Ordering Plants and Seeds from Catalogs
If you’re not getting plant and seed catalogs already, check out some of the better catalogs below and get on their mailing lists. You don’t have to actually grow anything from seed, but that is one of the best ways to have lots of plants for only a little money. There’s another advantage to getting these catalogs. You have hundreds of plants with detailed facts about the plant to guide your selections for your garden.
Ordering plants from catalogs is a great way to save money once you’ve decided on what you want and it offers you the chance to try out plants that may not be available in your local garden centers. Many catalogs offer discounts of 10, 20, and up to 50 percent off if you order early. Then they ship the plants when the weather is right in your growing zone.
Ordering plants online or through catalog sites takes a little research because not all mail order nurseries package their plants in ways that ensure they arrive in good shape. For instance, I’ve received plants in plastic bags which are fine for bare root plants and bushes, but potted plants don’t fare so well shipped in bags. You can always call the company and ask how they ship plants.
Mail order plants will generally be small, but once planted or repotted into some good potting soil they will grow quickly. Shrubs, trees, roses, and a host of other plants are shipped bare root. They are dry and there is no soil around the roots. When they arrive, they should be soaked in water for a couple of hours before planting. For some plants like creeping phlox, I recommend you buy only potted plants, because when they ship bare root, the roots are so tangled that it is difficult to separate them.
Check our January and February blogs for information on growing plants from seed.
Mail Order Nurseries
These companies have plant &/or seed catalogs and online ordering sites. I have ordered from them many times: Proven Winners, Burpee, Jung Seed, Gurneys, Wayside Gardens, Spring Hill Nursery, Park Seed, Bluestone Perennials, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Country Gardens, American Meadows, Eden Brothers.