I've been reading a lot about how growing your own fruits and vegetables is going to be huge this year. The bad economic news apparently has people turning to gardening to in an effort to feel like they have some control in their lives or they're turning to vegetable gardening in order to feed their families.
Whatever the reason people are turning to gardening it is welcomed news not only to the seed companies, who are reporting increases in sales, but to those of us who garden. All of a sudden family members who once made fun of my dabbling with plants and seeds are now calling and emailing me asking for advice. This year tiny urban garden in Chicago will be a lot more edible than it has in the past. I feel a bit like I'm jumping on the edible gardening bandwagon but in reality it is more out of necessity. Last year I was too busy to tend to my garden and this resulted in a lot of plant deaths-instead of replacing them with more perennials I'm going to fill the space with vegetables.
The other day I got a gift package of seeds from Renee's Garden that Renee wanted me to trial (more on that later) in my garden. You can click the image of the vegetable seed packs above for a larger view. One of the things that struck me about these veggie seed packs is the use of illustrations instead of photography. Renee's online garden seed catalog also makes use of the charming illustrations used on the seed packets.
The back of the seed packets is full of information good for the first time gardener. You can click the seed packet image for a larger view.
On the left side of the seed packet you get directions on when to plant, where to place, planting depth, spacing of seeds, days to germination and days to harvest once started.
There's a flap that has a quick description of culinary uses for the edible plants.
Folding the flap over reveals specific information that is more in-depth than the planting guide on the left. Why am I going on about this? I'm a seed nerd, I think seeds and seed packs are cool and I like that Renee's seed packages provide so much information on germinating the seeds and growing them. I still have empty seed packs in a box from seeds I planted years ago because I liked the packaging or information on the seed pack. Not all seed packs go into so much detail for beginners or make good use of all the space they have available to them. The seeds are pretty cool too-the mix packets come color coded so you make sure to plant some of each.
The other thing that appeals to me about Renee is how socially aware she is. She's signed the "Safe Seed Pledge" to not buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. You can visit the About page on Renee'sGarden.com to learn more.
Here's a list of the seeds I received from Renee that are pictured above.
Butterfly Asclepias "Bright Wings"
Peppers "Thai Chile Duo"
Nasturtium Climbing, "Moonlight."
Strawberry, Alpine, "Mignonette"
Peas, Edible Pod, "Super Sugar Snap"
Peppers, Habanero "Red Savina"
Peas, Snow, "Oregon Giant."
Pak Choi, Baby, "Green Fortune"
Peppers, "Jewel Tone Sweet Bells"
I'm looking forward to growing all of these but in particular I'm excited about the climbing Nasturtium because I'm a big fan of this plant. The leaves & flowers are edible and if you're doing small scale farming you can grow it as a sacrificial plant. I've grown a few varieties of it but I've never been able to find the climbing variety for sale in a store. I can't wait for spring now.
If you've never grown plants from seeds before take a look at these past posts of mine. feel free to ask questions about starting seeds in the comments. I try to answer each and every comment left in the comment section.
Plastic bottle seed starter.
Sandwich bag seed starter.
Seed starter pot from newspaper.
Paper tube seed pot holder.
Homemade seed pots.
When I collect Nasturtium seeds.
Related from GardenBloggers.com
Seed Sites Get Social-Post on the social networking sites by Renee'sGarden.com & Botanical Interests.
In the news:
Recession grows interest in seeds, vegetable gardening
If you've made it this far:
Renee offered me these seeds out of the kindness of her heart. I didn't ask for the seeds, I didn't hint at wanting seeds, I didn't offer to blog about her and her seeds-she just offered them to me while we discussed growing plants from seeds. In that same spirit in which they were given to me I'm offering to share part of my good fortune with one of you. I'm going to share half of; both peas, the Baby Pak Choi and the Habanero Chiles seeds with someone from the comments section. I've preselected a number, if your comment is that number the seeds are yours if you want them.