You may be wondering where to buy vegetable seeds in late summer. A seasoned gardener usually buys all the seeds he or she needs to use throughout the growing season.
But what if the gardening bug hit suddenly late in the planting season with enough time for a harvest–you may have found the seed shelves empty. Most garden stores or garden sections run out of seeds or put them away mid-summer.
Sources of Seeds
If you have decided to plant for the first time late in the season, don’t give up. There are many sources of seeds and other supplies you can tap into. For example, you can purchase online. You may also be able to find some “hidden” local resources. Here’s how.
Seed Savers is a non-profit seed saving and exchange organization in North America. “About Seed Savers” will give you an overview. Aside from being able to purchase seeds from the Seed Saver website, you may also be able to find a member listed on the site who lives nearby. There is a search feature to find addresses of stores locally that carry seeds from Seed Savers. Sometimes these are nature food stores, not garden or farm suppliers. While searching for their web site, I also came across Seed Savers Australia.
Family, friends and neighbors may have more seeds than they need. They’d probably be glad to pass them on. They may also have purchased too many plant starts, so be sure to ask about those as well. Discount stores sometimes sell a limited variety of seeds all year long.
But, if local sources disappoint you, try online seed suppliers or even auction sites or listing sites like Craigslist.
How to Determine if There’s Time for Plants to Grow
Check your planting zone to see when your planting season ends. Seed packages will tell you how long the plant needs. I have a radish packet that tells me it takes 24 days to grow a radish. Do you have at least 24 days left in the planting season?
The asparagus bean seed packet states 67 days to harvest. Suppose I have 68 days left in my planting season. That means I would be able to pick beans for only two days. That isn’t really enough time. With a plant like beans, you will want at least one or two weeks of beans to make it worth your time.
You may also be able to extend your growing season by building simple structures. Check back soon (or subscribe to the blog) for more about Fall and Winter gardens and season extenders. In the meantime, you could begin seeds for dark leafy greens as these are good winter planting vegetables. Also, be sure to purchase soil amendments to give your late growing plants a head start. For a few cents per plant, you can infuse your soil with live microbial helpers (mycorrhizae) that will keep on giving.