In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
January, 2012
Regional Report

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One year after transplanting, new artichokes shoots arise in a clump.

Favorite Online Seed Catalogs

I asked our LA County Master Gardeners and other local gardening friends for their favorite seed catalogs, and these were their choices, listed in alphabetical order and including this information:
* Name of catalog or company
* Website
* What it offers (e.g., veg, herb, flower seeds, pest products,
gardening tools, books, information charts, etc.)
* What do you like best about the catalog

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Non-hybrid, non-genetically-modified, non-treated, and non-patented vegetable and flower seeds
Well-written seed descriptions, directions on how to save seeds, information about GMO versus non-GMO seeds, heirlooms, fun facts, and great color photos of harvests. Website is easy to use, and they are very prompt

Bountiful Gardens
Heirloom,untreated, open pollinated seeds. Excellent source of books, tools and DVDs.

Native Seed/SEARCH
Distinctive and diverse vegetable, herb, flower, wild flower seeds and more. Books, soaps, salves, gift baskets and crafts. They have kept alive wild strains of Southwestern Native American and arid-land adapted agricultural crops, many of them rare or endangered.

Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply
Lots of very specific organic soil fertilizers, amendments, compost supplies, natural insecticides, tools, seeds, and books that I can't find elsewhere, helpful customer service department, and wonderfully helpful charts. Also, really informative how-to videos on a variety of organic gardening topics sent when you subscribe to the free e-newsletter. Quick service and prompt return email.

Seeds from Italy
Vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that are popular in Italy.
Features vegetables that are grown in a climate similar to Southern California, so there's a built-in (potential) success rate. Also, the descriptions are good, and they feature some unusual seeds.

Renee's Garden Seeds
Well-organized, lots of information about vegetable, herb, and flower seed varieties from around the world. I have both of her cookbooks and cook from them regularly.

Territorial Seed Company
Variety of pack sizes (e.g., beans = sampler, packet, 1/2 lb, 5 lbs, 50 lbs), plants, gardening supplies, cooking and preservation supplies, and books. Wonderful descriptions and photos of each seed variety and products. Good U-Tube presentations for beginning gardeners.

Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative
Biodynamic, organic and heirloom seeds. Every seed is sourced -- I like to choose from growers whose climates have a similar temperature range as mine, and I can test which growers align favorably with my garden/soil/climate needs.

Victory Seed Company
Great selection of heritage and open-pollinated seeds. No genetically-modified seeds. They have a farm and harvest the seeds themselves, or buy from a few select local growers. Their turn-around time is really good. They also lots of tools and supplies. Website is full of interesting and helpful information, including color photographs helpful descriptions.

As useful as online catalogs are, I must admit that I'm still partial to the paper versions of my favorites, which I can enjoy as my bedtime reading and dreaming of next year's garden.

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