Seed Catalogs

Jan
3

January is seed catalog time. Time to breathe deep of dreams and plans for gardens bursting with flowers and vegetables, orchards full of fruits and nuts, and bloom-laden vines tumbling over fences even while icicles are still hanging outside our windows.


Especially because icicles are still hanging outside our windows.

I’ve only gotten one seed catalog so far, but usually we get catalogs from Gurney’s, Henry Fields, SpringHill, Michigan Bulb, and a few others. Tell me what seed catalogs you get and which ones are your favorites. Maybe I’m missing something! (I got a Baker Creek catalog one year. Now that’s a pretty catalog.)

Amongst my farm goals this year is to (finally) get some asparagus and rhubarb (successfully) started. Maybe I’ll grow some of this Jersey Supreme asparagus.

And maybe this Crimson Red rhubarb.

Every year we grow sweet peas, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and green beans, among other things, as well as all my favorite herbs. And we’ve got quite a few regulars established that come back every year, like horseradish and garlic. We’ve got apple and apricot and pear trees, and I finally had some success last year starting blackberries and blueberries.

I’ve about given up on corn, but isn’t this blue corn awesome? I need to grow some corn if for naught else but the fodder shocks.

I like to try new things, just for the fun and the novelty. Like maybe these French Breakfast radishes.

If I grew some beets, would I start to like them?

I think I need some of these Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts.

Whenever I try to grow any flowers that gorgeous, they die. But this could be the year!

Our one cherry tree died. We definitely need another cherry tree. Or ten.

I have no strawberries. I need strawberries!!

Gooseberries, elderberries, jostaberries, I need them all.

I need some honeyberries and mulberries, too. And some pawpaw!

And I especially need some raspberries.

But what I really need….and I mean REALLY NEED….to grow (!!!) is this dwarf fig!

And mini bananas!

Not to mention mini pineapples!

And Mediterranean olives!

AND COFFEE!

52: “Did you say you live in Zone 5?”

Stop that! Tis of no bearing. It’s January and I have seed catalogs.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 3, 2011  

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  1. 1-3
    1:34
    am

    Burpee’s: http://www.burpee.com/

    They have “burp-less” cucumber seeds, as well as the “regular” cucumber seeds. And, they are indeed, burp-less.

    Grandma and grandpa swore on Burpee seeds for any seeds that we did not harvest and dry ourselves for the next years planting (like corn and squash). I loved pouring over the catalog with grandma. I was usually allowed to pick out a packet or two of seeds for something I especially wanted.

  2. 1-3
    2:25
    am

    Horizon Herbs – mostly herbs (of course) but they have some really cool rare plants and varieties, and the cutest catalogue I’ve ever seen.

    http://www.horizonherbs.com/

  3. 1-3
    2:36
    am

    Organic or not orgainic? THAT is the question!

  4. 1-3
    4:38
    am

    I’m banned from looking at plant catalogs. (I have to read Wayside Gardens’ catalog under the covers.) The PICOG (person in charge of gardening) has forbidden my buying any plants. We have too many. Esp. trees. We planted ‘twigs’ cadged for a reasonable price from our local arboretum. They take care of testing plants for hardiness in our zone. Fruit and veggies are hard to grow, not only because of the shade, but because people come over the fence and help themselves. sigh

  5. 1-3
    6:16
    am

    Well, if some guy all the way here in Finland can grow a few bananas for himself, you could certainly do it, too! Of course, they probably should be grown inside a greenhouse.

  6. 1-3
    6:50
    am

    We get our fruit trees and berries from Millers. As for flowers you should find someone who has some and they will maybe divide some for you. Perennials need to be thin out every now and then. Some of us might be able to send you some if they are in the right zone. I am in zone 4. so you should have no problem growing some of mine. :ladybug:

  7. 1-3
    6:56
    am

    There is nothing better to get in the mail this time of year than those seed catalogs!! :woof:

  8. 1-3
    7:10
    am

    The catalogs make everything look so wonderful, and sometimes things actually do as promised. Our favorite not quite so usual catalogs are :- http://www.evergreenseeds.com/ these people have an online catalog of seeds mainly for Asian vegetables, the best lettuce and Chinese Cabbage. At home we love Tomato Growers Supply Co:- http://www.tomatogrowers.com they have a catalog with more tomatoes hot and sweet peppers and eggplant than I ever knew existed, such fun to choose. Another favorite is NicholsGardenNursery.com they have a huge variety of herbs and lots of older open pollinated (so you can save seed) varieties of veggies and flowers many of them organic. Here’s hoping everyone will have a wonderful productive garden this year, surely the weather will have to be kinder than last year. :wave:

  9. 1-3
    7:16
    am

    On the bleeding hearts, we have two bushes of them. They get morning and evening sun (after 5pm) but have the shade from a nearby maple tree. They are pretty big shrubs. I would like to try the mini pomegranates.

