The holidays are over and the New Year’s Day spirit is slowly waning. You realize it’s January and you have at least two to three more months of life in a frozen tundra. Time to order free garden catalogs!
If you aren’t already on mailing lists for free garden catalogs, January is my favorite time to request copies via mail. Sometimes if you are on the list you may fall off if you don’t place an order within a specific time frame. If that happens simply contact the company again to request a seed catalog.
After receiving my gardening catalogs, I take my time looking over the catalogs and start planning what organic seeds I will purchase, and any other garden supplies I will order. Typically I prefer organic seeds for any edibles such as vegetables and herbs. For flowers or other ornamentals the type of seed is less important to me.
Free Garden Catalogs
How to Request Free Garden Catalogs
Requesting and receiving free garden catalogs is an easy process. Simply visit the company’s website to order a free garden catalog. Usually there is a button to click, followed by a form you fill out to make the request. Usually this is located on the website home page, or if not, check the footer of the website.
If you are unable to find a form to request a catalog then I would suggest you find the area on the website where you can contact the company. Fill out the contact form telling them you would like to be sent a printed catalog. Be sure to include your full mailing address when you fill out the form. From herb seeds, to flower seeds, to organic seeds, to bare-root trees – here are the catalogs I recommend you check out.
How to Use Free Garden Catalogs
Feel free to highlight your free garden catalogs, take notes in them, dog ear pages – whatever works to inspire you and help you plan your garden. Personally I like to highlight seeds and plants I may buy, then make a list in a separate notebook prior to finalizing my order.
I have the Moleskine Gardening Journal, which I use to keep track of my garden from year-to-year. I am practicing organic gardening and lawn care practices, so when possible, I purchase organic seeds. Organic plants are important to me because I am mostly planting an edible garden and landscape.
Secondly even for the plants I do not eat outright, I may be harvesting parts for teas and DIY beauty recipes, for which I want the most natural sources possible. The other variety of interest to me – heirloom plants.
Free Garden Catalogs
Here are some companies that offer free garden catalogs. There are surely other companies that also offer catalogs, but these are just a few I know of to get you started.
- Botanical Interests: This is my favorite seed company. Not only are the seed packets colorful and informative, the company offers many organic and heirloom seeds. I prefer organic seeds for all of my vegetable seeds, when possible.
- Burpee Seeds and Plants: I have not ordered this catalog myself yet but probably should. I have purchased their vegetable seeds locally from big box stores and I noticed Burpee has started to offer more in the way of organic and non-GMO seeds. I have also purchased their herb seeds.
- Stark Brothers: I found it challenging to find any dwarf fruit trees locally. This is the company I used to order my dwarf apple and dwarf pear trees. I also ordered a few berry bushes from them.
- Trees of Antiquity: If you are looking for the variety of tree your great-grandparents ate apples of of, this is where you find it. This company specializes in bare-root heirloom trees. They also offer bundle specials if you want to purchase multiple trees at once.
- Heirloom Roses: Last summer, when I was volunteering with the Master Gardener program, someone asked me how they could find English roses. I am not aware of any local vendors. I found mine through Heirloom Roses. Please Note: Unfortunately, as of 2017 Heirloom Roses has stopped offering a printed catalog. Plant selection can be viewed online.
- Edmunds’ Roses: This is another company that allows you to purchase roses through their free garden catalogs. From miniature roses, to shrub roses and climbing roses, they have them all.
Look Beyond Free Garden Catalogs
Two of my favorite local greenhouses are Petitti Garden Center and Cahoon Nursery. I have also found some great deals on seeds and starter plants at Lowe’s and Big Lots. Lastly I’ve utilized some of the regional plant sales to find plants that others are willing to share.
But there are still some plants on my dream list that I have not found locally or want a very specific variety of. I can’t wait to dig into the pages in these mail order plant and seed catalogs little more. I’ll utilize the seed catalog to select any herbs or vegetable plants on my “to grow” list.
Consider Ordering Plants & Trees
When you buy mail order plants they deliver them based on your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone and ship according to when you can actually plant. If you order during the winter season you can usually receive a discount on your plant order for thinking ahead too. I have pre-ordered plants in this fashion before including rose bushes, dwarf fruit trees and even a Meyer Lemon Tree.
Next Steps After Planning the Garden
Now onto the fun stuff. What new plants will I be growing? This year I am interested in trying sweet potatoes, miniature pumpkins and corn and Roma tomatoes. I also want to successfully grow carrots. After I order seeds I start my garden early with mini greenhouses.
In the past I have also used some seeds that were left over from the previous year with mild success. It is best to buy new seeds each year, or save them properly from the year before. Again, keeping things pretty simple for this year for our garden with a focus on maintenance. I will direct sow all of those seeds I started in the greenhouses outside, once it’s a bit warmer out.
I hope this list of free garden catalogs helps inspire you in planning your garden this year. While it still may be too early to plant, it’s never too early to plan.
Are you planting a garden this year? What new plants you are trying?
*This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.