Mail order plant catalog

Garden seed catalogs are appearing in mailboxes, giving us inspiration for the year ahead. Most seed companies are happy to make you a beautiful printed catalog to browse. Here’s a list of seed companies with printed catalogs as well as seed companies with online catalogs. Have fun dreaming while you’re waiting for the growing season to begin.

During the dead of winter, it’s fun to thumb through the pages of gorgeous seed catalogs, discovering the wide variety of flowers, vegetables, and fruit that might fit your growing zone and growing space.

Note: None of the catalogs in this list are produced or sold by The Old Farmer’s Almanac. This is simply a list which both Almanac editors and readers have suggested. If you have a favorite, please tell us about them in the comments section below.

Our favorite seed companies are those that offer heirloom and hybrid open-pollinated and non-GMO seeds. We’ve put a star * next to some of our favorite companies. We enjoy having a print copy in our hands, paging through the beautiful pages, but we also understand the desire to save trees and many of these companies have a downloadable version online.

Once you’re ready to start planning your garden, check out our wonderful Garden Planner and play around for free to try it out!

40+ Free Seed Catalogs & Online Plant Sources

Note: More and more seed companies are discontinuing print catalogs and putting them online. We try to keep this page updated, but if you see any outdated information below, just post the correction so that we can update this list. Thank you!

For a list of Canadian sites, .

*Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
2278 Baker Creek Rd.
Mansfield, MO 65704

Online and print catalogs.

Bluestone Perennials
7211 Middle Ridge Rd.
Madison, OH 44057

Online and print catalogs.

Brent and Becky’s Bulbs
7900 Daffodil Ln.
Gloucester, VA 23061

Online and print catalogs.

*Burpee Seed Company
300 Park Ave.
Warminster, PA 18974

Online and print catalogs.

Busse Gardens
17160 245th Ave.
Big Lake, MN 55309

Online catalog.

Dutch Gardens
4 Currency Dr.
P.O. Box 2999
Bloomington, IL 61702

Online and print catalogs.

Eden Brothers
2099 Brevard Rd.
Arden, NC 28704
Online catalog.

Fieldstone Gardens
55 Quaker Ln.
Vassalboro, ME 04989

Online catalog.

121 Gary Rd.
Hodges, SC 29653

Online and print catalogs.

Gilbert H. Wild & Son
2944 State Hwy. 37
Reeds, MO 64859
Online and print catalogs.

Greenwood Nursery
636 Myers Cove Rd.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Online catalog.

Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co.
P.O. Box 4178
Greendale, IN 47025

Online and print catalogs.

Henry Field’s Seed & Nursery Co.
P.O. Box 397
Aurora, IN 47001-0397

Online catalog.

*High Mowing Organic Seeds
76 Quarry Road
Wolcott, VT 05680
Print and online catalog.

*Johnny’s Selected Seeds
13 Main St.
Fairfield, ME 04937
Online and print catalogs.

J.W. Jung Seed Co.
335 S. High St.
Randolph, WI 53956

Online and print catalogs.

Klehm’s Song Sparrow Farm & Nursery
13101 E. Rye Rd.
Avalon, WI 53505
Online catalog.

2928 Jefferson Street Ste 2C
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Online catalog.

Mountain Crest Gardens
402 Bridge St.
Fort Jones, CA 96032
Online catalog.

Nature Hills Nursery
9910 N 48th St, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68152
(888) 864-7663
Online catalog.

New England Seed Company (NESeed)
122 Park Ave., Building H
East Hartford, CT 06108

Online and print catalogs.

Nichols Garden Nursery
1190 Old Salem Rd. NE
Albany, OR 97321

Online catalog.

Old House Gardens
4175 Whitmore Lake Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Online and print catalogs.

Park Seed Company
3507 Cokesbury Rd.
Hodges, SC 29653

Online and print catalogs.

Raintree Nursery
391 Butts Rd.
Morton, WA 98356

Online and print catalogs.

*Renee’s Garden Seeds
6060 Graham Hill Rd., Suite A
Felton, CA 95018

Online-only catalog.

John Scheepers, Inc.
23 Tulip Dr.
P.O. Box 638
Bantam, CT 06750

Online and print catalogs.

*Seed Savers Exchange
3094 North Winn Rd.
Decorah, IA 52101

Online and print catalogs.

Seeds of Change
P.O. Box 4908
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

Online catalog.