  10. 1-3
    7:31
    am

    We LIVE in our seed catalogs! We figure, configure and re-configure our garden on a daily basis (depending on which catalog and which seeds we are drooling over). . . seed catalogs make the winter seem less horrible than it is and gives us hope for spring. We have 10 different catalogs right now – the prettiest is called Cook’s Garden (a little pricey). I hope they NEVER decide to not send seed catalogs in the mail!

  11. 1-3
    7:42
    am

    ‘Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds’ are my new favorite – We had tremendous success with these seeds! And the BEST part is; they are not GE! (Worth every penny.)

  12. 1-3
    7:43
    am

    Ah yes…hope springs eternal, doesn’t it? That’s how I feel everythime I look at a seed catalog. My favorites are Pinetree Seeds http://www.superseeds.com and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. http://www.johnnyseeds.com And there’s good old Burpee’s, which was actually founded about 2 miles from here.

    I like Pinetree because the you can order a seed packet with a small quantity of seeds (like tomatoes), which means I try several varieties. Also as an FYI, they carry soap making supplies. Never tried that myself, but thought you might be interested.

  13. 1-3
    7:46
    am

    oh how my Dad looked forward to the seed catalogs in January! They would arrive in the mail and he would set at the kitchen table and plan out the year’s garden/gardens. He and Mom had two, one on either side of the house. The “big” garden had corn, potatoes, tomatoes and beans. The smaller of the two was the “salad” garden with lettuces, green onions, radishes, spinach, carrots and herbs. The sage Daddy planted thrives in that old garden at Lead Hill, a monument to his hard work.

  14. 1-3
    7:56
    am

    I’m a horrible gardener, and years ago when I planted cherry trees all of them died but one. It’s a Montmorency (a sour cherry good for cherry pies) and self-pollinating (good thing, too, since it was all alone). If even I, the queen of brown thumbs, can grow a cherry tree, anyone can grow one of these. Plus, it’s so pretty when it blooms. I don’t really like to eat these other than in a pie (maybe in jelly if I actually made any?) but my husband and son like them off the tree. I read somewhere that another advantage to sour cherries is that the birds don’t eat quite as many as they do sweet cherries. Not sure that’s true. The local cardinals seem to like ours just fine.

  15. 1-3
    7:58
    am

    I am stuck between wanting to plan out my garden through the two seed catalogs I have so far (Gurneys and Johnny’s) and trying to find the “perfect” baby announcement cross stitch. I am wandering off topic – sorry, but my sister surprised us with the news at Christmas and I am very excited! I made a country bear announcement for the first one about a year ago and now I need another. And I am a slow stitcher so I gotta get started quick! Anyone have a good source? All I have is Joanne’s (haven’t been there yet) and the internet.

  16. 1-3
    8:13
    am

    I’m jealous! I’m waiting anxiously for my Burpee’s catalog, dreaming of planting my first garden at a new house.

  17. 1-3
    8:27
    am

    I get all the ones you mentioned plus others like Jung’s, Totally Tomatoes,Burnt Ridge Nursery,Raintree,Stark Bros and St Lawrence Nursery,Van Bourgondien’s,and others I’ve forgotten. I say the more the merrier! They really do help me get through a long Wisconsin winter.Dream on!

  18. 1-3
    8:36
    am

    Since there are so many seed catalogs on line now I dont get as many in the mail :( One of My favorites is Baker’s Creek!
    Suzanne try planting your corn where you had green beans last year.

  19. 1-3
    8:45
    am

    I’ve gotten 1 so far…I love Baker’s Creek Heirlooms, those seeds seemed to do wonderfully!

    I really wish we knew if we’d have an early spring like last year…I could start planting the seeds now! Well, have to get the seedling room set up first……….

  20. 1-3
    8:45
    am

    If bleeding hearts have a relatively sheltered place to live (say next to a wall or a fence) in my limited experience they do very well without a lot of fussing. One of my favorite flowers when I was little, though we called them lady’s slippers then.

  21. 1-3
    9:16
    am

    Bluestone Perennials (www.bluestoneperennials.com)….great prices…but better yet, great healthy plants!!!!

  22. 1-3
    9:22
    am

    I’ve always liked Henry Fields…not sure why, but this year we are actually going to try to have a garden (we aren’t to good at gardening), so I ordered some seeds online at http://sustainableseedco.com/, it’s my first time ordering from them but I wanted open pollinated seeds and so went with that company for some reason. I also got some asparagus ordered from Seeds of Change…would have gotten all of it from them, but for some reason decided to go with the other place too…think the prices and varieties made me try them out. I did get a few things at Henry Fields too, and would so LOVE to have several different berries this year, but we don’t have a spot ready for them so guess they will have to wait another year or so.

