Chores are barely done, but never too early to shop for next year’s… – Press Herald

The time to order seeds is nigh. If you order early, you can ensure you’ll get what you want. Shutterstock/eurobanks

Our 2023 garden, seed and supply catalogs arrived weeks ago, definitely before we were finished with our 2022 gardens. I tried to ignore the catalogs, yet when prodded (by my wife, Nancy), I looked at a few for ideas on gift-giving.

Because of the particular warm autumn, I didn’t finish gardening tasks – a final weeding, harvesting leeks and raking the parts of the yard where we still rake – until the particular first week of December. That’s when we’d normally start getting ready with regard to Christmas.

Normally, I don’t begin to dig into catalogues until after Christmas (and keep in it until Groundhog Day) in preparation the following spring. As a service to you, my readers, We spent some time picking out highlights from some favorites. But bear in mind, I nevertheless haven’t done a thorough reading.

Fedco takes a lot of the time regarding several reasons. First, it comes as two separate publications – Fedco Seeds plus Supplies from 176 pages and Fedco Trees, Shrubs and Perennials at 72 pages – both black-and-white on basic newsprint, definitely not as flashy as its competitors.

In addition to wonderful seed, perennial, woody and bulb options, the catalog will be filled with stories, explanations, editorials and pen-and-ink drawings that can keep you entertained for several days.

One short article in the particular Trees catalog, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Knotweed, ” notes that, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the particular “Gulf associated with Maine is usually warming faster than 93. 4 percent of the world’s oceans. ” The changing climate means that maybe we should welcome some trees that are not native in order to Maine. The particular article mentions American sycamore, which thrived despite this year’s drought .


Nikos Kavanya, in the particular catalog introduction, noted that will she is leaving the company right after more than 40 years. I’ve always enjoyed her insights.

Typical of the non-gardening but still entertaining items in the apple section of the particular Trees catalog is “No Direction Home. ” The piece says horses were native to North America when the land bridge in order to Asia existed. Those horses spread apple seeds all over Asia and to the European Caucasus mountains. I have nothing to contradict or support that information, but it is food for thought.

Pinetree Garden Seeds in New Gloucester is another favorite. In business intended for 43 years, the company specializes in smaller packets of seed, which means that people with small garden plots can plant an entire packet and not worry about saving seed over the winter.

They may look like unripe cherry tomatoes, but in fact these are the fruits from the potato plant. (Don’t eat them! They are poisonous. ) Photo by Tom Atwell

1 item I actually definitely am going in order to try is definitely the Clancy potato. Inside July, I discovered that some of our potatoes were producing fruit that will looked such as small tomatoes. They may be called potato berries, and they contain seeds. I read with the period that it is not really practical to plant those seeds because they will not replicate the parent. Clancy, an All-America Selection winner in 2019, does grow from seeds. The potatoes have reddish skin and a fairly creamy flesh. It can be grown inside containers or directly in the garden.

We grow a lot of potatoes, preserving some as seed taters at the particular end associated with each season. I don’t need Clancy to get its meals potential. The real purpose of our garden is to entertain us. We think this particular potato will be entertaining.

The company where I actually originally bought many associated with the seedling potatoes I grow through year in order to year can be Wood Prairie Farm, an organic, family-run spud farm in Aroostook County that has expanded into other organic seeds plus vegetables.


Wood Prairie Farm is certainly offering four new varieties of potatoes this year. The one that sounds best to me is Sarpo Mira, a red-skinned, disease-resistant variety originally from Hungary. On its website, the organization says that many varieties are in short supply and could sell out – a disadvantage of waiting this late in order to order.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow produces an attractive, 208-page, glossy directory that sells a wide variety associated with vegetables – many developed by the staff – in addition to gardening equipment. Fedco and Pinetree also sell gardening equipment.

I wrote about the All-America Selections-winning Sweet Jade squash plus its creator last 7 days , yet that’s just one of about 75 introductions listed throughout the list. We might purchase some of the other new varieties in addition to Sweet Jade.

We try to do most of our plant and seed shopping with Maine companies. I actually have met and written about many associated with their workers, and I like to help the local economy.

But we perform buy from out-of-state catalogs occasionally, and our own favorite will be Old House Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They specialize inside vintage light bulb plants, both those planted in spring and fall, some going back to the 1600s. Some Maine growers produce Old House Gardens bulbs, and am received the warm reception when I visited while in town for a niece’s wedding.

More catalogs will be arriving. Reading all those, and studying the ones I have mentioned here more closely, should keep me entertained on many frigid Maine days.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer horticulture in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted on: [email protected]

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