So I made the call on my seeds for the next gardening year. Since this is the first time we are doing a vegetable garden I had to get all new seed stock, so instead of getting some species named with a serial number I went to Heritage Harvest Seed ( www.heritageharvestseed.com ) and Johnny’s Seed ( www.johnnyseeds.com ).
Heritage Harvest Seed is out of Manitoba, and specializes in rare and hard to find heirloom seed stock. A bit more expensive then getting seeds at Home Depot, but I’d rather support a smaller operation and use seeds that have some sort of legacy on the prairies. Johnny’s Seed is out of the US, and were the first hit on Google in my quest for funky looking pattipan squash.
I tried to pick plants with short growing times, since here in Calgary the weather is rarely cooperative with early springs and late frosts. Given that this is a La Nina year, I may be embarking on a bit of a disaster garden, but fingers crossed something survives! Experiments are fun! All in all I got -WAY- too much seed for my 40 sq feet of veggie patch, but I have no clue what will work and what won’t in my yard’s micro-climate on the north-west side of Calgary.
When ever possible I erred to something the Amish liked to grow, or things that were recommended in Gardening Under the Arch. ( A must have for Chinook zone gardeners! ) Sadly in the case of my summer squash and patty-pans I sort of guessed and picked based on pretty shaped or coloured fruit.
Seeds I picked up from Heritage Harvest Seeds:
- Early Riser Pole Bean
- Purple Peacock Pole Bean
- Lutz Green Leaf Beet
- Early Jersey-Wakefield Cabbage
- Danvers Half-long Carrot
- Purple Dragon Carrot
- Five-Colour Silverbeet Chard
- Fordhook Giant Chard
- Lyaluk Cucumber
- Bronze Arrow Lettuce
- Crisp Mint Lettuce
- Amish Snap Peas
- Homesteader Peas
- Longstanding Spinach
Seeds I picked up from Johnny’s Seeds:
- Flying Saucer Patty-pan Summer Squash
- Sunburst Patty-pan Summer Squash
- Zephyr Zucchini Squash
Next steps are to figure out who’s going to get an early start ( I am thinking about converting my wife’s old LightBook into a grow lamp, but it’s small… ), what bits and bobs I still need to buy and build, and figure out a way to keep the rabbits and hares that roam our area out of the garden. Climbing frames for the peas, beans, and cucumbers also need planning, and I’m pondering doing a cold frame setup so I can get soil temperatures up earlier in the year.