If garden maintenance got us through the pandemic, seed catalogs are sparks of hope, getting us through the long winter.
Even if you order online, these catalogs can inspire, inform and, yes, entertain. Just look at the illustrations in Fedco’s catalog, which includes a cantaloupe wearing a beret, a pizza-eating crab, clowns, fairies and an octopus vaccinating a cabbage.
Here are seven seed catalogs to consult in your hands or online.
This Lancaster County company has been shipping seed catalogs for over 100 years.
The 2022 lineup includes vintage cover crops like oats and clover. There’s also a new collection of containers with plants that don’t need a lot of space, including the award-winning hot pepper pot-a-peno, baby cauliflower, carrots the size of a golf ball and a ruby crush, a high yielding grape tomato.
Sprout more than just sunflower and kale microgreens with options like broccoli, beetroot and cilantro.
Pick up a catalog at the retail store, 2472 Old Philadelphia Pike. Download a digital version of the 2022 catalog online or order a copy by post. Rohrer Seeds is hosting two spring launch events at the store from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 26 and March 5 with a seed packaging demonstration and a seed starting demonstration as well as giveaways.
Heirloom Seed Project
The Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum 2022 Seeds continue the tradition of preserving heritage plants that have historical significance in the Dutch region of Pennsylvania. Preservation comes from expanding and planting seeds from this mainly vegetable collection. New this year, Anna Fry Kidney Beans. They join favorites like hinkelhatz pepper, Jenny Lind melon and Reiff ground cherry.
Find a catalog at lanc.news/LVSeed22 or call 717-733-2711. New this year, online ordering.
Another option is to find the seeds and seeds brochure in the museum. The site’s Herb and Garden Faire returns on May 6 and 7 after a pandemic hiatus. Plants grown from the seed bank will be sold at the event, at 2451 Kissel Hill Road.
Burpee was born on a farm in Doylestown, Bucks County, over a century ago.
The 2022 seed catalog contains heirloom iceberg lettuce which was introduced in 1894 and the world’s first yellow sweet corn (Golden Bantam), introduced by Burpee in 1902.
New crops this year include Everleaf Thai Towers (a Thai basil that grows 2-3 feet tall), SuperSauce paste tomato (a single 2-pound tomato will fill a jar of sauce), and sweet echinacea sandia ( with green and pink petals).
Order a catalog or view the digital version at burpee.com.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
At 244 pages, this Maine catalog is the biggest to appear in my mailbox. The 2022 catalog is full of variety. You can choose from 41 different basils and seven kinds of nasturtiums, for example. NL | LancasterOnline readers say they love the wide variety with detailed growing instructions.
New for 2022 are starstruck lettuce mix (a mix of young crisp leaves) and dreamy sunflower mix for more blooms over a longer period.
Order a catalog or view the digital version at johnnyseeds.com.
Online, Johnny’s website offers a grower library filled with tools like calculators for how much seed to buy, calendars for when to plant, and videos of past talks. (In “Tomatoes: 10 Unsung Heroes,” one of the speakers, Daniel Yoder, has roots in Lancaster County.)
Territorial seed company
Oregon-based Territorial was another reader favorite for LNP | LancasterOnline readers for variety of edible and ornamental seeds.
New this year are love-in-a-puff (a vine with white flowers and balloon seed pods) and Candy Cane Chocolate Cherry Pepper (a striped snack pepper). While many growers share container plants for small spaces, Territorial offers a new collection of kitchen counters. These peppers and tomatoes were picked to grow small and in dimmer light, like a windowsill.
Order a catalog or view the digital version at territorialseed.com.
Seed savers exchange
The heirlooms offered by this Iowa company come from a collection of over 20,000 seeds.
New introductions include Lorenzo Trussoni’s Safflower (a colorful flower with petals that can replace saffron), Miss Annie Pearl Counselman’s Cabbage and Bill Jump’s Soup Pea.
Bonus: Here you’ll find seed-saving supplies you didn’t know you needed, including bags and envelopes for saving seeds and acorn bags for hand-pollinating corn and sorghum.
This winter, Seed Savers launched a series of webinars on seed remastering in Indigenous communities. Seats for the free sessions went fast but the series is available on YouTube.
Order a catalog or view the digital version at seedsavers.org.
Fedco Seeds and Supplies
This Maine company has a black-and-white catalog with a ton of variety, plenty of exclamation points, and laugh-worthy illustrations. For example, the quarantine broccoli raab is pictured with two masked growers cradling their prized quarantine vegetable.
New this year are the Kaleidoscope Mix of Sweet Peas, Blonde Beauty Summer Squash (“trials show this squash is more fun!”) and Yukihikari Rice.
Order a catalog or download one from fedcoseeds.com.