Buying seeds for your homestead sounds like a simple task, right? Well think again! There is actually a good reason to do some research first to make sure you actually get the right ones.
In this post, you will learn how to know which seeds will be best, which varieties to choose and how many seeds you will need. There is also a bonus resource list for finding the best seeds to order online.
Buying the Right Seeds – 3 Steps
It can be so tempting to just start buying seeds when looking through those wonderful seed catalogs. You see all of the pictures of those wonderful vegetables and herbs and want them all.
There are three questions you should ask of yourself before deciding on what seeds to purchase for your homestead. They are as follows:
- What vegetables and herbs does your family normally consume?
- How much room do you have for planting your garden?
- Do you have ways of preserving the food you can’t consume before spoiling?
What Vegetables and Herbs Do You Consume?
Make a list of the food you normally eat as a family. These will include vegetables and herbs. This is a great way of knowing what to grow in your gardens. Then list any herbs you use in cooking.
Do not worry if you can not grow some of the vegetables and herbs in your climate at this point. You are simply making lists of the most common foods to start with.
How Much Room Do You Have To Plant?
Now that you know what you eat, you can go outside and look at how much room you have available for planting your gardens. Look for a nice sunny spot that receives at least 6 hours of sun each day.
Now measure the area you have. Is it quite small, say 20 feet by 20 feet? Or are you lucky to have a vast field where the sky is the limit? Maybe you are somewhere in between.
If you have a small area that receives plenty of sun you may want to consider growing vertically or in pots to gain more gardening space. Or maybe you can grow herbs on a windowsill and small trays of lettuce on your porch or patio to allow more room in the garden for other plants.
Take all of this into consideration before deciding to start buying your seeds. After all, seeds won’t grow if you have no place to plant them.
Can You Preserve Your Harvest?
Now that you have a list of what your family eats, and you know how much room you have to plant, it is time to think about what you will do with the extra food you may not be able to consume quickly enough.
Growing tomatoes is the best example of something you may have an abundance of. Often times, many people plant too many plants and end up with so many tomatoes that they give them away.
However, if you can can them as tomato sauce or make stewed tomatoes to can, the problem is solved. How will you preserve your harvest?
Preserving can take place in many ways, for example:
- Placing in a Root Cellar
Now that you know what you eat, how much room you have and how to preserve your harvest you can start buying seeds for your homestead gardens.
Resources for Buying Seeds
You can find vegetable and herb seeds just about anywhere. From WalMart and the local Ace Hardware to Home Depot and Lowes, you can find in-season seed packets all the time.
However, buying seeds in a big box store aren’t very reliable and may not be the seeds you want to grow for your family. Instead, try some online seed providers.
Online seed companies provide many more varieties and healthier plants too. Below are a few of the companies that I have personally ordered from and have had a great success rate with. These are great resources for buying seeds that your family will thrive from.
Recommended Online Seed Providers
- Bakers Creek Seed Company: This company based in Missouri is a favorite among homesteaders everywhere. Not only can you find many varieties of each seed, but they offer reviews online to help you make the right choice. If you get 100 seeds per packet, 99 seems to grow!
- Seeds for Generations: This family-owned and operated seed company has many extras to offer besides seeds! Make sure you check them out.
- Mary’s Heirloom Seeds: Mary offers heirloom seeds as well as some awesome 99 cent deals. Her online store also gives plenty of planting information and more!
- Sow True Seeds: Sow True Seed is a collection of over 500 varieties of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. They carry heirloom, organic, and small farmer-grown varieties.
- Botanical Interest: This seed company offers vegetable, herb, and flower seeds as well as organic seeds and garden products. Be sure to check out their articles and blog when you are there as well.
There are many other seed providers out in the world of online gardening, but these are tried and true by our homestead and I stand behind their products and seeds.
Final Thoughts on Buying Seeds for Your Homestead
Once you are aware of what your family consumes, how much room you have to plant, and ways to preserve your harvests, you will be well on your way to successfully buying seeds for your homestead.
For other resources on growing a vegetable or herb garden see the following resources: