Seed catalog time already!?!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I got the 2012 Pinetree Garden Seeds catalog Friday. Their's is always the first catalog of the season for me, but WOW, this feels so early to me. Guess I'll move my ritual of organizing, planning, and buying seeds over the Christmas holiday to the Thanksgiving holiday. Still, after this summer, I'm willing to look at anything with green plants. Even a catalog!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I just got mine yesterday and had the same reaction. It's always been a Christmas holiday ritual for me, too; maybe Pinetree just wants to get in ahead of the others. But I always wait until they're all in to see what's available from the different companies and compare price and descriptions before I make my final decisions. This does seem way premature, though. I still have to take down my tomato and bean poles!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I do like Pinetree, though. I'll see how many catalogs I get by Thanksgiving. Still, Christmas is easier for me, so I'm going to hang in for then.

New Port Richey, FL

I received Gurney's Sat. and Stokes yesterday. Anybody know of a good supplier for the south, especially Florida? I sure miss Kilgores.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

For tomatoes: Tomato Growers Supply?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Stock's here

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Got Pinetree. Usually I store the catalogs somewhere until the Christmas shopping is all done. Too tempting! I wish I knew someone I could Christmas shop for, FROM a seed catalog!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from flsusie :
I received Gurney's Sat. and Stokes yesterday. Anybody know of a good supplier for the south, especially Florida? I sure miss Kilgores.


Don't get me started.

I still get Gurney's and Stokes catalogs, and they go straight into the recycling bin. As do many of the other "standard" catalogs from New York, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other points mid-west and northeast, unless I save them for descriptions. They are marketing seeds mostly adapted to very different growing conditions than those faced by gardeners in the Deep South. All you can do is listen to people who grow down here, make lists of varieties that have done well, search the county extension sites of your state and surrounding states for best times to plant, and cherry-pick from some of the better "generalist" catalogs for your seeds. Actually, there are areas of the world that are much closer to us in growing conditions than anything north of Alabama. Parts of Southeast Asia, Southern China, India, Africa, and South America support varieties that are far better adapted here than what grows in Pennsylvania or Michigan or Iowa. Also keep an eye out for varieties from the Mediterranean area, but watch out for humidity/rainfall differences - plants that grow well there may succumb to the problems of our humidity, unpredictable temperatures and often poor sandy or heavy clay soils.

Some of the West Coast seed houses sell varieties that do well here if you allow for differences in the growing seasons and provided they can stand our heat. And one exception in the East is Johnny's (in, of all places, Waterville Maine), because of their generally high seed quality and descriptions; I find a lot of their spring/summer selections do well here in the winter!

I used to think Park Seed Co in South Carolina would be a good choice for the humid South, but they tend to go for the latest "shiny thing" - All America selections, glossy pictures and all that. I order more from Vegetable Seed Warehouse (http://www.seedsforthesouth.com), Kitazawa, Territorial, Southern Exposure (in Virginia, not really "Southern" the way we mean it), and Baker Creek than I do from all the Me Too companies. I also order from quite a few specialty seed "companies" - some with only a web page and a few varieties of seeds from the Caribbean or Italy, or suppliers of only pepper or tomato seeds like the Tomato Growers Supply Company.

I think the best approach (for me at least) has been to find a variety I want to try, then find a seed company that sells it.


-Rich

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

But how do you find a variety you want to try, without having seed catalogues to pique your curiosity? Although actually I suppose I often become intrigued by varieties based on comments online.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Rich - can you imagine gardening in South Florida before the internet? That's what I did for many, many years! I just had to rely on seeds purchased at local gardening centers. I purchased my first two computers for my business in the 90's. My first introduction to the internet made me wonder what it could possibly good for.

Now, of course, I couldn't live without the internet!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

When I first wanted a computer in the early 80's, DH wondered what I would possibly use it for. That one didn't even have access to the web or the internet because it wasn't there yet. I remember seeing Mosaic, the first web browser, for the first time. It was amazing!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from HoneybeeNC :
Rich - can you imagine gardening in South Florida before the internet? That's what I did for many, many years! I just had to rely on seeds purchased at local gardening centers.


Oh, believe me, I understand! We used to have a decent seed house in Atlanta called Hastings, IIRC. They went bankrupt, unfortunately, shortly after they expanded into all sorts of "home decor" items and "gift" crap that had nothing to do with their core business. Got greedy, I suppose...

I still get a little nauseous when I see a Northrup King display at a local store. What a waste of time and money.

-Rich

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

It never occurred to me to seek out seed companies who have seeds adapted to my growing conditions in Houston. What a novel idea!!!! duh....

