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The Growing Challenge: What Are Your Favorite Seed Starting and Seed Saving Resources?

The Growing Challenge Advanced Edition:  From Seed To Seed


So far there are 131 participants signed up for The Growing Challenge: From Seed To Seed, and we’ve reached nearly 200 participants in The Original Growing Challenge. Together we’re an awesome support network for learning new things! Welcome, everyone who has recently joined. And if you haven’t already, please join us in taking a new step toward sustainability by growing your own food from seed to seed.


Thank you for your responses to our last check-in.  We have a large range of sizes and types of gardens – it’s fascinating to read.


New participants are in orange at the bottom. Please, let’s visit, support, and learn from one another!


  1. Jules, The Garden of Plenty, Melbourne, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  2. Jena, Married To The Farm, Caro, Michigan – zone 5
  3. Amanda, You Reap What You Sow, South Central Pennsylvania – zone 6-7
  4. Jen, Toward Arcadia, Michigan – zone 5-6
  5. Deb G, Bee Creative, Pacific Northwest – zone 7
  6. Greeen Sheeep, Wisconsin – zone 4
  7. Kory, Kicking And Screaming, Central New York – zone 5
  8. Abbie, Farmer’s Daughter, Connecticut – zone 6-7
  9. Margaret, Margaret’s Ramblings, Nottingham, England – zone 8
  10. SusanB, Southern New Jersey – zone 6b-7
  11. Karin, Fleecenik Farm, Central Maine – zone 4
  12. Kelsie, Hobbit’s Feat, Kentucky – zone 7
  13. Monica, Northern Ohio – zone 5-6
  14. Jen, Aaron-N-Jen: Living Life Simply, Iowa – zone 5
  15. Di, Path To Greendom & World of Yardcraft, Southern California – zone 10
  16. TomB, My Simple Home Garden, Central Massachusetts – zone 5b
  17. Judy, My Freezer Is Full, East Central Iowa – zone 5a
  18. Julie, Towards Sustainability, Newcastle, NSW, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  19. Dina, Hip Chick Chronicles, Portland, Oregon – zone 8-9
  20. Alana
  21. Milkweed, Milkweed Diaries, Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina – zone 6-7
  22. Melanie J, Ember’s Lighthouse, Jacksonville, Florida – zone 9a
  23. Risa B, Stony Run Farm, Western Oregon – zone 8
  24. Maureen, Fotos By Meg, Central Valley, California – zone 9
  25. Amy Crump, Crump Family Blog, Chapel Hill, North Carolina – zone 8
  26. Rob, Rob’s World, Burien, Washington – zone 8
  27. The Rachface, This Evolutionary Life, Virginia – zone 8
  28. Janice, Going Off Da Grid Janice, California – zone 8-9
  29. Green Bean, Green Phone Booth, Bay Area, California – zone 9
  30. Daphne, Daphne’s Dandelions, Winchester, Massachusetts – zone 6
  31. Briel
  32. Jimmy Cracked-Corn – zone 5
  33. Lisa, Domestic Accident, Southern Coastal Maine – zone 5-6
  34. Hannah, The Purloined Letter, Takoma Park, Maryland – zone 7
  35. Suzan, Scrub Oak, Rocky Mountain southern foothills (6,700 feet) – zone 4
  36. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener
  37. Onemotherslove, What’s He Up To Now?, North Central Texas – zone 8
  38. Red Icculus, Red-Icculus.com – zone 5
  39. Jocele, Knitting On Call, Idaho – zone 6-7
  40. Matt, Florida – zone 9
  41. Sara, Mama Craft, Canada – zone 3a
  42. Tyra, Tyra’s Garden & The Greenhouse In Tyra’s Garden, Vaxholm, Sweden – zone 6
  43. Inadvertentfarmer, The Inadvertent Farmer, Western Washington – zone 8
  44. Lauren
  45. Melody, Merrie Melody, Utah – zone 6
  46. Melinda, One Green Generation, Seattle, Washington – zone 8
  47. Michelle, Alpaca, Chook, Garden, Travel and…., Hobart, Tasmania, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  48. Laurel, Nefaeria, North Bay, Ontario, Canada – zone 4a
  49. Mary, Freedom Gardens Journal: Mecar, Crete, Illinois – zone 5
  50. Susan, How Green In My Garden, Southern California – zone 8b
  51. Mary, Cat’s Fiber Adventures, Oregon – zone 8-9
  52. WIlla, Plants And Animals & Yumminess Ensues, S. Central Pennsylvania – zone 6A
  53. Jenn, Attempted Simple Life, Osgoode, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  54. Shibaguyz, Here we go! Life with the Shibaguyz…, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  55. Tina, Bee Content Ranch, California
