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Our Lady's Loom, Larder, and Laundry
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JennGM
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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 3:27pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

I have so enjoyed the potager thread. I've lost track, though, because I had a few other projects with deadlines that I had to focus. I'm behind on these plans again! The birds and squirrels are back and I already have daffodils blooming in the beginning of February, an obvious sign that my ground is warm.

But I need to order and germinate my seeds. I'd love to discuss favorite seed places. I'd like non-GMO, preferably organic ones.

I have a few already:
Southern Exposure which is not too far from me.

Renee's Garden Seeds

Seed Savers Exchange

My neighbor grows Italian veggies, and recommends Grow Italian, seeds from Italy. Not all are organic, but there is a section.

I'm looking for some French and English varieties. I think Lindsay gave an English source...but perhaps share again?

Any favorites you use over and over again? Recommendations? Not as highly recommended?

Love seed catalogs!



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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 3:50pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

I ordered some things from Seed Savers.

Pilgrim here on the boards runs St Clare Seeds, and they have a large selection including many of the same varieties of heirlooms available in other catalogs for less $$. They don't have a print catalog, though.

Thompson and Morgan is a British company that distributes here. I didn't order from them, though, this year since I was trying to keep the places I ordered from down to save on shipping. I'm not sure what their stance on GMO is.

I've also been looking at Territorial for ordering berries, asparagus, rhubarb, etc... as well as some flowering kale and a couple of other more obscure seeds they carry for the Fall.

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Betsy
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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 4:24pm | IP Logged Quote Betsy

CrunchyMom wrote:

Pilgrim here on the boards runs St Clare Seeds, and they have a large selection including many of the same varieties of heirlooms available in other catalogs for less $$. They don't have a print catalog, though.


I heartily second St. Clare Seeds. I have ordered in the past, and will definitely order again this year!

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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 4:43pm | IP Logged Quote wifemommy

I just have to give a second nudge to St Clare's seeds we ordered from them last year. Great prompt service. My dh is anxious to order this years seeds Annie
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JodieLyn
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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

Baker Creek is another one.

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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 7:52pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

oh and I found my garden plan from last year that i didn't get to use.. so I'm all set for this year.. just need to buy seeds and soil etc and I'll be ready to get it going.

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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 8:09pm | IP Logged Quote Pilgrim

Just wanted to say, while we don't have a commercially printed catalog available, we now offer a downloadable (and thus printable) catalog. We were really excited to finally get this done this year.

ETA: Thank you Lindsay, Betsy, and wifemommy, for mentioning us, seconding the mention of our company, and your kind encouragement. I thought about it later, after I posted, I never said thanks to you.

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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 9:54pm | IP Logged Quote Betsy

JodieLyn wrote:
Baker Creek is another one.


I second this store too! They have a lot of seeds that are heat tolerant which I need for my climate.



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Posted: Feb 06 2012 at 11:05pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

I love Fedco, Seeds of Change and Botanical Interests. I also used to trade a lot (it's addictive!!) at the gardenweb forums.

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Posted: Feb 13 2012 at 11:04pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

Oh my! Does anyone else have difficulties choosing varities? The bell peppers were the worst.. I have picked out two green (one that's supposed to get a brilliant red), a yellow, an orange, and a purple

Some of the multiples I can justify to find out what grows best and does what I need. Like I know the Roma is a good choice especially since it's determinate. But for salad/slicing tomatoes.. would determinate or indeterminate be better.. I want them to eat fresh over our short season not to can etc... and then which of those are the type that I like and will grow better this is difficult.

I'm also looking for a good cold tolerant, short season, June bearing strawberry, i'd love to buy the plants/roots to get a headstart on them.

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Posted: Feb 14 2012 at 9:39am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

In the last week, I've practically memorized a couple of catalogs...so this is fresh on my mind.

JodieLyn wrote:
   But for salad/slicing tomatoes.. would determinate or indeterminate be better.. I want them to eat fresh over our short season not to can etc... and then which of those are the type that I like and will grow better this is difficult.

