Next up on our tour of seed catalogues is my favorite of all, Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Johnny’s, based in Winslow, Maine, is a large operation that was started in 1973 in New Hampshire by a 22-year-old named Rob Johnston. Back then it was briefly called Johnny Apple Seeds, but that name had already been taken. Now employee owned, Johnny’s is a member of the Safe Seed Initiative, pledging that it will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.
One thing I love about this catalogue is the wealth of information in it. It’s better than
many most of the gardening books I’ve got from the library. Growing guides are provided for many varieties of vegetable. Second, extraordinary comparison images show differences among varieties. And, finally, the photography is excellent. All three features can be seen in this excerpt from the bush beans section:
Sometimes the images comparisons can be amazingly extensive. Just check out this section on microgreens, which required three separate scans (sorry I didn’t get a better result):
Or this page on salad greens:
These are addictive. Here are varieties of radicchio:
It’s hard to stop.
So this is an extensive (244 pp.), oversized, full-color catalogue that is fun and educational. Now, I should say that Johnny’s seems more oriented to market gardens than home gardens. Still, it does offer seed packets in home garden quantities. While the prices of the seeds are reasonable, I was disappointed by the shipping costs, which are higher than many other vendors on the level that is likely to work for the individual gardener. No matter. It’s still my favorite seed catalogue.