We’re starting to prepare for this growing season. Last year we published a calculator to help determine how many plants to grow and how much space they’d need. We also published a week-by-week calendar of starting, planting, and harvesting for US Hardiness Zone 5a.
This last week I sat down and organized my seeds, throwing out those that were too old to be viable and sorting the rest by plant group. I used the chart at the Temperate Climate Permaculture blog to determine viability. Those seeds that are at the end of the range will have to be over sown to insure enough germinate.
H Heirloom; OP Open Pollinator; * Bought new in 2018; ! End of viability.
Most of our seeds were saved from last year or the year before. Some remain left over from previous years. Most of the plants are either heirlooms, open pollinators, or both. This means I can save the seeds from this year’s crops for next year.
Those identified as “unknown” are those that I’ve been growing for years but don’t know the original variety. Most of the new seeds bought this year came from Adaptive Seeds. A few others came from High Mowing Seeds. I found both of these companies from the Open Source Seed Initiative‘s partners website. Seeds sold under this agreement are “open source,” meaning once you’ve got the seeds, you can do with them what you want — no patents, no restrictions except that you extend the same freedom to others.
Seed Starts (for Sale)
In March, I’ll start these seeds in containers inside, to give them a leg up on the growing season. I’ll outline that process as it happens. Since some seeds only have a limited shelf life, it makes sense to start all of them before they are no longer viable. That means I’ll probably have more plants than I can use, so the extras will be sold to help defray the costs of buying new seeds.