  56. Cassandra, The Urban Trowel, Southeastern BC, Canada – zone 5
  57. Nico, Self Sufficient Life, North Germany – zone 8
  58. Sadge, Firesign Farm, Carson City, Nevada – zone 6
  59. Leanne, At The Good Life, New Zealand – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  60. Jenny, Studio J
  61. Sarah S, Life At The Ranch, Northern California – zone 9
  62. Sarah Z, Ward Road Garden, Northern California – zone 9
  63. Christy O, Farm Dreams, Georgia – zone 7
  64. Jason L, Vegetable Garden Planner
  65. Annette, Ward House, Hot Springs, Virginia – zone 6
  66. Paige, Clausen In The Hausen & Out In The Garden, Saint Peters, Missouri – zone 5
  67. Rhonda, FarmHouse Style, North Georgia Mountains – zone 7b
  68. Kelly, Taurus Rising, Adelaide Hills, Australia- zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  69. Laura, Mas Du Diable, France – zone 9
  70. Christina, A Thinking Stomach, Altadena, California – zone 9b
  71. Latigoliz, Cowgirl Up, Enumclaw, Washington – zone 8
  72. Lisa, Natural Gardening, Upstate South Carolina – zone 8
  73. Chris, Chattagarden, Chattanooga, Tennessee – zone 7
  74. Mary B, Tampa, Florida – zone 10
  75. Kathy, Birmingham, Alabama – zone 7-8
  76. Kathy and Skippy, Skippy’s Vegetable Garden – zone 6
  77. Katrien, MamaStories, suburb of Boston, Massachusetts – zone 6-7
  78. Maggie, Mama What The
  79. Christa, Lazy Toad Farm, New Hampshire – zone 4-5
  80. Emma, The Berry Patch, Sydney, Australia – zone 10 (Aust. 4)
  81. Jenny, Seeded, Toledo, Ohio – zone 6
  82. Melissa, Rabbit Hill Farm, rural North Carolina – zone 7-8
  83. Jessie Earth Momma, Pacific Northwest – zone 7b
  84. Catherine, Love Living Simply, Texas – zone 8
  85. Ian, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada – zone 6b
  86. Christy, Growing Human, Coastal Virginia – zone 7b
  87. Amanda, A Homegrown Life, California – zone 9
  88. Robbie, Going Green Mama – zone 5
  89. Pamela, Suburbancrunch – zone 6-7
  90. Beth, Potager Gardening, Columbus, OH – zone 5
  91. Tammy (+ her 6 cherubs!), Simply Beck’s Bounty, SE Tennessee – zone 7
  92. Ottawa Gardener, The Veggie Patch Re-Imagined, Ottawa, Canada – zone 5a
  93. Laura Chandler
  94. Lisa Cohen, Life Is In The Details
  95. Darlene, Stover Lane, Kansas – zone 5-6
  96. Sherri M, Sherri’s Mad Blabber Blog, Erin, Ontario, Canada – zone 5a
  97. Chad M, Minnesota – zone 4
  98. Shelby, Eat Local Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM – zone 5-6
  99. Linda, Garden Girl, Chicago, Illinois – zone 5b
  100. Stacy, Canada – zone 5b
  101. Joan, Young Girl, Old Life, Northeastern Missouri – zone 5
  102. Kim & Victoria, Living And Gardening In Idaho, Boise, Idaho – zone 5-6
  103. Sinclair, Nature With Me, Oregon – zone 7
  104. Jenette, Sacramento, CA – zone 9b
  105. Jennifer, Jen & The Bean Stalk, North Idaho – zone 4-5
  106. Laurie and Tim, Golden Gaits Garden, Colorado – zone 5b-6
  107. Phoebe, Cents To Get Debt Free, Southern Missouri – zone 5-6
  108. Megan, Raised On Sunshine, Dallas, TX – zone 8a
  109. Crunchy Chicken, Seattle, WA – zone 8
  110. Jenn, Jenn’s Coop, central valley, CA – zone 10
  111. Veriance, Michigan – zone 5
  112. Sande, Sow This, Sew That, Southeastern Michigan – zone 5
  113. Jenn, Newlyweds!, Texas – zone 9
  114. Carri, Home Of The Petersonclan, South Central Kentucky – zone 6
  115. Amber, Cloud9 Design, Texas – zone 9
  116. Jo, Little House By The Railway Line, England – zone 8
  117. Andrea, Colorado – zone 5-6
  118. Kendra, A Sonoma Garden – zone 9
  119. Stuff, Proactive Bridesmaid – zone 7
  120. LiBBy BuTTons, US – zone 6
  121. Healing Green, Gaylordsville, Connecticut – zone 6
  122. Carpe Diem, British Columbia, Canada – zone 3
  123. Trish, The Promised Land – zone 8-9
  124. Diana, Backyard & Community Gardening, Northern Colorado – zone 4-5
  125. Tricia, Little Eco Footprints, Australia – zone 9-10 (Aust. 3)
  126. Juliette, Abielle A Miel, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA – zone 8-9
  127. Ciera, Ciera’s Garden, Pittsburg, PA – zone 6a
  128. Kara, Garden of Eatin’, Canada – zone 4
  129. Vickie, In The Acorn, Winnetka, CA – zone 9
  130. Paula, Buckets Of Gardening Ideas, Idaho – zone 4-5
  131. Jennifer, Seeds In The City, Bay Area, CA – zone 9-10


