The butterfly effect of the choice of seeds

Diversifying your seeds means increasing your resilience.
Credit: Space for Life (Francis Cardinal)
Diversifying your seeds means increasing your resilience.
  • Diversifying your seeds means increasing your resilience.
  • Natural lighting around windows is too often insufficient for quality seedlings. Getting the proper equipment may turn out to be a good investment for active gardeners.
  • A lighting system could serve to get seedlings under way for successive harvests. Here, leafy vegetables intended for a cold frame late in the season.
  • There’s nothing better than sunlight. Be sure to acclimatize your seedlings gradually and keep an eye on temperatures.
The butterfly effect of the choice of seeds

This theory – often misinterpreted – proposed by American scientist Edward Norton Lorenz asks the following question: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? That is in fact highly unlikely.

But on a smaller scale, the choice of our seeds may influence the state of our garden once warmer days arrive. Whether we talk about the butterfly, the snowball or the domino effect, or better still, the virtuous circle, the choice of our seeds influences the appearance of and the role our garden can play when summer weather gets here.

The impacts of our choice of seeds

The purchase and the choice of seeds may seem inconsequential to some people, but those actions are at the basis of a series of events that will influence the ecological role of your garden.

Obviously, a garden comprises a lot more than a pantry or a work of art: it’s also an ecosystem that, very often, fosters biodiversity. Depending on the second role you confer on it, your garden could be a food producer or else a haven for birds or biodiversity or even become an oasis for monarch butterflies.

Next, encouraging seed operations in the area is a way of supporting the local economy that contributes to ensuring the transmission of an expertise over the long term. It’s an action that contributes to protecting the genetic heritage of local seeds.

Finally, choosing seeds from around here contributes to fighting monopolies and is a way of saying no to companies that favor artificial seed selection with a view to export (via better conservation), to the detriment of nutritional value and taste. Why do you think your own tomatoes don’t keep as long but taste infinitely better than the ones bought at supermarkets?

Protecting our seeds

Just as with all the energy invested in protecting the panda or the polar bear, there’s no doubt we should collectively take part in protecting our seeds. An example of their importance: significant resources have been invested in order to conserve all the planet’s seeds at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Some people call it the Noah’s ark of seeds!

When exactly should we start our seedlings?

This varies depending on your experience, climate, lighting, and seeds selected. In many cases it’s better to hold off and sow later rather than too soon. Seedlings that wither through lack of light will be a lot more fragile and vulnerable. If, however, you have suitable lighting, it’s recommended to start early when seeding for certain plants.

Otherwise, why not take advantage of the cold season to get the information and the lighting equipment you need to produce your own seedlings?

Experimentation at the heart of learning

There’s a proverb that goes, Wisdom is a seed that is harvested with the elderly. Here, wisdom represents knowhow and the elderly represent literature and community. Broaden your knowledge by experimenting and by exchanging ideas with people in your circle.

Producing your own seeds: the icing on the cake

Ultimately, producing your own seeds has many advantages. It goes without saying that you save money and that you lessen the impacts of the supply chain. Moreover, when you harvest your seeds yourself, you can potentially select the ones that offer the best adaptability to our particular growing conditions.

You still have to know how!

Set off with us in the snowball effect instead of ending up as a snowman

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