Planting a garden. A gardeners guide to buying unusual fruit and vegetable seeds from online companies.

Planning a Garden

It's that time of the year again-time to plan your summer vegetable and fruit garden. My husband and I decided to start our first garden last summer to try to save some money on our summer produce bills. It was hard to buy tomatoes for $1 a pound when we could grow them easily in our own yard. It worked out wonderfully for us and we are looking forward to expanding our existing garden space and starting new plots this year. I teach first grade and every year I teach a science unit on plants. My students love to study seeds and the plants that grow from them. We start seeds in the classroom around March so that they have a good sized plant to give to their moms (in a hand painted pot of course) on Mother's Day in May. I went a little crazy with my seeds last year which resulted in me having dozens of extra seedlings after Mother's Day. Many of the plants in my garden were actually started in my classroom. This year I plan to have a bigger variety of seeds for my students to plant which will result in my having a greater variety of seedlings to plant at home. I've been looking online for the best deal on seeds and wanted to share the information that I have found. I hope you find it useful.

Perhaps the best known seed company on the planet is Burpee Seeds.  You can not only buy seeds on the website but if you don't feel to confident using seeds you can also purchase plants.  They have a huge variety of annuals and perennials as well as herbs.  You can find a variety of heirloom and hybrid seeds and every year they come out with new varieties of fruits and vegetables.  You can also buy gardening tools, fertilizers, and other gardening supplies on the website.  I have ordered from them before and the turnaround time from placing and order and receiving your purchase is relatively short.  If you are interested in Burpee go to the website and order one of their free full color catalogs that is chock full of good information.  One side-note on Burpee:  Many of the seeds that you see on the website can be purchased from the gardening department at Walmart.  Last year I saw many of the seeds I bought online at my local Walmart-and they actually cost less.  Their seed starting kits are also available. My advice-order the catalog and take it with you to your local garden department.  Purchase what's available at the store, order the rest, and save a little money.

Park Seeds

Another great online company that I have used in the past to order seeds and gardening supplies is Park Seeds. I like Park because in addition to the regular run of the mill seeds like tomatoes and peppers they have many "unusual" varieties that my students love to grow like: Easter Egg Plants, purple carrots, and Lamb's tails. Park offers organic, hybrid, and heirloom seeds as well as plants. The Park website gives you the opportunity to view plants and seeds that are separated into groups designed for shady locations, sunny locations, drought locations, and others.  You can also purchase specific collections of seeds or plants like: herbal tea collections, italian herb collections, low maintenance collections, and sunflower collections.  Park also offers a free full color catalog that you can order from the website.  Try some of the unusual varieties and have a little fun and whimsy in your garden this summer.

Do you want some unusual varieties of seeds? Try This website offers some very cool and unusual varieties of seeds like: knucklehead pumpkins, salsify (a root vegetable that tastes like oysters when fried), European melon mix (a mixture of melons unique to Europe), peach tomatoes (tomatoes that you can bring in before the frost that will ripen over several months), and corn varieties like black Aztec, bloody butcher, strawberry and blue popcorn (yes I said popcorn). This company also offers gardening tools and supplies as well as a large variety of gifts for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. I plan to try my hand with some of the varieties of drought tolerant corn and pop-corns this year. You can also go to the website and order a catalog-they come out twice annually.

Amishland Heirloom Seeds

I was absolutely thrilled when I found this website. Amishland Seed Company specializes in heirloom seeds. What are heirloom seeds you ask? By their very nature, an heirloom variety is not an unstable hybrid, it is open-pollinated and should, with a little care, breed true to type from year to year. You can plant an heirloom variety plant, save the seeds and grow the same plant next year. A hybrid seed on the other hand is different in the fact that if you save the seeds to grow the same plant the next year-it probably won't happen. Instead you could have seeds that are sterile or produce something completely different from the "mother" plant.   The site offers heirloom tomato, eggplant, peppers, beans, peas, and flower seeds.   It also offers "rare" seed varieties of melons, cucumbers, cabbage, salsify (the oyster plant), and ground cherries.  If you like the idea of ordering seeds from this site then do it soon as many of the varieties sell out quickly.  Several of the most popular seeds have already sold out for the 2010 season.  Also you need to remember that you are not just purchasing seeds, you are making an investment in your future gardens-save the seeds from your plants this year and there won't be a need to ever place another order-that sounds GOOD to me!!

I hope you find this hub useful when you are planning your garden this year. I encourage you to order the catalogs and find some unusual seeds for your garden. I'll update this hub when I start to plant my garden and include pics of what I have used and how everything has turned out.  Happy Gardening.

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Comments 2 comments

jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

Good advice, thanks for sharing

mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks so much

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