Those of us who garden know that starting your own seeds might require more patience, planning, and time, but it is definitely worth it. Or, maybe I just think that because it helps calm the control freak in me. Starting from seed lets me know exactly where everything I plant comes from, and to completely control it from beginning to end.
Now is the time that gardeners start gathering seeds and planning their spring and summer gardens. That’s because at this time, late winter finds many of us not only wishing for spring, but finding our mailboxes and email in-boxes filled with seed catalogs. Some of them offer such great deals, with so many choices, it is tempting to just order blindly.
But, before you rush to take advantage of those deals, think about what you might be sacrificing for that bargain and who you might really be supporting by purchasing them. Try to support companies that only feature non-treated/non-GMO seeds and those that have a wide variety of heirloom seeds, so that their genetic and cultural diversity can be preserved.
Try to get seeds that are adapted for your area or from your area. Local, heirloom seeds are better adapted to a local region and become better seeds for that area. They also provide more interesting and unique varieties that are often tastier.
One way to do this is to exchange or share seeds through a local seed library. Modeled after the public library, a seed library allows members to “check out” seeds in the spring, and in exchange, they agree to grow them and “return” the seeds after harvest from the mature plants they have grown in the fall.
Another way to share seeds is to share them with those you love. With Valentine’s Day coming up, seeds also make a great gift for gardeners, and seed starting “equipment” like a mini-greenhouse, peat seed starting pots, grow lights, and seed starting mix would be most appreciated as well.
While you might wonder just how appropriate seeds are for the day of love, a seed pack of their favorite flower is sure to melt any gardener’s heart. And, seed packs are often beautiful works of art, and can feature hearts or other things the recipient loves.
You can even give plantable seed paper or seed cards. These are made of special paper embedded with seeds that are planted right in the ground. They offer everything from wildflower seeds, herbs, vegetables and even mixed salad greens.
If you want to get even more creative, you can make your own heart shaped seed bombs using a cookie cutter or heart shaped ice cube trays.
Or, you can start some seeds for an intimated gardener or would–be gardener to get them started. Better yet, give them a personal seed starting class, and show them how to do it from start to finish.
And to really sow the seeds of love for your gardening Valentine, give your loved one a membership to a seed library. That way they can pick out the seeds that they want, as often as they want.