Four years ago when we were preparing for our first spring here, I enthusiastically surveyed seed catalogs online and placed an order for over $65 worth of heirloom seeds. The idea of growing different varieties of heirloom plants appealed to me, and while I was very happy with my seeds, I have since come to realize that there are much cheaper ways to buy them. Heirloom seeds are all the rage now, and for good reason: unlike hybrid seeds, you can save the seeds produced by the plant for next year's garden.
I have found great heirloom varieties for 20 - 25 cents a pack at places like the Dollar Tree and Walmart, but a few weeks ago I also found a display at Menards for Valley Green seeds at 10 cents a package. They are normally 25 cents, which is also a good deal, but for 10 cents, I had no trouble picking out 14 different vegetables and flowers. As I looked up each variety, I discovered that they were all heirloom, open-pollinated varieties, which means that the seeds they produce can be saved for years to come.
Here are some of the varieties I bought:
Chicago Pickling Cucumbers
Red Corn Poppies
Cherry Tomato (variety not specified except that it says heirloom)
Gray Stripe Sunflowers
|My square foot garden two years ago. At the time I took this, I was around 8 months pregnant, my husband was graduating from law school, and he had yet to find a job. I was so glad to have this garden as an encouragement.|
The same goes for zucchini plants. My first year here I bought a four-pack of zucchini plants at Walmart on sale and only planted two of them - they went crazy and we had several zucchini coming in every day. Now I know that a pack of 10 zucchini seeds is more than I even need.
I have also never had an issue with the quality of the seeds. I grew Genovese basil from the Dollar Tree that grew just as good, if not better, than my seeds from Baker Creek. And again, I only need so many basil plants! I would much prefer to have a little bit of fresh seed every year than five years worth of seed that gets older each time I plant it.
Next week I will share some simple seed-starting tips that I have used to start all kinds of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in my basement under a simple workshop light, and also in milk jugs outdoors!