LSU AgCenter Horticulturist Says Winter Is Good Time for Catalog Gardening

Thomas J. Koske  |  8/23/2006 7:44:24 PM

 News You Can Use For December 2003

"Thumbing through colorful catalogs and dreaming of the season's harvest is one way to make winter seem a little warmer and move a little faster," says LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Tom Koske.

Choosing and purchasing fresh vegetable seeds is one of the most enjoyable gardening pastimes, but you must start soon to get seed on time. Your Internet orders should get processed the quickest.

Koske says if you begin an Internet search with the words ‘seed catalog,’ you will get about three dozen sites to try. Many seed supplies have their catalogs accessible online. Some include many pictures as well.

Popular catalogs for Louisiana varieties include Twilley, Stokes, Rupp, Burpee, Harris, Willhite, BWI and Johnny’s. A good seed dealer overview Web site is found at  

There are other smaller specialty retailers like Filaree Garlics and others. Try searching for a topic like garlic, shallot, hot pepper, tomatoes, etc. A few seed companies also feature certified ‘organic seed.’

"Seed purchased from a dependable seed company will provide a good start toward realizing that vision of bounty," Koske says. He also recommends consulting your notes about last season's varieties or promising yourself to start a log next season. With such records you'll know the germination qualities, vigor of plants and tendencies toward insects and diseases.

"From this information you can determine whether one seed company is not meeting your needs or whether the varieties you have chosen are unsuitable for your area or gardening style," the horticulturist says, explaining, "For example, if powdery mildew is a big problem on squash family plants in your area, the next year you may want to look for mildew-resistant varieties."

For additional recommendations, check out the vegetable variety selections on the LSU AgCenter Web site, or get bulletin #1980 from your parish LSU AgCenter office. Public libraries usually can go to these Web sites and print out the information for you. Also, look for Gardening and Get It Growing links in the Feature section of the LSU AgCenter Web site:  


On the Internet:

On the Internet:

Source: Tom Koske (225) 578-2222, or

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