The Southern Agrarian

Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Tag: book

Carol Deppe’s Seed List

I have written previously about Carol Deppe‘s books – The Resilient Gardener and Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties. She has a new seed list of varieties she has developed on her own. She is located in the Pacific Northwest, so I suspect that her seeds would probably not be the best choice for those of us down here in Dixie; however, you really need to read the seed descriptions so you can learn her thought process for selecting and developing the varieties in her garden. It also demonstrates the focus she has on matching local conditions to the varieties you select. Let me take this opportunity to again highly recommend both of her books. They should be in the library of anyone interested in growing and developing their own food.

The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener's and Farmer's Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving

Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s and Farmer’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving

The 33 Golden Rules of Gardening

Carol Deppe is, without a doubt, one of my favorite authors of gardening books. We’ll talk more about her books in a future post, but I wanted to pass along the 33 main points from Chapter two of her book, The Resilient Gardener:


  1. All Gardening is Local
  2. Plant Things That Grow Where You Live
  3. Variety, Variety, Variety
  4. Plant Varieties That Grow Where You Live
  5. Buy High Quality Seeds or Plants
  6. Plants Need Sun
  7. Plants Need Warmth
  8. Some Plants Need Cold
  9. Plants Need Soil
  10. Plants Need Nutrients
  11. You Must Prepare the Ground for Your Plants
  12. You Can Plant in Beds or Rows; You can Plant Intensively or Less So
  13. Plant at the Right Time
  14. Plant Seeds at the Right Depth
  15. Plants Need Water
  16. Plants Need Room to Grow
  17. You Must Weed
  18. Resist the Temptation to Do Unnecessary Things
  19. You Must Thin
  20. Plants Need Protection from Insects, Pests, and Herbivores
  21. Plants Need Protection from Disease
  22. Plants Sometimes Need Protection from Weather
  23. You Can Use Transplants or Seeds
  24. Some Plants Need Support
  25. Some Plants Need Pruning
  26. Learn to Harvest and Store Product Optimally
  27. Experiment
  28. Keep at Least Some Records
  29. Think Small
  30. Everything Is Connected
  31. Slow Down
  32. Notice Everything
  33. Save, Cherish, and Distribute Seeds of the Varieties You Care about the Most

Each of these items is, of course, accompanied by a detailed description of what it really means. Some of these items may look rather obvious or redundant or just plain strange, but rest assured that they are all very relevant not only to gardening in general, but to Southern Agrarianism in particular. She (as far as I know) never mentions Southern anything (she lives in the Pacific Northwest), but the spirit of Southern Agrarianism is very much a part of what she writes.

I strongly encourage you to buy the book and add it to your library. I have quite a collection of gardening books in my library, but I consider the Deppe books to be the best all-around source of information that goes deeply into the how and the why of gardening rather than a simple “do this” set of instructions. Her other book, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties, is another excellent book by Carol Deppe, and we’ll go into that in another future post.