Survival Seed ... more bang for your $$$$

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tacmotusn, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has survival gear of any sort, either has a link to, or is trying to sell you "survival seed". Most likely they are selling a sealed package of storage ready seeds in a can guaranteed to provide you with peace of mind, and the means to produce a garden of 3/4 to 1 acre with heirloom seed that you can save to produce the garden after that. Here is my problem with these seed packages.
    For what many of them cost, they are generally quite over priced!
    Their claims of the size garden you can plant with their can of seeds is usually over rated.
    While some specific plant seed will work in most of the country, It will not work in other areas.
    Here is what I suggest; Do a due dilligence search via your county agricultural extension office about gardening, heirloom seeds, seed suppliers local and online, obtain a ton of free seed catalogs, do online seed searches, talk with other successful home gardeners, and PLANT A GARDEN.
    Hybrid seed can be great for the short run (many are disease, and pest resistant to the max), but, when they fail, they do so on a large scale, and you cannot save the seed and get the same product or results.
    Heirloom seed is what you need to make work for you. All gardens require daily due dilligence. You cannot just plant the seed, and set up a timed watering system to water them daily, and expect to come back in 2 or 3 or 4 months and reap the harvest. They require daily TLC. Weeding, thinning, constant search for pests and pest control, observation for feeding or watering problems, etc etc.
    Everyone knows how big certain seeds are. Corn, Beans, Large melons etc. Other seeds are very small and light in weight; examples Tobacco, Celery, Onion seed (not seed onions), Various Herbs, Tomato, Carrot, and Peppers. The size of the seed, the spacing of the plants, and the output from that one seed must all be taken into consideration for how much seed you need. One must also take into consideration "Massive crop failure" due to mother nature. It happens. Nothing is guaranteed. Extra seed is just added peace of mind.
    I live in North Central Florida, zone 8 or 9 depending on who you ask. I have bought my seed with good success from Texas and South Carolina. With all the present turmoil in the world, I am quite uneasy about the future and just bought my peace of mind post SHTF seed stash. I already have all the seed I need for this years garden and beyond. For that I have tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, melons, cukes, beans. I will also obtain locally and plant seed onions and potatoes, and sweet potato slips.
    All is Heirloom. My post SHTF seed stash is as follows;
    Corn - truckers white dent ---------------- 5 lbs ------------ $22.00
    Corn - reids yello dent -------------------- 5 lbs ------------ $20.50
    Lima Bean - Florida butter - pole type -- 5 lbs ------------ $19.90
    Grn Bean - KY wonder - pole type ------- 5 lbs ------------ $21.35
    Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield -------- 1 lb ------------- $25.00
    Cantaloupe - Jumbo Hales best ---------- 1 lb ------------- $10.50
    Cantaloupe - Planters Jumbo ------------- 1 lb ------------- $10.50
    Carrot - Chantenay Red core -------------- 1 lb ------------- $12.75
    Carrot - Nates Scarlet --------------------- 1 lb -------------- $12.75
    Cuke - Lemon ------------------------------- 1 lb ------------- $20.00
    Cuke - Straight eight (slicing) ------------ 1 lb ------------- $12.25
    Eggplant - Black Beauty ----------------- 1/2 lb ------------ $21.30
    Collards - Ga southern --------------------- 1 lb -------------- $6.75
    Collards - Vale ------------------------------ 1 lb -------------- $6.75
    Mustard - Tendergreen --------------------- 1 lb -------------- $7.50
    Mustard - Fla Broadleaf -------------------- 1 lb -------------- $7.50
    Herb - Summer Savory --------------------- 1 oz ------------- $4.30
    Herb - Sweet Basil ------------------------- 1/2 oz ----------- $1.90
    Herb - Oregano - vulgare -----------------1/4 oz ------------- $6.85
    Herb - Sweet Marjoram ------------------- 1/2 oz ------------ $3.80
    Herb - Thyme - winter -------------------- 1/4 oz ------------ $3.30
    Okra - Clemson spineless #80 ----------- 5 lbs ------------ $19.85
    Okra - Burgundy ---------------------------- 1 lb -------------- $7.50
    Onion - Sweet spanish (white) ---------- 1/2 lb ------------ $18.50
    Onion - SWEET Texas Grano 1015Y ---- 1/4 lb ------------ $18.00
    Peas - Southern zipper cream ------------ 5 lb ------------- $17.25
    Spinach - bloomsdale long standing ----- 1 lb -------------- $7.50
    Zucchini - Black Beauty ------------------- 1 lb -------------- $10.50
    Squash - saffron prolific straightneck --- 1 lb -------------- $12.00
    Squash - White Bush (early) ------------- 1 lb -------------- $11.00
    Tomato - Homestead 24 ----------------- 1/2 lb ------------ $25.00
    Turnip - purple top white globe ---------- 5 lb ------------- $21.00
    Watermelon - Verona --------------------- 1 lb -------------- $12.95
    --------------------------------------------------------Total ----$438.65
    comfort, and peace of mind doesn't come cheap.

