Catalog profile #6: Johnny's Selected Seeds

Business name: Johnny's Selected Seeds
Location: 955 Benton Ave., Winslow, ME 04901-2601
Phone number: (877) 564-6997.

Products carried: Vegetable, herb, flower and ornamental grass seeds (many of which are organic), cover crop and grain seeds, garden tools, seed-starting supplies, organic pest control products, animal repellents, grafting supplies, sheet mulches and floating row covers, and hoophouse supplies.

This catalog is just filled with organic products and there is a lot of detailed planting information that is helpful for beginning and experienced gardeners alike. Note that they have a $10 off coupon in effect right now, off any order of $30 or more. It expires 1/10/14 and the code to use is 14-1079. Here are some items from their 2014 catalog that warrant taking a look:

'Opera' artichoke _ This variety is bred for annual production as some plants won't produce until their 2nd season, although I've had success growing ours as annuals in the past. The artichokes are purple in color.

'Caraflex' cabbage _ I love the look of this little cabbage! They are pointed at the tips and uniform in size. Seems like this cultivar would be a nice size to work with for making coleslaw and such. Seeds are organic.

'Cheddar' cauliflower _ I just like this one because the curd is orange rather than the standard white! (Hey, I admit it) This would look cool both in the garden and cut up for appetizers. They also have a purple cauliflower called 'Graffiti'.

'Cavernet' leaf lettuce _ This is a beautiful red curly lettuce with full-size heads. They are slower to bolt than some varieties.

'Snow Leopard' honeydew melon _ Yet another cultivar that has sex appeal. The 2-pound melons are unusually marked, with white and green-striped skin. They mature in 71 days which would work for this region. I'd start them indoors 2 weeks before the danger of frost is past, then plant them in a bed covered with plastic mulch, and cover the whole bed with floating row cover for a couple of weeks to keep them toasty warm and get them off to a great start.

Long day onions _ Johnny's sells 8 different varieties of long-day onion seeds or plants, which as I learned a few years ago, are the correct type of onion to grow in the Inland Northwest. It makes all the difference because they take advantage of all of the daylight hours we get here.

'Shiraz' snow peas _ The pods are a dark purple color, so would be beautiful on the vine and for fresh eating. It's a brand-new cultivar.

White pumpkins _ If you think it would be cool to grow a bunch of differently sized and shaped white pumpkins, Johnny's is a good source. I grew 'Casper' last year and it was really attractive.

'Nova' grape tomatoes _ I've never seen orange grape tomatoes before. These ones are really pretty. They mature in 60 days which is nice and early to accommodate our short growing seasons.

'Moulin Rouge' sunflowers _ Another colorful cultivar that caught my eye! The petals are dark burgundy, the center is black. Just stunning.

Profusion series zinnias _ You've heard me sing the praises of Profusion zinnias before. They are fabulous! Johnny's has a real nice assortment of them.

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