Seed catalogs

Seed catalogs are an incredible resource, full of information on all kinds of seeds. Not only can they help guide you in choosing which type of plant is best suited for your area, but they also provide detailed descriptions so that you know exactly what kind of results to expect from each variety.

Here are links to the top ten seed catalogs (from the top seed companies) in North America to order:

Read on to find out more about why seed catalogs are a great option, which companies have the best ones, and how to use them effectively!

High mowing catalog - carrot page with sunflower micros
This is my favorite free seed catalog, because it has such helpful photos and just the right details.

Introduction to seed catalogs

Seed catalogs are a great way for gardeners to find the perfect seeds for their needs. They provide detailed information about different types of seeds, including descriptions, pictures, and prices. This makes it easy to compare different varieties and choose the one that is best suited for your particular gardening project.

Many of the most popular and trusted seed companies in the USA offer a seed catalog. Almost all of them are free, either as a digital file download or a printed catalog that comes right to your mailbox.

When looking through seed catalogs, it’s important to consider factors such as climate zone, soil type, growing season length, and other environmental conditions in order to select the right type of seed. For example, if you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters then you may want to look for heat-tolerant varieties or those that can withstand frosty temperatures.

Baker creek whole seed catalog and seed packets

List of popular seed catalogs

Here are some seed companies that are known for their high-quality seed catalogs.

1. Baker Creek heirloom seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is well-known for its absolutely stunning and incredibly detailed seed catalog. It is just as much a visual treat as it is an informative gardening resource. Baker Creek’s seed catalog is the largest seed catalog in the world, routinely coming in at over 500 pages long.

Baker Creek’s seed catalog is available in three different formats:

  • Free 90+ page rare seed-only catalog (ships within the USA)
    • You can pay a small fee to get it shipped internationally
  • Paid 500+ page printed catalog (ships internationally)
  • Digital download catalog

The free printed and digital versions are great, but the big printed “Whole Seed Catalog” is completely worth paying for. It’s like a useful coffee table book in that it’s a joy to look at and simply to be around. You can also get their new smaller Rare Seed Catalog shipped.

High mowing organic seed catalog

2. High Mowing seeds

High Mowing’s seed catalog is my favorite free seed catalog. It has all the varieties I want without having to sort through too many cultivars. They include photos of what the mature plants look like, but also generally have photos of the plants in the field and even comparison photos between varieties.

The catalog is full of great information and is just as lovely as it is useful. And it’s always wonderful to order from High Mowing because all of their seeds are organic (not just a portion of them).

3. Burpee seeds

The Burpee Seed catalog is a well-known seed catalog that offers a wide variety of seeds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They have been in business since 1876 and offer organic and heirloom varieties as well as traditional hybrid varieties. Their selection includes over 500 vegetable varieties, 150 herb varieties, and 200 flower varieties. The website also has helpful gardening advice for beginners to experienced gardeners.

4. Gurney’s seeds

Gurney’s seed catalog is another must-have. With a wide variety of heirlooms and organic seeds, you’re sure to find something that fits your garden. Plus, their catalogs are full of helpful tips for growing and caring for plants. They also have a great selection of tools and supplies that can help make gardening easier. Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced gardener, Gurney’s has something for everyone.

5. Botanical Interests

Botanical Interests seed catalog is another lovely option. Like the website, it includes beautiful drawings of each cultivar, but the catalog also includes a few photos (which can be really nice to have). In addition, it includes valuable information like germination rates and days to maturity that can be extremely helpful when choosing what to plant in your garden. Botanical Interests is definitely worth checking out (and it’s now owned by Epic Gardening!! Yay!!!).

6. Eden Brothers

Eden Brothers is known for publishing multiple flower gardening catalogs each year. While the other catalogs on this list are available in print or digital, I’ve included Eden Brothers even though they only have digital now, simply because they are too good to miss! There’s an entire catalog on sunflowers, one on zinnias, and another on cosmos.

7. Territorial Seed Company

Territorial Seed Company’s catalog is great for finding unique plant hybrids specifically suited for different regions across North America. This company specializes in providing regionally adapted vegetable seeds that will thrive no matter where you live – from hot climates like Arizona all the way up north into Canada. On top of this, they also offer an extensive selection of flowers, herbs & fruits plus lots more gardening supplies too.

8. Fedco seed

Fedco’s seed catalog is a favorite for gardeners of all levels. They offer an extensive range of vegetable, herb, cover crop, and flower seed varieties that are adapted to the Northeast climate. Their unique selection includes many rare heirloom varieties as well as certified organic and untreated seeds. They also offer helpful planting guides and other information on their website, plus a wide selection of gardening tools and supplies.

9. Park seed

Park Seed’s catalog is another popular seed catalog offering a large selection of vegetable, herb, fruit, flower, and wildflower seeds. They are known for their high-quality products with many rare or hard-to-find items available in the catalogs each year. The website also provides helpful information on planting times by region so you can get your plants off to the best start possible.

