Seed Catalogs/2017


My top two seed catalog picks

Even though it’s not 2017 yet, many of you are now getting your seed catalogs in for 2017 season. I just updated for 2017 my favorite seed and garden catalogs. I have many favorites besides the two above. Here they are:



Seed Saver Exchange—As a SSE member I want to support this non-profit organization who is dedicated to CONSERVING and promoting heirloom varieties of veggies, flowers, fruits and herbs. It’s catalog is wonderful with many varieties of seeds that are hard to find or have been kept in families for generations.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds—It features beautiful pictures of many varieties of heirloom vegetables, flowers and fruits, some of which are very unusual and rare. It gives wonderful descriptions and history of where each variety originated. Check them out.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange– recommended by Baker Heirlooms as another good source for heirlooms. Has many hard to find vegetable seeds.

Wild Boar Farmsspecialize in fantastic OP varieties of tomatoes.
No catalog-go online to order.

Baia Nicchia Farm—specialize in more fantastic OP varieties of tomatoes. Created the Artisan Seed Series of tomatoes in Johnny’s Seeds catalog. Support their company for certain select seeds not available anywhere else and go to Johnny’s for the rest of their Artisan tomato seeds. Support their breeding work by buying directly from them.
No catalog-go online to order.

Secret Seed Cartel—specialize in unique, unusual or rare seeds of peppers and tomatoes from
No catalog-go online to order.

Wild Garden Seeds—My new go to catalog for wonderful greens and lettuce (I use to think they sold in bulk only,  but they sell smaller quantities as well. The packet price listed on top of catalog pages)

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds—Sells many wonderful hard to find heirloom seeds like Argentata chard and French gray shallots.

Kitazawa Seed CompanyOldest seed company in America specializing in Asian vegetable seeds.

Irish Eyes Garden SeedsGet your different types of potatoes here.

Native Seed/SEARCHfabulous seeds by native people in the southwest.

Hudson Valley SeedThe Hudson Valley Seed Library is an amazing source for heirloom and open-pollinated garden seeds and beautiful garden-themed contemporary art.

Peaceful Valley (Grow Organic)—I get all my row cover and most of my growing supplies from

Johnny’s Selected Seeds—provides hybrid, heirloom and OP seeds, tools, information, and service. A general all-purpose catalog packed with more than just seeds.

There are many other good seed companies that do not buy their seed stock from Seminis.  To see more good seed companies that may be among your favorites, go here. If your favorite seed company is not listed, call them if you are interested.

Time to get seeds!


It’s time to start getting my seeds for this coming growing season. I have most of my seed catalogs that I want and have looked at them. This is an exciting time for growers! So many things I want to grow and many new varieties too!  Here are some things I do when starting this process:

  1. The first thing I do is go through my seed storage boxes where I threw the packets in last year after planting. I have to organize them first to see what I still have.
  2. After reorganizing my seed boxes, I decide what I want to grow this year. Now the fun begins! Scouring over all the catalogs, I start to make a list and I need to decide where they will go in the garden because every year I over buy and run out of room in my garden. Many of the catalogs are so beautiful that I want to buy everything! I call it garden porn!  I too run out of beds to grow everything I want! Imagine that! Some of you have seen my gardens last year-I have 4000 sq feet of gardening space and still run out of room.
  3. I have a few rules I try to follow when purchasing seeds. Rule number one for me-I only grow things I love to eat so celery will never be on my list and if my partner didn’t love radishes so much, I wouldn’t grow them either (they taste like dirt to me). Why grow vegetables you don’t really like? Rule number two-I grow some vegetables that are more expensive than others. For example, I grow shallots instead of onions. Shallots are expensive, onions are cheap. Rule number three-I grow vegetables that I can’t find as starts in the nurseries. I’ve gotten some great vegetables that just aren’t available unless you grow them. You can either start them inside or direct seed some of them outside when the time is right. Also:

Home Grown New Mexico is having its 2015 Seed Swap on
Wednesday, March 15th at Frenchy’s Barn  on Agua Fria from 3 pm to 6 pm.
It’s free and you’ll get great seeds!

Other groups who will be at the Seed Swap:

The Santa Fe Master Gardeners will have several info tables there where you can get how-to info on composting, growing native seeds and more.