    Get that garden in this year. Practice and learn before your very life depends on it. I bought my seed from
    GOG, Gator 45/70, bushrat and 3 others like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Bear in mind that the "zone" showing up as applying to your area is a flexible thing for those who live in hilly areas. A few hundred feet of elevation change could throw you into a different zone. Around here, there are some valley floors that are effectively one zone (as well as different soils) than on the top of the hills. There is NO substitute for your county ag agent. It isn't worth stocking seeds that won't grow on your plot.
  3. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    Hopefully you know to plant the two types of corn well away from each other or what you plant will not be what you get.
    chelloveck likes this.
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I don't have that much land. Where I have two varieties, due to them all being open polinated, I will choose one type for that planting. It is also a way for me to switch off and rate various varieties for my area. I knew about a possible cross polination problem, but thanks for pointing it out for others who might not have known. There is no problem with cross polination with those planting hybrid seed, but your seed cannot be saved to produce the same variety for subsequent plantings.
  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Resurrecting a previous post, and doing some comparison shopping.
    I continue to say that many many of the things that are sold at so called survival sites are rip off as far as what you get for your money, and a relatively simple search can often turn up the very same item or items at a greatly reduced cost.
    Here are 2 reasonably identical items that differ in price from $198.00 to $34.95. The first one is so outragious, that at one glance I was shocked at less than 2.5 pounds of seed, 17 vegetable varieties total being priced at $198.00. Their name isn't important, unless you are foolish enough to be so unaware as to buy from them. I only copied the heart of their ad so I could compare prices. here is that ad
    Some of you might have read enough of my posts to know I am a bit frugal, and seriously compare prices before I come out with my wallet. For the most part I think the various advertised "Survival open pollinated/heirloom seed packages" are a rip off for what you receive.
    To prove my point here is one advertised for $198.00 that will plant a whole acre.
    Included is 17 of our most popular varieties of heirloom/open-pollinated vegetable seeds in quantities that are enough to grow one acre of food, and that have the optimal moisture content for long-term storage. Each variety is individually packed and includes planting instructions, along with a sample of MegaSea, which is the perfect product for promoting germination and root growth. 1. Sweet Corn - Golden Bantam - 250g
    2. Bush Beans - Improved Tendergreen - 250g
    3. Snap Peas - Sugar Daddy - 250g
    4. Snow Peas - Oregon Giant - 250g
    5. Carrots - Scarlet Nantes - 6g
    6. Onions - Sweet Spanish - 10g
    7. Cabbage - Golden Acre - 10g
    8. Swiss Chard - Fordhook Giant - 8g
    9. Beets - Detroit Dark Red - 8g
    10. Winter Squash - Waltham Butternut - 6g
    11. Tomatoes - Brandywine - 200+ seeds
    12. Zucchini - Black Beauty - 6g
    13. Lettuce - Romaine Paris Island - 4g
    14. Peppers - California Wonder - 200+ seeds
    15. Radishes - Cherry Bell - 10g
    16. Spinach - Bloomsdale Long Standing - 10g
    17. Cucumbers - Marketmore - 8g
    18. MegaSea to help with germination

