It's the time of the year to start thinking about your seeds for the 2018 growing season. Looking through seed catalogs is so exciting, as it signals that spring will be here before we know it! Within the past few weeks the majority of my seeds for the 2018 season have been arriving, and my mailman has become my best friend!
I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite places to buy seeds (and why). Not all seeds are creating equally, and having high quality seeds is critical to getting the best yields from your plants.
There are so many places to buy seeds from. Honestly, I like to stick to what I know and have had good success with. I get inundated with new seed catalogs, and yes it is fun to flip through them, but I try not to buy from too many companies.
The reasons I like these companies are: high quality seeds, great germination rates, knowledgeable staff (good customer service), strong missions, ecologically motivated, and they take part in the “Safe Seed Pledge.”
I like to support these smaller scale seed companies. They have a passion for the land, and are great to work with. They also have personal relationships with many of the farmers growing them their seeds.
Below are my top 3 seed companies.
Johnnys Selected Seeds
Johnny's is a 100% employee owned company located in Winslow, Maine. Their mission is, “helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service.”
Johnny's is my go-to seed source; I buy a majority of my seeds from them. I also buy a lot of other gardening equipment from them. This company works closely with market gardeners and is continually developing tools to better suit our needs.
The seeds are top quality. They have an on-site seed lab where they test germination rates and they also store their seeds in temperature controlled environment to preserve the quality. They also send seeds to a different lab to test for the presence of pathogens.
Another thing I love about this company is their customer support. You can easily call them or chat with them through the website. They are very knowledgeable and supportive of growers.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
High Mowing Seeds is located in Wolcot, Vermont, and all the seeds they sell are certified organic. The company began as a small scale operation and has blossomed into one of the top organic seed providers for home gardeners and commercial growers.
One thing I love about High Mowing is most all their employees are farming, or have previously farmed. They definitely have a passion for growing and that passion overflows into the company. Many of the varieties they sell are grown on their 40 acre plot of land.
They also have an on-site quality control lab so they can verify the seeds are of the highest quality.
They currently offer free shipping on any orders over $10!
Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers is located in the beautiful town of Decorah, Iowa. I have yet to visit them, but I want to get up there soon! I hear the property is amazing. Their mission is to, “conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.”
Seed Savers specializes in preserving heirloom seed varieties. They have a collection of over 20,000 heirloom seeds. One cool thing about this company is they have a seed historian who researches the story of each seed variety and documents the history of the seed.
I like to buy tomato, peppers, and herbs from seed savers. Seed Savers doesn’t offer bulk packaging (like Johnny’s and High Mowing), so for seeds where I’m ordering a lot (lettuces, radish, arugula, etc) I source those elsewhere.
Now is the time to order your seeds, and I have noticed some popular varieties already be backordered. Feel free to ask me what varieties I love to grow!
Your Urban FarmHer,