Alright, I’ve finally gotten all the seeds I wanted for this year – which means it’s time for the 2021 seed haul. Now, most of these are brand new to me. I had maybe 10(?) seed packets from last year – mostly direct sow varieties – because I’ve previously grown mostly from starts I bought from a local organic farm.
However, as previously mentioned, this year I’m determined to grow from seed. Which in the long run will be a money saver, but currently is an excuse to spend long afternoons with seed catalogs and websites blowing through my Christmas money.
But before I share my current seed-hoarding status, I want to talk a bit about storing and organizing the 55 varieties of seeds I now own. (#SorryNotSorry)
If you exist on any garden-centric internet spaces (which is probably a yes if you’re reading this), you’ve probably already seen this tip going around. I know I’ve seen at least a dozen gardening Instagram accounts suggesting it. But just in case you’ve missed it, photo storage boxes are a great way to store and organize your garden seeds.
I’ve seen these go for much more online, but I got mine at Michael’s where it was on sale for less than $15! You’ll see I’ve organized my seeds by family, basically. So that’s also how I walk you through my seed haul below.
As mentioned, I now have about 55 varieties, and still plenty of room to fill. Though I won’t fill it this year – I’ve promised myself.
Okay, one more PSA before we get to the actual seed haul –
If you, like I used to, thought seeds were best stored in the refrigerator, allow me to liberate you. Yes, seeds prefer a cool, dry environment, but the fridge is totally not necessary. Which is great, cause this storage case would have been a tight fit.
Generally, I keep my seeds in the basement, which is about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house and has a dehumidifier running. But honestly, they’d probably even be fine in the main house. Less-than-ideal storage might just decrease their germination rate over time. And it would make it easier for them to fall victim to other forms of damage like getting wet, just from being in a more highly trafficked environment. If you’re not going to store your seeds somewhere like a basement, just make sure they’re out of direct sunlight!
On to the business at hand –
My 2021 Seed Haul
I’ve linked the seed companies for each of the varieties below except for Baker Creek. At the time of my writing this, they’re currently closed in order to catch up on order processing. #PandemicProblems. Also note, though, that some I didn’t buy directly from the seed company but from a shop local to me.
- Deep Purple Bunching Onion (Hudson Valley)
- Calabrese Broccoli (Fruition)
- Sativa Brussel Sprouts (Fruition)
- Nero di Toscana Kale, aka Dino Kale (Baker Creek)
- Early Purple Vienna Kohlrabi (Baker Creek)
- French Breakfast Radishes (Baker Creek)
Side note: if you think you don’t like radishes, try French Breakfast – especially roasted with some butter. I am not a fan of the round red cherry variety that are a staple of salad bars. They’re just too spicy for me. French Breakfast have totally changed my mind on radishes though. I contemplated growing some others, like Black Spanish or Watermelon, but I just love these so much.
- Black Nebula Carrot (Baker Creek)
- Muscade Carrot (Baker Creek)
- Oxheart Carrot (Baker Creek)
- Chicago Pickling Cucumber (Baker Creek)
- Silver Slicer Cucumber (Hudson Valley)
- Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (Hudson Valley)
- Moon and Stars Watermelon (Baker Creek)
- Black Beauty Zucchini (Baker Creek)
- Blue Borage (Sow True Seed)
- Erfurter Orange Calendula (Sow True Seed)
- Naughty Marietta Marigold (Sow True Seed)
- Alaska Mix Nasturtium (Baker Creek)
- Silverleaf Sunflower (Hudson Valley)
- Velvet Queen Sunflower (Hudson Valley)
- Mammoth Gray Stripe Sunflower (Hudson Valley) …we plan to grow a wall of sunflowers between us and our less-than-great neighbors)
- Candy Cane Mix Zinnia (Baker Creek)
- Red Wing Lettuce Mix (Baker Creek)
- Salad in Provence Lettuce Mix (Fruition)
- Rouge d’Hiver Lettuce (Baker Creek)
- Japanese Giant Red Mustard Greens (Baker Creek)
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach (Baker Creek)
- Genovese Basil (Baker Creek)
- Lettuce Leaf Basil (Baker Creek) …I’m so excited to use this on sandwiches!
- Dark Purple Opal Basil (Baker Creek)
- Vulgare Oregano (Baker Creek)
- Rosy Rosemary (Baker Creek)
- Common Sage (Hudson Valley)
- German Thyme (Hudson Valley)
- Blue Lake Bush 274 Beans (Baker Creek)
- Borlotto Bush or Tongues of Fire Beans (Baker Creek)
- Magnolia Blossom Tendril Peas (Baker Creek)
- Sugar Magnolia Snap Peas (Hudson Valley)
Nightshades (minus peppers and tomatoes)
- Antigua Eggplant (Baker Creek)
- Rio Grande Verde Tomatillo (Baker Creek)
- Alabama Red Okra (Baker Creek)
- Blot Sweet Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Corbaci Sweet Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Tam Jalapeño Hot Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Leutschauer Paprika Hot(?) Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Poblano Hot Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Shishito Hot Pepper (Seed Savers Exchange)
- Tabasco Hot Pepper (Baker Creek)
- Blue Berries Cherry Tomato (Baker Creek)
- Brad’s Atomic Grape Cherry Tomato (Baker Creek)
- Dr. Wyche’s Yellow Slicer Tomato (Baker Creek)
- Hungarian Heart Paste Tomato (Seed Savers Exchange)
- Paul Robeson Slicer Tomato (Baker Creek)
- Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato (Baker Creek)
And there you have my seed haul!
I could have sworn I had some Botanical Interests seeds, but I must have used them up last year. My plan/goal is to grow just about every one of these over the course of the year, minus maybe one or two of the greens that I got as free seed packets from Baker Creek.
Honestly, I’m kind of regretting how many come from Baker Creek. At the time, it seemed easier to place one larger order than multiple smaller ones. Plus you gotta love free seed packets and free shipping. But I wish I’d chosen to support a few more small businesses, or nonprofits like Seed Savers Exchange. This year I’m really committed to shopping in a way that reflects my values.
As spring planting time comes, I’m still planning to get some bare root strawberries to try to grow in my GreenStalk Planter, as well as some seed potatoes for my grow bags. I might also break my own no-more-plants rule and get chamomile and lavender start to stick in pots.
Next week I’ll be back with a breakdown of how to read a seed packet!
I recently found this list of Black- and Brown-owned Seed Companies and Garden Shops that looks like it has a lot of places worth checking out! I’m dropping this in here as much as a reference for my future self as for you. Happy seed shopping!