Book Review – My Favorite Seed Catalogs

Two weeks of anticipation and they have arrived.  Yes, the seed catalogs have started to arrive in my mailbox.  My two favorites arrived in the same week.  Needless, to say it was a good week.  Probably less productive than it should have been as well.

The first to arrive was the Fedco Catalog.  Always unique and fun to read.

The always fun Fedco Catalog.   Click to check out their website.
The always fun Fedco Catalog. Click on the picture to check out their website.

Their catalogs are printed in black and white and on plain paper.  I very much appreciate their efforts to spend more money on producing excellent seed than on glorious looking shiny catalogs.
Regardless of their humble appearance do not be fooled.  There catalog is a wealth of horticultural knowledge and experience.  There is thought and love put into this catalog.  Lots of personal experiences listed and wonderful artwork inside.

Inside the Fedco catalog.  This is a typical page with art and plants.
Inside the Fedco catalog. This is a typical page with art and plants.

I think they feature an author or famous person every year and put appropriate quotes within the catalog pages. This year’s feature is Wendell Berry.  Mr. Berry is one of my favorite authors and thinkers.  He always challenges me.  In my opinion, it is worth picking up the Fedco Catalog just to read his poetry and quotes.  The Fedco catalog is much more than seeds for sale it is an annual report of their business, thoughts, and dreams.

The second catalog was the Johnny’s Selected Seeds catalog.

My other favorite catalog.  So much fun to read. Click on the picture to see their webpage.
My other favorite catalog. So much fun to read. Click on the picture to see their webpage.

The Johnny’s catalog looks on the outside like a typical seed catalog, but it is not. Inside is a growing guide with lots of tips and information about how the plant grows and germinates.  Their pictures, graphs, and comparison charts and tables are very helpful to me.  I use this catalog all season long as a reference.

This is an example of a Johnny's comparison table and picture.  They show you how each pepper should look and what you should expect.
This is an example of a Johnny’s comparison table and picture. They show you how each pepper should look and what you should expect.

Johnny’s does not have the personal artwork or poetry of Fedco and they are more “flashy” compared to Fedco.  However, I am very careful about my seed purchases.  I like to know what I am getting.  I am also a visual person sometimes I get lost in too many words on a page.  When I read Johnny’s I can plan on the germination time to disease and insect problems.  As I continue to develop my skills and knowledge Johnny’s has become a trusted resource.

With so many varieties I will be busy this Winter picking out what I want to plant next year. Between the two catalogs I can hardly wait for a snow storm or two to blow in so I can have a good excuse to read and think about the Spring.

If you are new to gardening I recommend both of these catalogs and companies.   I think you will find both a helpful resource.   I also recommend holding on to them for the growing season you may want to check back on the plant descriptions.

I do not receive anything compensation for my glowing reviews.  My thoughts and opinions are based on my own experiences.

What is your favorite seed catalog? Did you receive in the mail yet?

Enjoy this season, learn from last season, and look forward to next season.

 

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