How to Get a Truly Green Thumb: Heirloom Seeds, Sources, Starting Mix

When you buy your seeds this winter, consider heirloom and native species! Seed biodiversity depends on backyard gardeners like you. Here is why this matters, some of the best do-it-yourself seed starting mixes, a seed glossary, and six heirloom seed catalog recommendations.

Why it Matters to Buy Heirloom Seeds – Plus About Seed-Saving
The loss of genetic seed diversity facing us today may lead to a catastrophe far beyond our imagining.

Take the Seed Savvy Quiz and see how your knowledge stacks up!

Heirloom Seeds – More What and Why?
Vegetable varieties which predate the current seed production and food distribution systems we have in this country are called heirlooms.

When to Start Seedlings
Most gardeners start seedlings too soon. Do you?

Seeds of Life – Seed Glossary
Humans today rely upon just 20 varieties of plants for 90 percent of their food.

Simple Egg-shell Pots for Sprouting Seeds
Here is an imaginative idea for handy seed-starters that makes a pretty decoration: you don’t need to buy trays or pots to start your seeds when you can use eggshells instead!

About Treated Seeds
Some methods of seed treatment are known to be hazardous to the health of the people who use and manufacture them.

January’s Gardener To-Do List

Nine Steps to Starting Seeds

Amy Goldman’s Favorite Squashes

Seed Starting Mix – One
4 parts peat
2 parts perlite
2 parts vermiculite

Seed Starting Mix – Two
1/3 Potting Soil
1/3 Sand
1/3 Garden soil (needs to be well tilled)
Mix all 3 parts together very well

Seed Starting Mix – Three
Just peat


Heirloom Seeds

Rare Seed Catalog (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Seed Savers
Seeds Trust

Seeds of Change

Victory Seeds (open pollinated and heirloom seeds)

By Annie B. Bond


Marianne Good
Past Member 4 years ago


Elena T.
Elena P4 years ago

Thank you :)

Nicolette Lyons
Nicolette Lyons4 years ago

I'll have to try this

Bmr Reddy
Ramu Reddy4 years ago


Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson4 years ago

Thanks for the soil recipies too. I'm starting my vegie & herb garden planting in pots as well as a small vegie patch and now have a great start as the soil is the heart and vitallity of the plant to get the best nurtients. In Australia we have a lot of magnesium deficiency due to the lack in the soil from over farming and so I found out it's important to put minerals in our soils for this reason.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Tanya W.
Tanya W5 years ago

Yummy tomatoes and pumpkins I have grown with Heirloom seeds.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

thank you

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you