In addition the Seedbroadcast truck people will be there getting people’s seed stories and putting them online. Do you have a great seed story? Tell them!

The Tomato Lady (that’s me) will be there at the Home Grown New Mexico table inside the barn. I will have some of my tomato seeds and giant vegetable varieties available as well if any of you want to try growing a giant this year!

This is great resource for gardeners and a fabulous way to start off the growing season. Vegetable, flower and herb seeds will be available.

If you have any seeds you can bring to swap that would be great, but if you don’t you can still come and get some fabulous seeds for this year!

Veggie Tip-What to look at in seed catalogs

2011 Baker Heirloom Seeds Catalog

Why order from seed catalogs vs getting seeds or plants from the local nurseries? Variety. We have more choices to pick from. Now don’t get me wrong – I buy many of my vegetable plants from our local nurseries as well. I don’t start all mine from seeds but I like to grow some new varieties every year and many of those aren’t sold locally. Besides I really like going over the catalogs. What should we look at when ordering from our seed catalogs? Here is some information that catalogs give to help us make our decisions in choosing which variety to buy.

1. Quite often catalogs will list the particular needs of the variety-i.e. needs cool moist soil, tolerates heat, etc. This is important information to consider because of our cold springs, hot summers and what location we plant them at our houses.

2. They list whether it is a hybrid or heirloom variety. I like to grow mostly heirloom varieties so I look for this.

3. We get specific information on each variety-size, weight, color, flavor,  etc and often the history of where a particular seed came from. I especially find the history interesting. I like knowing where they originate from.

How many days to harvest-this tomato was 72 days

4. Probably the most important thing to consider with each variety is how many ‘days’. This means how many days to harvest. Here in Santa Fe, we have a short growing season. Our last frost is the average date we no longer experience freezing temperatures which is May 15th and the first average frost date is around Oct. 10. Last year was a really cold, windy spring with night time temperatures still at 27° on June 6th. We basically went from Winter to Summer. Every year offers new challenges for us weather wise and the weather has everything to do with how many days to harvest depending on when we can put the transplants or seeds in the soil.


So how many days to harvest? Some vegetables such as summer squash, cucumbers, lettuce, etc don’t take many days to harvest but some vegetables need a longer growing season such as winter squash, watermelon, and tomatoes so buy varieties that won’t go into October to ripen. Let’s take tomatoes for an example.  If we choose a tomato seed that says 72 days, we’ll probably get tomatoes but if we choose one that says 95 days to harvest, the odds are we won’t get any ripe ones before we get that first frost in fall. In Santa Fe, we should be looking to grow varieties that ripen in 60-80 days. Tomatoes come in early, mid and late season varieties so keep that in mind. Early season goes from 52-60 days, midseason goes from 60-75 days and late season goes from around 80-100 days. You certainly can try some late season varieties (I do) but pick more in the early-mid season range especially if you are only planting  a few. Also with tomatoes that ’80 days to harvest or 80 days’ means from transplanting plants outdoors not planting seeds outside. I’ve had people come up to me and complain they only have green tomatoes in October and when I ask what variety, it usually is one of the longer growing ones so pay attention to that day information in the catalogs because you can usually find some varieties with shorter days till harvest in every variety out there.

2011 Baker Heirloom Seed Catalog Arrives!

2011 Baker Heirloom Seeds Catalog

My 2011 Baker Heirloom Seed Catalog arrived and just in time for me to cuddle up by the fireplace with it and a hot Mexican coffee while it snowed outside. If you are a veggie/flower gardener, this catalog is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and has a wealth of information. It’s pictures inside are big and gorgeous and make me want to buy everything! It is by far my most favorite seed catalog and if you want to order one, it’s free here at Baker Heirloom Seed ( I get many seed catalogs every year but this catalog is always the best one-year after year. Did I say  it snowed? Yes, snow! We haven’t had any measureable snow here in Santa Fe until yesterday. We got 16 inches of snow (that equals 1.6 inches of rain-10 inches of snow = 1 inch of rain) where I live and I’m so glad because we really need the moisture right now. Hasn’t felt like winter here till this weekend. Now we don’t have to water for awhile!