You are probably starting to get overloaded with seed catalogs from all the companies you’ve purchased from in the past, and companies hoping that you might want to purchase from them in the future. There are few things that you can use these seed catalogs for that you might not have thought of!

Research and Shopping

You might have your garden favorites that you plant every year, and purchase from the same seller year in and year out. These seed catalogs can open up a new world for your garden. You might see that there are some other varieties that you might like to try next year. Plus, there is the added bonus of getting to compare prices. Every seed companies have their own pricing for very similar plants, and it might be cost-effective to shop around. Plus, these catalogs often come with coupons for early ordering or making a minimum purchase that can be worth your while to try out.

Planning

You can also use the pictures of the plants you have purchased or want to purchase as part of a planogram for your garden. Planograms are used by retailers to determine where their stock is going to be located, and gardeners can certainly adopt this for their garden planning. This is best done with a nice-sized piece of cardboard and even some graph paper. Draw the outline of your garden, and create a size scale. Then, you can cut out the pictures and information from the catalog of the plants you want to order. The information on the individual plants can be used to determine spacing. This will allow you to plan out your garden for next year, so you don’t over order supplies. After you have finalized your plan, glue everything down to the cardboard for later reference on what goes where.

Stakes

Many seed catalogs have high-quality pictures of their offerings along with information on the plant from germination times to how many days it takes for the plant to mature. These are perfect for making gardening stakes to show what you have planted where. Attach the little blurb and picture to a wooden or metal stake, and you have a clear and easy guide to the plant that will grow. A little lamination can help protect it from the elements, and is relatively inexpensive from your local office supply store. You may be able to use these for several seasons depending on the materials used and how they weather your seasons.

Seed Envelopes

At the end of a good growing season, you may harvest some seeds from the plants that did the best. You can make lovely seed envelopes to store these seeds in. Folding the paper into an envelope is a charming touch, especially if you like to give away some of your excess seeds to friends and family. Just be sure to note what you put into each seed envelope or you might have mystery seeds to plant in the coming season.

Shredding

Paper shreddings can be useful for a number of purposes, and using your catalogs can make these shreddings colorful and festive. These may be great for adding a little bedding to your hamster’s cage, protecting a gift in a gift bag, or packing up an item you sold on eBay.

Decorations

You can make a few different decorations from old seed catalogs. For instance, you can make paper chains that can be used to decorate your next year’s Christmas tree or be hung around your home to cheer on spring. You can use the images for decoupage to create coasters or decorate a storage box that you use for seeds. Spice up an old table or your gardening workbench by using polyurethane over some lovely catalog pictures. Create a garden journal that you decorate with pictures and instructions from the catalogs.

Paper Folding

Origami is a fun hobby, and might just help to take away the winter blues. Try your hand at paper folding and see what beautiful shapes you can make. Your local library will more than likely have books available on the topic to get you started.

Party Ideas

The winter months can seem to drag on forever for a gardener. You might want to host a cabin fever party, and you can use your seed catalogs as decorations and gifts. For instance, you might want to make stickers or magnets out of the pictures to pass out to your guests. You can also make invitations, place cards, placemats and other party supplies out of them. You can even use these pages to wrap presents.

Pass Them On

There may be other groups in the community that might benefit from the seed catalogs you aren’t planning on using yourself. Your local school might find that these are great for in the classroom since they can be educational. Nursing homes and other places might also benefit from a donation.

No matter what you end up doing with your abundance of seed catalogs, you know that their arrival means that a new gardening season will be coming. Try to be as creative as possible with them while you while away the rest of your winter waiting for the snows and frosts to go, and spring warmth and the sun to come for another season.