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Johnny's - A Great Seed Source For Your Garden

So, the holidays are just about over. The house is undecorated. It seems like time to settle in with all the seed catalogs that have arrived, buried in the holiday catalogs, over the last few weeks. It’s a small stack so far – only nine have arrived at the house. At my work, I have already placed orders for and received thousands of seeds for annuals, perennials, grasses and cut flowers, having taken advantage of some down time in September. But that order is completely different from the seed orders I place for growing stuff at home.  Home growing for me requires packets of between ten and 100 seeds of a variety.  Placing orders for production at Bartlett’s usually requires orders in the range of 1000 to 100,000 seeds per variety, and hundreds of varieties. At home, we grow only a few different things, often experimental. My 2012 garden held ‘Hawaiian Currant’ tomatoes, Habanero peppers, and an experimental cucumber that grew up a fence, giving us a cucumber a day for at least 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, it was a freebie, and I lost the seed packet, so I have no idea what it was.  Oh well. We juiced a lot of cucumbers with the baby greens we grew and it was a success.

This year’s vegetable garden will need some re-vamping, and an increase in size.  And I think we are going to move it in order to put in some kind of patio.  In other words, a complete re-do.  Along with a new fence. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  We’re talking about seed catalogs here.

For vegetable gardeners in New England, one of the best choices in seed houses is Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow, Maine. They’ve been in business for 40 years, and they specialize in varieties that are chosen specifically for the New England climate.  As of 2013, they are also 100% employee owned and operated. They offer a wide variety of organic seeds, and non-treated seeds. None of their seeds are GMOs. Johnny’s offers just about every vegetable you would want to grow.  There are more than 50 varieties of lettuces with beautiful photos of nearly all of them. Nearly 90 varieties of tomatoes with great descriptions should give enough variation for anyone’s garden! Johnny’s is geared towards the commercial grower, but they offer many of their seed packets in batches of 15 or so.  Towards the back of the catalog is the ‘tools and supplies’ section, offering helpful tools for every gardening task, whether you have a 25 square foot garden or a something altogether much larger.  They are also very helpful on the phone.  This can’t be said for a few other companies I’ve dealt with recently, but I’ve only ever had good customer service experience with Johnny’s. 

I would encourage you to look locally for seeds for your garden, but if you are interested in more variety than you can find locally, you can get a free catalog at The catalog can give you an education with tips for germinating, growing and harvesting vegetables and flowers. And it makes good winter reading.