Thinking about the spring

    Yesterday’s warm spell (already gone today, the wind was howling most of the day at 40+ MPH) got me thinking about my plans for gardening this spring. I even got out my seed mail-order catalogues and had a blast picking things to order this year.

    So in that light (and for Aaron & Brandy, and anyone else who are starting gardens this spring for the first time in their new home(s)) here are some links to places to order seeds. Most let you order on-line, but I suggest ordering a print catalogue (in most cases free) to thumb through as they are more fun and contain tons of valuable instructional information on gardening.

    These first few are the “old stand-bys,” and are companies my grandparents and parents always ordered from. These catalogues carry a little bit of everything and are geared towards your “mainstream/non-organic” gardener for the most part. The last time I checked, Gurney’s and Henry Fields were the cheapest, Henry Fields a little more, and Burpees the highest. Most mostly sell seeds, but some also sell fruit trees and perenial plants (esp Burpees)

  • Park Seed Company
  • Gurney’s Seed & Nursery
  • Burpees
  • Henry Fields

    The next bunch are geared more towards organic gardeners, ranging from small home gardens to larger commercial gardens for market. These are your best bet if you are looking for heirloom varieties and more unusual items. (It is also good to patrionize these folks as many of them use environmentally friendly responsible farming practices.) Some of these guys are also a good source for gardening tools. (Often their catalogues are more detailed than the first group listed above and lists more detailed scientific information on growing things.)

    The big negative to this group of catalogues is that their seed runs a bit more than the prior group.

  • Territorial Seed Company – By far the best catalogue of any of them. I recommend ordering their catalogue even if you’re not sure if you want to get seeds from them or not, as their catalogue is a treasure trove of information.
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  • Abundant Life Seed
  • Pine Tree Seeds – a good option though for trying out new varieties, as Pine Trees sells smaller seed packets that cost less. Pine Tree also has dirt cheap s/h on their orders
  • Totally Tomatoes – a great source for tomato and pepper seeds and plants
  • Vermont Bean Seed Company
  • Seeds of Change – focuses on providing open-pollinated varieties of heirloom varieties for seed savers
  • Peaceful Valley Farm Supply – another good source for open-pollinated heirloom varieties

    Last but not least, here is a good resource for investigating the reputation of mail-order garden supply and seed companies…

  • The Garden Watch Dog