.
check out a few of my other garden posts including
how to have a low maintenance garden