It’s Getting to Be That Time Again: Scores of Seed Catalogs to Get You Thinking About Spring!

I don’t know about you, but seeing the sunshine peek out of the clouds and steadily rising temperatures makes me itchy to start seeds for the garden. I have been pouring over the latest seed catalogs that have arrived in my poor, winter locked mailbox and been drawing up the plans for it.  Few things can warm the spirit more after trudging out in the snow to get the mail than a thick, color rich seed catalog chocked full of promises of warmer weather and abundant harvests!

The farm supply and big box stores further hammer the idea of getting ready to grow things with brand new seed assortments, filled with every type of vegetable, herb, spice and flower you care to name.   Below is a list of some of my favorite seed catalogs.  Most are free for the asking.   Send for the ones that appeal to you or send for them all!  Just be sure you remember to recycle. 🙂

You may want to check back on occassion since I do intend to update the list as I find other resources. Here is a list of some of the companiesthat I have found which are offering free catalogs to inspire you.

Adaptive Seeds –  The company’s website tagline, “Bringing Diversity Back” is definitely a worthy goal!  Not only can you request a free catalog of vegetables, flowers and herbs but you get free shipping when you place any order over $50.

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds – Annie’s has more than 600 varieties of non-GMO heirloom vegetable and flower seeds. Their catalog is free, or you have the option to pay $2 to get it to you faster.

Applewood Seeds – Begun in Golden Colorado in the late 1960’s, Applewood Seeds offers seed mixtures of flower seeds, native and ornamental grasses, and herb seeds. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a catalog link when I checked the site out at the time of this writing. Howeve, they do have a very interesting blog filled with great information.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds This Missouri-based company offers a beautiful catalog for free. In it you will find seeds and plants for herbs, vegetables, flowers and all manner of gardening tools. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter or check out their page on Facebook.

Botanical Interests – Established in 1995, Botanical Interests has more than 600 varieties of seeds that they offer. A large selection of these are USDA Certified Organic and they guarntee the germination rate of every varietyof seed that they offer.  No seeds are treated nor do they deal in any genetically modified seeds.

Burpee Seed Company Who hasn’t heard of Burpee Seeds? Every big box, farm store and even mom and pop corner shops seem to carry at least some of Burpee’s product line.   The first thing you will see when you browse to their website is a catalog request form.   Under the About Us section of the company website says, “For millions of Americans, weary of long winters, nothing signals spring like the arrival of their annual Burpee Catalog in the mailbox.”  That’s definitely what we’re after in this blog post!  After you request your catalog you can place an order right away and get started toward growing your garden for spring!

E. Burgess Seed & Plant Company – Whether you are looking for edibles, perennials, bulbs, trees, grasses, herbs or anything else, you are likely to find it at E.Burgess Seed & Plant Co.  They are one of the largest producers and distributors of home gardening products through the internet in the U.S. Their catalog is free and you can also sign up for their newsletter to get additional discount offers.

Fedco Seeds – Fedco is a cooperative and has been around since 1988.  This company offers plants from around the world.  Based in the Northeast, they have five different divisions. Each has its own catalog and they send out several per year.  Be aware that they do not take orders over the phone or via fax. They ship plants, bulbs and trees in the spring in time for planting and fall bulbs just before it’s time to put them in the ground. You can download the catalogs directly from the web so you have them immediately, or if you want an actual physical catalog you can call the requrest number at (207) 426-0090.

Gardens Alive – Founder Niles Kinerk started Gardens Alive with the mission of providing gardeners with effective, environmentally responsible gardening solutions.  Because Kinerk is keenly aware to helping gardners and thier families and the environment understand the hazards of chemical-based agriculture, he knew organic was the way to go.  Check out the site and come away with a keen awareness of organic solutions for gardens, lawns and all other aspects of the garden.

Grow Organic – This great company is mostly online, and as such, I couldn’t find a link to request a catalog to be mailed. Not to worry, however, you can take a look at past and present catalogs at the website.

Shaker Seed Boxes. Photo by David Coldwell, courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons

Harris Seeds – This company has a number of versions of their catalogs – all available for free!  Whether you are wanting to grow fruits and vegetables, herbs, or ornamental plants, Harris Seeds is likely to have what you’re looking for.

High Mowing Organic Seeds Started a little over 20 years ago, this company just had a few varieties of seeds. Now their offerings include over 600 varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seeds. Based on a 40-acre small operation, few have a bigger heart than this one!

Johnny’s Selected Seeds – 100% Employee-Owned, Johnny’s has a long history of producing quality plants and seeds for vegetables, fruits and herbs for both the home gardener and those who grow commercially. The catalog is free and you get $5 off any purchase of $25 or more just for signing up!

Jung Seed – Founded in 1909 by John William “J.W.” Jung.  Like many during that same era, Jung wanted to make just enough money in order to support his family, and he saw selling seeds as a way he could do this. After more than a century of learning what to do and what not to do in the seed business, the Jung family business still survives today.  They’ve grown with the times, too. Jung’s seeds and plants are offered at many farm stores, nurseries and other retail locations and they have a substantial social media presence so they are easy to reach whenever you need to.

