Plan ahead with seed catalogs. (StockDisc)
When the cold, gray days of January begin to get me down, I turn to my seed catalogs, which transport me to a warm and sunny place — my summer garden. Many also contain gardening tips and great recipes. Here are some of my favorites:
Johnny’s Selected, (877) 564-6697, www.johnnyseeds .com. Catalog free. Specializes in cold-tolerant vegetable, herb and flower seeds that are flavorful, disease resistant and good producers. Tested in organic gardens in Maine.
Nichols Garden Seed Catalog, (800) 422-3985, www.nicholsgardennursery.com. Online only catalog specializing in seeds and plants for the gardener/cook. Good selection of varieties suitable for container gardening selected by Rose Marie Nichols McGee, co-author of “The Bountiful Container: The Complete Guide To Growing Veggies, Herbs, Fruits and Edible Flowers in Pots.”
Botanical Interests, (877) 821-4340, www.botanicalinterests.net. Free catalog, beautifully illustrated containing seeds of heirlooms, certified organic and popular varieties along with tips and recipes to entice you to grow.
Renee’s Garden Seeds, (888) 880-7228, www.reneesgarden.com. The online catalog offers the finest seeds of heirloom and cottage garden flowers, aromatic herbs and gourmet vegetables from around the world.
Select Seeds — Antique Flowers, (800) 648-0395, wwwselectseeds.com. Free catalog offers an interesting selection of both seeds and plants — they specialize in heirloom flowers.
Seeds From Italy, (785) 748-0959, www.growitalian.com. Catalog free. If you like all things Italian, this is the place to shop. Over 400 varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, all imported from the old country.
Richter’s Herbs, (800) 668-4372, www.richters.com. A treasure trove for folks looking for the unusual. Richter’s offers mail-order plants as well as seeds, so don’t pass on this one even if you don’t grow from seed.
Peaceful Valley Organics, (888) 784-1722, www.groworganic.com. A one-stop shop for the organic grower — seeds, fruit trees, berries, vines, fertilizers and tools.
Reimer Seeds, www.reimerseeds.com. Online catalog and contact is by Internet or fax only (866) 716-4748. With almost 4,000 varieties of veggies, herbs and flowers to choose from, this online store specializing in tomatoes and the largest collection of hot, hot, peppers is in the world is a mecca for chili heads who like to set their mouths ablaze.
Seeds of Change, (888) 762-7333, www.seedsofchange.com. The catalog is free from these purveyors of 100 percent certified organic seeds and seedlings. Heirlooms abound, including grafted starter tomatoes plants that ensure success.
Pinetree Garden Seeds, (207) 926-3400, www.superseeds.com. The free catalog is a great source of low-priced seeds of quality. Also a good selection of deeply discounted gardening books.
Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Friday’s in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnews.com/homestyle.