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Itching for Spring and SEEDS! January 25, 2011

Posted by gfsa in Community Stories.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the spring itch!  The days are getting longer, the weather has been a little warmer, and with all this glorious snow, I can’t help but imagine lots of moisture and a bountiful garden.  So…it’s time to crack open my garden book and start planning.  Yippee…I love this time of the year!  I’ve been gardening for many years, but I still think of myself as kind of a “newbie”.  There is always more to learn. 

One thing I have dabbled in and want to know more about is starting seeds indoors.  The extent of my experience has been throwing sunflower seeds into peat pellets or flower seeds into trays and growing them on my kitchen counter.  My success was somewhat limited.  It seems like the plants start out well and then when they get bigger, just kind of lose their vigor and die.  I know I am probably supposed to re-pot them, but I’ve never made it to that stage.   I also don’t have the ideal growing location.  To feed my curiosity  I’ve been doing a little research and I thought I would share!

First I wondered about how to do a better job growing the seeds indoors.  I found this great on-line resource about how to build a indoor growing station.  Looks ambitious, but might just be what I need. 
Giving Garden Blog – How to build your own http://thegivinggarden.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/growing-pains-building-a-grow-stand-from-scratch/

Ok what about seeds?  Another area I am curious about is Seed Catalogues.  I always hear people gushing about how they LOVE their seed catalogues!  I decided this year, I need to get in on this seed catalogue affair, so I asked my GFSA friends to share their favourites.  Here is a list of favourites in no particular order:
McFayden Seed Company – https://www-secure.mcfayden.com/contact.aspx
Veseys Seeds –  www.veseys.com
Seeds of Diverstiy – www.seeds.ca
Plant Sanctuary of Canada – www.saltspringseeds.ca
Seed Savers Exchange – www.seedsavers.org
Richters Seeds – www.richters.com
Fungi Perfecti – www.fungi.com

Along with these seed catalogue recommendations came some other suggested resources:
*The Wheel on companion planting that Vesey’s sells is excellent.
*Lois Hole’s books on Vegetables, Herbs and Edible flowers are great resources. 
*The Postage Stamp Garden Book by Duane G. Newcomb (Paperback, 1975) – my Dad’s favourite!
*Anything  I can get on Permaculture – a quick and easy one is The Basics of Permaculture Design
by Ross Mars

All right!  Some great resources to get me started with my garden plans.  Do you have any others?  I  always appreciate tips and suggestions.  What are your favourite seed sources?  Any further tips for indoor growing?

(Submitted by: Angie Dedrick, St. Albert, AB – GFSA)



1. Kirstin - January 25, 2011

What about Bow Seed? It’s a local seed resource. http://www.gardenersweb.ca/

2. Rene Michalak - January 26, 2011

This book (free 300-page PDF) is great for starting seeds:


3. Maryann - January 26, 2011

And Seedy Sunday! Mar. 20 at Alberta Avenue Hall


4. Angie - January 26, 2011

Ahh…great resource suggestions! Thanks everyone. And by the way, there are “Seedy Sunday” type of events throughout the province, so if you are not in the Edmonton area, there is probably an event in your area too. Watch your community events calendars or connect with local garden groups for details.

5. foodoirs - February 21, 2011

Seedy Saturday in Calgary –

Calgary Seedy Saturday is moving! Due to the overwhelming support and attendance by Calgarians, our event is in need of a larger venue!!!

We are pleased to announce that the 2011 Calgary Seedy Saturday will be held at the:

Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre

1320 – 5 Avenue N.W.

March 19, 2011 from 10a.m. to 3p.m.

6. Bettye - July 13, 2011

I am trying desperately to find a flower seed that Lois Hole in Edmonton named her best pick for the year…..about 8 years ago….they grow from seed right to past frost and are mauve and purple in color and all I know is that they start with the letter “V”…they grow to about 5 feet high, bushy and spit seeds onto the ground and are probably more of a biennial….can you help Me?

gfsa - July 13, 2011

What you are describing sounds like “Malva” to me. (There is a “v” in the name!?) They grow from seed to about 5 or 6 feet tall with bright purple flowers and drop seeds which sprout the following spring.

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