This may seem a strange time to be thinking garden, but the deepest depths of winter is when I think most about my garden. I do my best to keep notes all summer, but I don’t sit down and process what I’ve learned until January. So now, as you can see by my garden review, I’m processing. In preperation for a dive into the seed catalogs.
We might as well get this out of the way: I adore seed catalogs to the point of addiction.
I try to limit myself to ordering from just two catalogs, and two or three varieties of each vegetable, but it’s hard. All those different colors and shapes of carrots, how could I choose just one? In my defense, I’ve found that in our marginal climate, variety can be hugely important. Tuscan Black kale, gorgeous and delicious though it is, freezes out months earlier than Red Siberian (I grow both, and just harvest my Tuscan first).
Next summer though is going to be a very different garden. We’re leaving for some as yet unknown big city down south in early August (my husband’s going to law school!), and around here, not much matures before August. Lettuce, radishes, broccoli, bunching onions. Going through the seed catalogs is going to be a serious lesson in restraint!
So, my point was to share my faves, and I definitely think you should order real paper catalogs– there’s nothing like curling up in a chair by the woodstove with a hot cup of coffee and a stack of seed catalogs!
Seeds of Change is by far the most eye-candy garden catalog. And all their seed is organic. But I get some “too-smooth” vibe off of it and wasn’t too surprised to hear it’s owned by Mars.
Seed Saver’s Exchange is the folks I feel best buying from. Their main thing is an actual exchange you can sign up ($30) to be a part of– you get a giant book of varieties grown and offered by other seed savers all over the country. You basically just pay for shipping and they send you some. But for the rest of us, SSE also has a regular catalog, full of beautiful heirloom varieties.
However, considering all the varieties I need to try, I can’t afford to order all my seed from the above two, so I also order lots from Pinetree Garden Seeds. Their deal is xtra small packages of seed, for a very low price. Who really needs 500 broccolis anyway? Their seed packets are plenty big for most things (except carrots, and anything you plant real thick to harvest as a baby salad) and cost around $1.
Well kids, enjoy! And be careful!