Are you getting tired of the dreary, long, cold, snowy winter? Then it’s time to break out the seed and plant catalogs and start planning your spring garden.
Nothing helps to while away to winter blues quite like the bright and vibrant colors of a beautiful seed catalog.
The best part is, you can get them for free.
Order a bunch of seed catalogs so you can compare hundreds of varieties of each crop, that way you know you’re getting the best plants for your future garden.
We’ve been ordering seeds from seed catalogs for many years, and we’ve definitely acquired a few favorite companies over the years.
Today we’re sharing our top seed companies and how to get their brochure, as well as some tips for ordering seeds.
Top 4 Free Seed & Plant Catalogs
Why choose Baker Creek for your seeds?
There’s no denying it, Baker Creek’s catalog is beautiful and is hands down the most fun one to flip through. Their photographs are often humorous and always interesting as they feature real life farmers and their families posing with the crops.
This catalog also features heirloom, non-GMO seeds, so you can be sure you’re growing sustainable and good-for-you crops.
Baker Creek offers free shipping to every order in North America. This is a rarity among seed companies, and one reason we keep going back to Baker Creek again and again.
Satisfaction guaranteed for 2 years
When you order from Baker Creek your seeds are guaranteed to germinate. There’s no fear of having failed crops with this company.
The Rare Seeds Youtube channel
Baker Creek’s new Youtube channel is chock full of planting tips, information about heirloom seed histories, and recipes for how to cook with your crops!
Why choose Johnnys for your seeds?
Johnnys is a top choice if you’re the type to do a lot of research into every crop you grow. This company goes above and beyond to provide you with lots of information about every plant, as well as tips for how to grow them.
Johnny’s is committed to your growing success, and they prove it with helpful growing guides interspersed in their catalog. These guides will tell you how to plant, when to plant, and how much to plant, taking the guesswork out of your seed starting journey.
Johnny’s is the best catalog for those people who love to nerd out on things like ph ranges, planting depth, and soil temperatures for each plant they grow. Knowledge is power!
It’s not just for seeds!
Johnny’s is a great catalog for seed shopping, but that’s not all they offer.
This catalog is also chock full of gardening supplies, seed starting implements, watering supplies, and hand tools. You can find pretty much everything you need to get started on your vegetable garden, right here in one catalog.
Don’t miss Johnny’s online shop for seeds. There are over 200 vegetable varieties that are available online only.
Johnny’s offers free shipping to all orders over $200. While this deal isn’t quite as impressive as Baker Creek’s, you may be surprised how easy it is to spend $200 on getting your garden started this year.
Why choose Gurney’s for your seeds?
Gurney’s has been selling seeds since 1866, and their products really stand the test of time.
While their seed catalog is not the prettiest one around, what it lacks in style it makes up for in substance. Gurney’s only features the best crops in their catalog, and their prices can’t be beat.
Gurney’s frequently offers amazing coupons to their customers, which means shopping through them can save you some big bucks. They currently have a deal going where you can get half off your order if you spend $50 or more in their shop!
No risk guarantee
If you’re not satisfied with your order for any reason, Gurney’s will replace it or provide a credit for the full amount. These guarantees are not common, which means this company really stands behind their seeds.
GMO free seeds
Gurney’s has taken the safe seed pledge, meaning they do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. If going GMO free is important to you, you can’t go wrong with this company!
Gurney’s has selected their top performing crops with the best flavor and marked them all, so you can shop easily and quickly while knowing your selections will be successful.
Why choose Burpee for your seeds?
Burpee has been helping gardeners grow for 144 years. It’s easy to put your trust into a company with that much lasting power.
Burpee has an enormous selection of seeds, if you want it, they’ve probably got it.
They’re not just for seeds
Burpee is not only a great place to buy high quality seeds, they also offer seedlings, fruit trees, and tons of gardening supplies.
Free shipping over $60
Burpee offers free shipping on any order over $60. With everything Burpee has to offer, it would be hard to spend less.
Their website is a wealth of knowledge
While the seed catalog from Burpee is a great place to start, their website is top notch, and full of great information for the aspiring gardener.
The site has tools, resources, and articles to help you choose the right seeds for your location and needs. It’s definitely worth a visit before you place your order.
Other seed companies that offer free seed catalogs
If you’re looking for specific crop varieties, or just want to have a lot of choice, why not order a whole stack of catalogs?
Digging through them is the perfect way to spend a cold winter’s day.
Top tips for ordering seeds:
Be practical – order what you eat!
One of the biggest mistakes we made when we first started gardening was ordering hundreds, nay, thousands of seeds for fruits and veggies that looked beautiful, fun, and interesting in the catalog, only to find they were not something we’d ever eat.
We still have those seeds all these years later!
Seed catalogs are notorious for tempting you with interesting hybrid plants. They’ll tempt you with cucumbers that taste like lemons, purple potatoes, and corn that looks like gems.
Don’t be fooled though, if those aren’t foods that you would actually eat, there’s no sense in ordering those seeds!
Only order seeds that will grow in your region
Before you even open up the seed catalog, look up your location on a plant hardiness zone map.
Finding out your growing zone will be the guiding light to help you make decisions about what seeds to order. If you live in a region that has very short summers, you simply won’t be able to grow crops that need 100+ days of full summer sun.
Know your grow zone and stick to it absolutely when you’re choosing which crops to grow.
Plan out your garden first
I know it’s fun to flip through seed catalogs, order everything that looks fun and delicious, and then worry about planting later, but I know from experience this route will only lead to frustration!
Take the time to completely map out your garden before you order any seeds.
Measure the exact size of your plot, map out the sunlight, and get the soil tested if you can. Knowing exactly what you’re working with will have a big impact on what types of crops, and how many, you can grow!
Keep an eye on the time
If you have your heart set on getting certain types of seeds or plants, it’s best to order early or check with your seed company often to see when they’ll be in stock.
Some crops are only on sale for a few weeks out of the year, and others sell out quickly. It’s best to stay ahead of the game so you can get exactly what you want.
Buy extra seeds
When we’re ordering seeds, we always get more than we think we’ll need. There are many reasons to get extra seeds. For starters, not every seed you buy will actually germinate, so having some extras gives you a better chance at a bountiful garden.
Secondly, some crops, like lettuce, spinach, radishes, and beans can be planted in a succession timeline, so you can have fresh crops coming in for a longer period of time.
Lastly, we like to order extra seeds to add to our seed collection for future years. It adds to our comfort and feelings of safety to have a big box of seeds ready to go at all times.
Now that you know exactly how to get free seed catalogs and what to order, it’s time to get started.