Sourcing Seeds

A good place to source seeds is in your community. This is because people in your area know best what grows there. Ask friends and neighbors if they have seeds they can share with you. Also ask them to recommend you varieties to try and local garden centers, seed libraries or seed swaps where you can find them.

Bi-annual Seed Swap at the Chandler Sunset Library. Photo by Eileen M. Kane.

Seed swaps are events where people who have saved seeds from their gardens or who have excess purchased seed can trade seeds with each other. Knowledge, ideas and practices from different gardeners and their cultures are passed along too. read more

The Pros and Cons of Heirloom or Heritage Seeds

There are a lot of words to describe seeds that are not hybrid seeds– heirloom, heritage, open-pollinated or standard. No matter which word is used, heirloom plants have been handed down for generations. Originally, seeds from heirloom varieties were saved for the next year because whoever grew them fancied one or two particular traits. This means that single plants of older heirlooms may not look completely like their decedents. Now heirloom varieties are relatively stable, even though heirloom plants of the same variety are not perfectly identical to each other. read more

Seed Packet Buzzword Bingo

Tired of playing buzzword bingo as you sift through seed packets for information? Here are a few plant industry terms decoded.

GMO: Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals which were altered using biotechnology. They contain a new gene or a new combination of genes. Why? To provide improved traits.

Seeds from genetically modified plants are sold only to farmers by the companies which produce them. Legal contracts which spell out exactly how the farmers can and cannot use the seeds are required. None of the seeds available at garden centers are genetically modified seeds. read more