I really prefer indeterminate because they will keep producing until your frost - even if you do have a short growing season. I really, really love the Territorial catalog for helping me navigate varieties that will work in my area. Our needs are so different than yours - you have a colder, shorter growing season, and we have a long, but blazing hot growing season here. Territorial offers some great guidance at choosing a good variety for the area. For your tomato, I was going to recommend cold hardy, early ripening, very sweet Stupice (and it's available to ship as a plant which could give you even more of a head start!). But take a look at the others at Territorial, too.

Jodielyn wrote:
I'm also looking for a good cold tolerant, short season, June bearing strawberry, i'd love to buy the plants/roots to get a headstart on them.

For berries, I thought I'd recommend Raintree nursery. They're in the northwest area (Washington state) and offer a number of early (June) producing, cold hardy strawberry plants.

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Posted: Feb 14 2012 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

Stupice is one of the ones I looked at. To compare to Siberian which is a determinate. I also am considering trying some beefsteak varieties.. the New Yorker is determinate and the Beef Steak is indeterminate.

We're a zone 5 for temps but our season is almost as short as zone 4. I'm not sure if I'd get many tomatoes at all with an indeterminate variety.. that's why I want to try both. I can certainly "get rid of" extras pretty easily. I also tend to plant more plants than otherwise suggested so that I get more veggies before the cold kills them off.

Thanks for the recommendation.. I will go look but I'm almost ready to order from Gurney simply because they have one of teh varieties I was looking at on sale cheap enough to make it very tempting.

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Posted: Feb 14 2012 at 12:42pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

JodieLyn wrote:
I will go look but I'm almost ready to order from Gurney simply because they have one of teh varieties I was looking at on sale cheap enough to make it very tempting.

I just meant taking a look at them (and perhaps requesting free catalogs for the future) as a way of making use of their wonderful information on some of the different types of seeds. My order is almost ready to go, too, Jodie! Oh, how I long to finalize it this week and get it placed! Then, to set up the seedling nursery area!!

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Posted: Feb 14 2012 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

ok I did look at it and yes, I added it to my favorites gardening folder the prices are definately reasonable but the sale price can't be beat

I want to check over my seed order and make sure I'm not missing something I can get through gurney and then I'll get those strawberries ordered while they still have them available.

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Posted: Feb 16 2012 at 7:15pm | IP Logged Quote kbfsc

Friends, I'm butting in to say that I have always dreamed of gardening but have never accomplished it. This year will be the year, I hope! We have a tiny yard, so would most likely be using containers. We also have a tiny budget. Any suggestions for how to get an enthusiastic but totally ignorant family started with gardening? What plants can you not do without? And are seeds always the way to go? Or should I consider buying little plants?

My K'er planted lettuce and carrots in his co-op class a few weeks ago when we read Peter Rabbit (DARLING!!), and as they are sprouting and taking shape everyone is super excited! I think we should ride the family enthusiasm.

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Posted: Feb 16 2012 at 7:19pm | IP Logged Quote kbfsc

Sorry, friends! I just found the Potager Plans thread. I'll start there. Shouldn't have butted in... just so excited to give it a try!

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Posted: March 01 2012 at 8:50am | IP Logged Quote Angel

I just -finally! and late! - finished ordering my seeds yesterday. I wasn't as organized about making a chart/list as I have been in some years, and I forgot a few things. But I think things are moving faster here this spring than they did last spring. My asparagus is just *leaping* out of the ground. It's supposed to be 77 degrees tomorrow! (Anyone in a zone 5a climate and above has permission to throw tomatoes at me! Believe me, I know how it feels! )

Anyway, here's where I ordered from this year (I'm in Zone 7):

Southern Exposure
Baker Creek
Cook's Garden
Territorial (onion seedlings and a couple of jasmine plants)
R.H. Shumway (Wando peas, the best variety if you don't have a long spring, have had nothing but good luck with them.)
Kitchen Garden Seeds

Kitchen Garden Seeds has many French and Italian varieties. I've ordered beans from them before and had good luck, so this year I ordered more. They also carry my favorite zucchini (Striata d'Italia, so much sweeter and more flavorful than the typical American zucchini) and the "Big Rainbow Striped" tomato, which sounds to me like it is really the Striped German I liked to grow in NY. It seemed easier to grow than other tomatoes (although no tomatoes were easy to grow in NY, and here in MS I'm wondering if the only way I will ever grow decent tomatoes is to choose ones with nematode resistance. Sigh. Tomatoes are a never ending battle for me.)

