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Seed guide

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Have you ever wondered how to get those healthy, plump garden edibles you’ve always dreamed about? Nick McCullough shares his keys to growing a successful edible garden—providing tips on when and how to get started and his top picks for where to purchase heirloom seeds.
Related Topics: Grow | Edibles | planting | Seed guide | Spring | vegetables
Our how-to for using milk and water jugs to create your own planters to sow seeds in the snow. Yes, you can start sowing seeds now, even if you're snowed in, and be rewarded with hardy vegetables and flowers in the summer.
Five of our favorite catalogs for lettuce seeds.
Here at the GARDEN DESIGN office, the seed catalogs have started coming in the mail. Though our town will be covered in four inches of snow tonight, it's fun to dream about the first shoots breaking through the ground in the spring. Have you thought about what you're going to plant this year? What seed and plant catalogs are your go-tos?
Related Topics: How-To | Purple | Seed guide | Tomatoes

Can you recommend some good sources for buying seeds and offer some tips for starting plants from seed? 

—Julia Tomer, Pittsburgh 

Starting plants from seed, whether flowers, fruits, or vegetables, requires a little research. Some seeds will need an early start indoors; others can be sown directly in the garden. Most seed packets will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful season, as will the websites of many online purveyors. While I still enjoy receiving the odd seed catalogue or two by mail—Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) is a favorite—I do most of my seed shopping online.

The world's oldest seed bank is near St. Petersburg, Russia. Originally planted by an early 20th century botanist who collected in five continents over 20 years, it's believed that 90% of its seeds can be found no where else. Today, its fate is in jeopardy. 
While most plants disperse seeds far away, some have evolved a mechanism to keep them close and better ensure their survival. These geocarpic species actually deposit their own fruits in the soil. Last year, a botanist in rural Brazil named a newly discovered species Spigelia genuflexa, after its tendency to bow towards the ground, burying its seeds.
Glass gem corn was bred years ago by a part-Cherokee farmer and master seed-saver. Yes, it's real, and, as an heirloom, its seeds will grow true. Today, glass gem corn seeds are saved at Seeds Trust, who anticipate more available next month. Glass gem is an extreme iteration of corn's natural tendency towards different-colored kernels, as each kernel has its unique genetic set for color and size. 
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Far up north in Arctic, like Superman's Fortress of Solitude, is Norway's ultimate seed bank. Built to withstand any disaster, the seed bank was designed to store seeds from around the world. 
Related Topics: Ideas | White | news | Norway | photographs | Seed guide
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