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January is exciting time for local gardener

Know It and Grow It
Lead Summary
George Bonnema, Luverne Horticulturalist

Christmas has come and gone, and some people get a little depressed when the fun and business subsides.
But for us gardeners, we’re almost waiting by the mailbox on the day after Christmas because that’s the day the new seed catalogs arrive. Magically, those vendors know that we’re ready for a new focus.
Well, that’s me, and I got four catalogs on that day (not counting the legal holiday and in spite of the previous days of snowstorms) and three more since.
As with almost everything else, COVID has affected the prices. When I look at the return on my investment, I am not complaining. I have big gardens and I have expectations for the seed I plant, so I’m particular in choosing the varieties I plant.
I ALWAYS keep a record of what I plant and how satisfied I am with the results. Occasionally I will pick seed from a seed rack but usually find the varieties that are available on those retail racks are not necessarily what I am looking for. … Yes, you can call me a seed snob!
Although I get several other catalogs, these are my favorite mail order vendors:
•Pine Tree Garden Seeds … very reasonable prices and seed quantities.
•Seeds ’N Such … again, reasonable prices if you get a lot of seed packets and small seed quantities.
•Jung Seeds and Plants … lots of everything.
•Select Seeds … only flower seeds.
•Johnny’s Selected Seeds … more suited for a Farmers Market grower but huge selection and the best for cultural information.
You can Google their name to request a catalog and/or order online if you prefer. I get the catalogs, cross reference to make my selections, and order online because that will give me an immediate indication if what I want is out of stock.
And then I wait … and I wait, and I imagine what a marvelous gardening experience I will have when winter gives up!
Thank goodness I have enough experience to know that there is a right time to plan those seeds indoors to get my head start on Minnesota’s brief but intense growing season.

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