We just had our first frost last night. October 17. Whew, am I glad I closed up the greenhouse and put some row cover on the flats of lettuce we started out there. We were gone all day and the sun was out which was perfect and helped our seeds germinate in the ground that we had planted in there a few days ago. Most of the beds are germinating!! Yay!
We are planting our greenhouse two different ways. We direct seed about half of it, which means we put the seeds directly into the ground using an earthway seeder. The earthway seeder is a wonderful invention that can be adjusted to plant different seeds and make sure you get them evenly spaced.
The rest of the greenhouse will be planted with lettuce plants that we start in seed flats. We have about 16-20 flats full of plants that will need to be planted into the greenhouse at some point in the next few weeks.
The seeds that we have started were purchased mostly through johnny's seeds--
www.johnnyseeds.com. They have an awesome catalog and website with predominately organic-minded gardening products. We love them. We also have used Baker Creek seeds--
rareseeds.com. Baker Creek is located in Mansfield, MO, which is also the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie). Baker Creek has several festivals each year and have created a pioneer village with demonstrations, rare livestock, and a sliding scale (pay what you can) restuarant. They have a great and gorgeous catalog and website as well, and specialize in heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds are those that have been grown for many years and collected and passed down through generations. They are not hybrid seeds that are bred specifically for certain traits. Hybrid seeds cannot be collected by the home gardener because you never know what you will get. Heirloom seeds help to preserve the genetic diversity that is being lost in our seed system. Also, you can collect the seeds yourself with a little studying and know-how.
Another seed company that we love is fedco. We haven't bought from them in recent years because you need to really be on the ball and order early. They used to stop taking orders after some certain date in the spring and we were always slackers and couldn't get our order together soon enough. Fedco is located in Maine and has many different people grow seeds for them, on large and small scale. They now have a website that you can order on and it looks like you might be able to order year round? I will have to look into them again. They were strictly catalog only when we were ordering from them, so they might be easier for us to order from these days. Their website is: www.fedcoseeds.com