More Free Seeds!
As long-time gardeners, we’re delighted to see people moving outside to grow plants as we move through this horrible pandemic. We’ve always had a pretty significant list of free seeds but we’ve expanded that during this time and are working hard to grow even more seeds to share.
Read about our free seed policy here — it’s changed for the duration of the pandemic or until we have a steady source of all seeds.
We’re harvesting Everglade tomatoes in record numbers because they’re probably the easiest thing anyone can grow, even if they’ve never planted a seed before. And our NimBioSys special with a free bar of soap gives gardeners the best possible choice for non-toxic pest control.
Everglade tomatoes will tolerate full sun even through a Florida summer, more shade than you would imagine and even soggy feet — although they will lose their bottom leaves if they dry out. They’re one of the few tomatoes that will set fruit through a Florida summer and they’re so prolific that you’ll be able to share with your neighbors. Seeds are free with an order now; we’ll have seedlings soon for people who want a head start. (Once you get one plant, you’ll never buy another one again!)
And speaking of food, we’re sharing green bean seeds too. These are purchased seeds, but the rabbits destroyed our fall/winter crop, so we didn’t replant as often as expected. They won’t take a Florida summer but they’ll be a great source of food in more temperate locations.
Then I couldn’t find the yard-long beans that will make it through the summer here in small packages, so I bought a pound figuring we can share those too. They’re so prolific that one plant per person in a family is really as many fresh green beans as most people want to eat.
Greens, including mixed greens and romaine lettuce, were another victim of the hungry rabbits. We’re still experimenting on rabbit repellant but we won’t be able to grow them in Florida until it gets cool again, so we’ll share those too.
And we still have Daikon radish, aka mooli, for people in cooler climates. It’s dying back here now but they’re amazingly productive in even very sad soil as long as it doesn’t get too hot. They’re our very favorite winter crop — not only are they good to eat but if you plant enough to let them flower and then go to seed, you’re growing food for bees, butterflies and birds.
We’re back in stock for moringa seeds, a totally amazing plant that the federal government once called “a tree for solving global hunger.” They won’t survive a winter north of Florida, but they grow incredibly quickly and are super-easy to propagate so people in colder climates could root branches and bring them inside for the winter.
You probably won’t be able to harvest passionflower this summer, but we now have seeds from the most prolific plant I’ve ever seen. Even in January, I could count 12 fruit hanging on a 10-foot trellis. I hadn’t checked before but they’re hardy to USDA Zone 6 so they’ll grow much further north than most of the plants we grow here. And even if you don’t get fruit this summer, grow it for caterpillars that become Gulf fritillary, variegated fritillary, longwing zebra, and Julia butterflies.
And speaking of butterflies, we have a bumper crop of vitex seeds available. I love these outside my office window because they’re the best entertainment around — when they’re blooming, they’re covered in all kinds of bees and butterflies. If you grow them for the entertainment factor though, you’ll need to deadhead them before they set seed. I let one go to seed last summer just so we could share them.
Another favorite of bees and butterflies is bachelor buttons, which are so cute you need to smile just looking at these. They’ve been popping up around here for years and we didn’t pay much attention to them until we realized how easy they were to grow with just a little bit of attention. Seeds are tiny but easy to start if you sprinkle them directly on wet soil and then ignore them. Once they’re established, they’ll spread on their own but not aggressively.
We were gifted two luffa sponges overflowing with fresh ripe seeds, so we have a limited quantity but wanted to share those too. They’re edible as young squash but then grow into a really cool sponge that’s great for gentle exfoliation.
Hopefully we’ll keep adding to this list over the summer and keeping you updated on what we’re growing.