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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering this years run on all things to survive and seed houses hopping to keep up with overwhelming orders and shortages because of it........this is a good time to get seeds for next year. While some things are still out of stock, if you shop around now, you can find what you need.

Heirlooms are great for seed saving and carrying on the history of that variety. Open pollinated varieties are also great for growing & seed saving and are not as picky to conditions as heirlooms.


IF you must use hybrids, just know you can't save & regrow the seeds in future because they don't breed true......so you would have to buy plenty of seed for several years seasons.


Most seeds are good for 2 to 3 years for many crops, and even longer for others. By 'good', I mean germination rates....first couple of years you should get 90% or better germination, and every year after that number drops.......with the possible exception of parsnips that are only good for 1 to 2 years max, from what I've read.


And while you're at it shopping for vegetables, don't forget herbs and flowers that are bee friendly for pollinating the food crops. Bee balm, Comfrey, Borage, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Echinacea, clovers & the like are all great bee attractants. Marigolds may not be for the bees, but it does deter many pests when planted throughout the garden.


There are many online seed options available, and I just put in an order to fill out my supply and went with Everwilde Farms. Their packaging is resealable mylar.
 

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Yea, I've been waiting to restock my seeds for next year until the weather got cooler to help assure any seeds I bought were fresh. It's getting about time.
I don't always use heirloom seeds in the garden but I do try to add a f ew heirloom seed packs to the preps most years.
I planted the cool weather plants a few weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep loaded up in the spring been collecting packs all summer. Currently drying some basil and tomato seeds from this years crop. Stupid question. How does anyone out there harvest romaine lettuce and arugula seeds? It's been a long week and I don't have the energy to google it.

Godspeed.
Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't grow arugula, but have tried with romaine. To me, it looks similar to a dandelion flower & little puff balls. Maybe you're supposed to save the puff balls???? IDK, let me check

Yep, save those puff balls, but here's more detail...

https://gardenerthumb.com/how-to-sa...ds:,will separate the seeds from the... More
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea, I've been waiting to restock my seeds for next year until the weather got cooler to help assure any seeds I bought were fresh. It's getting about time.
I don't always use heirloom seeds in the garden but I do try to add a f ew heirloom seed packs to the preps most years.
I planted the cool weather plants a few weeks ago.
Heirlooms can be picky about growing conditions, pests, disease, etc and can take alot of TLC, to get a good harvest. In many cases, it may be easier to go with 'open pollinated'
 

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Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't grow arugula, but have tried with romaine. To me, it looks similar to a dandelion flower & little puff balls. Maybe you're supposed to save the puff balls???? IDK, let me check

Yep, save those puff balls, but here's more detail...

https://gardenerthumb.com/how-to-sa...ds:,will separate the seeds from the... More
Lettuce seed is easy to save. Let some of your early planted lettuce go to seed. You'll see many little yellow flowers that will form a compound infloresence. As the individual flowers mature will form into small brown seed pods that contain parachute seeds. They do not all mature at the same time, so it is best to wait until most are mature before harvesting the stalk.

I wait until the stalk starts to die off and some mature seeds begin to be dispersed, then cut off the stalks and hang them to dry in a warm dry place. Once well dried you can winnow the seeds from the stalks onto a piece of news paper. I don't bother separating all the chaff. I transfer the seeds into mini ziplock bags for storage. Lettuce seed stores well and will be viable for several years. The seeds from two or three plants will number in the thousands.

I need to inventory all my seeds to see what I have left. I keep a running inventory each year on a computer file, then update and print out a revised file. Always good to have a hard copy :tango_face_wink:

I'll be saving some seeds from this years crops that do not cross pollinate easily. Some I have in hand already, some of my heirloom kale seed has been planted into a fall crop. Seeds I'm saving this year include beans, tomatoes, peppers, kale, lettuce, spinach, dill, parsley.
 

