How to choose the right vegetable seeds for your garden
The most important part in selecting the right vegetable seeds for your garden is selecting seeds that match your garden location.
You do not want to buy vegetable seeds that have deep root systems if you plan on growing in a small pot on your balcony. And you should not be growing “bushy” vegetables that take up a lot of space if you have a small garden. So matching up the growth habits (root depth, plant height, plant spread, row spacing etc.) of the vegetables that you want to grow with your garden is important.
When selecting vegetable seeds for your garden the next thing you should do, and this may sound obvious, is to select vegetables that you (and your family) like to eat. There is no point in planting kale seeds in your garden if you don’t like kale.
Selecting the right vegetable seeds will also depend on how dependent you are on your garden for food. If you are mostly self-reliant and your garden provides most of your vegetables then you need to consider factors other than taste.
You need to consider planting a vegetable garden that will supply your nutritional needs, both calorie and vitamin rich. Some calorie rich crops (mostly root crops) you may consider are potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans and winter squash. Some vitamin rich crops include brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli rutabaga and turnip
If you are less reliant on your garden for food consumption than you can select those vegetables that suit your pallet.
Select vegetable seeds that can grow when you intend on planting them. This is another way of saying that you need to match your vegetable seeds to the suitable growing conditions for each of your plants. There is no point in planting tomato seeds in late fall. Click here to find optimal planting dates for planting the seeds in your garden.
There are many types and varieties of seeds to select from, organic, hybrid, heirloom, open pollinated. Selecting what type of seeds to plant will mostly be a personal preference.
Organic seeds – seed that is produced by organic methods on an organic farm.
Hybrid seed – seed that is the offspring of two cross-pollinated plants. One can select hybrids that can produce higher yield and are more disease resistant. Seed cannot be saved for use in following years
Heirloom seeds – seed from a plant that has been passed from one generation to another, carefully grown and saved because it is considered valuable for various reasons. It could be due to flavor, resistance to weather or disease, and sometimes even for aesthetics.
Open pollinated seeds - seed produced and saved from an open-pollinated variety will remain true-to-type and can be used year after year providing that it does not cross-pollinate with another variety of the same species
One more tip on selecting vegetable seeds for your garden – don’t be quick to select the new vegetable varieties that are being marketed, many times at higher prices. Keep it simple and select those varieties that have been around for many years with a proven track record.
To find out more about seed prices refer to The 2017/18 Seed Price Comparison Report for Home Gardeners comparing prices between the top seed suppliers in the US.