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Jan 23, 2014 10:37 AM

Catalog season in the depths of Winter

I bought a house last summer and immediately have felt the pull to start putting down roots, literally and metaphorically. As we muddle along in northern New England with the visits from the polar vortex, I want to start planning for spring at the same time that I am hoping for more snow.

Does anyone have favorite catalogs for seeds and starters? Edible stuff only, chowhounds. I can't seem to sufficiently tend plants that I won't wind up eating in some fashion.

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  1. Richter's has a lot of unusual herbs and vegetables - seeds and sometimes starts. I suggest you download their PDF catalog or request a hard copy, their website ( isn't the best designed for casual browsing.

    1. I infer from your post that you prefer a paper catalog to leaf through (or lust over!). Three of the ones I like the most (you can request a catalog from their websites) are

      Johnny's * -
      Pinetree * -
      Baker Creek * -

      Johnny's and Pinetree are Maine-based, so you should be able to rely on their recommendations for northern N.E.

      Other websites with large vegetable selections I have successfully purchased from in the past (you can request paper catalogs from the ones marked with * ) are (in no particular order


      SandHill * -
      Sample -
      Swallowtail -
      Hudson * -
      Victory * -
      TotallyTomato * -
      Heirloom -
      2Bseeds -
      and a primarily flower seed company that still has some good vegetable choices:
      Dianes -

      Many Pinetree and Sample offerings have smaller quantities of seeds, a good choice for the casual gardener.
      (There are dozens of other good companies out there I just haven't tried. I'm sure someone will probably chip in with others.) Some garden sites (like DavesGarden) offer ratings on how well seed and plant suppliers are thought of. All those mentioned above have better than average ratings.

      1. Baker Creek is great! Good quality seeds, tons of great, old-timey and delicious varieties. They have a great catalog too. I highly recommend them.

        1. I have ordered from all of these several times with good results. I don't think I ever had a Renee's catalog, though.

          Renee's Garden Seeds-vegetables and flowers; I get sugar snaps from here, and sweet pea seeds here too.

          Peaceful Valley-organic. I get my garlic and shallots here, and some supplies. They also have seed potatoes and Renee's Seeds.

          Kitchen Garden Seeds

          Tomato Growers Supply-tomato, eggplant and pepper seeds

          Seeds From Italy-favas and garlic, among other things

          The Cooks Garden-haven't ordered from here in years, but nice catalog.

          Harris Seeds-I bought a green house from this one, and I think a compost bin, It's been awhile

          Territorial-great for a year round perspective, at least in the west. They have seasonal garden planners on their website.

          planner http://gardenplanner.territorialseed....

          spring growing guide

          fall/winter garden guide

          I don't recall ordering from Parks,Burpee's,Jung, and Gurney's, but the send catalogs.

          Oh, and Johnny's

          1. Fedco is wonderful fun - several catalogs, one for trees & shrubs, one for seeds, one for roots & tubers (I think). It's getting to be a bit late in the season to order, the deadline for discounted bulk orders has already passed.

            The catalogs have lots of good information in them as well, to keep for reference. I believe all of their plants are grown locally (in Maine) by small growers.