  23. 1-3
    9:22
    am

    This is my first year attempting a garden. I requested the Baker Creek catalog because it was recommended to me by a friend. (She loves their lettuce blends.) This entry is so timely, as my husband and I have been studying gardening books and are planning our garden. Thank you, everyone, for the seed company tips!!!

  24. 1-3
    9:25
    am

    I have received two catalogs so far, Burpee’s and Henry Field. I prefer Burpee seeds.

  25. 1-3
    9:26
    am

    Been gardening for 49 yrs. Our over-all favorite is Johnny’s Selected Seeds. johnnyseeds.com Located in Maine. An employee owned company. Great customer service, lots of tutorials on growing each variety. It has been a challenge, we are at 3,000′. We love their corn. The Super Sweet (sh2), Doesn’t grow tall, ready in about 76 days. sh2 corn retains it’s sugar content much longer than most corn. Gardening is a journey worth cultivating. A little pun The most fun from the garden is the sharing and canning.

  26. 1-3
    9:34
    am

    ohhh Logees…they’re such a tease, with their awesome tropicals, aren’t they?

  27. 1-3
    9:40
    am

    I got my Burpee catalog and it’s nice, but my number one choice is Baker Creek Heirloom. I love their catalog and their service is great. I can’t seem to grow blackberries. I’ve planted twice and they keep dying. But you should see my raspberry beds! Go get you some thornless raspberries! You’ll be a happy, happy girl.

  28. 1-3
    9:41
    am

    Johnny’s Selected Seeds. I also live & grow in Zone 5, and their growing farms are all in Maine. So they have a TON of varieties that are more cold adapted than a lot of other places. They offer a wide assortment of open pollinated, hybrid, organic, & heirloom varieties. I love them!

  29. 1-3
    10:23
    am

    My 2 favorites are Pinetree seeds for the same reasons, that Debbie in PA says, they have great seeds in small size packages, great for trying something new. I also love, love, love Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. http://www.SouthernExposure.com. They are located in Virginia so have a lot of seeds geared to our strange and wonderful unpredictable climate.

  30. 1-3
    10:25
    am

    Haha! I thought that catalog looked familiar! I work for Gurney’s (and Henry Field, Michigan Bulb, Spring Hill, etc…). You should request the Thompson Morgan catalog which has 137 pages of seeds! While you are at it, ask for a Gardens Alive catalog which has not only organic seeds but lots of non-chemical means to get rid of harmful pests and beneficial insects.
    Also, not to sound like an ad, all of our seeds are non-gmo. I think most seed catalogs have non-gmo seeds as they are not popular with the home gardners.
    I’m a fan of growing all heirloom varities as I want to preserve these old seed varities and they taste better, imo. But I do have a Meyer lemon tree, an olive tree, a banana and a fig. I have them in a south facing window and haul them outside in late spring until fall. Last year I had several lemons and figs but something ate them just as they ripened. Oh, and they seem to thrive on neglect…

  31. 1-3
    10:37
    am

    My mother had an asparagus bed on the border of our lawn. In the spring we would have loads of the green spears to eat. Later the folage would be used for her flower arrangements (for the sick or funerals). Nothing went to waste.

  32. 1-3
    10:43
    am

    One of the most useful fruits to grow is the blackcurrant. It became almost extinct in this country (due to government regulations) but it is a really good fruit and a great source of vitamin C. The reason it’s so popular in Europe, besides its nutritional value, is that it makes delicious jam, wine, cordials.. almost anything! My father used to grow it in England, and I really recommend it.

  33. 1-3
    11:10
    am

    Suzanne – I have to thank you. You just gave me a very interesting time with my kids. Your post about seed catalogs made me go online and order a few for myself, and your comment about zoning made me look up a map of the US to find what zone we’re in. The sight of the map triggered a question and answer session with my seven and eight year old sons which I ended up blogging about.

    http://kidlifeupdates.blogspot.com/2011/01/improptu-geography-lesson.html

    If I hadn’t read your post, I wouldn’t have experienced those moments with my sons. :woof: Thanks!

  34. 1-3
    11:11
    am

    I get all my seeds from the Victory Seed Company – all heirloom varieties, which I really like. :) http://www.victoryseeds.com/ And French Breakfast radishes are delicious! They really do eat them for breakfast in France, with bread and butter. They’re tasty that way, or just eaten with salt!

  35. 1-3
    11:19
    am

    I got Baker Creek’s catalogue a couple weeks ago….it’s beautiful!!!! Definitely coffee table material!

  36. 1-3
    11:45
    am

    I love going through the seed catalogs and imagining what I can do for my garden this year. I make lists, revise them repeatedly, draw garden diagrams and try to decide whether I should dig up another section of my back yard. I like White Flower Farms, which hasn’t been mentioned yet. I drool over the roses in Jackson and Perkins. But I almost always end up buying my vegetable seeds from Territorial Seed Company, which specializes in seeds suitable for the cool, often damp, not very sunny western Oregon and western Washington regions.

