The Best Free Seed Catalogs 2013

It’s once again seed catalog time!!!  Here is my list of must have seed catalogs. The best of the best free seed catalogs for 2013!  Furits,  Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers! —   These are the ones worthy of a print copy.  Great descriptions, fun new varieties to try, helpful tips, planting guides, and most importantly pretty pictures.

Happy New Year!!!


It is freezing cold here in the Mid West.  The snow that fell about three weeks ago is still on the ground, maybe I’ll get to see the grass again sometime in March…  There’s not much to do in the garden, well there’s nothing to do in the garden.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have gardening on my mind.  – It’s hard not to think about it when all the seed catalogs are starting to show up in my mailbox.

I tend to order seeds online, but I love getting seed catalogs in the mail.  Call me old fashioned but I still love flipping through pages.  I think it’s easier to compare different varieties in print rather than on a screen.

I like reading about different varieties, and being able to scan different harvest dates quickly.  Online variety selection is difficult and time consuming, because you have to click each variety to read the description.

The best free seed catalogs 2013

Burpee – The best place to start if you are new to gardening!  This catalog is jargon free, it’s easy to follow, and has a great selection of hybrid varieties of vegetable and flowers.  However, if heirlooms are your thing, they have some of those too.  If you don’t know a brassica from a nightshade, don’t worry.  Their descriptions are clear and the advice basic.

The Best Free Seed Catalogs from Companies that have taken the safe seed pledge – companies that will never knowingly sell GMO (genetically modified organism) seed.  The good guys!!!

Johnny’s Selected Seed – My favorite catalog of the year!  There’s something about the Johnny’s catalog that I find myself reaching for it every time I dream of springtime.   Johnny’s has everything a gardener could want: tools, flower seeds, herb seeds vegetables seeds too.  Their catalog is not really written for beginner gardeners, the lingo get technical, it’s more for small market growers… Which once you know the vocabulary is awesome because you’ll have access to gourmet vegetable varieties that are proven garden producers.

Seed Savers Exchange — First off as a Midwesterner I love that their trial garden is not too far away.  If it worked there it should work in my garden too.  Their catalog offerings are only a fraction of what is available to members in the yearbook. (I am not a member.)  They cater to Northern gardeners.  These are great pages to flip through if your growing season is under about  120-150 days.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange – Not to be confused with Seed Savers Exchange.  This catalog caters to gardeners in the south eastern part of the United States.  It is a great place to find what I think of as orphaned varieties.  They have heirloom seeds available that you won’t find other places like, potato onions, or heirloom cotton.  Some of their varieties are definite conversation starters.

Territorial Seed Company – This catalog is a great resource for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest.  The Territorial Seed’s trial farm is located in Oregon, where the growing season is short, but the days are long.  The catalog offers great options for quick harvests.  If you don’t have 120 days from transplant before the first bell pepper is ready, try some of these varieties.  These are the pages to flip.  As an added perk once you are done with the catalog, toss it into your compost heap, it’ll break down! (Or better yet—throw last year’s catalog in the heap and keep this one for reference.

Well there is my list of favorites… I like a seed company that will never sell GMO or  GMO contaminated seed… I also like a seed company that has a trial garden as close to me as possible… oh and pretty picture above all else.

Happy 2013 garden planning!

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