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January is for seed Catalogs

They started arriving in late November. It is amazing how many there are despite the fact that larger companies are gobbling up the smaller ones. The last week of December I recycled all of my catalogs from 2004 and I now have a new stack of 2005 books.

Everything looks so good on the printed page. It is easy to overspend and underestimate the time and effort involved when you start everything from seed. The advantage of growing everything yourself as opposed to buying started plants is that you have more selection, it is cheaper and you know exactly how the plant has been raised (if that is important to you).
Choosing your seed can be the most daunting task. I keep notes of the gardens I plant each year (last year’s notes ran the total of about 2 lines) including maps and layouts. Last year’s garden didn’t amount to much although I started out with high hopes.
Here are some practices I use to plan what to grow in the upcoming seasons:

  • Cornell has released a website of information on vegetable varieties that I am finding quite useful. It includes the varieties tested, the vendors and contact information, ratings and more details about the plant itself. http://www.cce.cornell.edu/veg/
  • I have compiled a list of seed catalogs that I like to visit.
    Go here to find some you will like. Garden Watchdog also rates these companies, some seed companies out there aren’t the greatest.

  • When you visit the seed sites, be sure to put your e-mail address on their mailing list and request a catalog. Many of them send coupons both in the postal mail and as e-mails where you can save some serious cash.
  • Last year I compiled a list of the plants I wanted to grow then sought them out in each catalog. I kept an Excel spreadsheet of the cost from each company to find the cheapest cost. Of course if you are ordering a bunch of seeds from one company it makes sense to spend a couple cents more per pack to save on shipping. But it does pay to do your research.

Posted in Garden.

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  1. sonia said

    I want a catalog

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