It’s nearly time for our Seed Library Launch, and we know that lots of you have been looking at the online lists of the seeds we’re offering this year. With 55 different options, though, we know it can get overwhelming. We’re here to help!

Here are some options for tricky situations that our customers ask about all the time.

  • For gardens that often fall victim to pests like Japanese beetles, marigolds can act as a sacrificial plant. Many insects will eat the marigolds first, and are more likely to leave your other plants alone.
  • Have a particularly soggy spot like an area next to a downspout? Try planting blackberry lily, cardinal flower, obedient plant, and some milkweeds. Veggies like arugula and cabbage tend to be tolerant of wet feet, too. Just avoid hard skinned produce like watermelon that can burst with too much late season watering.
  • Black-Eyed Susans and butterfly weed do well in sandy soil.
  • Coneflower, anise hyssop, and columbine tend to be more deer resistant.
  • For poor soil, try butterfly weed, sunflowers, crimson clover, and trailing nasturtiums.
  • If you’re trying to cultivate a prairie space, consider our Teaching Garden Mix, blue wild indigo, Bush’s poppy mallow, coreopsis, purple prairie clover, Black-Eyed Susans, and milkweed.
  • For more traditional landscaping, try hollyhocks, painted daisies, cosmos, and zinnias.
  • For hanging baskets, trailing nasturtiums can work well.
  • Any herb can work in a container garden. Veggies like arugula, beans, peas, and cabbage can all work in pots, they may just be smaller than those grown in a garden.
  • Popcorn, pumpkins, squash, scarlet flax linum, zinnias, herbs, and obedient plant are all fun to grow with kids.
  • If you’re looking for tall plants for the backs of your beds or along fence lines, try hollyhocks or sunflowers.
  • Clemson spineless okra, Ashley and Armenian cucumbers, sugar pie pumpkins, sugar peas, and summer crookneck squash all like to grow on trellises.

Need recommendations? We’ll have lots of experts on hand for our Seed Library Launch on Thursday, February 1 from 10-4, when Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions and help with seed selection. You can also contact the Master Gardener help desk, or reach out to librarian Liz Kirchhoff anytime.