Here is my review of the best vegetable garden seed catalogs (as well as a few useful tool and accessory catalogs), complete with links and a word about their specialties (if any). If you are just learning about seeds, you may also be interested in the heirloom seeds, heirloom tomatoes, and gmo seeds articles to learn about the differences.
I love seed catalogs in the winter when I’m itching to get my hands dirty and dreaming of warm tomatoes, but I’ve learned to browse seed catalogs online where possible to save paper. Although I just gotta have Botanical Interests (my #1 fave), Seed Saver’s Exchange, Bountiful Gardens, Johnny’s, and Gardener’s Supply. Try to just order your faves.)
Abundant Life Seeds
Certified Organic and Biodynamic Seeds, OMRI Certified Organic Fertilizers
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Offers a huge selection of heirloom seeds of a wide variety of vegetables
Botanical Interests Seeds
High quality vegetable, flower and herb seed, in the most beautiful and informative seed packets on the market. Great gift collections.
Bountiful Gardens Seeds
These folks are the global champions of truly sustainable gardening and farming, and their seeds are “untreated open-pollinated non-GMO seeds of heirloom quality for vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, green manures, compost and carbon crops. We are able to offer many varieties as Certified Organic, Natural, Biointensive or Grow BiointensiveTM sustainable seed. CCOF Certified Organic Handler”.
Burnt Ridge Nursery (Fruit and Nut Trees)
Huge selection of fruit and nut trees to diversify your food growing endeavors
Around since 1876 and offers a huge assortment of seeds of all types. An informative and fun catalog always.
(World’s best garden spades and forks since 1780, seriously) About 30 years ago I bought a “Bulldog” spade and fork from the original Smith and Hawken store in Palo Alto, and to this day I do 99% of my gardening work with those two original tools. No kidding. S&H (now Scott’s) no longer carries them, but you can go to the source to purchase them. Watch the video of how they’re made. They last FOREVER if you take care of them. Well worth the price, as it truly is a lifetime investment (unlike the Home Depot variety, which bend and break).
Dixondale Farms (Onions and Leeks)
A family of Texas onion farmers selling a huge selection of onion sets since 1913. My mom used to say “Bad cooks don’t use onions. Good cooks use onions. Great cooks start with onions and then figure out what else to add.”
They don’t sell seeds, but they sell a lot of other really useful stuff that will help you get bigger yields and have more fun, like tools and fertilizers. They say “Environmentally responsible products that work!™”
Gardener's Supply Company
The most useful and fun garden gadgets, gizmos and gazing balls catalog there is. I love this catalog even though I’m a bare-bones kind of gardener. Give me a good spade and a fork and I have everything I need. But I still love this catalog!
Gary Ibsen’s Tomato Fest
This is an online-only catalog, but he’s the go-to guy for heirloom tomatoes.
Gurney's Seed & Nursery Co.
Another of the classic, been-around-forever, have everything seed catalogs.
Since 1879 a tried-and-true standby in the seed industry. Have everything, including open-pollinated, untreated, heirloom seeds.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
This family-owned independent farm is dedicated to sustainable agriculture and only sells certified organic seed.
Johnny's Selected Seeds
One of my fave’s, and a seed supplier for many CSAs, there mission statement is “We are an employee-owned seed producer and merchant to help families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service".
Hybrids and heirloom seeds for commercial and home gardeners. Good selection of organic fertilizers (under “hardgoods”).
Nichols Garden Nursery
A northwest favorite, I love this quote from their catalog of herbs, vegetables, flowers and tools: “We have been in the seed and nursery business for over 50 years. Our purpose during these years has been to bring people closer to nature through gardening. Nothing can equal the sense of accomplishment of growing hundreds of pounds of vegetables from a few ounces of seeds.”
Park Seed Co.
One of the classic, been-around-forever big guys, Park has an awesome collection of flower, herb and vegetable seeds.
Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply (“Grow Organic”)
Catalog now online only, still an AWESOME resource for organic seeds, fertilizer and other supplies for organic gardening and farming.
Heirloom and organic seeds, but their claim-to-fame is in organic pest control, beneficial insects and organic fertilizers.
Richter's Herbs, Plant and Seed Catalog
All things herbs, including culinary and medicinal herb seeds, plants and information. Great selection of harder-to-find herbs, as well as books.
Seed Savers Exchange
Devoted to preserving the world’s home vegetable varieties. To me, the most beautiful catalog (and calendar) there is. All heirloom seed, meticulously gathered from around the world over many decades by dedicated gardeners.
Seeds of Change
Another beauty, all certified organic seeds, live plants and tools.
She’s a great person, cares deeply for seeds and her customers, and has a great hand-picked selection of “gourmet vegetables, kitchen herbs, and cottage garden flowers”.