Select Seeds
180 Stickney Hill Rd.
Union, CT 06076

Online and print catalogs.

*Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
P.O. Box 460
Mineral, VA 23117

Online and print catalogs.

*Sow True Seed
243 Haywood St
Asheville, NC 28801

Print and online catalogs.

Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co.
P.O. Box 1800
Louisiana, MO 63353

Online and print catalogs.

Sustainable Seed Co.
355 E. 20th St.
Chico, CA 95928
Online catalog.

Tennessee Wholesale Nursery
856 Main St.
Altamont, TN 37301

Online catalog.

1673 CR 1350
Wilber, NE 68465
Online catalog.

Tomato Growers Supply Company
P.O. Box 60015
Fort Myers, FL 33906

Online and print catalogs.

P.O. Box 628
Little River, CA 95456

Online catalog.

Totally Tomatoes
334 W. Stroud St.
Randolph, WI 53956

Online and print catalogs.

Tulip World
8480 North 87th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Online catalog.

Twilley Seed
121 Gary Rd.
Hodges, SC 29653

Online and print catalogs.

Victory Seed Company
P.O. Box 192
Molalla, OR 97038

Free online catalog and $2 print catalog.

Wayside Gardens
One Garden Ln.
Hodges, SC 29653

Online and print catalogs.

White Flower Farm
P.O. Box 50
Litchfield, CT 06759

Online and print catalogs.

Are we missing any of your favorite seed catalogs? Let us know in the comments.

Guide to Gardening by Mail, Mail Order Gardening, and Catalogs

The Garden Watchdog is a free directory of 7,993 mail order gardening companies. Here gardeners share their opinions on which companies really deliver on quality, price and service.

After you review the Introduction and Acceptable Use Policy, you can share your own mail-order experiences, or use our search and browse features to find reputable sources for all your gardening needs.

Are you looking for a particular plant? Check out PlantScout to find vendors offering the plant, seed or bulbs you’re seeking!

For local gardening resources, visit our new Go Gardening feature. If you’re looking for a new book, the Garden Bookworm can help you add to your garden bookshelf.

Since 1994, 4,494 companies have been reviewed in the Garden Watchdog, and 88,287 comments have been posted (58,781 positive, 12,543 neutral, 16,963 negative) by 45,812 customers.

If you like this feature, we invite you to take a quick tour of Dave’s Garden for more helpful garden tools and information.

The Watchdog 30

These 30 companies are currently the most highly rated within our entire database. Each of them is listed here because of feedback from their customers.

Most Recently added ratings

User Rating Company
Oklahomawind Positive Horn Canna Farm
threeboxerlover Positive High Country Gardens
deepgreenthumbs Positive Las Pilitas Nursery
deepgreenthumbs Positive Annie’s Annuals and Perennials
deepgreenthumbs Positive Joy Creek Nursery
deepgreenthumbs Negative Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply &
Coco7 Positive Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (
kjseaside Positive Urban Farmer Seeds LLC
Momofseven Neutral Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
jimtjepkema Positive Sand Hill Preservation Center
ColinWright Neutral Nick Botner
alazon183 Positive Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
sunrider5 Negative Hirt’s Gardens (formerly Hirt’s Greenhouse & Flowers)
grannyh Neutral Seeds and Such, Inc.
jeh1856 Positive Harris Seeds / Garden Trends
Omaima Negative Fast-Growing-Trees (formerly Empress Tree Nurseries, Paulownia Supply &
farmerxbee Positive Victory Seed Company
CarolineCSha Positive Legg Creek Farm
Julieh1956 Positive Raintree Nursery
dissemble Positive Grandpa’s Orchard, LLC
methodan Positive Hidden Valley Hibiscus
jpjones76 Positive Sow True Seed
jpjones76 Positive Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
Jaredc Positive Northland Rosarium
VictoryAS Positive Cold Stream Farm
merrybrodie Positive A Nearly Native Nursery
lliefveld Negative Great Basin Natives
lliefveld Negative Granite Gardens Rare Plants
jpjones76 Negative Reimer Seeds
anoukaimee Positive
plasticdaffodil Positive Gabriella Plants
Ortegojeffrey Positive Legg Creek Farm
ColinWright Positive Youngs Garden Center
JacksonPC Positive Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
gardenongibson Neutral Park Seed Company (aka Park’s Gardens)
sharronann Positive Onalee’s Seeds, LLC
frostpocket Negative Stark Brothers Nurseries & Orchards Company
SBBDoc Positive Seeds and Such, Inc.
WolfeLogic Negative Tree Seeds (aka
Paramistic Negative (New Garden Plants)
NongBerry Negative 2BSeeds, LLC
Hjarrell56 Positive Onalee’s Seeds, LLC
Kingjv200 Negative Regan Nursery
Dahaker Positive National Arbor Day Foundation
gardenertom Positive K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc.
ColinWright Positive Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
Perro2020 Negative Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms, Inc.
SherryMac Positive Center of the Webb
ColinWright Positive David’s Garden Seeds
Kingjv200 Positive Edelweiss Perennials