Thanks for the tip!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Having recently moved to the South, I'm learning to find new seed sources. I love all the catalogs, and love to look through them all. Most, well, they end up in the restroom here at work--if you know what I mean. I've found I like the ones Rich mentioned as well as a few others. Willhite Seed is here in Texas. They give good advise if you call and ask which would be best for your area as well. They are not necessarily organic, but I'm trying to work with things that will succeed at this point. I'll fine tune my organic efforts once I get the veg garden established. www.willhiteseed.com

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Terri!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Don't get me wrong - I love browsing through some seed catalogs just to read about new offerings.

Thompson and Morgan is a perennial favorite, though I do really miss their old catalog. They used to combine English & North American instead of separating them, and the variety list was amazing. I guess they've had to cut back on things to remain in business, or had trouble getting some seeds into the USA without all sorts of expensive tests for diseases (which I do understand the need for...but still...).

-Rich

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, Thompson and Morgan used to be a favorite of mine as well. The catalog has changed, hasn't it. Even my non-gardening friends used to look through that one.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

The mention of Thompson and Morgan brought back memories of my childhood. I do believe this is the Company that my mother purchased our vegetable seed from. I went to their site and ordered a catalogue.

http://www.tmseeds.com/

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Just got my Dixondale Farms catalog! Already ordered...last year I waited and some of my order was already sold out. Doesn't really count as a seed catalog, but still.

I always ordered my nasturtium seeds from T&M as they always had something different from the rest of the seed companies. Nasturtiums seem to have caught on since I first started growing them because everyone seems to have a wide variety now.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from HoneybeeNC :
The mention of Thompson and Morgan brought back memories of my childhood. I do believe this is the Company that my mother purchased our vegetable seed from. I went to their site and ordered a catalogue.

http://www.tmseeds.com/


Try going to their British site at http://www.thompson-morgan.com. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of resources and dismayed by comparison with American sites - even their own, or maybe ESPECIALLY their own! For example, their English site page on Hardy Annuals has a sidebar that allows you to instantly pull up lists of seeds by Soil pH, Scented Flower, Caution (harmful/poisonous properties), Edible Flowers (99 listed!), etc. There is nothing comparable on their American site, or anyone else's that I've found.

-Rich

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Terri,
What're you planting?

My Dixondale long-season onion sampler is ready to go out beginning this weekend. I know I'm taking a calculated risk for growing long-season onions down here, but one or two of the UBERS explained that the longer they're in the ground (especially over the winter), the larger the bulb will be. I got a respectable showing for my first attempt this year with the short-day sampler, but, since they just breezed on through the coldest months we have here (Jan/Feb), I've decided to back up the train and start them 6 weeks earlier than I did this year. The sets were planted out on January 8th, my B'day, and harvested between July and August.

Since it was a scorcher in Texas, I had no hope of anything resembling a cool root cellar. So, I punched holes all over a large plastic bowl, stacked them carefully and put them in the garage on top of the clothes dryer. From August until last weekend, all but about 5 of the onions did fine. As I was reaching for one, I disturbed a cloud of fruit flies. So, with that, I carefully removed the non-infested onions, and chopped them up for the freezer. 5 got tossed. I planted a total of 120 sets.

Hugs!

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from terri_emory :
I always ordered my nasturtium seeds from T&M as they always had something different from the rest of the seed companies. Nasturtiums seem to have caught on since I first started growing them because everyone seems to have a wide variety now.


A perfect example of the difference between the UK T&M and the US T&M.
Their American catalog lists 20 distinct varieties of nasturtium. That sounds like a lot, until you look at their English catalog and count 32 varieties, not counting mixtures...

-Rich

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

rjogden, I'll have to look at the English version of T&M. Seem like we should be able to have the same offerings, but David Austin Roses is the same way. Look at the UK version of Austin's website and they have so many more offerings. In this case though, the greater variety for the UK has something to do with trademarks and registering the variety as "property" of DAR and licensing fees. Still, it doesn't seem fair! If I could get Fighting Temeraire and Cariad here I would be one happy little Austin Rose addict!

Gymgirl, I planted my onion starts on New Years Day this past season. It worked out really well and I got a very nice crop. It was my first year growing onions here in Texas. I'm right on the border for short-day and intermediate-day. So last year I ordered the variety sampler for both short- and intermediate-day. This time I ordered the ones that did the best this past season: 1015Y Texas Super Sweet, Hybrid Souther Belle Red, Red Torpedo Tropea, and Yellow Granex. I've already got some potato onions and some shallots planted out and up and growing. Dixondale says they won't be able to ship until Jan 9th, but that's OK. I've got some garlic to plant out so maybe I'll just do that on New Year's Day. If I can hold out for that long!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Terri,
Did you go with the fertilizer from Dixondale? Just wondering, 'cause most of what I've read says they love phosphorous. I mixed Bone Meal into the potting mix (EBs) and scratched some into the topsoil once a week, once they were established.

