This is a collection of products I get and throw away. Most of their
products can be found from other sources, sometimes locally, cheaper.
At least in my area, which is not a big spot for anything organic, so
should be available elsewhere even easier.
I just got a stokes catalog, pretty much everything they sell is a
hybrid, ok if that's what you want, but I want to save seeds, so.. not
likely to get much there.
For some things I like some hybrids. I'm primarily concerned in getting
the most bang for my buck as far as feeding my family goes. This means
considering nutritional content, flavor and productivity. This is one
reason why, although by far the absolute best tasting, heirloom tomatoes
will not be found in my garden because the plants do not meet
productivity needs (family of four to feed with a small patch, that's a
tall order!). I have a limited amount of space and money so that's how
I plan my garden. I go through and decide based on our needs.
I have a 50 x 150 foot lot, house and shed take up 1200 square feet or
thereabouts, then the sidewalks, and paths at the sides of the yard
part of the driveway is polluted with oil, all else is fair game to
plant. I used to have it all planted to food, flowers, herbs.
Unfortunately, I'm unable to garden directly myself, as I generally
don't go out there without someone to be a chair bearer.
I used to start a great number of plants, and I'd plant 2 of each
variety of tomato, and stick in any others aI could, and often planted
40 tomatoes here and there. Some along the front sidewalk, some in
the back. Some hybrid, some not they all bore about the same amounts.
But yes some of the old heirlooms can't stand up to my yard as there
is anthracnose around.
I prefer saving seed though to buying any more than necessary. With
the prices I'm seeing on seed, I think if I were just planting a
garden to produce food and as much as possible, I'd buy transplants
from the green house as it doesn't sound like you're planting a large
number of tomatoes. I'd pick up 4 or 5 kind, and a cherry tomato, and
if the nursery was adventurous, a currant tomato that "holds" onto the
plant. I'd likely buy peppers too, big bertha or similar. Kennebec
and Pontiac potatoes for production, size and flavor.
I order seed from Le Jardin du Gourmet, as they have little sample
seed packets of lettuces for 35 cents I think. It was based on first
class stamp prices, but they stopped a few stamps back in pricing.
Lettuce seeds generally don't last more than a season, 2 tops, and
they're not cheap. I start them in tubes made of newspaper and put
into scrap containers like small cherry tomato containers, or other
small clear plastic containers I can put the tubes made from
newspaper, filled with potting soil, moisten it then put a seed in
each one about as big around as my thumb, when they're up and have a
couple leaves I harden them off, put them out in a bed spaced properly
from day one, and I grow BEAUTIFUL lettuces, better than anything that
can be bought in the stores, and I can have many different kinds for
just a little money. They carry tomatoes, herbs, other veggies, in
both sample and larger packs for reasonable prices. Don't let the
"french" names of some varieties throw you, they're out there in other
catalogs under English names.. and.. most of the names are in English,
and many are US varieties anyway. It's a way to grow what you need,
without spending hundreds on seed to try more than one thing, and some
of the seed there is F1 hybrid some isn't.
It's an easy way to try new things, without a big outlay of money or
space. Flowers and herb seeds too. They have a way to order online,
but you can request a catalog, which is a small black and white price
list, some descriptions, no pictures. http://www.artisticgardens.com /
scroll to the bottom and pick a place to write and just send an
e-mail to order a print catalog, or use the online order pages, and
it's still 35 cents for the sample packets, and $1 for the large.
Well, I never said *EVERYTHING* would come from seed. The seeds I do
want to purchase via mail order (which does not have to mean I'm getting
everything I will ever grow in the garden from stokes) will probably
come from stokes, who have a stellar reputation for mail order. Before
I can save any seed, I have to have a garden first. This is our first
year on this property. BTW, you have more room than we do. So,
obviously, according to you, I'm just doing everything wrong. I'll just
have to suffer that way I suppose. :D Feel free to continue telling me
how wrong everything I'm doing is and I'll continue to blindly go along
my merry way. :D
ummm .. I don't think you're doing anything *wrong* and I wasn't
suggesting that you *should* do anything my way or any way, just was
sharing what I used to do, and what I might do in your situation.
As to stokes, I have this year's catalog here.. two of them even, I
know they've been in business for years, and I've bought seed from
them in the past, I was just a little disappointed that nearly
everything I've looked at so far has been an F1 Hybrid. If I liked
something enough, I guess I could try to go through the steps
necessary to make it open pollinated and adapt it to my yard's
climate, but hey that's just something *I* would do, not suggesting
you do it.
I guess you're all defensive or something and feel like everyone's got
an agenda or something. Too bad. I was just trying to share info,.
but I've learned my lesson, won't try *that* again!
I won't bother you with any further commentary,
I've purchased from them a couple of times. Their items seem over priced
to me. The only time I would order is with that $20 coupon. I seem to
recall, the last time I ordered you had to buy $40 to get the $20 off.
If that is the current offer and if you don't go much over the $40 it's
the same as getting things for half price. That gets the prices down to
If there is $40 worth of stuff that you really want or need, then go for
it. I wouldn't advise buying things you don't really need just to get
the discount though.
That's exactly what I did. Actually, I ordered $14.95 worth of seed
starter mix and with S+H included, I ended up 90 cents out of pocket.
I also agree with the prices; they have a 72 seedling starter tray
with pan and lid listed for $12.95...I picked up 2 identical setups at
Wally World for $3.97 apiece.
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