We’ve been bombarded with snow storms every week for the last three weeks and still have plenty of snow on the ground as a result. The temperature dropped back to winter levels again after a warm stretch in February. But it’s time to start germinating seeds for a new season, especially those that need more time to grow, bear fruit and ripen. I started our tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings last week. The tomatoes have already sprouted up. Chili peppers will need a little bit more time to sprout.
Aside from the usual tomatoes we have been growing, Brandywine, Cherokee purple, Mortgage lifter, Nova, Indigo cherry drop…among them, this year we will try two new varieties. I ordered True Black Brandywine and Dark Galaxy tomato seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, one of my favorite plant and seed companies. I have never been dissatisfied with their seeds.
This year we also picked a new variety of pepper to try, also from the same supplier, ‘Buena Mulata’ peppers. The description is impressive and hopefully we like it enough to keep it on our long list of chili peppers we grow.
I also started varieties of kale and Swiss chard this week. By the time the last frost date comes, hopefully in mid April, they all should be ready to settle in to the garden. We agreed that the ‘Dazzling Blue’ kale we tried last year is worth growing again. If you like ‘Toscano’ or ‘Nero Di Toscana’, you will probably like this kale. It has similar leaves but with purplish/pink midribs and I find it’s a little sweeter.
We grow organic and love to try new kinds of vegetables so we’re a little choosy about where we get our seeds. Below is a short list of reliable companies we use for our vegetable seeds and plants:
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a great selection for Asian and specialty greens among many other vegetables
- Strictly Medicinal Seeds has a great variety of medicinal herbs and plants, some of which can be hard to find elsewhere
- Territorial Seed Company, I love their garlic, kale and herb selection. I have fun growing different varieties of garlic from them
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, great for hard to find tomato, herbs and heirloom seeds
- Hudson Valley Seed Library This is my local seed company that offers plenty of organic seeds in beautiful packages.
I hope you find something you like from these companies to add to your garden. I derive no benefit or profit from suggesting them, just my experience from patronizing them over the years.