Success With Seeds

The seed catalogs are rolling in, and the excitement of all the possibilities is out of control. I know! But while all of the excitement is really fun, when you get the seed packets in the mail there can be a bit of overwhelm, and if you aren’t careful, you may end up feeling like this whole endeavor was a big fat waste of time (ask me how I know).

Buying seeds is one thing. Starting them is an entirely another ball game. The seed catalogs can be very enticing, so before you go to town in the latest edition of Baker Creek’s Seed Catalog, here are a few things you need to know first!

What Is The Time Frame I Am Working With?

We already know that in the garden timing is everything. When you start seeds, timing is everything plus some! You have all your eggs in the basket of “long term investment” and seed packets. You really want this to work. Timing is where it is at. Most people fail here, and that is why I want to make sure you understand how critical it is.

Let’s take tomatoes for example. Tomatoes take 110 days, on average from seed to harvest and they need approximately 8 weeks of growing time to be ready to go into the ground. We can plant starting around March 15th in South Louisiana, depending on weather, so if we do a little math, we end up with a seed planting date of somewhere around January 17th for tomatoes in May. Now why is this important?? Because if you wait until February to start your seeds, you will have June tomatoes. Still not terrible, but a whole month of tomatoes that you won’t be eating. And if you wait until March, the pests will be so bad by the time you see fruit that you risk not getting a single tomato to your table. In gardening TIMING is everything. January is the month to start seeds in South Louisiana, so make sure to have your supplies, so you are ready to go.

What Seeds Should I Plan On Starting?

This is where things start to get a little tricky. If this is your first time, I would suggest sticking the tried and true varieties that other South Louisiana gardeners have grown and love. Seeds are finicky, so another great resource if you are feeling adventurous is the Baker Creek website. When you click vegetables on the site, you can read reviews from all over the country. See what gardeners in your area are saying before adding the seeds to your cart. You would be surprised how much information is there.

What Do I Need To Start Seeds Successfully?

In order to take those little seeds to the garden in a 12 weeks or less, you will need some equipment. This is a long term investment, so look at it as a one time upfront cost that will yield you lots and lots of vegetables in the future. You will need a heat mat and grow lights in addition to seed cups and soil, so make sure you gather supplies before getting started.

How Do I Start My Seeds?

Seed starting isn’t complicated, but it is like taking care of a newborn. It is not something you want to do without some instruction. Join me for my course “Success With Seeds” beginning in January if you want to try your hand at seed starting for spring. You can get all of the details by clicking below. This course is interactive and includes access to an exclusive pop up Facebook group! You will learn in real time, be able to troubleshoot as you go, and catch any problems as they arise. The cost of this course is $27, and it will take you step by step through the entire process. It is garden gold!!

If You Want To Grow Fun Varieties But Not Start Your Own Seeds

I have a solution for you!! I WILL GROW THEM FOR YOU!! I am hosting a plant sale in March where I will offer the varieties listed below for sale.

some of the varieties offered


  • Cardinal Basil
  • Dark Purple Opal Basil
  • Lots more


  • Muncher Cucumber
  • Lemon Cucumber
  • Mexican Sour Gherkin
  • Dragon’s Egg Cucumber
  • Dasher II Cucumber


  • California Wonder bell pepper
  • Sweet Chocolate pepper
  • Gypsy pepper
  • Zulu Pepper


  • Butternut squash
  • Early yellow crooked neck
  • Superpic yellow squash
  • White scallop squash
  • Fordhook zucchini
  • Black Beauty zucchini


  • Brad’s Atomic Grape
  • Barry’s Crazy Cherry
  • Blueberries tomato
  • Blue Beauty tomato
  • Costoluto Genovese
  • Bonny Best
  • Early Girl


  • Rosa Bianca
  • Black Beauty
  • Listada DeGandia


  • Ambrosia (cantaloupe)
  • Jubilee (watermelon)


  • Cowhorn
  • Orange Jing
  • Red Burgundy


  • Jarrahdale
  • Jack Be Little
  • Casperita
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