Seed Catalogs – the Gardener’s Wish Book
Garden catalogs are starting to arrive in our mailboxes now that fall is really here. What better way to pass a long, cold winter than to turn the pages and imagine what your garden would look like if you ordered one of everything in the book.
Temptation is a hard thing to fight, but not everything in the catalogs is suitable for our climate. Burke County is located in zone 7, according to the USDA planting map. Most catalogs give a hardiness recommendation for each plant they offer for sale. The lower the number, the colder the winter temperature. Plants listed for zones 7 and lower survive our winters very well. Plants labeled for zone 8 and above are not cold hardy enough for this area. Pay attention to this information and it will save much time and money.
Another piece of information available in most seed and garden catalogs is whether or not a plant needs a pollinator. It is not very wise to buy just one apple tree. The plant needs a certain pollinator to insure fruit production. The pollinator is often a very specific variety. This is true of most fruit varieties. Some fruits need pollinators and some are self pollinating. The catalog that you are considering ordering from should offer this information about every fruit variety it sells.
Information provided by a catalog is very important to the consumer. This information can make the difference between a good buy and a bad one. Catalogs supply this resource material to help the consumer make an informed choice.
Read about the plants you are interested in purchasing. It makes the long winter a bit shorter when we can pore over beautiful pictures and plan for the spring.
If you have any questions about suitable varieties for this area, call the North Carolina Cooperative Extension at 828-764-9480. We’ll be happy to help you make a wise choice.