If you want to grow your own seeds in our 'Plant Your Own; SeedPods, we have a few tips to help you select the best seeds- as well as some of the suppliers we use.
Plant Seed Selection Tips
Short Stature - There are many different types of the same plant (for example there are over 25 different species of basil) - Different species grow in different ways, and we always look for a 'short' and 'bushy' version, as they are more compact and ideal for indoor gardening.
Light preference of medium to direct - We prefer species that like a medium level of light (since the SmallGarden does not get as bright as the sun). Plants that like direct sunlight also work well, though you may notice some 'stretching' of the stalk while your plant is attempting to get closer to the light source. While low light-loving plants can work, they are not ideal.
Cultivated for indoor environments - Plants, like animals, can be bred for specific characteristics (hence toy poodles!). These plants are dense in structure, and are comfortable in a stable and controlled environment with little air circulation. Look for varieties that are ideal for indoor growing - this can be classified as 'Greenhouse performer' or 'Grows well in containers.'
Hydroponics - Hydroponics is growing plants using only water and plant food. Our products use a hybrid growing method of hydroponics with a specially created soil - this gives us the best of both worlds. Many seed suppliers will label their seeds as 'Can be hydroponically grown' or similar. While this isn't required, it's an ideal trait that we look for.
Resistance to disease - An amazing property of plants is their ability to naturally adapt to threats! This means that varieties can be created that are resistant to disease without any use of chemicals. We typically look for species that are resistant to downy mildews, which can help with low air flow environments.
Stored properly - This is a little harder to know unless you have a direct relationship with the retailer. Storage can be a huge issue with germination rates and overall health of your grown plant. Ideally seeds should be kept in a low humidity and moderate temperature environment, and even then you can still have issues.
Here are a few of our favorite seed sources for experimenting:
- Rare Seeds - http://www.rareseeds.com/ - A great selection of anything you could ever think of!
- Johnny Seeds - http://www.johnnyseeds.com/1 - Another great source with amazing customer service
- Your local Garden Nursery, Home Depot, or Lowe's - You can find a nice selection at these retailers, but they are usually focussed on outdoor growing - never hurts to ask though!