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What’s In A Seed Catalog?

What’s In A Seed Catalog?

photo of catalog

Happy New Year! January is here and those seed catalogs you received over the holidays are starting to pile up. Your eyes are probably glazing over as you view all those gorgeous pictures and descriptions of plants you long to have in your garden. How do you decide what to purchase?

Before you start choosing seeds, have you gotten your soil tested? This will make all the difference in what you can grow. After you get your soil tested, consider where you have full sun and where you have shade. Take a stroll around the garden and note how much room you have and what plants would work in those areas.

Now, it’s time to get to those catalogs. A good catalog will tell you everything you need to know about the plants you are interested in. Let’s look at a few terms you may come across in your readings:
Hybrid (F, F1, F2): A plant that is created from crossing two different plants. Seeds will not come true to type the second year.

Open Pollinated (OP): Varieties that will come true from seed. These plants are “Mother Nature” tested.

Height: How tall the plant will be. Height is important for planning beds.

Days to Bloom: The month you can expect flowers or how long it will take a plant to flower.

Disease Resistance: VFN for tomatoes means resistant to verticillium and fusarium wilts and nematodes. A good catalog will explain these disease abbreviations.

Number of Seeds: Most catalogs will tell you how much area or the number of feet of row a packet will plant.

Light Requirements: Does the plant need full sun? Will the plant tolerate partial shade or does it need full shade?

I hope this information has been helpful and you are inspired to take advantage of your catalogs. To choose the perfect seed to thrive in your garden, it is a good idea to take the time to read seed catalogs thoroughly. They contain a wealth of valuable information. Feel free to contact me at 901-752-1207 if you have any questions. Have fun and enjoy those catalogs!

Photo credit: Univ. of MN-A Klodd

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