Monday, February 07, 2011

Seed Catalogs

While preparing my posts to review last year's growing season, I've been planning for this year as well. The catalogs have been coming in since December, and they always put me in a good mood reading/daydreaming about the new varieties I'd like to try. Although I have been doing review posts for websites and products that I like in the past year or so, my assessments are always brutally honest. So here are my current thoughts on seed catalogs, completely unsolicited.

This first group are my current all-around favorites for lowest prices combined with best selection of Heirloom and unusual varieties. Very few seed packets are listed in these catalogs for over $3, some are even less than one dollar!

 This group are also reasonably priced at mostly less than $4 per packet, and also have a wide variety of Heirloom and hard-to-find seeds. Johnny's has a fine selection of flower seeds, as well as equipment and supplies for an all-out nursery operation (in case your hobby gets out of control :)
 This last group have the same reasonable price ranges at most for under $4, as well as specialty varieties.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy perusing the main stream vendors like Park Seed, Jung, Gurney's, and Burpee/Cook's Garden. But I've noticed a real spike in prices (at Burpee/Cook's especially), and I find myself gravitating more toward old-school Heirloom varieties with all the scary GMO seed talk out there. One last price consideration is packet size-some list by weight, some by number of seeds. But when you see a price of $4.25 for a packet of 15 seeds, it doesn't take long for the eyes to wander...toward a better deal!


meemsnyc said...

I've been buying from small family run seed companies that specialize in organic and heirloom varieties. I do from time to time buy from Burpee and Gurneys when I can't find the obscure stuff. Thanks for the first grouping you listed, I'll have to look into those.

lisa said...

I've found lots of really cool seed companies just by doing a general search for one specific variety, or a catagory like "short season tomatoes". It's great to have so many options!

Anonymous said...

I get most of my stuff from Seed Savers Exchange or from a local co. called Wilhite that specializes in southern seeds.
I do use Burpee once in awhile.
I've got all my stuff ordered for this spring, now if the weather would just cooperate...

lisa said...

You sure are getting slammed this winter! Time to put up that greenhouse, eh? ;-)