October 21, 2014

The Seed of the Month Club

Seed of the Month Club

Now is the time of year to start thinking about the spring garden. Part of that process is ordering seeds. You may have noticed that one of my supporters is the Seed of the Month Club. I only accept advertisers that I think are high quality and can really benefit you, my readers. The Seed of the Month Club is among them!

Because it’s approaching the garden season, I thought I would tell you a little about the Seed of the Month Club, so you have some time to take advantage of it before you start your seeds.

I asked Mike the Gardener a few questions about the Seed of the Month Club and about gardening in general. Those questions and answers are below.
 

Chris: More and more people are taking up gardening for the first time. I can attest that there is a learning curve in gardening, so for beginners what is a good fruit or vegetable that is hard to screw up?

Mike: I always tell everyone, the first rule of thumb is to grow what you like to eat. It makes no sense in growing something that no one in your family will consume. When you grow something you are likely to eat, the chances of you taking care of it and seeing it through are far greater. With that said, there are a number of vegetables that I would consider very easy to grow, but the top of my list would be tomatoes.
You can grow just one plant and get plenty of fruit from them especially if you grow cherry or grape types.
 

Chris: How should seeds be stored?

Mike: To keep seeds for longer term storage, you want to make sure they are kept in a cool, not cold, dry location. This past gardening season I just germinated some onion seeds that were about 8 years old.

When they are stored correctly, you can get great germination rates from your seeds.
 

Chris: What is a good method to tell if you need to water?

Mike: What I would recommend to all gardeners is to keep track of the amount of water given to plants. I find that less water is better than a lot of water. You will want to keep track of the amount of rain you receive so that you know for sure your plants need water. Most vegetables can get away with just an inch or two of water per week.

However, let’s say you do not have a rain gauge, you can always refer back to the old “dirt” test. Plunge your finger into the soil about an inch or two and if the soil is dry and crumbly, chances are your plants need some water.
 

Chris: Can you list a few things that someone with limited space could grow?

Mike: This is a great question. It’s also open to a lot of possibilities as what or who defines “limited” space. Keeping in mind the answer to question number, my recommendation would be to grow prolific producers that can also be grown vertically. While you may be limited horizontally, when it comes to gardening, the sky really is the limit. I would recommend indeterminate tomatoes, again, cherry, grape as well as various other heirloom varieties, pole beans, indeterminate cucumbers such as Ashleys or Straight 8s. Peas are another good choice as well. My favorite are sugar snaps.

If someone is new to gardening I offer up 3 tips that are very useful to make sure new gardeners do not get frustrated. One, grow what you like eat. I touched on this earlier. Two, keep your garden small.
Gardening is work and the larger garden you have, the more work it can be. So if you are new to gardening, start small with just a few plants and grow each season from there. Three, keep your garden in sight.

Preferably right outside a window of your home in a room that you and your family frequent the most. I have found that people who are not constantly looking at their garden, tend to forget about it.
 

Chris: How many seeds can members expect to get per month? (A reader had this question months ago, so I asked Mike.)

Mike:
It varies based on seed variety, for example, squash seeds are larger so you can expect about 20 to 50 depending on which variety of squash … whereas tomato seeds are small so you can expect around 300 to 500 seeds in a packet.
 

Here is some info taken from the Seed of the Month FAQ.

How much is a membership?

In the United States
Six months $4.11
One Year $3.70
Two Years $3.33

International
Six months $5.11
One Year $4.60
Two Years $4.14

Your Membership Includes

• Open pollinated, heirloom varieties
• 8 packs of seeds your 1st month
• 4 packs of seeds every month thereafter
• 30 day money back guarantee
• 25% off vegetable gardening products in our online store
• Free shipping

When can I expect to receive my first mailing of seeds?

Your first shipment is sent out within 48 hours of you ordering. We ship via the United States Postal Service. The length of delivery time will be based on your location. You can expect your first shipment to arrive within 7 to 10 business days from the date you place your order.

When can I expect my monthly seeds to arrive?

Your first 8 packs of seeds are mailed right away. Then each month you will receive 4 packs of seeds by the last Friday of each month for the month in which they are due.

25% Discount

Just in case you missed it, Mike gives members a 25% discount on the Average Person Gardening Online Store. That is a 25% on vegetable, fruit and herb seeds, seed starting supplies and on soil testers. This would be a great way to save on seeds that you know you want to grow for sure this season.

 

My Take

I like that Mike only works with companies that give non-GMO, open pollenated, heirloom seeds. This way you can collect the seeds at the end of the season if you so choose.

As I stated in one of the questions to Mike, there is a learning curve to gardening. I think it is a skill every Prepper should practice, even if it’s only in a pot you place in the window. I agree with Mike, going vertical is a great way to mitigate limited space. Here is a trellis I made of PVC,. A version of this could be made for a large container.

If you haven’t ever looked at an heirloom seed catalog, you would be amazed at how many varieties of vegetables there are! I think this is a great way to get some seeds for a variety of vegetables you might not have known about previously.

I also think this would be a great way to build your own “Survival Seed Bank”. It’s cheaper than some of the commercial ones I have seen.

 
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Comments

  1. Chris, great site here. I have a question that probably everyone asks but I didn’t see it here. Are the seeds sent out to zones where they do best or is it random? I have tried seeds that I grew in the Northwest, but when I moved to Texas, they just didn’t work. The vegetables and fruits that I now grow in Texas won’t make it in the northern climates. Just inquiring….

    A short story: One of my very first gardening endeavors was to plant pole beans with string that I zig zagged back and forth (vertically) along the edge of my covered patio. It made a lovely privacy wall, grew well, I could harvest right from the patio, and it kept my patio cooler. It was such a great success that I was encouraged to try to grow other things. BTW, the patio was on the west side of the house so it gave wonderful afternoon shade!

  2. mariowen: yes the seeds sent out are tailored to your growing zone based on the USDA Plant Hardiness zone map at http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

  3. Jim Moore says:

    I Love Seed of the Month Club!
    Not only do they send monthly seeds and an occasional bonus for your planting zone, the added beauty I see is that monthly reminder to be conscious of all of my seeds. I’m new to the club so I haven’t planted any of the seeds I have received from them yet but I should soon. I really need to rotate my seeds and mostly plant things I purchased a couple of years ago. We’ll see!
    I think seeds coming in monthly is just an awesome idea for any Prepper.
    I Highly Recommend it!

  4. We have been gardening for several years. I see a lot of emphasis in this article on cherry/grape tomatoes. We don’t care for either maybe other than a couple half pound pkgs of them throughout the whole season. Most people don’t. We like tomatoes, not the marble-types. Can’t do much with cherry/grape tomatoes if you want a BLT! Why the emphasis? Other options?

    We do understand growing what you like to eat. We do that. And we keep improvising/improving on that from year to year. We are all natural, use no pesticides or fertilizers. We use hay and oats, used once, for fertilizer (horses, you know). Sometimes we get ‘volunteer’ plants growing. Squash, pumpkins, tomatoes etc. It is fun to decide what this or that plant that we didn’t expect is going to produce.

    We are also interested in good sources for seeds. Thanks for the post!

    • Chris Ray says:

      I think Mike gave it as an example of something easy to grow. If you look at the online store you’ll see he has a wider variety of tomatoes.

  5. Mike Copeland says:

    I think those membership prices are “per month”.

    Great article.

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