With the Christmas holiday and New Year out of the way now is the time to pick up those seed catalogs that you discarded earlier and settle down to some serious planning. If you are like me you will end up ordering far too many seed packets, but they are (mostly) cheap so why worry. In case you have not yet received any catalogs here is a list of twelve seed companies which has been prepared by Penn State Extension.

Seed catalogs used to arrive during the long gray days of January, their glossy pictures promising gorgeous blooms and bigger and better vegetables.
Now the catalogs start filling the mailbox in November and December. We might have a moment to admire the cover, or look at the first few pages to see what?s new, but most often they get tossed on a pile to await closer inspection until after the new year.
There are so many seed companies vying for your hard-earned money. How to choose among them? Twelve of today?s finest seed vendors are profiled below, in terms of choice of seeds offered, reputation for quality and service, and additional attributes, such as information provided, gardening supplies offered, and heirloom, organic, or non-genetically modified seed products sold. Website addresses and phone number are provided for each so you can view their online catalog or contact them to obtain a print catalog (if they have one).

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Started by the proprietor when he was 17 years old, Baker Creek offers an astonishing array of heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds for tomatoes, lettuces and greens, melons, squash, and many other vegetables, as well as flowers. If you are looking for new and unusual varieties to try, this is your seed vendor. Beautiful catalog with large color photos of plants and produce. Phone: 417-924-8887.

Harris Seeds

Harris Seeds has been around since 1879 and they serve home gardeners as well as professional growers. In addition to a wide variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, many of which they trial and develop, Harris offers transplants and gardening supplies. The featured product on their website is Worm Power, a certified organic fertilizer produced by earthworms. Phone: 800-544-7938.

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

For more than 100 years, this company has specialized in edibles–vegetables, lettuces, herbs, garlic–and also offers many flower seeds. Their catalog and website are beautifully illustrated with colored drawings and provide a great amount of horticultural information and recipes. Phone: 860-567-6086.

See more at Penn State Extension
Image source: Swallowtail Garden Seeds