Tips for Buying Seed
For the best selection and prices, browse a variety of seed catalogs. Most of the major suppliers make their catalogs available online, which is a great way to start gathering ideas. When it's time to place an order, look for seed companies that specialize in plants that are grown in your specific region. Use the Garden Watchdog to type in your zip code and get a list of companies in your area.
After placing your order, keep your catalogs, or print the relevant pages, for reference. They contain important information about your seeds that you may find useful later. Remember that catalog statistics like height, spread, and days to maturity should only be used as an estimate. How your plants ultimately perform is dependent on local growing conditions.
Research before you buy. Choose cultivars based on plant size, habit, and tolerance of your soil conditions. If specific climate or growing conditions in your area tend to leave plants vulnerable to disease problems, make sure to look for disease-resistant cultivars.
Seeds from commercial suppliers sometimes come pre-treated with synthetic chemicals to control seed decay and damping-off diseases (bright red or green colored seeds usually indicate treatment). Some studies have linked the introduction of these chemicals into the environment with the massive die-offs of honey bees. More data is still needed, but in the meantime, you can help protect these important pollinators by using untreated seeds.
Top Ten for 2012
Summer savory boasts a warming, peppery scent and taste. One of the essential ingredients in Herbs de Provence (along with rosemary, thyme, and oregano), summer savory is also wonderful alone to season beans, meats and stuffings. The plant forms single stems 4-15 inches tall that are lined with linear dark green leaves up to 4 inches long. Whorls of lilac-purple flowers appear in summer. Plant spreads 7-30 inches. Sow in a well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Pick both leaves and flowers all summer to use fresh or dried.
120 days. One of the most useful of pot herbs, Sorrel offers a tangy, slightly sour bite. High in oxalic acid, it is a nutritious and palate-cleansing herb. The large, arrow-shaped leaves can be picked continuously as needed from spring through fall. Easy to grow in full sun to part shade and deep, rich soil, it reaches 16 to 24 inches tall and about 15 to 18 inches wide.
Parsley Italian Plain Leaf
Specially developed for use as fresh seasoning, the large, bright green leaves arise on 10-to 12-inch plants.
Basil Thai Siam Queen
Thai Siam Queen --A 1997 AAS winner, Basil Thai Siam Queen is as gorgeous in the garden as it is delicious on the dinner plate! The sturdy stems support extra-large, 4-inch-long and 2-inch-wide bright green leaves. Clusters of short terminal racemes of purple flowers are borne on the very top of the plant for a highly ornamental effect.
Basil Large Leaf Italian
Basils are loaded with volatile oils, responsible for the heady aroma and strong flavor so essential to cooking. The composition of oils varies greatly in different basil types, thus accounting for the wide range of scents available. Regarded as the essential variety for true Neapolitan cuisine, especially pesto, this Genovese-type basil grows 18 to 24 inches high and 12 to 15 inches wide. The dark green, shiny leaves grow up to 3 inches long on a tall, erect plant that is slow to bolt.
Basil Mrs. Burns' Lemon
60 days. A lemon flavor of mouth-puckering intensity! This heirloom cultivar offers larger leaves (2 1/2 inches long) and more tangy flavor than regular lemon basil. It loves hot dry summers. Pinch off the pink flowers as they arise to encourage even more side shoots. 18 to 24 inches high, 12 to 24 inches wide.
The strong, zesty scent of this annual herb is unmistakable! Slow-growing, Santo allows you to harvest just the amount you need over a long, long season. And after the flowers pass, let them go to seed and collect the seeds for use as Coriander!
Both the petals and the leaves are edible on this useful herb. It repels destructive insects very effectively, so it's essential to the vegetable garden. And it sets lovely 2-to 3-inch yellow blooms just great for cutting, so it's needed in the annual bed and the cutting garden. Best in full sun in the north, afternoon shade in the south and southwest, it flowers heavily in spring and, if cut back in midsummer, repeats in fall! Depending on climate, expect it to reach 15 to 30 inches high and wide.
Plant this herb for the ornamental value of its starry purple-blue flowers, to attract beneficial insects to your garden, and to harvest for teas and other summer drinks. Plants self-sow freely, so you can enjoy more plants next year! Pkt is 100 seeds. Qty 1 Pkt Seeds is all you need.
If you love the tangy flavor of fresh D
So enjoy your garden planning for 2012! And if you are interested in growing some herbs indoors this winter, I recommend reading this article I found from The Oreganian: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2012/01/13_herbs_worth_growing_indoors.html