So it’s a weird, yoyo winter. Some days are filled with a foot of snow. Blink, and it’s all melted away. Rinse and repeat. My least favorite time of year, and I don’t even care that my birthday is in a few weeks. (and besides, I probably won’t be here to celebrate it with a cake till after I return from my tropical escape). But that doesn’t mean I can’t do some fun things around the house and dreaming. The thing about winter is it seems like time slows right down. Which is good, I think. I can take the time to read my winter reading queue, play some video games, and gaze longingly through my seed catalogs. But I have seeds now. And I hate that I don’t have any herbs right now. Just some limp things hanging out in the fridge. So I dragged out ye olde Aerogarden. I started my seeds in this little guy back in early January, so today is a bit of a progress of what’s come up so far. I love fresh basil, so it’s basically my tender herb garden.
I’m fascinated with the idea of “space food” (or what I believe to be space food, things grown hydropnically, like this really cool plant tower of hydroponically grown food). But I cautiously don’t believe it works for an Aerogarden, as my tomatoes kept tumbling down and breaking due to lack of space. Every year I try a new type of seed to see how it does in an Aerogarden, and I always come back to “just herbs is ideal.” However, I’d love to try a larger model later down the road, or even a hydroponic grow tower, like this awesome Nutritower! This time around, I’m growing mostly basil (because supermarket stuff is either limp in a package or very unhappy in a pot), Cilantro and Parsley. Gotta have my mains! And I hate buying things that just go icky in the fridge after using once.
The other thing I’m looking for is SEEDS! After not having them for a few years, there is a cry for Carbon Tomatoes, which inspired the seed hunt. So after having found a supplier for these, now I go for the hunt for oddball and tropical seeds, since my business’ backbone is based on unusual tropical acquisitions. I know there are some who play it safe and just stick to the seed racks that they know in grocery or garden shops, but if you venture out to the catalog or website world of seeds, you can find yourself completely dazzled by options in terms of color and variety that you would otherwise never have thought of.
I’ve done a lot of online shopping in my early and current horticultural career, so I’ll recommend a few good places where you can get reliable seeds that will ship.
http://seedrack.com/ – I always have special feelings for this site, as it was my first seed shopping online experience. Lots of really neat tree seeds! I’ve gotten ginkgo seeds as well as other tropical seeds. Some of these seeds you should ensure that you have ideal conditions for germination. This year I will be ordering some carnivorous and cacti/succulent seeds.
Veseys – Oh, what a bounty of beautiful seeds and plants! The majority of my seed selection last year came from Veseys. There is nothing better to do on a winter day than sit by the window with a tea and circle your choices from the catalog. They offer good rates on shipping if you order larger quantities too. I often buddy up my orders with friends so we can get better deals.
Tradewinds – Another really fun website to browse. Though if you see something you want, get it immediately, because they sell out of their neat stuff really quickly. I had an overwhelming success with my Jacaranda seeds that I purchased here as well as my Adeniums. This year I grabbed some Brunfelsia and Hylocereus seeds.
I can’t forget to mention Annapolis Seeds. What an exceptional local seed seller! I’ve bought so many tomato seeds from these people as well as had a tour of their farm. A huge selection of tomato, veggie and grain seeds, and they have also signed the Safe Seed Pledge! Check ’em out, either online or in Nova Scotia garden centers.
Halifax Seed is another really good selection of seeds. Honestly, I just wait till I get to Halifax and just browse their shop. I could spend a good afternoon in there.
These are my go-to favorites for seed sellers. Check them out, I’ve always had a pleasant experience with all of these companies. I do browse racks in department stores too, but I always crave the oddballs you can’t get easily in the big name racks in these stores. The scour has begun, and the orders go in when I get back home. And then it’s straight to tool maintenance and shop preparation. I’m making steady progress to hopefully sell more in 2017.