Farmers’ Tried and True Favorite Seed Varieties By Laura Graham
Winter Caplanson, Ashley Caroline Scavotto and Victoria Schaefer Photos
Increase your chance at gardening success this year! Opt for the vegetable varieties Connecticut farmers choose themselves for disease resistance, bountiful harvest, and flavor. No need to worry about starting these seeds inside; some of the easiest veggies to grow have seeds that can be sown directly into garden soil in the spring. The earliest planting time is “as soon as the soil can be worked.” Seeds can rot if planted too early in cold, water-logged soil. If the soil is sticks to your tools, a spade comes out clumped with mud, or a handful of soil formed into a ball holds together and requires pressure to break apart, it’s still too early to plant.
CT Food & Farm / Spring 2016
If you have packets of seeds from previous years, they may still be viable. Lettuce and radish seeds will germinate as long as five years, for example, while leek seeds are good for only one. Check an online seed viability chart or try a seed germination test: place 10 seeds spaced apart on a damp paper towel. Roll it up and place in a plastic bag. Leave it in a warm spot in the house; lighting doesn’t matter. After two to five days, check to see how many seeds have germinated. That percentage will give you a pretty good idea of how the same seed will do in your garden.