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Choices, Choices, Choices

January 17th, 2012

A gardener who hopes to find the answer to all his needs within one catalogue might be able to, if these needs are not to special.

Katherine S. White from Onward & Upward in the Garden

There are some gardeners that can look through one catalog, make a list, place their order, and never even crack the cover of another seed catalog. That is not me!

When it comes to seed catalogs I find myself inundated with choices, as you are as well I’m sure. My first year of serious vegetable gardening, every seed packet came from Baker Creek. I had a small garden and didn’t have space or the knowledge to try anything out of the ordinary. As my garden space grew, I found myself reading more books and finding new things I wanted to plant. These items could not all be acquired from one company and the number of catalogs I ordered from grew each year along with my garden space. Trying new things is also something I really enjoy doing; after all, you’ll never find a new favorite if you don’t branch out. Renee’s Garden was like this for me, I ordered one year and I was hooked. This year I’m really excited to try the new ‘Wasabi’ arugula from Renee’s because the spicier the better is my motto for this green.

If you’re in need of seeds for make sure you check out the Heirloom Seed Company List I’ve been compiling here. You might even be able to find a small local place that specializes in region specific plants! I’ve also been collecting Seed Potato Sources if you’re in need of those. It’s always wise to order your potatoes, onions, and seeds early to make sure you get what you want. There have been a few times I’ve missed out on being able to plant what I want because I waited too late to order.

This week, my goal is to get all of my seeds ordered, I actually don’t need too many this season. For some reason I’ve been dragging my feet on getting my seeds ordered, perhaps I’m just not ready to admit that spring will be coming sooner than I’m ready for it!

Do you order from one main source each year or do you have a variety of places? Do you have your 2012 seeds ordered already?

23 Comments to “Choices, Choices, Choices”
  1. KimH on January 17, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I always get my seeds from different sources.. This year, I haven’t broken a seed catalog open yet to really look… Im sure I shall.. maybe. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  2. Andrea Duke on January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Funny that this is your post. I was just thinking Sunday that I need to get my seeds ordered soon!

    Like you, I have ordered from Baker Creek mostly in the past, but I didn’t get one of their catalogs this year, so I am going to use that opportunity to look at some other companies.

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  3. Kathi Cook on January 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

    I use a variety of sources for my seeds. I also get lured at garden shops and garden shows to buy seeds I hadn’t planned on. Beautiful seed packets can be quite tempting! I am going to try to use up all my old seeds that are still viable this year. I should start planning.

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

    • Susy on January 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

      I’m trying to do the same this year, use up what I have. I’m ordering no flower seeds this year and only about 15 packs of vegetable seeds of things I’m out of seeds for (like zucchini).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on January 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    We have pretty specific things we like, so we often end up ordering from a few different companies. And paying the shipping costs, which really irritate me, because they’re seeds. They weigh nothing! Why do they cost so much to ship?

    I haven’t done a single thing about planning the garden this year. I’m stymied by the fact that I’m scheduled to have a baby in July (surprise!), which is really bad timing for gardening. So a very pared-down garden seems to be in order. Cover crop, here I come.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on January 17, 2012 at 9:01 am

      That’s one thing I always love about Baker Creek – shipping is always $3.99 no matter how many seeds you buy!

      And congrats on the baby – great timing – that’s like me planning a 3 week vacation in Aug.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Joan on January 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Most of my seeds come from Fedco – they’re local so I know that what they carry will grow here in Maine, they are very inexpensive, and shipping is free if you order over $30. On the downside, their packages seldom contain any growing information, so if I haven’t grown it before, I need to look up info on planting. I also order from Johnny’s and occasionally from other companies. I love looking at all the beautiful catalogs, but the exorbitant shipping fees usually discourage me and I try to consolidate into a Fedco order and maybe one more.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  6. Jennifer Fisk on January 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I haven’t ordered in a while as my feed store carries Johnny’s and High Mowing seeds. As Joan said, if it comes from Johnny’s it will grow here on the coast of Maine as do the seeds from High Mowing in VT. I do enjoy perusing the seed catalogs that come pouring in in January.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  7. Melissa on January 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I’ve got my Baker Creek and Renee’s orders done, but still need a few more things. How is it that I still overspent when I only really needed 6 items?!!! Always so many fun new things to try!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  8. Daedre Craig on January 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I’m going to start placing orders soon. I will definitely be placing an order with Baker Creed because I have a $25 gift certificate. I will also probably put an order in with Pinetree Garden Seeds (my favorite seed company the last few years). Their prices are really good (mainly because they sell smaller, more reasonable, quantities).

