Seed catalogs

Hi, everybody. Sorry about the lack of new posts lately. I've been out of town for the past two weeks and am now trying to catch up.

Have you started making a list of the plants you want to grow this year? I've been receiving new seed catalogs for the past month and am getting all sorts of great ideas about new veggies and flowers to try out.

So far, I've received catalogs from Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, Pinetree Garden Seeds, Seeds of Change, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Vermont Bean Seed, Totally Tomatoes, Jung Seeds & Plants, Burpee, The Cook's Garden, The Natural Gardening Company, Territorial Seed Company, Farmer Seed and Nursery, and Gardener's Supply. Crazy, isn't it?!

There are two companies that I do business with every year that do not mail out catalogs: Renee's Garden Seeds and Ed Hume Seeds, but they do have online seed catalogs.

Here in Spokane, Northwest Seed & Pet already has most of their 2013 seeds available in their two stores. I actually dropped by there a few weeks ago and picked up organic seeds for growing 'San Marzano' paste tomatoes and 'Lakota' winter squash as both had been recommended to me.

Whether I order my seeds online or purchase them locally, I am tickled to see so many organic seed offerings since that's the route I'd prefer to go.

My next step is to start with a print-out of my garden beds so I can rotate the types of crops I grew last year into different beds. It's important to avoid growing the same types of vegetables in the same beds year after year, in order to thwart pests and disease. My garden is on a 3- to 4-year rotation and it works great.

So start perusing the seed catalogs and seed racks in our local garden centers to come up with a game plan for this year. That way, you'll get a great start this season!

Here is a link to a vegetable seed-starting schedule from the WSU/Spokane County Master Gardeners to help you plan ahead and I'll certainly be writing a lot about seed-starting over the next several weeks.