  37. 1-3
    11:51
    am

    The dreaming inside of seed catalogs is what convinced me I should grow luffa last year. I had dreams of giving a homegrown bath sponge with homemade face scrub to everyone on my Christmas list! But, alas, our summer here in the NW was short and cold, and my luffa only made it to about 2 inches in length. (I started them inside, they have a really long growing season).
    I AM going to try again this year and hope my summer weather cooperates! Afterall, I’ve been saving peanut butter jars for more than a YEAR now…waiting to make the homemade face scrub to go with my Christmas sponges! I won’t give up!!

  38. 1-3
    11:55
    am

    Seedsofchange.com and territorial seed catalog are ones that I just ordered. Seeds of Change has organic, rare, and heirloom varieties which I am very interested in starting with this spring. Can’t wait to get em :)

  39. 1-3
    11:59
    am

    I am anxious to get started with my organic lasagna garden again this year. Last year was the first and I got it out late, starting early this year! Lot to learn and lots of preparing for the best lasagna garden 2011.

  40. 1-3
    12:09
    pm

    Suzanne, I remember last year your corn blew over right? I remember because the same thing happened to mine during our hurricane season here in FL. Anyway, I read this great tip (and I can’t remember where now):

    In front of the first row of corn and then between every row, push wooden stakes into the ground on either side of your row of corn. Then tie some twine to the stakes so that the corn has some support during a lot of wind. I haven’t tried it yet, but this year I’m determined to have some corn, so I’m gonna try it.

    I WISH we could grow all the berries and cherries down here. All my favorites are just ONE zone before 9. Sigh…

    Btw, I got a Thomson & Morgan catalog this year, it’s amazing!

  41. 1-3
    12:15
    pm

    Suzanne, Suzanne, don’t you know NEVER to read seed catalogs in January. Next thing you know you’ll wind up with a truckload of plants and have to clear an acre or three for your garden. I personally fell in love with the idea of Kiwi bushes and gooseberry bushes. I lusted after fig trees. But I had will power. Then, I made the mistake of buying 1…count them, one, raspberry bush and added a grand total of two more the next year. Next thing I knew my whole garden was taken over with raspberry bushes. (Yumm, not a bad way to go.)

    Ah, the lure of the catalog in the winter but hide your checkbook.

  42. 1-3
    12:19
    pm

    I got the Burpee Seed one so far, I normally get about 3 as well. This one has ne drooling though, those big fat tomatoes, the lettuce, the peppers of all kind, the berries, plants, flowers and herbs oh my! ha I was hunched over it for two days marking what I wanted :) Between the seeds I had harvested from last years garden I went a tad crazy, OK..alright..more than just a tad. Can’t help it, we lost a tree in our yard, which shaded more than half of it, now I’ve got that much more space to plant. Yippie!!!

  43. 1-3
    12:27
    pm

    I have a coffee plant I got at a local shop and it is the prettiest houseplant I have!

  44. 1-3
    12:30
    pm

    I grew French breakfast radishes last year. They are wonderful; you must try them.

    My bleeding heart plants are hardy, even here in Cincinnati, staying lush and beautiful up until the worst of the summer heat. Get the old-fashioned kind like in the photograph, as they are easier to take care of.

    One more thing: Sour cherries make the best pies, and they are really hard to find at the market. Just sayin’. :sun:

  45. 1-3
    1:02
    pm

    Ohhhhh…. how I’d love to grow a garden. Alas, I don’t think the high and mighty (and stupid) HOA would be happy if I did. The only way I can grow a garden is container gardening. Oh well….

  46. 1-3
    1:10
    pm

    Pinetree Seeds. We always have good luck with their seeds. They have a great lettuce mix.

  47. 1-3
    1:52
    pm

    What you really need to do is get a Seed Savers catalog! http://www.seedsavers.org/ Decorah, IA

    Best in heirloom veggies and we only get our seeds from them. It’s a treat to drive up and pick out our own seedlings too!

    Enjoy

  48. 1-3
    2:23
    pm

    The harsh reality of the “ZONE” factor. Unfair to say the least.

  49. 1-3
    2:40
    pm

    I love this Select Seeds and have ordered from them for at least 15 years. They specialize in Heirloom Varieties. http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/2011/catalog.htm

    I, too, drag out all of my gardening books and magazines and check the mailbox daily for new catatlogs right after putting all of the holiday stuff away!

    We here in NC are getting ready to put in more cold weather crops (well, not me, but my neighbors) hee hee

    Happy Garden Planning!

