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where do you buy seeds

Because there’s never been a better time to start a vegetable garden.

It's official: the homegrown vegetable garden is making a major comeback this spring. With many of us spending more time at home and grocery shopping requiring extra precautions, many Americans are starting their own vegetable gardens, some for the very first time. According to Jack Whettam, sales and marketing manager at Hudson Valley Seed Co, orders have increased "by orders of magnitude" this year, and other seed companies report similar spikes in sales.

While many seed companies experienced shipping delays or had to take a short break to catch up on shipments earlier this April, most are currently back to accepting new orders. Translation: now is a great time to order and start planting all of those tomato, zucchini, and eggplant seeds. Buy vegetable seeds online at the sources below, then consult our month-by-month guide to learn what to plant when.

“At this site, you can search by region, benefit, and growing condition for flower seeds that are good for the local ecosystem.”

Focus on environmentally responsible growing

One-stop shops for growing flowers, herbs, and more

Large variety of seeds

Limited seed selection

For the gardener who wants to help preserve heirloom varieties, Seed Savers Exchange does exactly that with the help of amateur gardeners, professional farmers, and everyone in between. You can participate in the exchange by providing seeds and getting new seeds or order through their catalog for your own garden. There are some limits on orders and amounts, based on availability. The mission of Seed Savers Exchange is always to preserve varieties of plants, which does require that some seeds are saved and stored.

If you know of local gardeners, ask them their favorite varieties to grow. Gardeners love to share this information! If you don’t know any local gardeners, ask growers at your Farmer’s Market, or even look for a gardening Facebook Group and ask there. Or, like mentioned previously, ask the workers at your feed store, farmer’s co-op, or nursery.

I suppose the limited selection also can be a drawback if you’re looking for specialty seeds. That’s why I usually source my feed store for specific crops — beans, corn, or a new crop I’ve never tried before and I’m not ready to venture out into exotic varieties.

Big box stores also carry seeds of vegetables, fruit, and herbs that are regionally appropriate. You don’t have to worry, then, whether a particular variety is suited to your climate. You’ll also find a selection of heirloom, hybrid, and organic seeds.

Ask Gardeners their Favorites

White Harvest Seed is a small, family-owned company located in southern Missouri. I have been buying seeds from them for many years, and their seeds have always — without exception — performed with excellence. They are an heirloom seed company and have top rate customer service. You can listen to my interview with the owner, Mike, in two previous podcast episodes here and here.

With all these options to buy seeds, how do you go about buying seeds?

Plus, I’ll send you my “In the Garden E-mail” on Fridays, periodic updates on garden resources relevant to you, and get access to my entire bank of free garden downloads!

The only advice I’d offer before purchasing seeds from a local nursery is to consider the source of the seeds. The ones I’ve seen have been similar to the seed suppliers the big box stores use, so ask questions if that’s a concern for you.