Issue: October 14, 1996

Garden catalog sources

Question: My friends have garden catalogs that I have never seen before. Where can I find out how to get some different garden catalogs?


There are several ways to receive some different and very interesting catalogs. The first is to subscribe to a garden magazine. Unless you instruct the publisher otherwise, they will "share" your name with their advertisers. You will begin receiving catalogs from a variety of nurseries and gardening supply companies. You may even receive catalogs from companies specializing in outdoor clothing.

Another way is to send a card to advertisers in the magazines. You can subscribe to the magazines, buy them at the magazine racks in book stores or grocery stores, or just go to your local library and read the garden magazines there. There will be numerous advertisements in the magazine, some of them for specialized types of nurseries. Some require that you send money for their catalog; others are free. Those that require money often provide a certificate good for at least that amount on your first purchase. Once you purchase from a nursery, you will be on their mailing list for a long time.

Finally, if your friends have a catalog that is of interest to you, just copy the address from their catalog and send a postcard to the nursery requesting their catalog.

This is a good time of year to be requesting a catalog. Many of them are being printed now for delivery during the holiday season. You will receive them in plenty of time to place an order before planting time.

Don't forget to check with your local nursery or garden center. If you do not have a nursery nearby, as you travel across New Mexico, check into the nurseries in the towns you visit. You will find many interesting plants, seeds, and gardening accessories right here in New Mexico. If you don't find what you are looking for, ask the nursery if they can get it for you.

Add manure now


Is it ok to add manure to my garden soil now? I heard that it is best to use it in the fall.


Now is the proper time. Once the crops have been harvested and you are ready to clean your garden for the winter, you can apply manure to the garden. Winter precipitation will help leach the various salts present in manure below the root zone of next year's crops, if there is winter precipitation. It is possible to apply manure in the spring, but waiting until spring to apply manure to the garden increases the chances that your seedlings and transplants will be injured. If you want to apply manure in the spring, the wisest thing to do is to compost it with chipped tree trimmings and lawn waste over the winter, then apply the compost to the garden in the spring.

Marisa Y. Thompson, PhD, is the Extension Horticulture Specialist, in the Department of Extension Plant Sciences at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center, email:, office: 505-865-7340, ext. 113.


For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension Horticulture page at Desert Blooms and the NMSU Horticulture Publications page.

Send gardening questions to Southwest Yard and Garden - Attn: Dr. Marisa Thompson at, or at the Desert Blooms Facebook.

Please copy your County Extension Agent and indicate your county of residence when you submit your question!