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All of our vegetable garden seeds are chosen for reliable germination
All of our herb seed packets contain detailed sowing and saving instructions
All of our flower seed packets contain detailed sowing and saving instructions
Heirloom, Non-GMO grains and cover crops make great farmer seeds for small homesteads
Our Growing Guide with tips to get started gardening + free downloadable PDF
Survival Garden Training: Learn more about growing your survival garden
Download a free Planting Planner for the Home Garden Seed Collection
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Learn about our seeds and get answers to your most common questions
Expand your knowledge of growing survival food
How to Plan, Plant, Harvest and Store Your Survival Garden
Choosing seeds, starting seeds, transplanting seedlings
When you buy one of our survival seed vaults, you are on your way to creating a self-sustaining garden. Your specially curated packet of seeds is designed to give you a variety of seeds to meet your particular needs. These seeds will grow well and produce a harvest that can be stored to feed you and your family. With these heirloom, non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds, you can also save your seeds to plant next season.
Growing from seed allows you to have a greater variety of vegetables. It also allows you to start the seeds indoors and plan the perfect time to plant outdoors. This guide will give you an overview of the best gardening practices to get you up and growing in the simplest way possible.
The individual seed packets will give you specific instructions for each variety. With a little bit of planning, you will have a successful experience.
To learn more about choosing seeds and what all the different seed terms mean, check out our blog post: "Open-Pollinated, Non-GMO, Heirloom Seeds: What does it all mean?"
The choice of whether to start seeds indoors or direct sow them outside often varies from crop to crop. Consult the back of your seed packets for individual recommendations.
When you start seeds indoors, you can control heat and light to create the ideal growing conditions for your seedlings, no matter what the weather is outside. You will also get a jump on the growing season. This is extremely helpful for seeds with a long growing season and gardeners in areas with shorter growing seasons.
Some seeds do better when directly sown outdoors. Carrots, beets, and other root vegetables have a taproot that can easily be disturbed, damaging the plant. Corn, okra, and beans are also difficult to transplant. These can be planted directly into the soil in the spring or fall as appropriate.
Following a few basic guidelines can help you have a successful seed-growing experience.
Start with clean pots, trays, or flats. If you are reusing containers, make sure you clean them with a bleach solution of 10% bleach to the water. Allow the pots to sit for 30 minutes.
Seeds need warmth and light, so you will need to have a place where you can control the temperature and use grow lights. Use a good growing medium that is appropriate for containers. It should be fine, loose, and well-draining. Mist the soil and follow the planting instructions on the seed packet.
Keep the soil moist by misting or bottom watering. Do not overwater. Keep the soil moist, but not overly wet. A clear dome placed over the container can keep the humidity high until the seeds start to sprout. Don’t put a dome in direct sunlight as it will get too hot. When the seeds sprout, you can remove the dome.
Once your seedlings start to develop true leaves, they’re nearing the transplanting stage. Consult your seed packets for precise information about when your seedlings are ready to harden off before transplanting. The tender seedlings need time to adjust to the harsher outdoor conditions. 1 to 2 weeks before transplanting, start acclimating your young plants to their new home. Place them outside for just a few hours a day in a sheltered spot out of direct sunlight. If it is windy or too cold, keep them inside. Slowly extend the amount of time they spend outdoors and increase their exposure to light. Eventually, they will be able to spend the night outside.
There are plenty of vegetables and herbs that can be grown indoors year-round. Check out our blog post "Indoor Food Gardening: A Winning Survival Strategy"
There are many ways to grow vegetables and herbs for a longer season.
The more you plant, the more you can grow. Many gardeners also do a second round of plantings right as their summer garden begins to fade.
Intercropping is mixing slow-growing crops with faster-growing plants. By planting this way, you can fit more vegetables into your garden. For example, dill and cilantro will sprout up quickly next to plants that take longer to grow, like broccoli and cabbage.
Succession planting is a way to stagger your harvest. This allows you to have a continual crop instead of all the plants being ripe at the same time. For succession planting, don’t plant all your seeds on the same day; rather, wait a few weeks between planting. Stagger plantings from 7 to 21 days. This way, you can enjoy seven heads of cabbage that don’t all need to be harvested simultaneously.
Don’t forget about cool weather gardens that can be grown in spring or fall. Radishes, spinach, and many cruciferous vegetables do well in cool weather and can give you yields in late fall or even throughout winter and spring. If you live in an area with a very warm climate, you may find that seeds that wilted in your warm summers perform better in autumn, as the temperatures begin to cool.
In the spring and fall, when cold snaps can damage your plants, makeshift greenhouses and covers can protect your harvest and extend the growing season. Covering your crops with sheets or lightweight blankets on nights when there is frost can protect plants. You can also plan ahead and have row covers that can be rolled out over hoops.
Learn more about cool weather gardens and over-wintering vegetables in our blog post "Over Wintering Vegetables and Herbs"