Browse by first letter

Click on a letter to view all companies whose name begins with that letter.

Browse by Country

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Other Searches

Scroll up and examine the side of this page to find two other search boxes. The regular search will search for companies by name. The Zip Code Search will find the companies that are closest to the zip code that you enter (United States zips only, please).

Who Owns What?

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Timer: 66.56 jiffies (0.6655638217926).

Best Seed Catalogs

Bountiful Gardens *
Willits, Calif.

Bountiful Gardens is part of Ecology Action, a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching biointensive gardening – a technique that emphasizes soil fertility and high yields. Bountiful Gardens’ catalog offers open-pollinated organic and nonorganic seeds, specializing in rare medicinal herbs and supernutritious varieties of plants.

Ecology Action’s director John Jeavons is the author of the best-selling and wonderfully titled book, How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine.

W. Atlee Burpee Co. *
Warminster Penn.

W. Atlee Burpee first planned to sell baby chicks by mail and turn his childhood hobby into a career. In 1876, the 18-year-old borrowed $1,000 from his mother to start a mail-order fancy poultry business, but he quickly realized his customers would also want seed for vegetables, flowers and grains. By 1915, Burpee was mailing over a million catalogs to American gardeners. The Burpee company’s breeding program has produced many American classics, from `Iceberg’ lettuce (which, because it shipped so well, enabled diners in big cities to have salads), `Golden Bantam’ sweet corn, ‘Burpless’ cucumbers, and `Big Boy’ tomatoes. Today, Burpee offers more than 500 varieties of vegetables and herbs and 600 varieties of flowers in a full-color catalog.

The Cook’s Garden *
Londonderry, Vt.

For salads, Cook’s is an undisputed leader, with more than 50 kinds of lettuce and custom blends of mixed salad greens (mesclun) chosen especially for American climates. The Cook’s Garden founders Shepherd and Ellen Ogden travel the globe in search of specialties, such as Italian chicories and varieties to add to their burgeoning collection of sunflowers and annual flowering vines. They com bine this with hands-on trial plots in their own Burlington, Vermont, gardens to determine whether each variety will per form under American growing conditions.

William Dam Seeds Ltd.
Dundas, Ontario, Canada


William Dam founded his seed company after immigrating from Holland, where he had been a manager of a Dutch seed company. In Canada he began his business delivering seeds by bicycle to fellow immigrants. Now in its 52nd year, the third-generation, family-owned company mail orders more than 900 varieties worldwide. All of the seed is untreated for the safety of the employees who handle it each day and to encourage organic gardening. This policy has been in place since the 1960s, when Dam suffered from skin rashes he linked to chemicals used in seed storage. William Dam Seeds is one of the first registered seed companies in Canada to feature a line of certified organically grown seeds. An important part of the business is the research, conducted on five acres of trial grounds that are open to the public.

Fedco Seeds *
Waterville, Maine

Fedco is one of the few garden-seed companies in the United States that are organized as cooperatives. Consumers own 60 percent, while worker members own 40 percent. Because the cooperative doesn’t have an individual owner, profit isn’t its primary goal, and substantial savings are passed on to customers. The catalog is divided into three divisions: seeds, potatoes and organic growing supplies; bare root trees, perennials and ornamentals; fall-planted bulbs and garlic. Fedco evaluates hundreds of varieties at multiple sites, identifying ones that are particularly productive, flavorful and suited to the northeastern U.S. climate. They offer a discount for large orders — worth taking advantage of if you can pool orders with a group of people. The black-and-white newsprint catalog written by C.R. Lawn is entertaining and highly informative. The seasonal seed division ships January through April.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Albion, Maine