Another favorite variety:

Cook's Garden Kaleidoscope Carrot Mix

These were so good! My favorites were the purple ones.




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Posted: March 01 2012 at 9:00am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

Angela, I can't tell you how that makes me feel so much better. I'm also in Zone 7A and haven't ordered my seeds, and was just panicking today because I haven't even ordered them, let alone start them. My neighbor started his a long time ago.

Are you planting in the ground, or starting indoors?

Even though we're the same zone, I think we have more chance of a frost until much later than you do.

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Posted: March 01 2012 at 12:02pm | IP Logged Quote wahoo92

Anyone know (and preferably tried) a reliable source for milkweed seeds? It took several years for us to get some established at our old house (aggravating considering it grows and multiplies everywhere on the sides of the road!) and we tried multiple sites to transfer from. We are at a new location now and I would like to order this time so I can choose colors. Also hoping that we can get it established more quickly this time around.   Not many places sell it, and many that do seem to be out for 2012.

Thanks!

BTW--Milkweed is the host plant for Monarch caterpillars. It is so much fun to watch them grow!

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Posted: March 01 2012 at 7:04pm | IP Logged Quote Angel

Sarah -- Kitchen Garden Seeds sells milkweed, but it looks like the standard orange-red cultivated variety, not the dusky pink-purple stuff you find in the wild. I have no idea how good the seed is, though. I actually ordered their butterfly garden mix this year because our back yard was torn up recently to put in pipes. So I figure why plant grass when you can plant flowers.

To answer Jenn's questions... I think I'm Zone 7b and we're having a zone 8 winter, so I feel like I'm even later than I am. My azaleas are blooming. But... I think with this long season I have a little leeway. I'm going to start some tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant from seed anyway, because I can't get the varieties I want locally, and if they don't start bearing before the heat hits, there's enough of a "second season" that they'll probably bear in September/October. I always plan on buying some plants locally because sometimes I forget to water, somebody knocks the seedlings on the floor, they don't perform well, etc. Plus I have somewhat limited seed starting space. So I do hedge my bets a little there.

We had some seed leftover from last year that we hurriedly threw in the ground this week -- carrots, peas, onions (an experiment, as I think I was supposed to overwinter the seed and didn't), lettuce, spinach, and arugula. I had wanted to grow snow peas this year, but I think I will save them for the fall, as I just don't think the heat is going to hold off long enough this year. But I think that my Wando peas will do well, because they can handle temperature extremes. They're a good variety for procrastinators. And I also went with heat tolerant lettuces, just in case.

Potatoes and onion seedlings will be delivered soon, and I'll plant cabbage, beets, and radishes directly in the ground as soon as the seed arrives.

The problem I had with ordering at the end of February was that some places were out of what I wanted -- Southern Exposure most notably. I'll have to buy sweet potato slips locally if I want to plant them, and I was hoping for some of SE's purple and white varieties (in quantities less than 100 slip). I also wanted Jimmy Nardello peppers, but I had to get them from Baker Creek.

Anyway, it's all kind of an experiment. I have to admit that I rarely do anything when you're "supposed" to, and yet stuff grows. In zone 7, the only thing you really ought to start indoors are tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant... and, I guess, herbs like parsley or basil, or flowers like marigolds. Although... my basil went to seed last year, self-seeded in the bed, and gave me two crops of basil. So maybe you could just plant it directly, too, even though you're not "supposed to".

In NY, getting things started indoors by the right time was absolutely essential. I could grow okra, but I had to have exactly the right strain and it *had* to be started May 1 or we didn't eat much okra that year. On the other hand, I never started my tomatoes until March. This is our second season here in MS but I think I'm still on the NY calendar!



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