Seeds! A word pretty much every gardener loves to hear. Happily browsing your garden seed catalogs and hauling out your existing vegetable seed stash signals that spring is near — or already here. It’s a time of planning, dreaming, mapping and imagining the homegrown harvests to come.
Watch this video to get some basic tips about garden seeds, such as organizing seeds by month so you can easily find what you need to sow as the growing season progresses. You’ll also get tips on understanding some of the terms you’ll come across in your garden seed catalogs. Knowing the common designations for seeds can help you tailor your seed order to best fit your needs and goals for the year.
The video also provides a handy chart on how long seeds of various crops generally stay viable. Germination rates will decrease over time, and some seeds will last longer than others and still achieve good germination, while with other crops — such as lettuce — you will likely have better luck replacing older seed with fresh seed.
The tool mentioned in the video — our popular Vegetable Garden Planner — can help you map out your garden design, space crops, know when to plant which crops in your exact location, and much more.
Need crop-specific growing information? Browse our Crops at a Glance Guide for advice on planting and caring for dozens of garden crops.
Watch more videos on gardening techniques and other self-reliance, DIY topics on our Wiser Living Videos page.
Shelley Stonebrook is MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine’s main gardening editor. She’s passionate about growing healthy, sustainable food and taking care of our environment. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.