Established in 1973 by Chairman Rob Johnston Jr., Johnny’s Selected Seeds is one of my favorite companies because it offers fast service and highest-quality seed, and pays special attention to the qualities a home gardener is looking for: flavor and ease of growing. Just reading Johnny’s color catalog of more than 1,200 varieties of vegetables, medicinal, culinary herbs and flowers is an education. It is brim full of detailed growing instructions and helpful tips. Johnny’s also offers high quality gardening tools, equipment and accessories, cover crop seed, soil amendments and organic pest control products. Johnny’s has an extensive breeding and testing program, and introduces many new varieties the company has developed – an increasing rarity in this world of corporate mergers and outsourcing.

Nichols Garden Nursery *
Albany, Ore.

Nichols has supplied seeds and plants to gardeners for more than 50 years. The Nichols family seeks out unusual varieties to provide a selection of delicious, easy to-grow vegetables, fragrant herbs and beautiful cut flowers in its 72-page catalog. They also offer citrus and tea plants; gourds; garlic; gardening tools, supplies and books; grass and lawn seed; soapmaking, brewing, winemaking, cooking and preserving sup plies; and essential oils. Nichols performs trials of new varieties and plants at an All America Selections display garden at its nursery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Park Seed Co.*
Greenwood, S.C.

At the tender age of 16, George Watt Park printed a list of seeds, which he sent to friends and relatives. This venture led to his first catalog in 1868. Today millions of gardeners receive the Park Seed catalog from the company, now run by a third-generation Park, Karen Park Jennings. Park’s nine-acre trial gardens annually include more than 1,500 varieties. The full-color catalog lists more than 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers, fruits and herbs. The catalog’s center contains a handy germination and culture guide that makes a great reference throughout the growing season. It includes bloom season, germination time and cultural tips for everything listed in the catalog.

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply *
Grass Valley, Calif.

Peaceful Valley is literally a one-stop catalog for organic farmers and gardeners. They carry a large assortment of seeds, cover crops, native grasses, pasture and lawn seed, wildflowers, fruit trees and berries, potatoes, onions and garlic. On top of that, they offer a great selection of quality gardening tools; pest controls; season-extending products; composting supplies; growing, propagating and irrigation equipment; and books. The company started in 1976 in a small garage in California with a four-page newsletter for growers. Despite moving several times and the business burning to the ground once, Peaceful Valley has grown to be one of the leaders in the field of organics, with more than 40 employees and thousands of customers.

Pinetree Garden Seeds
New Gloucester, Maine

Pinetree Garden Seeds began in 1979 in the attic of Dick Meiners when he decided to offer smaller and less expensive packets of seeds, so gardeners could afford to try more varieties. Today Pinetree’s catalog includes everything from vegetable to flower seed, ornamental bulbs, perennial vegetables, herbs, and all sorts of gardening, cooking and soapmaking supplies, gifts and books.

Redwood City Seeds *
Redwood City, Calif.

Redwood City Seeds began in 1971 by specializing in endangered cultivated plants. All its varieties are open-pollinated seeds selected for good flavor and adaptability. The company has an amazing selection of hot peppers, with some of the most generous seed packets around, plus chile powders for consumption. Co-owner Craig Dremann has even devised his own pepper-hotness scale, a easy method for determining the actual heat of hot chiles. Native grasses and a great selection or ornamental plants round out this perfect catalog for the adventurous gardener.

Salt Spring Seeds *
Ganges, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

If you want to be self-sufficient in food production you must see this catalog. For 14 years, Salt Spring Seeds has provided untreated seeds of high-protein, good-yielding and great-tasting crops, including more than 100 varieties of beans; 50 varieties of garlic; grains such as wheat; hull-less barley; high-protein quinoa and amaranth; and many vegetables and herbs. Last year, Salt Spring produced more than 80 percent of its own certified organic seed at Mansell Farm on Salt Spring island; the balance being produced by a co-op of organic growers. This year, owner Dan Jason was forced to relocate the company’s gardens from the farm to Salt Spring Centre because of toxic drift from neighboring herbicide use. The transition has been painless, he says, and Salt Spring Seeds is still going strong.