Kitazawa Seed Company – Established near the turn of the last century in 1917, Kitazawa Seed Company specializes in seeds used to grow vegetables used in Asian cooking.  Even after being forced to abandon the business in 1942 due to WWII internment of Japanese-American citizens, the company, thankfully was re-established though it had to move to a different location.  Some of the seeds that Kitazawa offers you are not likely to find from any other seed company.

Native Seeds SEARCH  –  This non-profit organization is based in Tuscon, Arizona and  was founded by Gary Nabhan and Mahina Drees.  Both of these individuals worked with tribal elders and the Meals for Millions project/  Their goal was to help the Tohono O’odham Nation establish gardens for a sustainable food source.  What the People of this Indigenous Nation were most looking for were the kind of seeds like those that their grandparents and ancestors used to grow. This group’s incredible work has ensured the preservation of more than 2,000 seed varieties indigenous to the Southwest. Many of these plants are considered endangered, so their commitment to biodiversity really has done a valuable service for Indigenous Peoples and for the planet.  There is a pull down link to download a PDF of their catalog. One note: if you use a VPN (virtual private network) for your connection, you won’t be able to access this site unless you turn it off.

The Online Greenhouse – For homesteaders who are seriously thinking about getting started in greenhouse or cold frames, this site has tons of resources to check out in addition to the free catalog that they offer.

Park Seed – Founded in founded in 1868 by George W. Park in Libonia, Pennsylvania when he was just 15 years old.  The company has been in business for 150 years. That makes them  not only one of the oldest, but they have become one of the largest and well known.  Mr. Park believed that gardening was a noble and spiritual pursuit and true to their founder’s beliefs, they offer exceptional customer service.  You can either browse their online catalog or request one be sent to you via mail.  Since it is their 150th anniversary this year, they have an offer of $1.50 available when you do place your order!

Pepper Joe’s – If you like hot and spicy food and if you love to make your own fresh salsa, Pepper Joe’s claims to have the hottest pepper seeds in the world!  They have a number of catalogs available on requeste and cater to both homesteaders and commercial growers.

Pine Tree Garden Seeds – You will be absolutely amazed at just how much Pine Tree Garden Seeds has to offer! Check out the drop down menu for herbs and you’ll see what I mean! Their catalog is free for the asking and should arrive in a few weeks. If you’re like me at all, however, you may  not be able to wait that long!

Vintage Seed Packets

Prairie Nursery –  Here in Iowa, replanting native grasses in the prairie is a big deal. Prairie Nursery specializes in offering grasses, shrubs, vines and woodland plants.  Founded in 1972 with an eye toward restoring much of the native plant species that we’ve lost, their mission continues.

R.H. Shumway Seeds – This company, located in Rockford, Illinois, is fairly local to my neck of the woods. They’ve been in business since 1870.  Shumway’s specialty is in all sorts of heirloom vegetable, flowers and farm seeds.  According to the website, much of what the latter were developed in the 1940’s and 50’s and were are some of the first hybrid varieties available to American farmers. Some of their vegetable varieties gpo all the way back to the turn of the early 1900’s.  Shumway’s free catalog definitely exudes this  “old-timey” vibe!  Be aware that they have a season for sending out catalogs. If that time has come and gone for you, you can still browse their catalog online (I LOVE the woodcut illustrations and the page-flip action is really super cool!)  Or you may pay $3.00 to have one mailed to you outside of their usual mailing period.

Raintree Nursery – This place has got just about anything you could possibly want in terms of herbs, ornamental plants, ground covers, fruits, vegetables nut and fruit trees, subtropicals, and even mushrooms!

Richter’s – As an herbalist,  I have loved doing business with this company for years!  If you are at all interested in herbs, this catalog is a must!  They pay attention to detail on every level and it shows in the text beside each plant variety that they offer. Whether you are looking for seeds or plants for your garden, Richter’s is a great resource.  Intially they started out as carrying mainly seeds and starter plants for herbs. They  have since expanded into areas which include vegetables, They carry all manner of herbs, spices, vegetables, and accessories that every homesteader or enthusiastic gardener is looking for. You can also purchase dried herbs, oils, and the like from the if you wish.

Seeds of Change – I have been seeing this company’s seed in my local natural food co-operative for a number of years.  Their website is colorful and engaging and not only do they offer seeds of what you can grow, there are a ton of recipes to try and instructional inforation as well. You can either browse their catalog online and place an order or request one be mailed to you.

Seed Savers – This is one of my personal favorites and they’ve been around for a long time.  Seed Savers boasts a membership of several thousand. This organization is a non-profit and their mission is to save and share seeds among the membership.  Their seed bank has over 20,000 seeds, many of which are heirloom.  Members have access to a network to allow them to exchange seeds amongst themselves. So if you are looking for that fabulous heirloom tomato like your grandparents used to grow, you just might be able to find it here!