Johnny's selected seeds catalog and some seed packs

10. Johnny’s Selected seeds

Johnny’s Selected Seeds is an employee-owned company based out of Maine that offers high-quality vegetable, herb, and flower seeds along with other supplies such as fertilizers and pest control products. They specialize in providing home gardeners with reliable information about how to grow successful gardens from seed starting through harvest time. In addition, they provide educational resources such as webinars on various topics related to growing healthy plants from seed.

11. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange’s catalog is always so beautiful. With its lovely old style of art and thoughtful details, it’s worth rush ordering it (there is a free option too). Also, the quality of their seed is top-notch. Definitely worth a look if you are looking to buy seeds!

12. West Coast seeds

West Coast Seeds catalog is likely the best Canadian seed company catalog. It has a wide selection of heirloom, organic, and open-pollinated varieties. It also offers seeds for vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, and cover crops. West Coast Seeds also provides helpful growing tips to get your garden off to the best start possible. I highly recommend this company (both the catalog and the website are so helpful).

13. Richter’s Herbs

Richter’s Herbs catalog is a must-have for any serious herb gardener. They carry over 300 varieties of herbs, including culinary and aromatic. The catalog is updated every year with new and exciting varieties. Richter’s Herbs also offers helpful advice on how to grow your own herbs and tips for using them in recipes. With an extensive selection and knowledgeable staff, Richter’s Herbs is the perfect resource for all your herb gardening needs. Get your copy of Richter’s Herbs catalog today and start growing your own herbs!

14. Annie’s Annuals

Annie’s Annuals & Perennials catalog is another fave. They have all sorts of unique and unusual plants that you won’t find in other catalogs. Many of the plants come with detailed growing instructions, and if you’re looking for something special to add to your garden, Annie’s is the place to go!

15. Seed Savers Exchange

Seed Savers Exchange’s catalog is another great one to order. They have over 6,000 varieties of vegetable and flower seeds as well as books on gardening, seed-starting supplies, and more. They also offer memberships with exclusive benefits such as discounts on seed orders and access to rare heirloom varieties. Their catalog is updated every year so you can stay up-to-date with the latest trends in gardening.

16. Harris seeds

The Harris Seed company offers several catalogs for gardeners and market growers. They have been in business for over a century and offer an extensive selection of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds. They also offer plant care products, growing supplies, soil amendments, and mulch. Their catalogs contain detailed information about each variety they sell, as well as specific instructions on how to grow them successfully. They also provide expert advice on planting times, spacing, and other gardening tips that can help you achieve a bountiful harvest.

17. Jung seeds

Jung’s seed catalog is an e-catalog that provides a wide selection of high-quality, top-of-the-line vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. Their knowledgeable team of seed experts is available to help customers find the best varieties for their gardening needs. The catalog offers helpful growing tips and advice on how to get the most out of your garden.

18. RH Shumways

RH Shumways catalog is a lovely old-school-style seed catalog. There are no photos – but instead, there are traditional sketches (the first pages are in color). The catalog dates back to 1927 and they are well known for their vegetables, flowers, and herbs. They also carry a wide selection of organic seeds, bulbs, tubers, and more. The catalog features helpful growing tips, planting advice, and much more. For those looking for something unique – this is the place!

19. Select seeds

Select Seeds offers a print catalog that is the perfect mix of beautiful yet detailed photographs along with just enough info (presented cleanly and simply). They have a great selection of heirloom and organic varieties. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for new veggies to try in their garden.

20. Sow True Seed

Sow True Seed is a smaller company with a lovely catalog. Their mission is to give gardeners access to quality organic and non-GMO seeds and plants. And their catalogs sure are beautiful!

Stack of gardening catalogs

Benefits of using a seed catalog

Using a seed catalog can be an invaluable tool for gardeners of all levels. It allows you to quickly and easily compare different types of seeds, helping you find the best quality at the lowest prices. Seed catalogs also provide helpful information about planting and growing tips for specific types of plants, so even if you’re not an expert gardener, you can still have success with your gardening projects.

For starters, seed catalogs offer a wide variety of options when it comes to selecting seeds. You can choose from hundreds or even thousands of varieties that are suited to your climate and soil type. This means that instead of relying on trial and error in the garden, you can make informed decisions based on what works best in your area.

Another benefit is that seed catalogs often include detailed descriptions about each variety they sell – including how long it takes for them to germinate and mature as well as any special care instructions needed for optimal growth. This helps ensure that whatever type of plant or flower you decide to grow will thrive in its new home.

Seed catalogs also help save time by allowing gardeners to order their supplies online without having to drive around town looking for stores carrying their desired products. And since most companies ship directly from their warehouses, there’s no need to worry about running out before spring arrives. Plus, many offer discounts when ordering multiple items at once – making it easier than ever before to stock up on everything necessary for successful gardening projects this season.

