Seed Catalogs for Almost Every State
To get the best results out of your garden, Kristy Athens advises you to stick with seed catalogs that are based in your region. By keeping the selection process within the scope of your growing zone, your garden is more likely to be productive and successful.
They start showing up right after the solstice. Taunting me with full-color photos of prize tomatoes; fantastic dahlias; and firm, bulbous garlic heads. I’m talking about seed catalogs—every gardener’s weakness.
There are dozens of seed companies in the United States. Some focus on vegetables, some specialize in flower bulbs, some offer bare-root trees and bushes. Some just grow mushrooms, some just garlic! Below is as comprehensive list as I could muster.
I tend to buy from the companies that have their test gardens in my same region and growing zone. That way, if something works well in their garden it should also work well in mine! I usually order from Territorial Seed Company, and when I was in the Gorge I also liked Irish Eyes, based in Ellensburg, Washington—their climate was closer to mine than temperate Roseburg, Oregon.
The internet is full of videos that show you how to plant starts, space your plants out, and anything else having to do with gardening. There are also a number of garden-planning software packages appearing. I rely on gardening to keep me away from my computer, so I will never use anything but a pencil and sheet of graph paper to plan my garden beds. But some people find it helpful to be reminded when to plant what and so on. And having a computerized record does make it easier to track plantings and yields from year to year.
I would be remiss to talk about gardening without putting in a plug for saving seeds. You can use them the following year, or trade some with a friend for seeds you don’t have. This only works with “heirloom” varieties, i.e. plants that aren’t hybrids. Hybrids are crosses of two different types of plant to emphasize one or more traits over others (big fruits; sturdy stalks, etc.). They are great, but the seeds their fruits produce will not grow another hybrid plant. So, you have to keep buying more seeds.
You can also cross-reference the state-by-state list with seed companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge, which affirms they will not knowingly sell GM seeds.
This article originally appeared on Get Your Pitchfork On! It is partially posted here with permission from the author.
Have you picked out all your seeds for this year’s garden yet?
Photo Credit: Robyn Jasko
Chris Regan and Ashley Mayne produce a wide array of delicious greens for the Hudson Valley.
With his new book, Forrest Pritchard tells the stories of 18 farms from all across America.
Forrest Pritchard and Smith Meadows are prime examples of sustainable family farming.
Jonathan Waxman shares his food philosophy with Slow Films.
A group of star chefs play with fire for a good cause.