It's time for seed catalogs and wishful thinking

by Don Trotter

ello fellow Earthlings and welcome to the time of year when seed catalogs come to the house and we start wishing about plump, juicy tomatoes and cornstalks reaching to the sky. We look outside and see chilly weather while inside the catalog there are dreams of amazing vegetables and stunning flowers. I get so many spring seed catalogs that I can't begin to look at them all with the attention they deserve. But the few catalogs I have been loyal to over the years never let me down when it comes to visualizing abundance in the garden for spring and summer.

There are hundreds of seed companies that provide excellent catalogs free of charge to gardeners wishing to grow common, as well as unusual, varieties of vegetables and flowers in the garden once the weather warms up. Some of my preferred catalogs are listed below.

Ordering seeds from mail order sources ensures that the seeds you plant are very fresh and ready to germinate into healthy and productive members of the garden. It also gives you an opportunity to grow some of the more obscure varieties of your favorites. Many of the garden favorites that are now easy to find at your local garden center got that way because lots of gardeners found out about them through seed catalogs. I used to be the only one I knew that grew Brandywine tomatoes. Now they are at every garden center in the country, when weather permits. There were a lot of seed catalog users that loved Brandywine tomatoes as much as I do and it got into the nurseries because of that popularity. But if there weren't oodles of customers for this fine tomato from seed catalogs, it never would have made it to all of the gardeners that enjoy this plant today.

This is why ordering form seed catalogs can be so much fun. You never know when you might run across the best carrot or corn variety you've ever tasted. At the nursery or garden center, you are at the mercy of which varieties they think you want. So here are a few seed companies that produce wonderful catalogs full of incredible choices for your garden.

Any of these seed companies will happily send you a copy of their colorful and informative catalogs free of charge. They are my favorites and will give you lots of ideas to improve your gardens and have a bunch of fun doing it. Next time we will be discussing roses and some natural care practices that will make your rose garden a thing of unparalleled beauty. See you in the Garden!

Don's Choice Seed Catalog Suppliers

The Cook's Garden
Box 535
Londonderry, CT 05148
The Gourmet Gardener
8650 College Blvd. Dept. 205SJ
Overland Park, KS 66210
Johnny's Selected Seeds
310 Foss Hill Road
Albion, ME 04910

Park Seed Company
Cokesbury Road
Greenwood, SC 29647


W. Atlee Burpee
300 Park Ave.
Warminster, PA 18974

Stokes Seeds, Inc.
Box 548
Buffalo, NY 14240
Shepherd's Garden Seeds
6116 Highway 9
Felton, CA 95018
Seeds of Change
Box 15700
Santa Fe, NM 87506
Nichol's Garden Nursery
1190 N. Pacific Highway
Albany, OR 97321
Totally Tomatoes
Box 1626
Augusta, GA 30903
Bountiful Gardens
18001 Shafer Ranch Road
Willits, CA 95490
Vermont Bean Seed Company
Garden Lane
Fair Haven, VT 05743

Got questions? Fax the Doc at 760-632-8175 or email him at Don Trotter's natural gardening columns appear nationally in environmentally sensitive publications. Look for Don's books Natural Gardening A-Z, on sale now, and The Complete Natural Gardener, coming in April from Hay House at bookstores everywhere, and at all online booksellers. Check out Don's columns in Hearst's Healthy Living Magazine, starting in the March 2000 issue.