Finally, using a seed catalog gives gardeners access to rare varieties they may not be able to find elsewhere – such as heirloom tomatoes or exotic flowers like lilies-of-the-valley – giving them more creative freedom when designing their gardens. So whether starting a vegetable patch or creating an ornamental landscape design, investing in quality seeds through reputable sources is always worth considering.

Using a seed catalog is an easy and convenient way to find the right seeds for your garden. With this in mind, let’s look at how to choose the right seeds from a catalog.

Planning your garden in winter

How to choose the right seeds from a catalog?

Choosing the right seeds from a catalog can be overwhelming, especially for new gardeners. But with some research and careful consideration of your climate, soil type, and desired harvest time, you’ll be able to find the perfect seed variety for your needs.

First things first: consider what kind of plant you want to grow in your garden. Are you looking for vegetables or flowers? Do you prefer annuals or perennials? Knowing this information will help narrow down your search when browsing through seed catalogs.

Once you have an idea of what type of plants you’d like to grow, it’s important to take into account the climate where they will be grown. Different types of plants thrive in different climates so make sure that whatever seeds you choose are suited for yours. For example, if it gets cold where you live then look for varieties that are frost-tolerant or cold-hardy.

The next step is considering the soil type in which these plants will be growing. Different types of soils require different nutrients and pH levels so make sure that whatever seeds you choose are compatible with those conditions as well as any other environmental factors such as sunlight exposure and water availability.

Finally, think about when exactly do want these plants to reach maturity. Some varieties may take longer than others so if there is a specific date by which need them ready then factor this into your decision-making process too.

When all else fails, read reviews. Many seed companies post customer reviews on their websites so check out what other people have said about certain varieties before purchasing them yourself. Chances are they know more than we do and this way we can get an honest opinion from someone who has already tried out the product themselves instead of relying solely on our own judgement alone.

By understanding the types of seeds available, researching varieties, and selecting quality seed sources, you can make an informed decision when ordering from a catalog. Next, we’ll look at tips for successfully ordering seeds from a catalog.

Planning your garden in early spring by the fire

Tips for ordering seeds picked from a catalog

When ordering seeds from a catalog, it’s important to plan ahead. Ordering early ensures that the desired variety is still available when planting season arrives. The easiest way to order seeds is almost always through the company’s online shop, but some still have PDF order forms or mail-in forms available. Gardeners should double-check their orders before submitting them to make sure they are correct and complete.

Check for any special instructions or requirements for the particular seed variety you are ordering. Some varieties may require pre-treatment such as soaking in water prior to planting or may need special soil conditions in order to thrive. Be sure to read through all of the information provided with each seed packet carefully so that you know what needs to be done before planting your seeds.

Pay attention to shipping times and fees associated with your order as well as any additional costs such as handling charges or taxes which may apply depending on where you live. Many companies offer discounts if you purchase multiple packets of the same type of seed at once, so take advantage of these offers if possible.

Make sure that you have enough space in your garden for all of the plants that will result from your order – some types can grow quite large. If there isn’t enough room in one area, consider dividing up your order into smaller batches and growing them in different parts of your yard or garden beds instead. This way, everything will get plenty of sunlight and won’t overcrowd each other too much either.

Finally, don’t forget about proper storage after receiving your seeds. Keep them away from moisture and extreme temperatures until ready for use. Storing them properly will help ensure that they remain viable until needed for planting season next year as well.

Key takeaway

When ordering seeds from a catalog, plan ahead, double-check your order, read instructions and requirements for each variety, consider shipping times and fees, take advantage of discounts if available, have enough space in the garden to accommodate plants that will result from the order and store properly.

FAQs about seed catalogs

What is the best gardening catalog?

The Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalog is often considered the best seed catalog for home gardeners. It is by far the largest and has a lovely design. The drawback is the full printed version is paid. Great free printed catalogs include Renee’s Garden Seeds, Park Seed, Territorial Seed, Botanical Interests, Eden Brothers, and Hoss Seeds.

Where is the best place to buy plant seeds online?

For North American shoppers, some of the best options include Burpee, Park Seed Company, and Eden Brothers. All three companies have excellent selection and quality control standards to ensure you get the freshest possible product. They also provide helpful information on each seed type so you can make an informed decision when purchasing.

How do I get free seed packets?

There are several ways to get free seed packets. One way is to look for local gardening clubs or organizations that may offer free seeds. Many of these groups will also provide helpful advice and tips on how to best use the seeds. Additionally, some nurseries and garden centers may have promotions where they give away free seed packets with purchases or when signing up for a loyalty program. Finally, you can search online for companies offering promotional giveaways of their products; many times this includes seed packets as well. With a bit of research, it’s possible to find plenty of sources for free seeds.

Before you go…

With a wide variety of options available, you can easily find something that suits your needs and preferences. By taking the time to research different seed catalogs and choose the right ones for you, you can ensure that your gardening project will be successful. With these tips in mind, we hope that you have found this article helpful as you explore all of the possibilities with seed catalogs!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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