Catalog season

Seed catalogs

As pure, abstract small farming pleasure, for me so far, catalog season can’t be beat. This year’s catalogs started arriving two or three weeks ago. The first from one of my main seed suppliers has been here only a couple of days, and I’ve started flipping pages and poring over tiny type. What’s all the fun about? Simple. It’s the clean slate, the chance to START OVER, with the little edge of knowing what you know now, after another way less than PERFECT but oh so educational growing season. EVERYTHING is more than possible…next year! I’m picturing—visualizing!—a two-month continuous harvest of succulent MELONS, plump, super-early hybrids followed by exotic long-season heirlooms. Never mind that, between water issues, cucumber beetles and roller coaster temperatures, the melon crop here has never been too fine. That’ll change. Melons, and all manner of crisp, mild salad greens right through the summer heat, parsnip without endless hours of tedious, fingertip weeding while waiting for germination, plentiful red and orange and yellow and chocolaty brown peppers well before first frost (several varieties of eggplant, too!),… Wow, it’s almost unbelievable!! Especially with the pristine new CUT FLOWER GARDEN. And it all starts with the catalogs! I realize this is an odd sort of consumer world pleasure, and most of this is about hybrid seed that HAS to be bought every year. Still, I can imagine it as SIMPLE, and it’s great fun, until I get around to seed saving… ;)

7 thoughts on “Catalog season”

  1. I could not have said it better. I read seed catalogs the way some folks read a novel, or eat a gourmet meal. By germination time they are dog eared;I love reading them. And where is my Fedco!!! Still waiting on that one.

    Happy Dreaming-Julie

  2. Even here where it’s summer, it’s time to hibernate inside during the day with the catalogues and gardening magazines, Though for us it’s because it’s too damn hot to be outside for most of the day.

  3. Finally found some time to get back to your blog–looks like you’ve got a head start on planning! We are in the midst of our seed order and I am searching for a good orange or yellow bell pepper. Last year, we trialed Saigon from High Mowing Seeds which was awesome–outperforming even our best red bell. However, they are not offering that seed again and I can’t find it elsewhere. Do you or any readers have any thoughts?

    I’ve tried Johnny’s Labrador, Seed Savers’ Orange Bell, Cal Wonder Yellow/Orange…none too impressive.

  4. Hey laura, I don’t have fantastic results with peppers, probably because they get less water than other crops and we’ve had long dry spells these recent years. So, with that in mind, I did relatively well with Orange Sun, a green-to-orange bell pepper (75-80 days). I did really well with Blushing Beauty that’s light yellow-to-red bell (72 days), and with Gypsy, it’s a tapered pepper that’s…yellow (65 days). They’re all hybrids. You can get them all from Veseys. I dunno what your standards are for pepper productivity, or how much you grow, I grow one to two beds of each variety (65 or 130 plants), peppers aren’t a big crop so far, so I’m not that critical. Also, worth a look, Cornell U. has an online veggie varieties database where gardeners list, review and vote, I’ve looked through it, but most of the seed is US, and I’m leery about cross-border ordering (irradiation?)… Hope that helps!


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