Time to Order and Plant Seeds

seed catalogs“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” — Helen Hayes

The days are a little longer, the temperature is a little warmer, and the sun is finally showing its head again here in the Mid-Columbia. It gives me hope that spring is just around the corner (I don’t trust that old groundhog!). That means it’s time to order seeds.

Years ago when I lived in the mountains in Maine and winter lasted from September to May, I survived by devouring Caribbean magazines and pretending I was elsewhere. These days, seed catalogs get me through the short, gray days of winter. It has become a January ritual for my eldest grand-daughter and me to leaf through the pages and carefully choose what to grow for the coming season. These are a few tried-and-true favorites, with some interesting new catalogs thrown in for good measure.

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds – a nearby company that specializes in organic potatoes, with a good selection of other organic seeds, gardening supplies and cover crops.

Territorial Seed Company – most of my seeds come from here. The selection is huge and the prices are excellent. They offer vegetable, herb and flower seeds, fruit and nut plants, lots of gardening supplies, and even canning and bee keeping supplies. Some of my favorites are Golden Purslane and Russian Banana potatoes.

The Cook’s Garden – many of my seeds also come from here. Their prices can be a bit high, but I have always had good germination results with their seeds. Besides, it’s the only place my grand-daughter can get the colorful, Kaleidoscope Carrot mix she plants every year.

Vermont Bean Seed Company – although they offer most of the common garden seeds, their specialty is dried beans. They have an excellent selection, many of which are impossible to find elsewhere. I particularly like to plant Peregion which is an Oregon heirloom bean, and China Yellow, a New England heirloom bean.

Totally Tomatoes – if you like to plant unusual or heirloom tomatoes, this catalog should be your first stop. It’s one of only two places I have found the Evergreen tomatoes that I plant every year. Heirloom tomatoes often don’t have a very good germination record, but I have been more than happy with the seed I buy from here.

Pinetree – I love this catalog not only for their seeds, but for the different things they carry. They have garden themed gifts like puzzles and garden tools, a good gardener’s selection of cookbooks, soap making supplies, and even Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies. Looking through their catalog is like entering a magical world.

Seeds of Change – carries certified organic seed, free of GMO contamination. One thing in particular that I appreciate about Seeds of Change is that unlike many companies, their seed packets include in-depth information about each item. They are committed to introducing people to the benefits of organic gardening and healthy living.

Are you getting anxious to plant your garden seeds too? What are some of your favorite seed catalogs?


by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

February 1, 2013

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