If you don’t currently receive free garden catalogs at home, you’re really missing out. It’s so fun to peek inside your mailbox on a dark and dreary winter day and find a colorful seed catalog poking out.
One of my favorite weekend activities in winter is to curl up next to my wood stove with a stack of catalogs and organic gardening books and let my imagination wander.
Ordering seed catalogs is also a first important step in planning your garden. The most successful gardeners I know order their seeds ahead of time and are ready to go when the spring planting season hits.
I don’t recommend waiting until the first nice day in spring and then running out to your local garden store to stock up on seeds. This will likely lead to buying things you don’t need and wasting a lot of money.
Ordering through catalogs offers you time to really think about and plan out what you’re going to grow in your garden this season.
Free Garden Catalogs Are the Best Way to Plan Your Garden
I recommend taking inventory of the seeds you already have, consulting your garden map and notes to remind you of what changes you want to make in your garden, and then slowly working your way through the seed varieties and narrowing down your order.
They take a few weeks to arrive, so don’t delay in putting in your requests. To keep things simple, start with ordering no more than three catalogs so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Most of my favorite and best performing varieties I grow in my garden come from these companies:
Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Maine company, used by lots of organic CSA farmers
Seed Savers Exchange – non-profit located in Decorah, Iowa, dedicated to preserving heirloom varieties
High Mowing Seeds – family-owned company in Vermont, carries all organic seeds
Hudson Valley Seed Library – check out their beautiful and fun art packs designed by artists from all over the world, located in the Hudson Valley, New York
Renee’s Garden Seeds – non-GMO varieties chosen specifically for home gardeners like us, located in California
If you’re a Canadian gardener, check out these two companies:
Urban Harvest – 100% certified organic and heirloom seeds from the Toronto area
West Coast Seeds – specializing in heirloom and organic varieties, located in British Columbia
When your catalogs arrive, spend time thinking about what you want to grow this season and why. I created a series of questions to help you set some priorities for your garden (You can find them here). These questions will help focus your seed ordering so you don’t get overwhelmed by all of the choices.
Thinking about and planning your garden in advance, in the winter, will help you make smarter decisions for spring. Ordering your seeds from a catalog is a great first step in the planning process and one you can do right now.
What are your favorite seed companies? Post them in the comments below this post.