Sifting Through Garden Catalogs
Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.
Start by flipping through the pages of various catalogs to gather ideas and inspiration. Narrow down your search by selecting plants suited to your climate and growing conditions. Quality catalogs will list the cold hardiness zone of trees, shrubs and perennials. Hardiness zones are based on the average minimum winter temperature. The lower the number the more cold tolerant the plant.
Some catalogs include heat hardiness as well. This number is based on the average number of days where temps are 86 degrees or warmer. These are the temperatures where some plants can stop blooming or suffer damage.
Read the plant description and select plants that match the light, soil and moisture in your garden. Look for disease resistant and low maintenance varieties whenever possible.
A bit more information: Look for award winning plants when reviewing the catalogs. The All-America Selections Winners (AAS) are good choices for home gardeners. These plants are evaluated in test gardens across the country. Winners are selected on the basis of improved growth habit, flowering, pest resistance or some unique feature suited for the home garden.