Seed Savers Exchange
Decorah, Iowa

The nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) is the leading North American organization working to save heirloom garden seed, from extinction. SSE’s focus is on varieties that gardeners and farmers brought to North America when their families immigrated, and traditional varieties grown by American Indians. Mennonites and the Amish. SSE’s 8,000 members grow heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and grains, and offer them for exchange to other members in a remarkable annual yearbook that now numbers 457 pages. The exchange reports on the diminishing number of open-pollinated varieties offered in the seed trade and in its Seed Savers Inventory. The group makes many heirloom varieties (and related gifts) available to nonmembers through an annual catalog.

Seeds of Change *
Santa Fe, N.M.

Seeds of Change offers 100 percent certified organic seeds and plants. They grow all their own seeds on their research farm or within their network of organic farmers. All of their offerings are open-pollinated, and they specialize in traditional and heirloom varieties. The company was started in 1989 in an effort to combat the dwindling diversity in food crops and the use of toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture.

Seeds Trust High Altitude Gardens *
Halley, Idaho

This 17-year-old company specializes in open-pollinated, heirloom vegetables and herbs, and wildflowers adapted to cold, short seasons. They perform trials of all the varieties in their gardens, located at a 6,000-foot altitude. Varieties that are vigorous, early-maturing, tolerant of a harsh climate as well as exceptionally tasty in fruit and beautiful in bloom, make the cut. In 1989, Seeds Trust traveled behind the Iron Curtain to bring back a treasure trove of short-season tomatoes. Seeds Trust also offers its own wildflower mixes and will custom create a mix for you.

R.H. Shumway’s *
Graniteville, S.C.

Shumway’s has been offering vegetable, flower, lawn and field seeds since 1870. This company specializes in old-timey, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. At first glance, their wonderful “antique” catalog looks virtually unchanged from their first – it is loaded with wonderful illustrations from a bygone era.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange *
Mineral, Va.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange was started in 1982 by Jeff McCormack, and has been growing ever since. In 1999, the company moved to a small, collectively owned farm in Mineral, Virginia. Although it emphasizes varieties adapted to the Mid-Atlantic region, the company serves gardeners throughout the United States and Canada. A large percentage of the seed and bulb varieties it offers are grown on its farm or by its own network of growers. The exchange carries more than 550 varieties of openpollinated. heirloom and traditional vegetables, flowers, sunflowers, herbs, garlic and perennial onions, as well as garden supplies and books.

Stokes Seeds Inc.
Buffalo, N.Y. or St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Walter P. Stokes joined Herbert W. Johnson’s seed company in 1881 in New Jersey; the two parted ways in 1906, and Stokes went on to found Stokes Seeds Farms, supplying primarily commercial growers. During the Depression, Stokes put the Canadian branch of his company up for sale, and Stokes Seed salesman W.H. Gale bought it. To this day, Stokes has remained in the Gale family, and is now located in Ontario, Canada, with its U.S. branch in New York. The full-color Stokes catalog offers an exceptional selection of more than 3,000 vegetable and flower varieties, gardening supplies and accessories for the home gardener and commercial grower. Stokes maintains a 34-acre research farm in St. Catharines, Ontario, to evaluate new varieties for the catalog, hosts official All America Selections trials and develops new varieties.

Territorial Seed Co.
Cottage Grove, Ore. or Vancouver, BC, Canada

Steve Solomon started Territorial in 1979 for home gardeners. Since its inception, information on how to grow organically has been the backbone of the catalog. In 1985, Tom and Julie Johns pur chased Territorial. Since then, this seed company has grown to a 44-acre research farm where it evaluates thousands of varieties and produces the majority of its own tomato, squash, cucumber, pepper and lettuce seed. The company collaborates with plant breeders at several universities to introduce outstanding new open-pollinated varieties to the public. Territorial’s catalog offers unique “Jumpstart” mail-order transplants — packs of small seedlings ready to be potted up into larger containers — which take the guesswork out of germinating seeds.

Thompson & Morgan
Jackson, N.J.

This venerable British seed company began as a small garden behind a bakery in Ipswich, Suffolk. The baker’s son, William Thompson, produced his first catalog in 1855, specializing in rare and unusual plants – still a hallmark of the company today. As the seed business grew, Thompson entered into partnership with businessman John Morgan. In 1982, Thompson & Morgan branched out and established a base in the United States. Today, T&M offers nearly 2,000 varieties in its full-color catalog. Although the bulk of the listings are ornamentals, T&M also carries many vegetables (especially some of the county-fair-winning giant varieties). Their “Germination Times” booklet is an indispensable resource for the adventurous seed-starter and now can be found online.

