About this time of year, gardeners can look forward to a steady stream of plant and seed catalogs that arrive by mail. For the home gardener, this material is a valuable source of interesting and practical information.
A good way to eliminate temptation when ordering on a large scale is to know what you want before looking through the seed catalog. The descriptions of the varieties are so tempting, but remember their purpose in your garden. I'm not saying that these catalogs can create problems, because most seed companies take great care to ensure that their product meets specific quality standards.
Seed catalogs really help a gardener get a better handle on management of his/her gardens. Keep this in mind: the selection of seeds and their plants in these catalogs cannot be matched in the limited space of a seed display at your local garden outlet. What I also recommend is to find that special variety with all its glowing description, then go to your local lawn and garden center to find and purchase it. We need to support local businesses.
Here are some other benefits of using seed and plant catalogs. First of all, these catalogs are a source of older varieties, a lot of which won't be available at local garden outlets. Catalogs are becoming diversified--having plant material such as bulbs, perennials, trees and shrubs also displayed. Furthermore, you can learn a lot about the growing and care specific vegetables require just by reading the paragraph under the pictures.
If you haven't received your share of garden seed and plant catalogs, visit your nearest news stand and pick up a popular gardening magazine or others like Good Housekeeping. Here, you can find loads of seed companies advertised and order their catalogs.