  50. 1-3
    2:46
    pm

    I got my graph paper out and am already planning a bigger garden this year. I’ve also been reading books on creating a root cellar. I’m determined to live more off from MY land this year! As far as seeds, I’ve been gardening mostly organic for around 20 years now. My first stop for organic seeds is a little website called “Pumpkin Nook”, http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?StoreName=premierstarcompany&DeptID=29148 . I’ve been ordering thru them for a few years because the sell Organic Ferry Morse seeds at HALF OFF!! Shipping cost is low and it comes fast. I’d highly recommend them.

    Also another place to check before you place your order is Garden Watchdog. http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/ This is a place where gardeners all over the world rate the service and product they receive from all the seed catalogs and nurseries. A definite must see!

    On another note, I gave up trying to grow corn for many years until last year. I had created a large raised bed that was chuck full of compost. I figured I’d give it one more try. If it didn’t work in a bed of compost…then forget it! Guess what? The corn grew!…and grew….and grew! I swear it reached heights of 15 feet or more!!! So don’t give up, just add LOTS of compost and water!

    Good luck!

  51. 1-3
    3:01
    pm

    Seed savers is my favorite catalog: http://www.seedsavers.org/ Be sure to visit their site in Decorah if you ever visit Iowa.

  52. 1-3
    3:27
    pm

    Suzanne, before you blame yourself for the rhubarb, etc., see what Dave’s Garden Watchdog has to say about Gurney’s and Michigan Bulb:

    http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/184/

    http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/186/

    I bought rhubarb starts from Gurney’s and they arrived as dried up things that never revived. I ordered rhubarb from http://www.noursefarms.com and it was night and day different. Beautiful healthy starts. I never order from a garden company unknown to me now without seeing what the other gardeners at Dave’s Garden have to say about it.

  53. 1-3
    4:02
    pm

    Suzanne, remember if you do open pollinated corn, like dent, flint or ornamental , you have to grow your hybrid sweet corns at least 250 feet away or it will taste like cardboard! Corn is wind pollinated so keep that in mind. I grow both but in two separate gardens and they have several outbuildings between.

    I like: Select Seeds for flower seeds, Pinetree, Baker Creek, Jung Seed, Seed Savers, and Victory Seed. I think Burpee is way overpriced on everything.

    I need to check out Johnny’s. I hear such good things about them.

  54. 1-3
    4:39
    pm

    Ahhh seed catalogs are what helps make winter doable! My grandparents grew for a living and I started helping at age four, along with all the cousins in the area! First thing was strawberrries…red, not green! We learned fast.

    In January my grampa would sit in his chair (smoking his pipe) and pour over his seed catalogs in pursuit of earlier or more productive vegetables, while grammie would peruse her own catalogs in pursuit of more beautiful flowers.

    https://www.veseys.com/ca/en/ was their favorite, and it comes to my house every year.

  55. 1-3
    4:39
    pm

    For fruiting trees/shrubs and nut bearing trees/shrubs I order from Oikos Tree Crops.
    http://oikostreecrops.com/store/aboutus.asp

    For veggie seeds, I purchase from victory seeds. http://www.victoryseeds.com

  56. 1-3
    4:59
    pm

    What a great post…I think I’ll go through my seed catalogs tonight! By the way, I successfully started rhubarb last year from organic rhubarb seeds. I bought them from an organic rhubarb farmer in CO – http://highaltituderhubarb.com/default.aspx. He was sooo nice, sent a very long explanation of how to plant/grow them, and said he would be happy to answer any questions along the way should I need advice. He even sent the seeds before I mailed the check. I asked about rhubarb roots, but they apparently have terrible potato blight in the soil in CO and he didn’t want to sent the blight along with soil on the roots (so seeds were the only option).

  57. 1-3
    5:57
    pm

    http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com is certainly worth checking out and their catalog is free!

  58. 1-3
    7:28
    pm

    We get Burpees and Logees. You can have that banana and pineapple by the way. They grow indoors in the winter. I have a grapefruit and an elderberry bush in my living room. I’m hoping to buy a house this summer so the elderberry can live in the ground. I’m not buying seeds this year though, I saved tomato, pepper, and bean seeds from my plants last year, and I have enough other seeds from last year to get me through.

  59. 1-3
    7:50
    pm

    That so reminded me of myself. My garden gets bigger and bigger while looking through the catalogs. I have to narrow the list down when I finally make my order. My favorites are Seeds of Change and Southern Seed Exchange.

