It’s that time of year again!

The time when I am glued to my comfortable leather chair in the library room paging through the three foot tall stack of seed catalogs and deciding which seeds I should plant this year.

Well, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I do have a sizable pile of seed catalogs to look through.

The decision can be daunting – reading all of the colorful descriptions and deciding on just one variety of each kind of vegetable or flower – but it can be done!

This year it is particularly important that I choose wisely, since I will most likely have a garden tour in June (still undecided on that).

I thought that since I am already so intent on pushing through with the rest of my seed orders, I may as well write a post explaining my process.

Here goes nothing!

It all started in late 2017, when I received the seed catalogs that I had requested from various seed companies (my five favorites are listed below). If you don’t feel like receiving catalogs, you can always just search their online store (most good seed companies have websites to accompany their catalogs). I prefer to order the catalog, since some seed companies provide pictures with every plant description. This helps me organize all of my thoughts and see all of my options on one page, versus scrolling though the options on the website. I can also highlight the varieties I like and come back later to narrow down the selections to the one or two that I will end up purchasing.

Once the first catalogs started to arrive, I immediately set to work browsing and using the pictures as a guide to what each flower and vegetable variety will look like.

From there it is mostly a matter of personal preference. Below are a few questions that could help you decide what is best for your garden:

What colors appeal to me?

Are there particular vegetables that I never eat and, therefore, should not waste money on?

Do I have the space for it?

What is my soil like (an important, but often overlooked question when ordering seeds)?

What will its purpose be?

Do I have a designated spot in mind?

There are an endless amount of questions like these I could ask to help me narrow down my selections to only the most necessary and/or interesting.

Once I select the right varieties (and hopefully don’t go too far over my original budget), all I have to do is order them via the website. Most catalogs still have mail-in order forms, but who wants to fill one of those out, pay to send it in, wait several days, and then have to wait an equally long time to get the seeds back?

I know I don’t.


My 5 Favorite Seed Companies:

Here are my five favorite seed companies that I order from on a regular basis:

Baker Creek Seeds- Great source of heirloom and non-GMO seeds. Huge selection!

Chiltern Seeds- This UK-based seed company ships worldwide. They carry many varieties that are hard to find in the US and provide large quantities of seed per packet.

Johnny's Selected Seeds- Good company for organic, modern vegetable varieties. Has an impressive selection of cut flower seed!

Prairie Moon Nursery- Fantastic source of native wildflower and grass seed. From my experience, the germination rates have always been above 90%.

Seed Savers Exchange- Another great source of heirloom, open-pollinated seed. They sustain one of the largest seed banks in the US - over 25,000 varieties and counting!


About Travis

Hi there! I'm Travis and have been gardening for over 10 years now at my home in Ruston, Louisiana. I currently run a garden consulting business and enjoy experimenting with new plants and techniques in my own garden. My goal is to help everyone by providing advice based on experience and enabling people to garden confidently. My greatest passion: connecting with the younger generations (including my own) and helping them see gardening for what it truly is.