Best Seed Catalogs

| 2/20/2018 9:32:00 AM

Tags: gardening, seed catalogs, Carole Coates, North Carolina,

What does it say about you when your favorite books are seed catalogs? That you’re a hard-core gardener, that’s what. When the harvest is finally over and at least some of fall’s garden clean-up has been accomplished, I’m pretty drained and wonder about the wisdom of working so hard growing and preserving a large garden full of fruits and vegetables. But by the time seed catalogs start rolling in during January and even as early as December, I’m all atwitter at the prospect of trying out new things in the garden.

As most gardeners do, I get a lot of seed catalogs. I find I most often rely on four or five of them. Below are my favorite seed catalogs along with an explanation of why I love them so. 

vegetable seed catalogs

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

I almost don’t dare open this one—it’s so full of rare seeds for unusual plants, my personal weakness, that I find it hard to impose any self-discipline. Everything about the story of this company is inspiring. The founder, Jere Gettle, printed his first Baker Creek catalog when he was only seventeen in 1998. What a feat! According to the catalog, Baker Creek offers almost 2,000 varieties of vegetable, flower, and herb heirlooms, the largest number in the country. The catalog features rare and endangered seeds from the 19th century and around the globe.

The company holds heritage festivals once month during the growing season at its headquarters in Mansfield, Missouri and for the last seventeen years has hosted a spring planting festival with music, vendors, craftspeople, and workshops. It’s on my calendar.

Baker Creek has a flat shipping rate of $3.50, regardless of how little or how much you order; it has low prices; and in many cases, the catalog tells you how many seeds are in a packet, so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

What I love: Hands down, the unusual plants that are highlighted throughout. And there’s this—a couple of years ago, we purchased a packet of seed that didn’t germinate. We didn’t think to report it, assuming we’d picked the wrong location in the garden. What a pleasant surprise to receive, unsolicited, a gift certificate for twice our purchase amount because the company had determined it was a bad batch. Now, that’s customer service.

2/23/2018 8:11:05 AM

Check out Harris Seeds Organic catalog! It is full of great varieties, supplies and informative articles about growing organically. Request one free here.

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