The January garden

Its January now. Not a hugely productive time in the garden with freezing temperatures and snow outside, but still an exciting time in the gardener’s life. Its time to dream about this summer’s garden.

Many gardeners talk about sifting through seed catalogs this time of year, but I have never ordered seed from a catalog before. (I think the cost of shipping is pretty steep considering the size/weight of what you are ordering, don’t you?) I buy my seed from local stores. A few packets of seeds and my onion sets come from a local feed store, and the majority of my seeds I purchase from a local nursery that sells seeds in bulk.

I like buying the seeds in bulk because I can buy exactly the amount I want. I don’t lose as much money on seed for a variety that I don’t end up liking. The downside is that I am limited to the seeds they have chosen to stock. They do a good job of stocking most of the tried and true varieties that will grow well in this valley. That has been exactly what I wanted the past few years. Since most of my gardening time here has been either while pregnant or with a new babe, my priority has been to keep things simple. I have pretty much stuck to things that would most likely guarantee a good harvest (i.e. hybrids). This is my first gardening season in this house that I feel like I will have the time and energy to try some new plants and growing techniques.

I received a gift certificate for Territorial Seed Company this Christmas. Along with the gift was a seed catalog, my very first seed catalog, and I was tickled to flip through the pages right away. But the choices are overwhelming, to be honest. I think I would like to try at least 1 new pepper and 1 new tomato variety, but beyond that is a grand expanse of choice. Over the next few weeks their catalog will float from surface to surface around my house as I pore through the pages again and again, narrowing down my list to a reasonable size.

Where do you prefer to buy your seed? If you buy from catalogs or online, which retailers do you like?

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