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I’ve already purchased enough seeds to replant all my normal garden varieties for next year. But my gardens are not all that big. I have a nagging feeling that I should be purchasing more for ‘just in case’. But in order to plant more I would need to construct more garden and fence it since I have a horrible deer problem. In addition, the possible garden expansion area has poor ground so we’re talking heavy prep work and supplements and/or constructing raised beds. I’m not sure I want to invest all that $ and effort right now. I’m leaning towards just sticking with what I have for right now and hoping for the best. Maybe just buy some extra seed for now and see what happens next spring.
 

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I've already purchased enough seeds to replant all my normal garden varieties for next year. But my gardens are not all that big. I have a nagging feeling that I should be purchasing more for 'just in case'. But in order to plant more I would need to construct more garden and fence it since I have a horrible deer problem. In addition, the possible garden expansion area has poor ground so we're talking heavy prep work and supplements and/or constructing raised beds. I'm not sure I want to invest all that $ and effort right now. I'm leaning towards just sticking with what I have for right now and hoping for the best. Maybe just buy some extra seed for now and see what happens next spring.
I mean...I have at least 10 times as many of most seeds than I need for my garden. They're not expensive and don't take up a lot of space. It can't hurt to have extra on hand.
 

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Please...you also need to think about what you'll need to be growing if food isn't readily available in the supermarket. Lettuce is tasty and you may like salads, but how much garden space can you spare for such a low calorie food? If your garden space is unlimited, you may be able to grow as much lettuce as you want, but if your garden space is limited, you may need to sacrifice lettuce space to grow a calorie dense food. (Not intending to pick on lettuce, I'm just using it as an example of a food that's the opposite of calorie dense.)

Calorie dense foods for survival gardening: Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Shelling Beans, Amaranth, Wheat. Lower calorie crops that will promote fat storage (desirable if food is in short supply): Beets, carrots, carrots, peas, melons.

These aren't exhaustive lists, just examples to get you started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please...you also need to think about what you'll need to be growing if food isn't readily available in the supermarket. Lettuce is tasty and you may like salads, but how much garden space can you spare for such a low calorie food? If your garden space is unlimited, you may be able to grow as much lettuce as you want, but if your garden space is limited, you may need to sacrifice lettuce space to grow a calorie dense food. (Not intending to pick on lettuce, I'm just using it as an example of a food that's the opposite of calorie dense.)

Calorie dense foods for survival gardening: Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Shelling Beans, Amaranth, Wheat. Lower calorie crops that will promote fat storage (desirable if food is in short supply): Beets, carrots, carrots, peas, melons.

These aren't exhaustive lists, just examples to get you started.
Very true. If possible, don't forget things like seasonings or ingredients to make foods that you currently eat. Such as Cayenne & Paprika peppers for the seasonings. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic, etc for salsa. Cucumbers, dill, garlic, etc for pickles.

If your garden is small to grow all these things.......grow some in pots, look into companion & intensive planting as well as successive planting to get 2 or more harvests in a season, grow what you can vertically to save space. Fill empty space between ornamental plants with food crops. Do you really need a lawn at all? Convert it to garden if you need too. Some vining crops, like cucumbers can be grown in hanging pots, or even tomatoes. It can't be too difficult to figure out how to make those upside-down hanging planters they used to sell.

Just know you're soil needs to be fertile enough to support many of these practices, and will need amending either as the season progresses or after you harvest the first crops & before planting later crops in the same space as happens with successive planting. Best advice to achieve this, is to start your seeds indoors a few weeks before transferring outside to give them a jump on growth. I was shocked at how well my oldest son did this with nearly everything he planted. He started his seeds in wet paper towels as germination test, then planted in small containers those that sprouted. So by normal planting dates, everything already had a good start going.

Another good thing to mention is seeding rates.. Normally instructions and most people do....overseed, then thin out after they come up which is wasting seed IMO. I'd suggest in these crazy times to be more deliberate in seeding rates.
 

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Please...you also need to think about what you'll need to be growing if food isn't readily available in the supermarket. Lettuce is tasty and you may like salads, but how much garden space can you spare for such a low calorie food?
I stopped growing lettuce a few years back. Now I concentrate on high nutrition foods, so instead of growing lettuce as a cool season crop, I now grow kale & collards in the spring & fall. Must be a southern thing, but down here, we eat lots of greens. I'd say turnip greens are the most popular but I'd rather grow collards. They put out more grown, the big leaves are easier to clean & they keep their texture much better when simmered for a few hours with some nice, smoked ham hocks.

