Darrell Blackwelder column: Selecting seeds for future plantings

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 17, 2021

Early winter is generally when gardeners receive a steady supply of seed catalogs.  With the weather we’ve had lately, seed and plant catalogs provide welcome escape for us to ponder future plantings.

It’s fun and challenging to try new vegetable varieties each season. All-American Selections are usually excellent choices for those who enjoy experimentation. Be cautious and don’t depend on fantastic results often claimed by colorful seed catalogs. Many catalogs often feature varieties that are exaggerated with dubious results. Some seed companies have crop data from test gardens in climates unlike ours that will not produce the same quality or quantity. Rowan County and the Piedmont area falls within plant hardiness zone 7, so be sure to select seeds or plants that will adapt to this zone. Most of vegetable varieties that you select should be reliable, proven, and above all, family favorites. Seed companies often have limited seed supplies on popular selections, so it is advisable to place seed orders early. Don’t forget to include flower seed along with the vegetable seed.  Cut flowers are a welcome addition to the home during the growing season providing beautiful borders around unattractive vegetables.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .