Friday, December 19, 2008

Catalog Season

Some of you might find it hard to decide what to grow next year. I recommend you make two lists: one list of all the veggies you want to grow, and a second based on your grocery receipts. You might be surprised at the volume or actual price (or both!) of some of the produce you buy regularly. Cross checking the two lists will get you going in the right direction.

You see the question on gardening forums around the ‘net. “Where should I get seeds?” There are plenty of local sources: department stores, feed stores, hardware stores, nurseries, of course. It’s always good to buy local, but you may find the selection limited. Here are some highly recommended places to buy garden seeds: Native Seeds/SEARCH (Southwest Endangered Aridlands Resource Clearing House) - Definitely check them out if you live in a dry, hot environment or are Native American. J.L. Hudson, Seedsman - A vast and sometimes bizarre collection of rare plants, including vegetables. Peters Seed and Research - good selection and some exclusive varieties. Richters Herbs Bountiful Gardens Nichols Garden Nursery Fedco Seeds Baker Creek - Vast selection of heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. Seed Savers Exchange Tomato Grower’s Supply - Good selection of heirloom and hybrid tomato, pepper and eggplant seeds.,web.pdf Seeds from Italy – European sources, things you might not find elsewhere. Marianna’s – specializing in heirloom tomatoes.

Now you should be able to find almost anything you might be looking for, and plenty you didn’t know you were. Please keep in mind your location when making decisions, as it can mean the difference between a successful harvest or a meager one. Also, realize that some companies are still in the process of finalizing their 2009 catalogs.

You can save a lot of money in the future if you save seeds to grow again. And for the price of a few envelopes and stamps, you can trade seeds online through your favorite gardening forums and have plenty of new varieties to try the following year. If you order quickly, you might have time to do some trading before it's time to plant your seeds.

Weigh the eco-ethics of also getting paper catalogs in your own mind… but it sure is nice to curl up by the fire with pictures and descriptions in hand and dream of gardening on those cold nights. Happy reading!


Ottawa Gardener said...

This is a great idea for deciding on what to grow. I have to admit that I am addicted to just trying stuff out too (for research purposes really, really if you can call curiosity - research) but I try to commit myself to a large majority of calorie crops and garden grown tasties.

Anonymous said...

Hi Johno - I'd like to also suggest Sand Hill Preservaton Center's seed catalog (available online and in printed form). Thanks for the very interesting and entertaining posts! Lisa