|Gorgeous seed packets from Italy; I have no idea if they will work but at least I can frame the packets!|
Planning your vegetable and herb garden layout now will ensure you get the exact seeds that you want in case they go out of stock. Oh yes, it happens. Did you know there are die-hard gardeners out there who plan with gusto, swooping in to snag the choicest seeds? For example, I had my eye on a prolific flowering zucchini seed imported from Italy that is touted as “the best” for culinary zucchini blossoms. Alas, it is currently sold out.
Wondering how to get started?
- Figure out your hardiness zone. If you are wondering why you need to know your hardiness zone, Arkansas gardening guru P.Allen Smith, gives a good explanation. Fayetteville is Zone 6b and Bella Vista is Zone 6a.
- Brainstorm your wish-list of what you would like to grow and harvest.
- Go online and see what is available from your list and in your hardiness zone.
- Support organizations that provide heirloom seeds. This year I ordered from seedsavers.org, italianseedandtool.com, rareseeds.com, territorialseed.com, and mypatriotsupply.com. A lot of companies will provide free shipping over a certain dollar amount, so the more you can order from one seed house, it may benefit you. I learned the hard way when I ordered a particular patty pan squash that ended up costing me around $12 simply because it was a single purchase. Better planning would have had me ordering an alternative choice from another supplier.
- Best of all, support local seed saver exchanges when you are able. Here is a list of upcoming seed swaps in Arkansas, coordinated from the Conserving Arkansas’ Agricultural Heritage. Fayetteville peeps, your day is March 2nd and Eureka Springs, your day is March 23rd.
Why order your seeds now?
- Ordering early allows you to be prepared for the season.
- Ordering early allows you to not miss any critical indoor growing time periods before the first frost.
- Ordering early allows you to browse heirloom varieties and specialty plants and herbs that may not be available at your local Home Depot or Lowes.
- Ordering early allows you to plan out your summer so you don’t encounter that “shoot, I should’ve planted already” moment.
- Ordering early is kinda’ an adrenaline rush. My mind explodes with anticipation of a luscious garden full of culinary potential!
May your garden overflow with a bounty of delicious eats!
Eat well, my friends. Eat well.