  60. 1-3
    8:01
    pm

    Seeds of Change is my favorite catalog. On the web at http://www.seedsofchange.com

    And though I have not ordered from them myself, I’ve heard good things from several friends about Tasteful Garden http://www.tastefulgarden.com

  61. 1-3
    8:17
    pm

    Suzanne, just mention to 52 that the zone won’t matter once he builds you a conservatory (or call it a greenhouse, if the plants end up being of a less romantic nature!) – that will be along right after the barn is done, right? My dilemma is not only picking out seed, but deciding whether we plow up a patch of our hay field (having to ask to borrow the neighbor’s tractor to do so), or to try something adventurous like ‘lasagna gardening’ on our first garden this spring. Our farm is new (to us), and hasn’t had a garden for decades, making the design slate blank and the dreams growing bigger and bigger for each seed catalog that arrives! :clover:

  62. 1-3
    8:23
    pm

    Baker Creeks is my favorite. I buy my fruit trees locally from Just Fruits and Exotics in the Florida Panhandle- they used to have a print catalog, not sure if they still do or not, but ya’ll can drool over the trees and bushes on their website at http://www.justfruitsandexotics.com/FruitHome.htm

  63. 1-3
    8:23
    pm

    http://www.noursefarms.com I got my raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (which were nice) and asparagus there. They also send you a nice little planting book. They also have rhubarb, gooseberries extra there.
    http://www.acnursery.com I’m planning on getting fruit trees there. They have about any fruit tree you want. I orchard guy at the farmers market recommended them. I’m tring to get a group together, if you order 25 trees it drops the price. I know I want to get a little bit of each.
    I’m excited about my garden this year too. Just hope I don’t have to work so much overtime this summer.

  64. 1-3
    10:04
    pm

    Yes if your grow your own beets, you probably will like them. I never liked them until my mom made pickled beets and I have loved them ever since.

    Has anyone seen seeds for a long green and yellow striped pumpkin? My uncle used to grow them and they made the best pies.

  65. 1-3
    10:47
    pm

    Zone 5 really is irrelevant! I live in Zone 5, and I have half a dozen lemons and an orange on my trees right now. Yes, I eat house plants. ;-) My citrus trees (and banana and pineapples) live inside all winter then move outside for the summer. My favorite catalog for tropical fruit is Logees (http://www.logees.com/). I received the book Growing Tasty Tropical Plants by Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin for Christmas. It’s full of great info for northerners who want to grow warm weather fruits like bananas, figs, pineapples, and coffee! (BTW, if you want to grow pineapple, you can plant the top of a store-bought fruit.)

    For seed catalogs, I like Seed Savers Exchange (http://www.seedsavers.org/) and Cooks Garden (http://www.cooksgarden.com/), which is a subsidiary of Burpee. Seed Savers offers lots of rare and heirloom varieties, including many that are organic. Cooks Garden offers some really neat variety packs (like four-season lettuces and rainbow cauliflower). The only problem with the packs is if you find you like one lettuce out of the packet, you don’t know what it was called. Also, if you plant 5 seeds out of the cauliflower packet, you may or may not get one of every color, and you won’t know what color they are until they mature.

    If you want to check out a new company BEFORE you send them your money, try Dave’s Garden Watchdog. http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/

  66. 1-3
    11:17
    pm

    Seed catalogs always make me think of the people who used to go out and travel with their catalog and take the orders. They had to walk all winter through the snow to all ‘their’ villages’ and return home hopefully with a huge order. Then they would sit down and prepare the little seed packages and send them out. And if one is artsy, she would draw the vegetables, fruits and esp. flowers, so people would order more things :-)
    That was like over 100 years ago, still in the Old World. Don’t know, whether they had something similar here.

  67. 1-4
    12:27
    am

    Request this one: http://www.plantdelights.com. They are in North Carolina and have a nice place to tour and shop. They have a great sense of humor with everything they do. Very fun catalog.

    Love your blog!

  68. 1-4
    6:54
    am

    Brenda, do you mean a cushaw squash? It’s long and green and striped and can be used similar to pumpkin.
    http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/spiced-cushaw-squash-pie/

  69. 1-4
    8:39
    am

    I love seed catalogs, my grandpa would get them in the mail. Burpee is the one I remember best. Oh if I had space to grow things.

  70. 1-4
    10:04
    am

    still drooling over the Michigan Bulb catalog that I got yesterday. :pawprint:

  71. 1-4
    10:17
    am

    If I ordered everything I wanted out of the couple I get, then I would have to get a bank loan….

  72. 1-4
    12:12
    pm

    Those bleeding hearts from gurney’s are so pretty. I ordered some last year and they did really well – I had two stalks of flowers (catkins, I think that’s what they are). The foliage is pretty, too. And they’re perennial!!

  73. 1-4
    12:43
    pm

    Love the heirlooms from Baker’s seeds.

    I also bought seeds last year from http://www.amishlandseeds.com/rare_seeds.htm

    She sends some VERY specific directions for growing some of her seeds. People whom have had problems with her seeds are the ones who don’t follow her directions. And most of them start out with; “well I’ve grown…for ….years and I did it my way and they should have grown.” Well, SHE knows HER seeds. And since they are older varieties, they need special treatment.

    Most people don’t realize that the commercial seeds (Hybrids) are bred for ease of use, NOT flavor. If you want flavor, go with the heirloom varieties. They may need a little more care to get them started, but the “extra” care is neither difficult to do nor time-consuming. And once growing, they are hardy plants.