Wondering if this was enough. The EBs did the lion's share in the beginning, keeping them hydrated round the clock for me! Toward the end, I was filling the EBs up almost every day! Thirsty 'lil boogers!

Linda

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm tempted, but haven't bought it yet. I might start a new thread on fertilizing onions....

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from Gymgirl :
Terri,
Did you go with the fertilizer from Dixondale? Just wondering, 'cause most of what I've read says they love phosphorous. I mixed Bone Meal into the potting mix (EBs) and scratched some into the topsoil once a week, once they were established.

Wondering if this was enough.


Bear in mind that what make bonemeal such a wonderful organic fertilizer is the same thing that limits it's use as a seasonal application - it tends to be very slow to break down and release it's phosphorus. Bone is tough stuff.

-Rich

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

Got the Pinetree catalogue yesterday, as well. I've never ordered from them, but they keep sending me catalogues anyway. I try really hard to "not peek" at my seed catalogues until after the first of the year, when I really am needing a "fix" of something gardening-related. Why do them keep sending them earlier and earlier? I'm afraid I'm going to weaken LOL

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL ~ I've already received a Pinetree order... much less the catalogue. Open that buddy up, Mom!!!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Rich - I was born and raised in the United Kingdom, so the seeds my mom purchased in the 1950's and 1960's was from Thompson and Morgan. I emigrated to the United States in the mid-60's.

You are correct, their UK site is much better, but this could be because there is a greater interest in home gardening in the UK than there is in the USA.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

It's hard to imagine that there'd be greater interest - seed companies have been selling out of their stock early the past few years! But never having been to England, maybe that's true.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

I have gotten Stokes [best for broccoli], Twilly, Pinetree, and Gurney's.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

What does Twillly have? I've never heard of them.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

GymGirl-Do you mean long day onions? Ive never heard of long season onions, but then I dont grow a lot off onions.

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

greenhouse gal,

Twilley's has a full line of seeds. they major in growers like market gardeners and larger planters, but have small sizes of seed too. They are in S. Carolina.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Indy. I wondered whether they had any particular specializations, but I can always check their website, assuming they have one.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Yes they do. I've never ordered from them because I've always viewed them as leaning toward varities for the South.
www.twilleyseed.com/

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Southern varieties might work for me - we're south of the Mason Dixon line if it had continued eastwards - but I also prefer open-pollinated or heirloom varieties so I look for seed catalogues with generous offerings of those types.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from Doug9345 :
I've never ordered from them because I've always viewed them as leaning toward varities for the South.
www.twilleyseed.com/


One of my litmus tests for whether a seed company "leans South" is to check their bulbing onion offerings. What we grow deep down here are short-day varieties, and there are quite a number of them around now but you still have to hunt them down. Twilleys offers only three, all F1 hybrids. OTOH they offer seven long day types (including the Spanish onions), and the shallots on the same page are long-day as well.

Frankly, I'm also less than enchanted with their ordering system - they're stuck in the 80's. I actually prefer direct ordering over the internet because I have an instant physical record of what I ordered and when, and I don't have to be concerned about being misunderstood over a bad phone connection, or give out my credit card numbers over an open line. (I use "virtual card" numbers, one-time-use numbers offered by online services like Discovercard and Citi Mastercard backed by their security guarantees, and I never have to worry about someone hacking into a small retailers' records).

-Rich

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from greenhouse_gal :
It's hard to imagine that there'd be greater interest - seed companies have been selling out of their stock early the past few years! But never having been to England, maybe that's true.


I've never been there either, but growing up I remember all the references to the "typical English cottage garden" in all the old "cyclopaedias", along with early color prints showing wild profusion of perennial and annual beds covering what in the US would have more likely been a bare expanse of sterile lawn from curb to foundation. I have heard it is no longer that way, though I know they still

I deeply regret tossing my old T&M catalogs over the course of several changes of address, thinking that there would of course be another one "next year" - until one year, what came instead was a generic "American-style" catalog twice the size and with maybe a quarter of the varieties.

-Rich

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Sorry, I hit "send" to quickly.

I've never been there [to England] either, but growing up I remember all the references to the "typical English cottage garden" in all the old "cyclopaedias", along with early color prints showing wild profusion of perennial and annual beds covering what in the US would have more likely been a bare expanse of sterile lawn from curb to foundation. I have heard it is no longer that way, though I've heard they still host annual flower shows that are world-famous and well-attended.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP