Have you started receiving your seed catalogs yet? Mine have indeed begun arriving in my mailbox! I’ve set the pile aside during the holidays — I’ve been too busy cleaning, cooking, and entertaining to peruse them, but I look forward to when I have a chance to flip through the pages of delicious-looking produce.
When the catalogs start to arrive, it’s a sign that it’s time to start thinking about seed starting. Yes, even under a blanket of snow and frequent ice pellet showers, a gardener should have seed starting on the brain. But what if you already have everything set aside for seed starting — supplies and seeds alike. Do you really need to keep all those seed catalogs? What’s the point?
A lot of seed catalogs don’t solely contain listings for seeds. Many provide a wealth of growing information and advice that’s useful for beginner and intermediate gardeners. My favorite catalogs include region-specific seed starting and planting charts.
Have you successfully saved seeds throughout the seasons but lost your original seed packets? You may be able to find growing information inside a seed catalog. Many catalogs include helpful growing information for specific varieties of produce. Read the descriptions, and you might discover tips for individual plants that you never knew before — after all, not all seed packets are comprehensive. I’ve even ordered seeds that arrived in packets that contained zero planting and growing info. Thankfully, I always have a few seed catalogs on hand for easy reference.
There’s nothing quite like flipping through a gorgeous full-color seed catalog in the dead of winter. When everything is dead and covered in snow, browsing a large selection of seeds is enough to get your mouth-watering and give you the itch the garden again. It’s the perfect way to get yourself psyched for indoor seed starting.
Who doesn’t love free stuff? I pay nothing for the seed catalogs that arrive in the mail, and I sometimes feel like I’m stealing! I feel even luckier when the catalogs arrive with coupon codes attached. Some companies provide regular customers with discount codes and coupons, which are infinitely helpful when purchasing supplies in the spring.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.