  74. 1-4
    2:59
    pm

    I love your blog, and I happen to work at Johnny’s seeds. If you don’t have our catalog, please sign up (here: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Catalog.aspx) or visit our virtual catalog (here: http://www.johnnyseedsonlinecatalog.com/WebProject.asp?CodeId=7.4.3.6&BookCode=jon10flx) – I think you’ll love it as much as I do. I was a customer before I was an employee. :) We’re based in Maine but we have customers the world over, and we’re here to help!

    Nothing better this time of year than sitting by the fire with a pile of seed catalogs, picking and choosing the potential spoils of next summer’s garden. Sticky notes come in quite handy for marking the pages, and graph paper is helpful for planning your space.

  75. 1-4
    4:52
    pm

    Oh my, I have to try some new seed catalogs. I am garden space challenged, but have to drool and dream over seed catalogs just the same. My favorites are “Nichol’s Rare Herb and Seed”, which I’ve seen mentioned here and “Fedco”, which I haven’t seen listed.

    Fedco is based in Maine and, outside of feeling the need to make random, progressive leftist comments in the middle of his vegetable seed descriptions, it’s a very good catalog with a good variety. He(and it does seem to be an individual grower, not a corporation) has a selection of vegetable,herb and flower seeds, a catalog of potatoes called “Moose Tubers” and I think, a separate catalog of trees. It was the only place I found seed for “Sweet Dumpling” squash, which my brother-in-law graciously grew and tended for all of us. And he has stevia seed, although by the time I tried to order some last year, they were all sold out.

  76. 1-4
    5:41
    pm

    We get Territorial Seed Co. out of Oregon.

  77. 1-4
    6:22
    pm

    Burpee in the mail today. I’m dreamin of summer, I’m a spring/summer girl.

  78. 1-4
    7:59
    pm

    Hi Suzanne,

    Try to get your hands on a Stokes Seed catalog at least once. There is so much information in it regarding growing needs for veggies. Its geared for commercial farms but they do have a small gardener version. For instance, Stokes catalog is where I first learned the benefits (growing benefits) of planting brown seeded green beans instead of white seeded grean beans. It did make a difference for me. I periodically request this catalog just to keep it around as a reference guide. Plus they have some really hard to get varieties (not rare, just harder to find).

    Also, if you are going to drop some serious bucks on plants or seeds, check out davesgarden.com for the garden watchdog. It gives reviews of different sources for plants/seeds/etc.

    Fantasizing about “next year” is one of the best parts of gardening for me. Much fewer bugs involved :-)

    ~Cindy

  79. 1-5
    9:33
    am

    Hi Suzanne!

    If you’re concerned about feeding your family GMO produce, you should probably check out http://www.rareseeds.com the Baker Creek Seeds website. I live for seed catalogs as well, but Gurneys is the first one in the trash, I only order from people whos mission is to give us real, healthy, heirloom seed.

  80. 1-6
    9:27
    am

    Suzanne, I know this if 3 days later, but I hope you get this one. I have used it and do enjoy the seeds as I live in Oregon and it is a local company for me.
    http://www.NicholsGardenNursery.com enjoy

  81. 1-6
    3:55
    pm

    I second Select Seed. What beautiful heirloom flowers! Love it just for the pictures. Tomato lovers need to check Tomatofest.com. No printed catalog but the 600 (YES -600!) varieties are worth the visit. I dare you not to order a few. Also love Stokes Seeds.

  82. 1-6
    7:10
    pm

    Rhubarb and asparagus are on my to-do list this year too. I’ve put them off so long because they seem like such an investment. My FIL always just tucked his rhubarb into random corners of the yard (not in the garden plot) and it always seemed to do fine.

    You definitely should try strawberries. They are easy and will pay you back handsomely. NOTHING is better than a homegrown strawberry. I recommend putting them in a raised bed. It will save you headaches (and backaches) later.

    Oh, and if you do grow beets, try them pickled (BBB recipe is what I use). Then you will learn to love them. Even my picky husband loves pickled beets. And they are so pretty in their canning jars too!

    Seed catalogs and daydreams are what get me through Jan/Feb. Have fun! :butterfly:

  83. 1-7
    2:57
    pm

    Love seed catalogs! Burpee, Gurneys, Baker Creek…sigh…I also am a fan of Stark Brothers for trees! Cannot wait for winter to end and to get my seeds and plants in the ground! I am going to try asparagus this year! Start a new strawberry patch and lots of herbs!!

  84. 1-12
    2:55
    pm

    Only a few days late on this post… :? PEACEFUL VALLEY gets my business. :D
    Website: http://www.groworganic.com. They offer seeds, starts, trees, vines, supplies, tools and more.
    Awesome company, great people, organic seeds. Nice!