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  9. Lisa P on January 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I’ve ordered my seeds for 2012. I try to stick to just 2 sources to keep things simple, but I ordered a SSE catalog due to the post about your visit. Their catalog looks beautiful online, but I haven’t received the print version yet. Baker’s Creek has come up a lot as well… might need to check them out, too. I’m considering fruit trees, blueberries, etc., from Fedco. I’d do my soil prep this season and plant next spring. I order some seeds from Johnny’s in ME and the rest from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, my local OP company. (I’m also in VA). Heirloom tomatoes have just not done well for me the past few years, so I’m trying F1’s from Johnny’s.

    Reply to Lisa P's comment

  10. Songbirdtiff on January 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Even for my little garden I’ve noticed that one catalog doesn’t have all the seeds I need. I’ll be ordering from Johnny’s, and an online herb place, and Seed Savers Exchange. It’s fun to look at all the different catalogs, so I don’t mind ordering from different places.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  11. Green Bean on January 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I usually order from 3-4 seed companies for the basics. This year, I did Baker Creek (love them), Seed Savers Exchange (always a good stand by), and Landreth (trying to help them stay in business). I also ordered from two different farms using Local Harvest and then from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply for my taters,

    Reply to Green Bean's comment

  12. MAYBELLINE on January 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Haven’t ordered a thing yet. I will rely on a local grower to purchase my tomatoe & pepper plants at the farmers market. I’m going to gamble and use seeds I have from past seasons. If they don’t work out, I’ll just head down to my local (very local) hardware store.

    I do love looking through seed catalogs though.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  13. daisy on January 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I will be trying Baker Seeds this year.
    I hope you have a bountiful harvest!

    Reply to daisy's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

      You won’t be disappointed – I’ve always had great luck with their products and they have such great variety!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. gabe on January 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Probably a few different places, including a local garden shop that usually has a pretty good variety of seeds.

    I went through all my catalogs last week and made a wish list. Now I have to go through that and make a realistic list… I was hoping to have everything ordered last weekend, but seeing as how that’s come and gone, I’m shooting for this weekend.

    Reply to gabe's comment

  15. Estelle on January 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I discovered Renee’s Seeds thanks to you and I am fortunate enough to be able to find them at Longwood Gardens, it is a special spring ritual for me to be able to find them “in real life.” I love the mixed seeds packets they have, nothing like a good surprise! I will try mixed color beets from Renee’s this year.

    Reply to Estelle's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Ah – to stroll into Longwood Gardens to buy my seeds *sigh*. I will be coming out someday soon – looking forward to meeting you!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  16. Domestic Executive on January 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve tried ordering my seeds from three different sources and found them to produce variable results. It’s good to experiment but next time I’m going to make sure I pick the seeds that I’ve found to be most successful rather than succumb to trying out as many as I can afford. Living in NZ we are quite restricted and can’t import seeds from overseas for biosecurity reasons which is a shame but it’s a small drawback for living in such a beautiful place.

    Reply to Domestic Executive's comment

  17. Angela on January 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I order from a variety of places. Just received some new-to-me tomato seeds from Southern Exposure SE. I purposely picked seeds suited to the mid-Atlantic, where I live. I like that they note that. I’ve ordered from Baker Creek in the past. And I plan to order a container zucchini from Renee’s Garden that you mentioned. :)

    Reply to Angela's comment

  18. WendyM on January 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    My favorite catalog is Sandhill Preservation Center. I like the fact that there no shipping fee if you order over $10 for seeds but most of my seeds I save or trade with other gardeners.

    Reply to WendyM's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

      I love leafing though their simple catalog reading the descriptions instead of looking at photos. Reading about all their chickens is so interesting too. Although I find their catalog can become a bit overwhelming from the sheer number of choices!

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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