I’ve added everyone’s name, blog, location, and hardiness zone. Please check your info to make sure I have it right as I had to guess on some of them.

 

What Are Your Favorite Seed Starting & Seed Saving Resources?


Here are my favorite resources:

 

What about you?


Of course, you can chime in whether or not you are officially taking part in The Growing Challenges.


Also, please feel free to discuss any other garden topics or questions. Leave links to your gardening posts, too, if you like. Chat away!


Similar Posts:

17 comments to The Growing Challenge: What Are Your Favorite Seed Starting and Seed Saving Resources?

  • SeedSave.org is a good online reference.

    When starting seeds this year I’ve been referring to “How to Grow More Vegetables” by John Jeavons. He has some great charts that I keep coming back to. The first is the chart on what temperature the seed needs to germinate. He gives the minimum, maximum and optimal temperatures. He has a good list of companion crops. His Master Planning Charts are great for a whole list of information, but the best for me is how close to plant. He does intensive planting and I tend to look at what he does. I don’t always follow his spacing. My own experience comes into play, but usually his numbers are right on with my experience so I tend to trust them.

    I’ve been having a good time visiting everyone that was on the last list – up to 108 (one link has a blog that is now gone, but forget which one). I’ll have to work on getting to all the new people soon. It is fun to see what everyone’s blog is about.

  • I’m really new to this whole thing. I’m hoping to learn from this site and other online sources. I have a few books on gardening that are being helpful as I start seeds this year, including resources from Jerry Baker and his homegrown remedies for planting.

  • I’d like to add “How to grow more vegetables”, absolutely indispensable. Beyond pure gardening know how is an almost daily requirement for inspiration and encouragement. Which can come from books, but more often than not comes from fellow gardeners. What I find is that I can’t dwell on the “reasons” as being anti- this or that, to keep struggling and moving forward requires that in moments of self reflection (or self-argument) I need to remind myself that as long as I phrase my own journey not in terms of self denial or breaking down existing destructive institutions…and instead focus on liberating myself and building a new life, I will never fail.

    Grow your own, and save those seeds because of the impact it will have on YOU, in the end, thats what most of us are left with.

  • hello! I emailed in my interest to join the Growing Challenge last week. :) I’d love to be included. I’m in the SF Bay Area, hardiness zone 9-10.

  • Trish The promised land

    The seed sources I use are seedsavers.org, http://www.bountifulgardens.org, rareseeds.com, tomatofest.com, groworganic.com, and turtletreeseed.com

    I use as a reference How to grow more vegetables, and The sustainable vegetable garden by John Jeavons. I also take classes at local farms or education centers Love Apple Farm http://www.growbetterveggies.com, and http://www.commongroundinpaloalto.org

    I primarily only saved tomato seeds from my heirlooms and from tomatofest events but this past year I added seed from herbs, and other veggies.