  85. 1-13
    10:28
    pm

    :wave: Hi everyone this is my first time connecting with all of you.I’v been on this site so many times, but this time I had something to contribute. So enjoy, I started the list with magazines that were mentioned and went from there. Happy hunting and have a great growing season. :happyflower:

    BAKER CREEK—-RARESEEDS—-COMSTOCK SEEDS all the same company

    NICHOLS GARDEN NURSERY
    BURPEE
    TERRITORIAL SEED COMPANY
    PINETREE GARDENSEEDS
    JOHNNY’S SELECTED SEEDS
    R.H.SHUMWAY’S

    LANDRETHS’*
    SOUTHERN EXPOSURE SEED EXCHANGE*
    SEEDS of CHANGE*
    SEED SAVERS*
    RICHTERS HERBS*
    John Scheepers KITCHEN GARDEN SEEDS*
    VERMONT BEAN SEED COMPANY*
    ARTISTIC GARDENS*
    VESEYS SEEDS*
    PENNY’S TOMATOES*
    JOE’S PEPPERS*
    THE GROWERS EXCHANGE*
    DIXONDALE FARMS
    WALKER BROTHERS, Inc
    CHILE PLANTS
    THE GOOD COOK
    TOTALLY TOMATOES
    TOMATO GROWERS
    MILLER NURSERIES
    STARK Bro’s
    JUNG SEED & PLANTS
    MUSSER FORESTS,Inc
    *my faves :yes:

    _Mostly Flowers_
    WILD SEEDS
    SELECT SEEDS Co.
    THOMPSON & MORGAN
    HIGH COUNTRY GARDENS
    DUTCH BULBS
    BRENT AND BECKY’S BULBS

    _GARDENSUPPLIES_
    INDOOR GARDEN SUPPLIES
    GARDENER’S SUPPLY COMPANY
    LEE VALLEY
    GARDEN ALIVE
    SPRAY-N-GROW
    DRIPWORKS

    _MAGAZINES_
    HOBBY FARM
    HOBBY FARM HOME
    URBAN FARM
    MOTHER EARTH NEW

    _ONLINE_
    PLAN GARDEN.COM
    URBAN FARMER

    Well that’s all I could think of. Until next time.
    peace

  86. 1-14
    7:51
    pm

    :wave: Hi again I hope my list wasn’t to confusing :bugeyed: . Don’t laugh here’s a few more I forgot to mention.

    KITAZAWA SEED Co.
    MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
    PARK SEEDS
    HARRIS SEEDS
    HIGH MOWING ORGANIC SEEDS
    RAINTREE NURSERY
    ONE GREEN WORLD

    See not so bad and there all free. I can’i wait to see new catalogs
    from you guys. Until next time.
    peace

  87. 1-17
    12:59
    am

    I planted 4 Texas A&M “Brazos Blackberries”. They produced and multiply like crazy. By the second year we had enough berries to freeze and lasted us all year, plus giving some away. A little fertilizer and water and they will be as big as the first joint of a fat thumb! Plus you can replant the seedlings of give away.

  88. 1-25
    4:53
    pm

    I like Baker Creek Heirloom Seed! The catalog is really well done and beautiful. However my favorite thing about them is that they test the seed for GMO content. They actually have non GMO corn seed!

  89. 1-29
    2:38
    pm

    I often try to grow things for a warmer climate too. I tell myself that I will start them early indoors and bring them inside in a pot in fall, but I am not always successful.

    The temptation to grow my own coffee beans is tempting, but I just don’t have the time this year to give it a shot :-( Maybe next year…

  90. 2-2
    10:23
    am

    In my great grandmother’s obituary, the writer noted that she was known for “bringing the first banana tree to Atchison, KS.” And at the time of her death, “she had a potted fig tree growing in the yard.” I though this was hysterical. This was in 1936. I don’t know what zone KS is in, but it can’t be much different than where you are.

  91. 6-2
    5:18
    pm

    We’re zone 5 here too.

    Never heard of Baker, have to look them up!

    The only seed company I use regularly not mentioned in this thread is bountiful gardens, which you can find here:

    http://www.bountifulgardens.org/

    For years I kept a data base which compared $/seed for all the catalogs I got. Bountiful (organic, open pollinated, some heirloom) Garden’s seeds were almost always the cheapest.I’ve bought from them for years, no problems, ever. I also regularly get seeds of change, Johnie’s, Gurneys, and Henry Field, although I’ve not ordered from Gurney’s and Field for years…seems to be the same catalog AND most of their seeds seem to be treated.

    I’m also zone 5 btw.

    Judith

  92. 2-22
    2:33
    pm

    For those interested in Italian cooking and gardening, may I recommend the good people at Seeds from Italy. They have hundreds of varieties of Italian seeds, everything from arugula to zucchini, and all points in between. They are at:

    http://www.growitalian.com/

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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