    Our survival seed tube is designed to be buried at or below the frost line, or a depth that your soil temperature is stabilized. This will ensure the
    maximum shelf life for future generations. There is also enough room in our waterproof tube for you to add any additional seed you may want to preserve, along with any other precious materials (such as gold) or other keepsakes.
    Here shows my cost comparison. Please note the seed weight total in my comparison comes to 17.25 pounds plus 1/4 ounce. Same price aproximately. Willhite seed charged me $10 for a 55 pound seed order the last time I ordered from them
    1. Sweet Corn - Golden Bantam - 250g --------------------------Willhite 2 lbs $12.50
    2. Bush Beans - Improved Tendergreen - 250g ------------------Willhite 2 lbs $10.50
    3. Snap Peas - Sugar Daddy - 250g------------------------------- NE seed 2 lbs $13.90
    4. Snow Peas - Oregon Giant - 250g "mammoth melting sugar Willhite 2 lbs $9.00
    5. Carrots - Scarlet Nantes - 6g ------------------------------------Willhite 1 lb $12.75
    6. Onions - Sweet Spanish - 10g ----------------------------------Willhite 1/4 lb $9.90
    7. Cabbage - Golden Acre - 10g -----------------------------------Willhite 1/4 lb $8.00
    8. Swiss Chard - Fordhook Giant - 8g -----------------------------Willhite 1 lb $7.25
    9. Beets - Detroit Dark Red - 8g ------------------------------------Willhite 1 lb $6.95
    10. Winter Squash - Waltham Butternut - 6g --------------------Willhite 1/2 lb $9.25
    11. Tomatoes - Brandywine - 200+ seeds --------------Harris seed 1/4 ounce $15.05
    12. Zucchini - Black Beauty - 6g -----------------------------------Willhite 1 lb $10.50
    13. Lettuce - Romaine Paris Island - 4g ---------------------------Willhite 1 lb $11.30
    14. Peppers - California Wonder - 200+ seeds------------------Willhite 1/4 lb $16.95
    15. Radishes - Cherry Bell - 10g -------------------------------------Willhite 1 lb $7.00
    16. Spinach - Bloomsdale Long Standing - 10g -------------------Willhite 1 lb $7.50
    17. Cucumbers - Marketmore - 8g ---------------------------------Willhite 1 lb $12.25
    18. MegaSea to help with germination --- not needed GRAND TOTAL $180.55
    Last but not least, those of you who do not have the time or inclination to do your own research, might find the following package deal worth your hard earned dollar. It's certainly better than the first deal, but I think my price comparison has it beat. Whatever.
    another way ----- and a better price $34.95
    BTW I have no monetary interest in any of the seed sellers above. What I would like is for all Monkeys to spend their hard earned cash wisely when it comes to seed. [beer]

  6. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    plant dif varieties of corn a couple weeks apart
    that will take care of your cross-polination
    good post btw, im sure it will help some peeps
    Ganado likes this.
  7. beast

    beast backwoodsman

  8. fanderal

    fanderal Monkey+

    I agree with the statement that the "survival seed packages" are mostly feed good rip offs. I have one other question:

    How many people ACTUALLY have a garden going every year? or this year, or ANY year?

    Having seed is a very good thing, and obviously THE required FIRST step, but is not the ONLY required step. If you don't have, or have not had a garden going with the cultivars in question in your CURRENT AO, then you are NOT ready.

    While it would be nice to have a full blown, feed you year round garden going all the time, that is not always possible, and fortunately not required. We should however have at least a little test bed going every year. All you really need is a 4x12' raised bed, or a few containers, and you will be able to learn the basics of what is REALLY needed to make you garden choices work where you live.

