Planning a garden? Deciding where to buy seeds online can be overwhelming. We’ve narrowed down our list of favorites!
When shopping for garden seeds, there is much to consider.
Sure, you can visit a big garden center or even a local grocery store and find a great variety of beautiful vegetable seeds to choose from.
But if you’re like me, you need more time to research the variety and learn how to grow it. You want to narrow down your choices and not feel (internally) pressured into buying seed you may not need at all.
You also want to be sure your seeds are a good quality, have a good germination rate and aren’t overpriced.
Heirloom vs. Hybrid seeds
What’s the difference between heirloom (or “open-pollinated”) and hybrid seeds?
The main difference is that you can save the seeds from heirloom plants as they will germinate again.
This can not only save you money but help your garden to become more self-sustaining over time.
Hybrid seeds can sometimes produce a higher yield and may be more disease resistant. But, you generally can not save the seeds from these plants for replanting. They will either not germinate or produce poor quality plants.
For these reasons, I usually prefer to buy heirloom seeds.
Read more about the difference between heirloom and hybrid seeds here.
Best places to buy garden seeds
Of course, the problem with buying seeds online is that there are SO many options that it can be just as overwhelming as pawing through seed packets at the store.
When I started buying garden seeds, one of my goals was to include some seeds from smaller, family-owned companies.
The best small seed companies are those who take pride in preserving heirloom seeds, for instance, and seek to share their love of gardening with the average backyard gardener.
Small companies tend to go above and beyond to impart their knowledge and provide top-notch customer service.
Of course, there are some well-known “standby” companies where you can consistently find your favorite varieties as they simply have access to a wider range of products.
Where to buy seeds online- Top 15 Favorites
With that said, I’m including some of my favorite seed companies.
These include some local to me and others that I have purchased from and trust, and come highly recommended.
Bonus Seed Source
While not a seed company per se, I have always had good results from the heirloom seeds I’ve purchased from Azure Standard.
I often add a packet or two to my grocery order and they have been great quality in my experience.
Azure standard is a co-op with drops all across the country. It’s a great source for organic food and bulk food supplies. You can find out more here.
When to buy garden seeds
My advice at this time is to buy garden seeds several months before you plan to start your seeds – or direct-sow them in the garden.
In the past few years (since 2020) heirloom seeds have been in huge demand and although you can find them, you might have to wait longer or opt for different varieties if you wait too close to planting season.
Some seed companies have been overwhelmed with orders as more people are recognizing the need for self-sufficiency and you might find longer shipping times and less volume of your favorite seeds available in the spring.
While seeds can last for several years, you need to store them properly if you’re wanting to keep them long-term, otherwise they may not germinate well. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to build up a supply of seeds beyond a year or so.
Purchasing seeds online- from companies you can trust
Having this list of trusted seed sources can make your online shopping a little less daunting.
Depending on your plans and your growing preferences, you should be able to find everything your garden needs from the companies listed above.
One word of caution: be wary of seeds from Amazon. They may come from anywhere around the world and be unreliable producers, or worse, invasive, mislabeled and disease-ridden. I try to stick with companies that come highly recommended from other growers and are in the U.S. at the very least.
After a few growing seasons, you’ll know which seeds tend to produce consistent results. And with some hard work and persistence, you can learn to save those heirloom seeds to enjoy year after year.
You might also like: