I finally went ahead and ordered garden seed from my favorite local source, Earl May Seed and Nursery based in Shenandoah. I love buying from an Iowa-based company, and I especially appreciate that they ship for free, even small orders under $5.
Last year, I had to wait almost a month before my Earl May seeds arrived in the mail. But this year, the seeds arrived just days after I placed my online order. And my name and address were handwritten on the front of the envelope. How cool is that!
Here's a list of the seeds I ordered from Earl May. Once again, I'm planting a small backyard "salad" garden this year, since these are the veggies that get eaten the most in my family of two.
- Cucumbers - Mrs. Pickler (These grew extremely well last year, and the pickles turned out wonderful!)
- Lettuce - Garden leaf blend (a colorful selection of Earl May's most popular lettuces in one packet)
- Lettuce - Buttercruch (our family favorite)
- Lettuce - Salad bowl (heat tolerate)
- Spinach - Red cardinal hybrid (new for 2011, dark green leaves with deep red veins; should be a pretty addition to the garden)
- Carrot - Ingot hybrid
- Radish - Cherry belle (I grew these last year, and they were beautiful and tasty.)
- Pea - Sugar sprint
Right now, I'm not planning to plant green beans this year, because my husband and I get sick of them pretty fast. But I may change my mind between now and planting time, especially if I see a packet on sale.
I'm waiting to buy my annual flower seeds at a local hardware store when they go on sale around Mother's Day. My favorite annuals to plant from seed are zinnias and nasturiums. Cosmos are fun, too, but they sure take up a lot of space in a small garden.
I also plan to buy tomatoes, peppers and another cucumber plant or two at the local greenhouse in early summer. I've experimented with starting seeds on my own, but my efforts haven't been successful. Plus, I find that I end up with way more seedlings than my little garden can handle. So for me, direct-sow is the way to go!
What are your garden plans for 2011? Have you already ordered your seeds, or do you wait until the last-minute sales?