Southern Exposure – Jeff McCormack and his wife founded the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange in from their own homestead way back in the 1970’s.  This co-operative has been at the forefront of the organic movement and has along with other organically minded folks gone on to sue Monsanto!  They offer a free catalog to be sent out to you, but you don’t have to wait; take a little time on the website and check out their mobile friendly flip book!  Spending time with this tech-friendly bit of gardening color is sure to brighten any gloomy winter day!

Sow True Seed – This seed company currently offers  a collection of over 500 varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds.  Among them are organic, heirloom and other small-farm varieties of seeds. Sow True encourages seed saving among its customers to encourage sustainability and plant diversity that is important yet often overlooked by other companies.

Stokes Seeds Boasting both a successful web business an a brick and mortar store, Stokes offers vegetable seeds and plants as well as both perennial and annual flowers.  Stokes offers a free catalog to residents of both the U.S. and Canada.  Canadians, you may also request your catalog en francais if you wish.  Stokes also have a presence on social media. Be sure to check out their company page on Facebook.

Sustainable Seed Company This company prides itself on providing rare heirloom seeds that are also organic. Currently they have a staggering 1,875 rare heirloom seed varieties and that number is increasing! Sustainable Seed Company also gives free shipping for any orders that are under 40lbs.  That can probably cover just about everyone in the Lower 48 States.

Territorial Seed Company – This company has been around for a few decades and have earned their dedicated following. They offer a free catalog for the asking. Their website is a treasure trove, so don’t feel guilty for taking the afternoon to explore!

Tomato Fest – If you are on a quest to find that perfect heirloom tomato, then you are going t absolutely love this company! Their catalog is an astounding 82 pages and features 600 varieties of just tomatoes!   You can request a catalog or download the PDF version. When you want to order, howerver, you will have to go through the Tomato Fest store.

Urban Farmer This company began in 2008 under the direction of farmer and gardening enthusiast, Noah Herron.  He found that because he would strictly use non-GMO and organic seeds, there was a real demand.  Their plant repetoire had now increased to hunderds of differentvarieties of herb, vegetable, and flower seeds.   Their ongoing philosophy as stated on their website is to “improve heirloom seeds through organic and natural farming methods. Not only do we want to preserve heirloom genetics we want to encourage and teach young and old the value of local farming and the benefits to the local community.”  I love that kind of outlook. Let’s  do our part and help Urban Farmer further their vision!

Vesey’s – This Canadian company has been around since the late 1940’s.  Vesey’s does business both in the U.S. and in Canada and offer vegetable and flower seeds, tools and accessories that any gardner might want or need.

Victory Seeds – This is a small company that is both family owned and operated.  They are committed to the perservation of heirloom plant varieties and have meticulously worked to docment those that they have located. Some of the seeds offered by Victory Seeds are rare and/or are open-pollinated.  If you are looking for non-hybridized, non-GMO seeds, Victory exercises fairly strict control over the quality of their seeds by growing them on their family farm or through their established network of growers who have similar policies.

Wayside Gardens –Founded by European gardners Jan Jacob Grullemans and Elmer Schultz in 1920,  Wayside Gardens have been providing beautiful flowers, fruits, bulbs and  trees for home gardeners across the country.  Their commitment to quality and superior service to their customers over the past 90 years are just some of the great reasons to check out the free catalog that they offer.

White Flower Farm  – A family owned business based in Connecticut that got its start back in 1950.  If you love flowers, be it hydrangeas, annuals, perrenials and the like, you are sure to find it at White Flower Farm.  These folks will guarantee that your plants are healthy and true to variety and will be in prime condition when they get to you at the optimum time to take advantage of the growing season in your region.

Wood Prairie Farm  –  Offering certified USDA Organic seeds of all types.  The educational section on their website  seems a little bit retro in its color scheme and layout, but don’t let that fool you. There is a whole lot of information to be had including some interesting reading about ongoing litigation against Monsanto. You can request a catalog to be mailed to you or download one from the website to your computer.

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. carolee says:

    Take a moment to check on-line reviews…not all of them are highly rated. I love Pinetree, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Parks, Baker Creek, Richter’s, Botanical Interests, High Mowing…and have never had a problem.

    1. fannyfae says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Carolee. My goal in this post was to offer up as exhaustive a list of seed catalogs as I could. Of course, I haven’t done business with all of them. I do rely on folks like yourself to give feedback. Is there a particular company that I have listed that you have had a problem with in the past? That kind of information is invaluable, especially from people with direct experience. Thanks again for any help you can give!

  2. Ann says:

    Hi! Thanks! I love Seed Savers Exchange. I’m wondering your opinion of a good perennial low growing herb for a zone 5 full sun between patio stones. (I have rupewort and corsica mint on the way)

    1. fannyfae says:

      Hi Ann!

      You know, I am going to have to consult with my son who has the horticulture degree from Iowa State to give you the best answer! Are you looking for a mint specifically? I knowthat Richters (richters.com) carries a Purple Carpet Lemon Thyme that grows close to the ground. We used to have a bit of Silver Wormwood and Yerba Buena in the past. Those are also available through Richters as well.

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