Tomato Growers Supply Co.
Fort Myers, Fla.

This catalog is a must for tomato and/or pepper lovers. If you can’t find a specific tomato or pepper variety anywhere else, chances are Tomato Growers has it. The catalog carries more than 500 varieties of tomatoes and peppers, including huge selections of both hybrid and heirloom tomatoes; hot peppers, sweet peppers and tomatillos; plus garden supplies, books and posters.

Wood Prairie Farm *
Bridgewater, Maine

Forget the flower-of-the-month club – now there’s a potato-of-the-month club. Wood Prairie not only sells an intriguing range of certified organic seed potatoes for gardeners, but you can also order sampler packs of gourmet potatoes for cooking that will arrive over several consecutive months. It’s a unique idea for the spud lover, and a neat way to “try before you buy” to decide what seed potatoes to grow (it is so hard to choose). Owners Jim and Megan Gerritsen are among the most knowledgeable potato growers and the friendliest folks you could hope to meet.

Wood Prairie also offers organic almonds, dried fruit, grains for bakers, and supplies for potato growers. Their seed potatoes are all grown on their family farm in Maine, and come in bags labeled with beautifully illustrated postcards specific to each variety. Each order comes with detailed instructions for growing and enjoying a bountiful crop of spuds.

Mail-Order Fruit Trees and Berries

If you are looking to add edible sweetness and beauty to your landscape, the following nurseries offer a mouth-watering selection of fruits and berries (and nuts, too).

Edible Landscaping
Afton, Va.

Specializes in low-care edibles, including citrus, permissons, kiwis, figs and berries.

Raintree Nursery
Morton, Va.

Offers more than 400 varieties of edible plants, including disease-resistant fruit and nut trees and berries that are specially selected with the home gardener in mind.

Rocky Meadow Orchard and Nursery
Laurenceburg, Ind.

If flavor is of utmost importance to you, try Rocky Meadow Nursery. They specialize in new varieties of fruit trees that have been evaluated expressly for flavor, and also carry grafting supplies.

St. Lawrence Nurseries
Potsdam, N.Y.

Provides organically grown fruit and nut trees adapted to northern climates, including heirloom apples, pears, grapes, butternuts and filberts.

Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards Co.
Peoria, Ill.

Specializes in dwarf, semidwarf and standard fruit trees, along with grapes, berries, nuts and ornamental shrubs and trees.

Nourse Farms Inc.
South Deerfield, Mass.

For strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries and perennial vegetables, check out Nourse Farms Inc.

* All the companies I’ve included do not sell controversial genetically engineered varieties, and most of them (indicated by an asterisk after their name) offer all their seeds free of pesticide treatments.

10 Favorite Garden Catalogs

I like to shop locally and support our central-Pennsylvania small businesses whenever possible. But sometimes I’m looking for offbeat stuff or unusual varieties that I can only get online or via mail-order.

An excellent web site for consumer reviews of these and just about all other mail-order companies is Dave’s Garden. It has a “Garden Watchdog” service that’s akin to a Better Business Bureau for gardening. Search out companies and read reviews at

Here are 10 of my favorite mail-order companies:

1.) Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Mansfield, Missouri. 417-924-8917.

This down-home company has fast become THE source for all things heirloom. The flagship seed catalog is loaded not only with great old-time, non-Frankenfood varieties but some edible oddities you’ve probably never seen, like the Chinese red noodle bean, the jelly melon (an African cucumber-like fruit) and the ‘Rat’s Tail’ radish (has edible seed pods).

The paper catalog is big, informative and has the best photography of any catalog out there. It’s earned a spot on the prestigious Dave’s Garden Watchdog Top 30 of all companies.

2.) Territorial Seed Co., Cottage Grove, Oregon. 800-626-0866.

If you’re a veggie gardener looking for excellent varieties — whether they’re heirlooms or the latest, greatest hybrids — this is one of the best mainstream catalogs.

The artwork isn’t the biggest or flashiest, but the selection is outstanding. You’ll find lots of choices for every crop — not just two or three. I’ve always had quick service, good seed germination and decent prices. One of Dave’s Gardens Top 5 for vegetable seeds, too.

3.) Jung Seed Co., Randolph, Wisconsin. 800-297-3123.