    Over the years the wife and I have had gardens as big as 20'x50', and as small as 4'x12'. One of the things that we have learned is that raised beds are the way to go.

    I also recommend making your own garden soil, that way you will have the exact mix that works for any specific plant, and it will be weed free. My basic mix is top soil from your local garden center, mixed with rabbit manure. (60/40, soil/manure) The beauty of rabbit manure is that you can use it straight from the rabbit, just scoop it up from under their cages, add it to the top soil and mix well. Thereafter just top dress with fresh manure, and keep going. The only problem is finding enough manure to start with. Since we were raising rabbits when we started it was not a problem, but since we have moved out of the city, and don't have rabbits at the moment, it is hard to find enough to expand things.

    Anyway, my real point is that it is not enough to just have a bunch of seeds, you need to be growing some of them to gain the functional knowledge you will need to make a 'feed me year round" garden work.

  9. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Thanks! You couldn't have said it much better. My last garden was many years ago. Do to present world conditions I thought it prudent to hitch my team to this wagon. I have in the past had success and failures in gardening. More failure than success. This years garden was 4 to 6 weeks late in going in, but it is coming along outstanding.
    Heirloom seed and seed saving can not be stressed enough. I have no problem with people using hybrid seed as long as they realize it is a one shot affair.
    Saving some your best for seed is damn cheap insurance for the future.
    Great care must be exercised when doing your vegetable garden so as not to compromise your seed through cross polination. If you have other capable gardeners who are preppers and agreeable it is possible to have say 3 types of corn to harvest by each of 3 growers only doing one type and sharing the harvest equally with the others. Pepper types, and melon types, and tomato types would all benefit from these shared plantings and harvests, as well as growing community spirit and cooperation.
    Canning, dehydrating, and smoke curing of meats and fish could be co op projects as well. jmho
    PS: when it comes to price for heirloom seed, buying in bulk is the only way to go. Little seed packets are outrageous in price per seed. I am totally satisfied with my purchases from Willhite seed, and will sing them praise loud and clear. Of all the companies listed in this thread, none but Willhite offer bulk pricing. Prices get cheaper and cheaper the more you buy instead of staying the same or close to it. I keep my extra seed in a freezer and share as well. If not Willhite, find a bulk seller who gives discounts for buying in larger quanity.
    Ganado and chelloveck like this.
  10. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    i have a garden pretty much every year
    this year is dif cuz of the rains<grrrrr>
    hopefully ill have greenhouses before too long and ill garden year round

    as to your soil mix, what good is store bought garden topsoil
    when there are no stores?
    learn to identify good decent soils, its not that dificult
    then if you see some you can pick it up and take it home
    it is also not that dificult to make your own
    unscented, untreated kitty litter, the kind made from clay
    is a very good soil builder if you have sand
    so is a little epsom salt
    all soils benefit from added organic matter, unless youre using pure silt or humus
    sand and clay will hold more moisture and become more friable
    loams get loamier
    sawdust, grass clippings, shredded paper and of course manure all add to your soils
    fertility and friability
  11. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Probably what I miss most about the North (near Dayton Ohio), is real almost completely ready to plant, rich soil. Good old dark brown almost black rich dirt. Down here in sunny Florida where I am at we have to constantly bust our butts to enrich and improve our native sterile sand. Oh we have excellent drainage and ample rain, but let a lush garden area sit fallow and barren for 5 years and it will be completely leached out of all nutrients and humous. We have to compost, and mulch and fertilize like crazy to make the soil work for us. Thank heaven for leaves, tree and yard waste mulch and animal poop. Never heard about using epsom salt. How does that work? and obviously due to cost factor only small areas?
  12. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Tac - My uncle had very good success "modifiying" the excuse for soil we had in South Florida. Lots of compressed peat moss, compost, and various natural fertilizers (like catfish heads and skins) added to the soil over the years built a very nice soil.
    Do NOT add Epsom salt to Florida soil until you have checked with the county extension agency. The sandy soil of Florida contains higher concentrations of salt than most states, due in part to the fact that the entire state was once submerged beneath ocean waters.

