Baker Creek's horticulture staff comes from a diverse range of professions, from market farmers to seed producers and nursery and greenhouse growers, and they grow in all kinds of climates, from Maine to Jamaica. There’s one thing on which they all agree: The Number One way to grow a better garden is to understand your specific climate and take lots of notes!


What are the best sources for information? 

There are many free resources for regionally specific growing information. 

Check out your state's monthly planting calendar, typically published for free online by state universities. Reach out to your local master gardeners association or county cooperative extension agent’s office for free educational lectures and materials on growing in your particular location. Local social media gardening groups or in-person garden clubs are other great ways to find local advice. You can visit the local farmers market and ask growers questions, but please respect their time as they are trying to make sales on a busy market day! 


Should I Keep a Garden Journal?

Yes! This is the method that most old-time gardeners used to really hone in on their microclimate. Simply take notes on weather, such as what dates your first and last frosts arrived and which dates you sowed your crops. You can also note which varieties performed particularly well or poorly. The next year you can look back at these notes for guidance, and eventually you will start to see patterns and trends.

Researching and collecting data on your specific region is going to help you to more wisely select which varieties to grow in your garden; if you counted a 90 day frost-free growing season last year, you will know to choose that very early maturing tomato from Russia to have more luck this year!  


Why Doesn’t Baker Creek Include Days To Maturity Information?

We do supply Days To Maturity (DTM) information on some varieties, but we shy away from relying on them too much, because we know that our customers come from all over the world. All of those varying climates and conditions affect how long it takes a crop to mature. We have found that boiled-down information like DTM and zone information is too general to be useful.

When choosing varieties, think about your region’s essential climate factors: average number of frost-free days, average summer temperatures, rainfall and humidity. Then consider analogous growing climates. (For example, California and the Mediterranean, Florida and the Caribbean, the northern Midwest and  northern Europe, or the central Midwest and central/northern China.)

We offer a range of varieties from different climates, so we find it most helpful to list the variety’s geographical origin.This allows you to choose garden varieties with crops from similar or analogous climates, ensuring a successful gardening season.