I. Love. Seed catalogs. I just get so excited about EVERYTHING inside. I’ve ordered seeds from several companies over the years so I get lots of catalogs around this time of year. They start pouring in around the middle of December and it’s not too much of a stretch to say I’m just as excited about seed catalog season as I am about some of the other seasons…
Se, here are some of my favorites:
Baker Creek – This is easily my favorite seed catalog to look through. Excellent photography and literally thousands of rare and heirloom seeds from all over the globe. The family who runs the company is… kind of weird. I can’t tell if they’re some kind of vegan, Amish-wannabe cult. Or if they just REALLY like vegetables and old timey things. I’ve tried to google it before but things got real weird real fast. Oh, another plus for these folks is that they usually print a picture of the vegetable on the outside of the packet which is great for forgetful people like me.
Johnny’s – I think Johnny’s was one of the first of its kind; a retailer for small farms and gardeners. Not all of their stuff is organic or heirloom. But they have good selection processes and are trustworthy. Also, unlike some seed companies, Johnny’s isn’t just for backyard gardeners. You can buy most of their stuff in bulk so lots of small farms buy from them. Which may not matter to you if you’re not a small farm BUT it does mean that they really test their seeds well. You can count on their germination rates, yield predictions, etc.
Southern Exposure – Lots of good heirlooms. Plus, they’re based in the south so they have lots of good stuff for my area. They’ve got more varieties of okra than any other catalog which is obviously a huge selling point for me. I also like Southern Exposure’s little paintings they have for some of their stuff.
Sustainable Seed Company – Real nice hippy seed company. In fact, they don’t have a print catalog anymore because they want to conserve paper. Fair enough. They’re based in California. They tricked me into following them on facebook once and I’m too lazy to unfollow. They post lots of anti-monsanto stuff if you’re into that.
Territorial – I’m not sure why I started getting this one. The company is based in Oregon so it may be a great resource if you’re in that part of the country. They seem to have a pretty wide selection and carry lots of heirloom favorites. I’ve never ordered from them but I’m including them because they carry this weird tomato/potato hybrid thing that Cari from Clan Donaldson HATES. I’m hoping she reads this and is momentarily repulsed.
Gramling’s – This isn’t a seed catalog. It’s the feed store that’s been in Tallahassee forever. A hundred years ago, it was on the outskirts of town. But the city expanded so now it’s this old run down barn with high rises all around it. They get seeds wholesale, put them in little manila packets, and sell them for a dollar. Easily the best deal for me. The selection isn’t huge but they have a lot of varieties that perform well in our area like Georgia collards and Florida broad-leaf mustard greens. I know this one probably is not helpful to you. But it’s more of a reminder that local resources are really important for gardeners. Whether that’s a local seed company or gardeners in your area who know a lot of stuff.
Anyway, here are the companies I like and have experience with. If you know of other companies, I’d love to hear about them.