Gardening: Now's the time to research plant seeds for your garden

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

If you’re jumping on the pollinator gardening bandwagon, you may want to try your  hand at growing plants from seed. I will be giving tips from time to time to help you along, but now is a good time to do some research on what and how to grow, and seed catalogs are a great place to start

Here are some of the seed catalogs on my fave list:

Seed catalogs are a great place to start studying which plants are best for you.

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); catalog free. Huge selection and a great read. Lots of plants, but order early as they sell out.

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 vegetables, perennial flowers and organic seed. Seed packets are loaded with cultural information.  Info on DIY seed bombs.

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

Peaceful Valley Organics (888) 784-1722 Catalog Online. A one-stop shop for the organic grower with 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.  These seeds are adapted to the Great Lakes region.

Because of the  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 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