Shopping for Seeds via Catalogs: Part I

January 6, 2011

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Note:  If you received Part II first and you’re wondering where’s Part I, I just noticed that I forgot to post it yesterday. That’s what happens when I leave the house early.

If the elusive-growing season hasn’t steered your thoughts forward spring planting, browsing seed catalogs is sure to germinate enthusiasm. Cozy next to a warm fire, a hot beverage and a few catalogs and you’ll start counting the days for putting down seeds. Studying seed catalogs is a romantic occasion, when your mind fills with visions of mouth-watering produce and colorful flowers. Their scents seem to float from the photos and descriptive text as the tiny seeds considered become subject to ordering. If you haven’t experienced delirious moments while under the spell of seed catalogs, and you’re new to seed shopping, via catalog, order copies now for February planting.

Even if you don’t have space to jump-start your spring plantings with indoor sowing, or you simply prefer six-packs to seeds, there are several benefits (besides romance) for reading seed catalogs. Here are a few advantages:

  • Wider selection found beyond your local garden centers.
  • Discounts, usually offered when buying large seed units.
  • Find more annuals or perennials for your specific microclimates.
  • Learn about items you wouldn’t otherwise hear of or learn about.
  • Access to rare and unusual species that you’ll never see in garden centers.
  • Most catalogs carry a variety of garden items, many you don’t find in stores.
  • Discover the newest hybrids and unique cultivars before they reach retail outlets.
  • Get FREE seeds. How exciting is that? Many companies offer free samples. Even if the freebies aren’t what you’d normally buy, plant them for fun, use them as a gift, or donate them to a local school or community garden.

Most seed catalogs are available on the web to browse, buy, and order a free catalog. However, some companies no longer mail printed catalogs. If you know beforehand what seeds you want to purchase online buying saves time and gas. But nothing beats the hand-held catalog. Copyright © 2011 Dianne Marie Andre

Tomorrow, look for Part II with tips on choosing the right catalogs and seed ordering hints.


One comment

  1. Makes me want to curl up by a cozy fire on a winter day with a good seed catalog anticipating what spring has to offer.

    I can see where catalogs will certainly get you ‘in the mood’ to garden. Informational and throught provoking, as coveted as the “Sears Catalog Wish Book” we browsed through for hours as kids.

    And the piece de resistance – Free Seeds. Who could ask for anything more.


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