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Organic Seeds for Northern Climates

What can you plant in the north?

If you're looking for organic seeds for northern climates, you have quite a selection to choose from. Even though it's colder way up north, there are many fruits and vegetables that thrive in that environment.

Choosing Organic Seeds for Northern Climates

Northern gardens can be just as successful as those in warmer climates, if you know what to plant and when. Here are a few organic fruit and vegetable selections for you to choose from.

  • Cauliflower - This winter crop is hearty in low temperatures, and even thrives in areas where the sun doesn't clear the horizon for more than a few hours. In fact, cauliflower has a tough time producing heads if the weather is too warm!
  • Broccoli - Another winter brassica, broccoli doesn't do well in high heat. It prefers cool nights and daytime temperatures in the sixties all the way down to about 45°F. Some varieties can tolerate temperatures as low as the twenties, so do your homework and make sure you get a kind that does well in your particular area.
  • Tomatoes - There are a handful of tomato varieties that do well up around zone 3, one of which is the Siberian. Aptly named for its climate preference, Siberian tomatoes don't need high temperatures to bear fruit, and in fact only need a few degrees above freezing to produce large, juicy tomatoes.
  • Winter squash - And of course, winter squash do well in colder climates. Think pumpkins, butternuts, acorn squash, and so on. Your local nursery may even stock a variety that is native to your area!
  • Strawberries - These little red beauties can be picky. While many can grow in low temperatures, you'll need to check with a local nursery to see which will thrive in your particular area. Important factors to consider are moisture levels and soil drainage. They are best planted in spring so that they will be well established come winter, yielding more fruit the following year.
  • Blueberries - Some varieties of blueberry not only do well in cold weather, but need the frost to achieve the proper dormancy cycle in order to yield more fruit. A few kinds to check out are the Northland, Jersey, and Spartan, all of which will thrive down to forty below.
  • Apples - While most apple trees prefer warmer climates, some varieties do very well in cold areas. One such kind is the honeycrisp apple, which is hardy in zones three through six and can survive in temperatures as low as 40 below zero. Another is the Haralson, which is hardy to zone three and ripens in the autumn.
  • Apricots - Two kinds of apricots, the Scout and Brookred, are both hardy through zone 3 and yield a large amount of delicious fruit for eating and canning. Be sure to prune the tree back the first few years before allowing it to bear fruit, which will help the tree itself grow more hardy and steadfast.

Where to Buy Organic Seeds?

Cold climate seeds have special needs.

Where can you get organic seeds for northern climates? Your local nursery or hardware store will stock a good selection of seeds that are appropriate for your zone, or else you can hit the Internet for a wide selection of online botanical stores.

  • Wood Prairie Farm is based in northern Maine and caters to the northern gardener. You'll find a large selection of fruits and vegetables here, along with helpful advice on how to make your garden do well in cold weather.
  • Seeds Trust carries many cold-weather plants, including a selection of tomatoes that are hardy in low temperatures.
  • High Mowing Organic Seeds is a family-owned gardening store. Based out of Vermont, they know all about maintaining a garden in cold weather climates!
  • Green People offers a list of seed providers by state. Find a state that's close to you and check out their site for a selection of fruits and vegetables that will do well in your area.
Organic Seeds for Northern Climates