Gardening: Seed catalogs keeping getting me through the winter

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

January is a tough month for gardeners in Michigan. I depend on seed catalogs and websites to ward off the winter blues. The Botanical Interests web site has instructions how to make seed bombs – a great way to color up areas “in progress” at the OPC garden in Rochester.   

Here are some of the seed catalogs keeping me warm and happy this winter.

Johnny's Selected Seeds  (877) 564-6697; Paper catalog free. Maine based, Johnny’s specializes in cold tolerant vegetable, herb and flower seeds that are flavorful, disease resistant and good producers. Tested in organic gardens in Maine and other locations around the country.

Richters Herbs (800) 668-HERB; Paper catalog free. If you’re into herbs Richters’ website is a treasure trove of information. They also offer mail-order plants, including trays of small plugs to the general public. This Canadian company ships to the U.S. 

Territorial Seed Company (800-626-0866); Paper catalog free. Huge selection and a great read. Lots of plants, but order early as they sell out.

seed catalogs

Pinetree Garden Seeds (207) 926-3400; Paper catalog free. Small seed packs sold at lower prices.  Now sells plants and DIY supplies including cosmetic and soap making components.


Botanical Interests Seeds (877) 821-4340: Paper catalog free.  Large selection includes Asian veg, perennial flowers and organic seed. Seed packets are loaded with cultural information.  Info on DIY Seed Bombs.

Renee’s Garden Seeds (888) 880-7228; Online only catalog. Great selection of seeds for heirloom and cottage flower gardens, herbs, and gourmet vegetables from around the world. Dwarf Tasmanian Chocolate Tomato – a great container variety I grew in a container last year.    

Peaceful Valley Organics (888) 784-1722  Catalog On-line. A one-stop shop for the organic grower – seeds, fertilizers, bare root trees and tools.

Seeds of Change; Paper catalog free.  Purveyors of certified organic seeds and seedlings.

Sow True Seed (828) 254-0708; Paper catalog free. Highly rated organic seed house dedicated to quality and service.

Nature @ Nurture Seeds;  Catalog free. Heirloom and open-pollinated seeds located near Ann Arbor, Michigan. These seeds are adapted to the Great Lakes region.

Because of high costs of print and postage, many seed houses have gone to online- only catalogs. So even if you get the paper catalogs, do check out all the seed house purveyors’ websites for sales, blogs, gardening tips and online only merchandise.   

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at