seeds in packets in pots

For small gardens and large, you need a good seed source. You want the best place to buy seeds for your garden. Here are some tips to find the best place to buy seeds. 

It is time to buy seeds for your garden.  The question is where or from whom”. There are so many resources and so many seeds.  It can be so overwhelming!  It can be so exciting!  You can get all crazed about it and I still do.  You want seeds that are going to sprout and grow productively.  

How do I  find the best place to buy seeds for MY garden?

I look for some very specific characteristics when buying seeds and tend to stick with just a couple of companies.  You can easily overthink it.  Seed catalogs are beautiful to look at. Remember, each packet may give you many plants. but I would suggest sticking to your needs and throwing in a few just for fun.  

There are a few very specific things to keep in mind as you start to think about seeds.

The first is to remember is that the time to buy seeds is now.  Over the past two years quality seeds have sold out quickly and seeds became hard to find with so many people giving gardens a try.  Also, the time is now because for many growing zones it is time to start thinking about seeding or starting seeds inside.

Be sure to read: 20 Creative Garden Hacks to Try! 

Next, you need to think about varieties.  

This is the overwhelming part.  There are so many choices. Focus on the purpose of your seeds.

For example, are you looking for produce seeds to feed your family fresh from the garden or are you looking to grow and preserve for the year? If you are looking to preserve, do you want to freeze, can or dehydrate? How about herbs, will you grow inside or out?  And how are you planting:  in the ground or in containers?  There are seeds designed for each of these purposed and picking the right variety is key.

I also think about three bigger ideas.

  1. Will these be companion plants to grow alongside others so they help each other?  
  2. Will I also use them as pollinators?
  3. And are they disease and pest tolerant?

Close-up of Hand Sowing Seeds from Packet into Compost

Once you take into account all you are looking for, as well as the amount and variety, it is time to get started.  

3 Steps To Buying The Best Seeds

  1. Take inventory. See what you have on hand from last year and what you saved.  If you are nervous about whether or not they will grow do a quick sprout test, by germinating one or two.
  2. Decide what you actually want to start from seed based on the seed starting space and supplies you have.  You may decide you would rather buy a few plants from a local nursery.
  3. You will then want to make sure you get the right seed variety. There are often a lot of words on seed descriptions and they are so important. It is also important to remember you can use a cross-section of all these seeds. However, this can get complicated.

heirloom seeds

Questions To Ask Yourself To Find The Best Seeds

  1. Can you grow open-pollination seeds?  Meaning these seeds will be naturally pollinated by the environment including insects and the wind?
  2. Would you prefer a Hybrid variety that may be disease resistant?  Hybrid seeds are breeds that have been typically crossed between varieties. These seeds have been made using controlled pollination. 
  3. Are you interested in heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds are always such a sexy thing to people.  These seeds have been around for generations and are often connected to cultures and traditions. I love reading about Heirloom seeds.
  4. Do you care about organic, GMO, and on and on? First please remember people are using Non-GMO as a marketing ploy. In reality, there are less than a dozen GMO crops.  GMO crops include corn, alfalfa, soybean, potato, papaya, summer squash, apple, sugar beets and cotton.  Then you have to remember if a seed is organic it is automatically non-gmo, so do not get all wrapped up in the marketing.  Grow what you want.

You can find the best place to buy seeds in your area.

Now for my favorite seed companies.  

I buy from a lot of different sources and I trade with people as well.  But here are my go-to seed sources.  Warning: I am a seed freak. I see seeds. I buy seeds.  

I do suggest that you buy smaller quantities from new sources and you check out what others in your area are buying that succeed.  And if it is your first or second time starting from seed-start small and grow over the years as you perfect seed starting.

The following is a list of companies that I buy from and trust.  I use these seed companies not just to purchase seeds but also as a source of information on a regular basis. And there are so many other fabulous companies out there – these are just my top go-to ones. Find the best place to buy seeds that work for you!

Best Place To Buy Seeds

1. Hudson Valley Seed Company

The truth is I fell in love with Hudson Valley Seed Company simply because of the beauty of their Art Packs.  I followed none of my tips above and simply bought what I loved.  I started and I sowed the seeds and I was so happy all over again.  

Once I got to know more about Hudson Valley Seed Company I became a regular customer and often send the Art Packs as gifts. Hudson Valley Seed Company speaks to my love of all things good too. They, like me, are farmers and storytellers, The seeds are organic and have many varieties I cannot find in other places.  Seeds tell a story of the past and I love what I continue to learn through Hudson Valley Seed Company.  

2. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds- Also known as Rare Seeds

Some would say I have an unhealthy relationship with Baker Creek, I call it an obsession.  I wait all year for their new catalog to arrive, The Whole Seed Catalog. Then I mark up the whole catalog, David makes his list on a piece of paper we keep inside of it and then we order, hoping to order early enough to not be waitlisted for anything.  It is a process.   

Baker Creek is made up of over 1000 heirloom seeds.  Each seed tells a story and comes from all over the world.  Some of the seeds date back to the 19th Century from Europe and Asia. I cannot wait to make it out to their stores and restaurants one day. 

3. Seed Savers Exchange

I received a membership to Seed Savers Exchange for Hanukkah last year and it was just the best gift ever.  It is one of the largest seed banks in the United States with more than 20,000 different varieties. 

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization that includes a membership option but you do not have to be a member to purchase seeds.  I love the membership for the additional benefits that are numerous including the quarterly newsletter, seed swaps, member-exclusive seeds and more.  Seed Savers Exchange has a mission that speaks to my heart.  It includes connecting and educating (and much more).  

4. High Mowing Organics

I will start with sharing that High Mowing Organics is what we sell here at Sugar Water Manor.  It’s no wonder that this is on my list of the best place to buy seeds. 

It is one of the first seed companies I ordered from and has a very high success rate for me. They offer a large variety of seeds and in my opinion the easiest to pick from for first-time growers.  They sell hybrid, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and have a selection of over 600 seeds.  

I find my highest germination rate with High Mowing Organics and we will be offering more and more seeds, sprouts and microgreens both on-site and in special offers on our website.  Honestly, I just love working with them and I learn so much from the team.  

5. Botanical Interests

Based in Colorado Botanical Interests carries over 600 specialty varieties of seeds.  They too have a high germination rate and I have never had a failed packet from them.  I first discovered Botanical Interests when I was looking up information for my garden and found their amazing resources.  I have learned so much from their websites articles.  Then I discovered their seeds!

This is the best place to buy seeds when you are looking for unique varieties.  They are so beautiful and have specialty and heirloom seeds I have never seen anywhere else.  Beyond that, the seed packets themselves are backed with so much information I keep them as a resource.  

Additional seed recommendations:

The next step is to learn how to start your garden from seeds