As seed-starting season approaches, now’s a great time to start making a few decisions about what you’re going to grow in your garden. Whether you shop for your seeds from a traditional seed catalogue or you prefer to do your browsing online, it can be an overwhelming task deciding what to plant. Here are a few seed catalogue shopping tips to help you get started on this year’s seed order.
6 seed catalogue shopping tips
1. Consider what plants you might want to buy: My gardens usually contain a mix of plants I’ve grown from seed myself or plants that I purchase from a variety of sources, like plant sales, nurseries, etc. Sometimes it’s nice to grab something that’s had more of a head start in a greenhouse. And on the other hand, I like grabbing interesting heirlooms that have been recommended by other people. All that is to say I don’t grow everything from seed. I save room for plants I know I’ll gather once the growing season arrives.
2. Plant your grocery list: One of my top recommendations is to plant things that you eat all the time throughout the summer or that you’ll store for winter—tomatoes, herbs (which are pricey at the supermarket), peas, carrots, peppers, lettuce, potatoes, beets, etc.
3. Try at least one new-to-you edible: Make sure you plan for all the things you and your family like to eat. But save a small spot in the garden to experiment with something new. Every year I purchase at least one seed packet that contains a new-to-me plant. I have discovered many new favourites, like cucamelons, lemon cucumbers, etc.
4. Plant a few flowers for pollinators and bouquets: My edible gardens all contain a few flowers. Not only do certain blooms act as natural pest control, they also attract valuable pollinators to the garden that will help boost your edible yield. Furthermore, I always love to sacrifice a few flowers for summer bouquets. Every year, I love to buy a packet or two of zinnia seeds. The bees and hummingbirds love them!
5. Split the bill: If the size of your garden is on a smaller scale, consider halving your seed order with a fellow green thumb. My sister and I often will split a seed order and dutifully divide a packet in half.
6. Spread the love: I like to spread my business around and for that reason, I have lots of seed company favourites.