Skip to comments.Seed shortages could imperil home gardens
Posted on 02/03/2010 2:39:18 AM PST by Daisyjane69
DES MOINES, Iowa - Dreaming of biting into a garden-fresh cucumber sandwich this summer? Better order your seeds now.
A poor growing season last year and increased orders from Europe could make it difficult for home gardeners to get seeds for the most popular cucumber variety and some vegetables this spring. Farmers, who usually grow different varieties than home gardeners, aren't likely to be affected.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
I ordered early so I can get things started in the greenhouse by the end of this month.
Just a fair warning for our fellow FReeper gardeners!
I was talking to the owner of the local veggie farm the other day and he sounded the alarm for me. He took a beating on tomatoes last summer.
nonetheless...I'll get mine tomorrow....
Home Depot and Lowes are also well stocked on seed
ping for the garden list
thanks for doing that. I meant to ping our garden list, but I hit the Send button too fast!
Buy heirloom, and save your own seed. Most of the seed sold at box stores is GMO or hybrid crap.
I have always heard that. Now I know why I didn't check it out. About half of those plants provide nutrition and the other half is a waste.
I don’t know enough about gardening or veggie nutrition to know the difference.
Mighty hefty price tag on it too, but if it does actually keep for 20 years as they claim, then it’s worth it, provided the seeds will grow good, nutritious crops.
Its early. If there is any real shortage I suspect we’ll see it in mid March or later.
Consider the source for this article...MSNBC. Not credible...just trying to stir the pot. I order early, but that is because I don’t want to miss out on anything unusual I am looking for...everything arrived with the exception of two packs on ‘back order’.
I haven’t ordered any seeds yet this year. but I have a whole bunch of seed left I didn’t plant last year. I will still order some extra, but trying to start re-using my heirlooms I have been saving.
I will be ordering my new heirlooms next week. Hopefully I can get everything I order.
‘Survival Seed Bank’ sounds like one of those recycled ‘Y2K’ outfits...way overpriced, and some those seeds aren’t going to do that well in certain areas of the country.
Ever done business with Missouri’s ‘Baker Creek Seeds’? They have one of the nicest seed catalogs I have EVER seen...
For the most part, we’ve gotten what we ordered. A few things were bo’d or not available. Nothing unusual. There’s always something that had crop failure last year. Consider that a bunch of the crops grown for seed are planted out west—Texas, New Mexico, etc. Ours, anyway.
OTOH, if it doesn’t STOP raining, I’m not going to be able to plant anything but rice, and right now, rice would prob drown!
Anybody know where I can get rice seed? LOL
There were many varieties not available last spring if you waited till March or April. Most gardeners in my area order now to get the types they want; and we don’t plant in the ground until late may.
I’m also ordering extra this year to start my own ‘seed bank’.
I save seeds from various veggies I grow every year. I have about 50 tomato seedlings from the fruits I grew last year. Cucumber seeds will be planted in about two weeks for the spring / summer crop.
I love Baker’s Creek! They have a fun selection of unique seeds and they are all heirloom. I already ordered some, even though it’s way to early for me to even be thinking about it yet. Sand Hill Preservation is also really great. They are a family farm, so they are not quite as fast to get things to you, but they are more inexpensive. Also, for those that may not know, if you put your previous year’s seed in the freezer, (sealed well in ziploc bags to keep out moisture), you can keep your seeds for years. I do that with my heirloom seed and seed I’ve saved myself, in case there ever is a seed shortage.
Yeah, there's some pretty good deer food in the mix.
After hearing the ads I thought it would mostly be corn, tomatoes, carrots, all kinds of legumes, etc. Most of the stuff is for salads and has limited nutritional value.
Baker Creek was getting hit so hard with internet orders over the past few weeks that their system kept crashing...
LOL...deer food...that’s about it!
No problem here just recieved my (small) order.
Literally thousands of varieties - including some heirlooms and other hard to find.
We have always been happy with their service and prices.
I ordered online in Dec and recieved all that I ordered, 13 varieties. I have watched Lowes each visit and they are still well stocked, so far.
Seed prices for the home gardner have practially doubled the last 3 years. Even last year, ‘there was a seed shortage’. I’ve noticed certain seed catalogs are offering less and less straight varities.
I’ve had no trouble getting the seeds I want, but have paid a lot more for some of them. The ones I bought last year on sale in the fall and kept in the refrigerator are already sprouting in my sunroom flats.
I’m still waiting on a couple orders (cooks garden, parks), but everything else, with a couple exceptions, has shipped (baker creek, jungs, burpee, gurneys, pinetree, thompson & morgan). Jungs was out of peanuts and Baker Creek was out of Lady Godiva Pumpkins. I’d love to grow my own (naked) pumpkin seeds for flour. Finally got peanuts from Gurneys.
If anybody knows where I can get Lady Godiva pumpkin seeds, lemme know!
I’m hoping to have a fairly large garden this year. Weather cooperating, of course.
Lowe’s and WalMart have plenty of seeds locally.
I live in the North and further, have a poor micro climate for any long season varieties.
I plant my heirlooms in containers so that I can place them where the sun is brighter and longest and take them in to put under lights, if necessary due to late or early frosts. But, for the garden, I bless the hybrids engineered to produce in short seasons and set fruit in cool temperatures. Heirlooms just cannot produce in my garden. Also, several of the heirlooms are more susceptible to blights and blossom end rot than are the hybrids. If I want an heirloom tomato, I have to buy it from someone blessed with a better micro climate. Also, many of the heirlooms are poor keepers, so it is better to just buy what I will use quickly.