Put in kale last weekend and put in my collards today.
 

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I stopped growing lettuce a few years back. Now I concentrate on high nutrition foods, so instead of growing lettuce as a cool season crop, I now grow kale & collards in the spring & fall. Must be a southern thing, but down here, we eat lots of greens. I'd say turnip greens are the most popular but I'd rather grow collards. They put out more grown, the big leaves are easier to clean & they keep their texture much better when simmered for a few hours with some nice, smoked ham hocks.

Put in kale last weekend and put in my collards today.
So you don't like BLT sandwiches?
 

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Properly dried seeds kept in a cool dark place vegetable seeds will last for 3-10 years with over 75% germination (so I've read), In a freezer most seeds will last 10+ years. The Norwegian Svalbard Global Seed Vault keeps seeds frozen for super long term storage. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault

Good food seeds, even GMO seeds properly stored are a low cost prep that will also be a great trade item if ever needed. Even if you're too old to manually grow a huge garden (months of hard physical labor) you possibly could trade some seeds for a percentage of the crop. Or give some excess seeds away to induce goodwill from your neighbors for added property protection.

just my 2 cents
 

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So you don't like BLT sandwiches?
I'm by no means self sufficient here, so we occasionally purchase some lettuce... especially during the tomato season. Point is, when growing food sometimes you need to consider what foods provide you with the most nutrition and calories. I think that is especially important if, like me, the farmer works a job full time and/or one has limited garden space. In a SHTF situation, lettuce provides very little for your body. I haven't tried it before but I bet young amaranth or kale leaves would be rather tasty with that bacon & tomato.

And I don't mind stating I enjoy southern cooked greens much more than a salad. This time of year, I cook large amounts of collards and freeze in containers so that we can have them year round. When I cook, I always cook a lot extra so that my wife can bring dinners to her 100 year old aunt & 99 year old mom. The greens are very healthy for them & they love them so.
 

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I stopped growing lettuce a few years back. Now I concentrate on high nutrition foods, so instead of growing lettuce as a cool season crop, I now grow kale & collards in the spring & fall. Must be a southern thing, but down here, we eat lots of greens. I'd say turnip greens are the most popular but I'd rather grow collards. They put out more grown, the big leaves are easier to clean & they keep their texture much better when simmered for a few hours with some nice, smoked ham hocks.

Put in kale last weekend and put in my collards today.
You cook greens for hours?!? On the very rare occasions I cook spinach, I saute it in oil/butter just long enough to wilt it.
 

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You cook greens for hours?!? On the very rare occasions I cook spinach, I saute it in oil/butter just long enough to wilt it.
Welcome to the south. :) Your style of cooking is that healthy, left coast way of cooking. You get no pot liquor with your way of cooking. Eating greens without pot liquor is like going hunting without any ammo. Yes, our greens are simmered for a couple of hours. Most folks add some smoked meat. Some use bacon. I prefer smoked ham hocks. I will usually put a quart or so of low sodium chicken broth in one of my large gumbo pots and then add 2-4 big ham hocks... depending on how big a batch of greens I'm cooking. I'll cook them on high while I'm cleaning the greens. I stack up the leaves once cleaned, roll them like a cigar & then slice into ribbons maybe a bit less than an inch wide. I add those to the pot, maybe add more chicken broth if needed, add some sugar, some apple cider vinegar... and simmer for 2-4 hours. It is not unusual for folks to add some crushed red pepper or some hot peppers from the garden. I often dice up a large onion and add to the pot.

At that time you have some mighty tasty greens and a pot liquor that is so good you would want to slap your grandma. Cook up a batch of bacon fat infused cornbread and you have a meal fit for a king.

I'd say most folk down here, especially white folks, prefer turnip greens. They are tasty but since the leaves are smaller, I find them harder & slower to clean. Also when cooked for a few hours, they lose their texture and cook way down. Collards are very easy to clean, as the leaves are so big and they hold their texture beautifully when cooked for hours.



 
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