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It’s never too early to start selecting seeds

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By Cheryl Steenerson

Happy New Year. I don’t know about you all, but I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy.
It’s primarily because I got lots of warm stuff for Christmas, but other things, too. I received numerous pictures of family and friends along with letters and messages catching me up on their lives. What a great way to start 2012. Now, if only I can remember to write it.
We are creatures of habit, and after writing one thing for 365 days it takes a little time to adjust. They say that if you can do something for 12 days in a row you can create a new habit.  All you resolution makers might want to keep that in mind.
As creatures of habit, we get comfort from the old familiar. Writing the new year makes us have to change, but it also makes us look to the future. We all wonder what the new year will bring. Maybe we just need to remember that it’s all about choices. The choices we make today set in motion a different tomorrow.
I like different tomorrows. It gives you something to look forward to and you never get bored. I think the seed companies are already in on that little secret.  The catalogues ought to start arriving any day now.
I save most of my seed. Since I grow from non-hybrid seeds, I can save them and get the same plant next year. I do, however, try different seeds each year. It’s my way of branching out and growing as a gardener. Plus, it’s fun!
I usually go online the first of the year and check out all the new varieties of organic seeds. I do a lot of research before I order the seeds. You can’t always believe what the catalog tells you. I watch for key word changes, like good or delicious flavor. I look up to see what others have to say when they tried the seed.
My go-to company is Seeds of Change because it is reputable and I have a great history with it. I always get what I ordered and the seeds always germinate.  You can call them at 888-762-7333 to get a catalog, or go online to www.seedsofchange.com and click through the pages.
Territorial Seed Company is another favorite of mine.  It has a great reputation and can be reached at 888-626-0866 or online at www.territorialseeds.com.  It even has a garden planner to help you plot your plants.
You don’t have to have a piece of land to raise a garden. Patio varieties are made just for container growing on the porch. Add a trellis to a large pot and you can grow climbers like cucumbers and beans.  You do have to water more frequently, but you don’t have to walk through the mud to pick.
When selecting your varieties, keep in mind the date to harvest. If you get three varieties of beans, with three different dates to harvest, you can plant them on the same day and have one long continuous harvest, instead of getting inundated all at once. Remember the motto, work smarter, not harder.  Besides, it’s supposed to be a wet spring and that means a small window of planting time.
Now, get out the pen and paper and start practicing writing 2012. While you’re at it, start laying out your list of new varieties to try. You just never know what those choices will bring. Branch out in 2012. If the Mayans didn’t just run out of room, it could be a short year.  Happy growing.

Cheryl Steenerson is a gardening columnist for The Anderson News.