There is a place for all sorts of plants, IMO. My garden will be smaller this year, as I have sauce and dried tomatoes from last year that look like they will last through next winter. I will put up enough this year to get through to September 2011.
As to the thread topic, the Farm and Fleet had a huge variety and quantities of veggie seed for 2010, some of it OP, back in December. I think this MSNBC meme, which is being propagated throughout the media, is hype. People love to be scared.
I bought an heirloom tomato at the supermarket. It yielded hundreds of seeds. I dried them and cannot wait to try them out.
My only concern is the harsh environment where I live; it can get really hot and muggy.
I got my order in early and one of the seeds I really wanted was available because of a crop failure in NY. And not too far from us either.
I’ve learned the hard way not to wait because it’s first come, first served.
I ordered all open pollinated seeds so I could save some this year.
Territorial Seed Company sells a lot of non-hybridized seeds and clearly mark which ones they are. I try to buy those first and foremost, although, for my sauce tomatoes, I did get the Heinz variety. I tried them one year and loved them. I had a great crop and the sauce is excellent.
Make that *UNavailable*....
Sometimes it’s fun to let things cross and see what you get. Friend of mine planted 3 or 4 varieties of squash (c. moschata) in ‘04. She saved seeds from each one and planted out all the F1 hybrids the next year. She’s done that every year since and is IIRC on F6 or so crosses by now LOL. Her kids like playing ‘identify the parent’ with the resulting squash. They’re all winter squashes but some of them are very interesting and pretty. She calls them her ‘box of chocolates’ squashes. She never knows exactly what she’ll get but they’re all going to be tasty! I’m planning on starting my own experiment with 4 varieties of c. moschata this year.
It’s really hot and muggy here in the Summer as well. Our choices are, 1). start them VERY early, like right now and set them in the garden VERY early and protect with frost cloth and hope we don’t have a late *very* cold and wet spring. 2). start them in early June and plant them out for a fall garden sometime in the middle of July.
The only tomatoes I got last year were from plan 2. Plan 1 failed because we had a very cold and wet spring followed by an almost immediate transition to 95+ and no rain for 6w. You can imagine how my tomatoes just LOVED that!
Seeds for what's known as open-pollinated cucumbers seem to be most scarce, but carrots, snap peas and onions also could be in short supply.
The problem is primarily due to soggy weather last year that resulted in a disappointing seed crop. European seed growers also had a bad year, leading to a big increase in orders for American seeds.
So, what do you take issue with? That there could be a shortage of some seeds? Or that there was bad weather and increased orders from Europe? Or that European seed growers had a bad year?
There was one variety of zucchini, Romulus, that I loved that was a NY bred variety for this climate, that I couldn't get because of a crop failure. Why is this story not credible?
What's the excuse for your obnoxious reply?
It’s interesting that they still produce, as hybrids are supposed to be sterile.
I have moved to almost exclusively non-hybrid seeds...at least for necessities like veggies. No problem finding them — and at great prices too. Just got a ton off eBay, of all places!
We must live close! Same weather pattern here.
We do plan 1 and 2 as well. Works great unless we have a hurricane. :)
Actually it’s an excellent way to get and store seed for years and years and years......as in 20 when seeds won’t be available.
No problems here. I grow a mix of hybrids and non-hybrids and have everything I need to carry me through fall and into winter. We grow ALL of our vegetables and root crops and the fruits that will grow here. Just started a few things indoors last week.
Nah, most hybrids will sprout just fine. They won’t, however, generally come true. Ie, those ‘better boy’ tomato seeds will probably produce whatever parents or grandparents the better boy had. They’ll also be a mixed bag of disease resistance, timing to production and size. With a small possibility they crossed with the ‘big rainbow’ you had planted right next to them. Course, if you chose the hybrid for disease resistance it won’t do for you to plant seeds that might not be and waste your time/space on plants that just die at a whiff of Fusarium.
Some hybrids will come true at the same rate of OP though. ‘Santa’ grape tomatoes are an example. Since they don’t sell the seed for those anymore (I haven’t found it lately), most people just buy ‘Sweet Santa’ or something similarly named (it has several names depending on the grower) in the grocery store and save those seeds. Santa will come true 99/100 of the time.
2009 Phenology observations:
Fb 10 First Daffodil blossomed. Started lettuce in peat pots
Fb 13 Winter Honeysuckle about to bloom. Started cabbage in pots.
Fb 20 Second daffodil blossomed. Saw tree full of birds, maybe yellow warblers. Started earliest tomatoes in pots.
This year I aim to start my earliest seeds maybe 2 weeks later. But I'll send for the seeds now!
The lore around here (Central Mississippi). This is from a casual meeting with two older Black women who were shopping in the same garden center I was buying transplants. I was picking out some tomatoes and one asked me when I planned on planting them outside. I told her (can't remember what I said now).
She said, You should wait 30 days past the last Thunderstorm in Feb. and then plant your garden.
I get thrown off if I time things by my crazy optimistic jump-the-gun daffodils. They pop up in the middle of the worst freezin-est weather, regardless.
I usually have good luck with the cruciferous veggies, but last year the cabbages were pathetic, the kale was kinda puny, but the collard (an Asian variety called "Zen") was fabulous: it just kept coming and coming and coming. I was afraid it was going to sneak around at night and mug the kudzu!
It sure is fun, but I'm grateful I don't have to live off of what I grow. I'd starve, or turn green. Hm. A collard person, I am.