One of a 9-company operation (Totally Tomatoes, Vermont Bean Seed, R.H. Shumway Seeds, etc.), I like Jung because it’s got a good mix of vegetables and flowers and tends to carry most of the new introductions.

I’ve always received what I ordered pretty quickly and have had good results with the seeds. Another good mainstream choice.

4.) Pinetree Garden Seeds, New Gloucester, Maine. 207-926-3400.

Experimenters and small-space gardeners should take a look at this family-owned company, which specializes in smaller packets at low prices.

Instead of the $3 a pack that’s become the norm, Pinetree keeps most choices under $2. Some are as little as $1.25 a pack?

The selection isn’t as broad as some catalogs, but it’ll hold down your costs and give you better quality than the dirt-cheap, poor-quality choices sometimes found at bargain outlets. Offers both edibles and flowers.

5.) Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine. 877-564-6697.

Johnny’s Seeds catalog

Johnny’s is an employee-owned company that has a nice selection of exclusive varieties as well as organic and heirloom options.

It also carries most of the All-America Selections winners and other new intros, and it offers flowers and garden products in addition to its strong suit of veggie seeds. Another of Dave’s Gardens Top 5 vegetable-seed sellers.

6.) Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, Gloucester, Virginia. 877-661-2852. Run by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, this is the place for ordering just about any spring or summer bulb you’d ever want to grow.

You’ll find endless variety choices in the most familiar bulbs (tulips, daffodils) but also a long lineup of really cool plants that you don’t see just anywhere, like Allium christophii (an ornamental onion that blooms like a purple exploding star), a yellow-blooming blackberry lily called ‘Hello Yellow,’ and more than a dozen versions of fall crocuses.

One of the Dave’s Garden Watchdog’s Top 30 of all companies.

7.) Renee’s Garden, Felton, Calif. 831-335-8257.

Also in the run-by-very-nice-people category is Renee Shepherd’s Renee’s Garden seed catalog. You’ll find a nice mix of heirlooms and hybrids here and especially a good selection of old-fashioned “cottage-garden” flowers like zinnias, larkspur and cosmos in addition to herbs and vegetables.

Renee’s seed packet

The web site is rich in info, too (i.e. building a vole-proof raised bed, attracting beneficial insects, when to plant what.)

8.) One Green World, Molalla, Oregon. 877-353-4028.

For unusual edibles, this mail-order company has every fruit tree and fruit bush you’ve probably ever heard of — and then some.

It’s where I ordered a goumi berry, medlar tree and persimmon for my son, and it’s a source for such fare as Asian pears, honeyberries, goji berries, jujubes, Cornelian cherries and an interesting selection of heirloom apples.

The plants will be small, so be patient.

9.) Planet Natural Garden Supply, Bozeman, Montana. 800-289-6656.

If it’s supplies and not plants you’re looking for, this company specializes in all sorts of natural and organic gardening products.

Been searching for Jamaican bat guano? Planet Natural has it. Compost tea bags? Check. Beneficial insects? Check. Neem oil for bugs? Check.

My prize Planet Natural purchase was the stainless steel compost pail that I bought for under my sink. It’s sturdy, doesn’t rust and doesn’t smell.

10.) Gardener’s Supply Co., Burlington, Vermont. 888-833-1412.

Hundreds and hundreds of yard and garden supplies are available at this employee-owned company, founded by a group of Vermont gardeners. Gardener’s Supply offers just about everything from basics like fertilizers and plant supports to cutting-edge items like nitrile gloves and grow bags to bigger-ticket items like grow-light systems and teak furniture.

Other than seeds and plants, if it has to do with gardening, odds are you’ll find it at Gardener’s Supply. Has a very good customer track record at Dave’s Garden Watchdog.

11.) Fruition Seeds, Naples, N.Y. 585-374-8903.

OK, I couldn’t stop at just 10. Here’s a bonus pick.

New as of 2013, this is passionate little company growing seeds on an organic farm in New York’s Finger Lakes, attempting to keep alive the tradition of seed diversity by regional producers producing varieties best adapted to that region (in this case, the Northeast).

Fruition specializes in vegetables with excellent flavor, early maturity, disease resistance, and proven performance in the Northeast region. Seeds are organically grown, most are open-pollinated (readily saveable by home gardeners year after year), many are heirlooms, and none are GMO. Produces some interesting and unusual varieties and a good selection of flower seeds as well.

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