    I myself have a soil creation method based on Mel Bartholemew's "Mel's Mix". Peat moss, vermiculite, and home generated compost. Till that in or set it direct in your above ground boxes and off you go. While this is not viable for large scale or commercial growers, it is most certainly viable for small scale (in our case enough to sustain 5 families) growers.
  13. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I have another current sale price seed package for you folks above the mason dixon line. Most of these are included in the 2 survival packages at $198.00 and $34.95 that I mentioned earlier.
    This is by Farmer's seed and nursery in Faribault, Mn. A half price sale on their Vegetable Garden Collection 13 varieties in the package all normally for $12.19 now only $5.99. Heck alot of these places are wanting $3 for a packet of 15 to 30 seeds alone.
    Vegetable Garden Collection, 1/2 Price -
    it includes; Detroit dark red beet, Buttercrunch lettuce, Tendersweet carrot, Straight 8 cucumber, California wonder sweet bell pepper, German giant radish, Bloomsdale spinach, Waltham butternut squash, Crimson sweet watermelon, Burpee stringless green bean, Early alaskan sweet pea, Farmers monster tomato, and Howden pumpkin. Most of these I automatically from my research recognize as heirloom seed. Not all for sure, but 80% plus. Tomato, green bean, and Pumpkin not certifed heirloom, but all the rest are for sure.
    I may buy 10 of these package deals as give aways to "help me, I am begging you, sorry sad sacks post SHTF".
  14. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    epsom salt makes sand stickier, like adding a little clay
    and as falcon said, check your salt levels before you add more
    nothing ruins your moisture levels like salt
    it sucks it out of the ground and locks it up
    as for lime, baking soda is fairly cheap from feed stores
    so is calcium carbonate
    both tend to be cheaper than the other sweeteners
  15. ItalianGator

    ItalianGator Monkey+

    Just noticing the post. Good information on the heirloom seeds. I was just thinking about them as I prepare my garden here in Florida. Like you, I'm going with Mel's Mix in raised boxes this year. Having good and bad results with trying to improve the natural soil here, I'm hopeful that this approach will bring about more consistent, fruitful results.

    It is a bit pricey to set up... hard to get the course vermiculite and some of the different varieties of organic matter can be difficult to find and expensive when it is found. So again, I hope this approach is good or I'm going to be a little more than upset at the return on my investment.
  16. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    Great thred dont know how I missed it. Bump it up for spring growing season
  17. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Black Kow composted cow manure

    I noticed some florida Monkeys here. Don't know how many are within say 90 minute drive of Ocala, but if you are in this area you have certainly heard of Black Kow composted cow manure. Goes for around $5 per 50 pound bag is you can find it on sale. They package it right here in the Ocala area. If you have a longbed pickup or a utility trailer you can get 1000 pounds loose for $35
    I will link the contact info here in a few minutes.
    Composted Cow Manure-No fillers - $35 (South of Ocala)

    Get Black Kow Brand products wholesale instead of buying from Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes in the 50 pound $5 bags. You get ONE-THOUSAND POUNDS of the exact same product before it gets bagged for just $35
    Delivery available or you come and pick-up, we will load your truck or trailer.
    Use our toll-free number ...Big loader is a 5 cubic yard bucket.

    • Location: South of Ocala
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  18. carly28043

    carly28043 Monkey+

    Anyone close to Asheville, NC might want to check out the Organic Growers Conference at UNCA on March 3-4. Lots of classes. Southern Seed Exchange is one of their sponsors and will be there in force with seeds available.
  19. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Another manure option is rabbit. It is not hot and can be used right away. Bought 500 pounds of it last month and spread it out over the raised beds so it soaks in during the winter.
  20. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Buy it? My rabbits generate a ton a month. Literally. These buggers crap, eat, sleep and reproduce. Tasty and practical =)
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