    Bountiful Gardens has a wonderful seed saving kit with a how to guide, to keep your seeds dry.
    http://www.bountifulgardens.org/products.asp?dept=120

  • I have been putting off getting Ashworth due to cost but I’m afraid that my floundering around (used to be better at this stuff) could cost me more, so I’m off to Amazon from here …

  • Thanks for including me! I am off to check out the other participants.

  • I’ve been checking out LOTS of books from the library, to decide which would be best to buy. Fortunately, one of the best is something I found on my shelf, which I’d purchased several years ago: Burpee’s “The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener” by Karan Davis Cutler. I also have found the following helpful: “The Permaculture Garden”, Graham Bell; “Carrots Love Tomatoes”, Louise Riotte; “Lasagna Gardening”, Patricia Lanza; “The New Organic Grower”, Eliot Coleman; “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible”, Edward C. Smith.

    I’ve discovered the art of making “soil blocks” and a lot of information about these from http://www.pottingblocks.com/ and http://thesoilblocker.blogspot.com/ (also Karan Cutler & Eliot Coleman’s books). First I started my seeds in small seedling pots made from newspaper, with store-bought packaged seed starting mix. Then I bought a 2″ soil block maker, and the seeds started in the soil blocks are MUCH healther and more vibrant than the ones started in the seed starting mix. It’s also an easier process. Buying the block maker is a investment, but well worth it.

    Laurie

  • Jennifer, my apologies – I misunderstood and signed you up for the (original) Growing Challenge. I’ve now added you above!

  • monica

    this one is my definite fav site for info! I also like urbanhennery.com (which is also a great site to gather info about chickens!)

    The seed catalogs have great pictures of different varieties of plants. They also list information about how long each variety takes to mature, and disease resistance/susceptibility. They also include a description of whether it is good for canning, freezing, etc.

  • My favorite seed sources of all time are Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Horizon Herbs and Nichols Garden Nursery.

    For saving, I’m still new to it so I completely nuke it out by searching every book and website I can find. Seed to Seed is awesome too.

  • I am currently taking Master Gardener classes. They’ve been a great resource. Actually, the other gardeners have been a great resource. And come to think of it, I learn a lot from other gardeners blogs too.

  • I just happened upon another resource: http://www.grandpappy.info/hseedveg.htm . Awesome links, y’all! Thank you. Please continue to chat about it here, and I will compile all of our links into Seed Saving Part 2.

  • monica

    Melinda–grandpappy.info is an awesome site! I am not going to be hungry again this year! There are recipes for game and plants that are found in the woods.

  • I think I’m ready to join up! I’m going seed to seed; in fact, I’m trying right now to germinate seeds that I saved from last year, from an heirloom sauce tomato (striped roma) that I was able to glean at a local farm in exchange for picking market-quality produce for them. I also saved some squash, spaghetti I think but I didn’t write it down :-)

    I live in the SF Bay Area, east bay so not as foggy as the west bay, but still on the bay side of the hills so not as hot as in the tri-valley area further east. We’re in a rental property that has a home orchard scattered around the perimeter and through the garden area as well, so we’re looking to harvest lots of tree fruit as well this year (and grapes!). The entire garden area is 2000sf, with space lost to 12 small-to-medium trees and grapevines. We decided to give over a goodly space to a sequential corn crop (24 plants at a time) and some to summer cover-cropping as well prior to fall/winter planting. My entire family is on board, though the toddler has a very short interest, and my 9yo prefers planting the companion flowers only.

    I have a question: should I mulch direct-planted seeds? Our drought conditions here are serious, so I want to conserve water as much as possible, but I haven’t gathered good information yet about mulching seeds. The carrots I figure are okay; they take 2-3 weeks to germinate, so I can pull the straw off after 10 days or so. But what about the beans I just planted?

  • [...] thank you for your responses to our last check-in. I’ll create a list of all the great seed-saving resources we’ve talked about and put [...]

  • I didn’t start my seeds – time just slipped by me – and now it is too late. Our growing season is so short. This year I’m going to have to settle for plants. I’m really sad that I’m going to miss out on the challenge when last year I started over 15 varieties of plants from seed (and had a great showing!). Oh well, I’m going to have to do it next year!

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