Where should you buy vegetable seeds?
Tips on where should you buy vegetable seeds for the most prolific garden cropFor many gardeners, spring planting is one of many highlights throughout the year. Youíve poured time and energy into improving the fertility and growing conditions of the yard. Now you're planning this yearís garden with dreamy eyes and an eager appetite for that first cherry tomato plump and warmed by the sun.
But before the hands can get dirty with planting, itís time to get sourcing. Wondering where should you buy vegetable seeds? The options are many Ė delis, hardware stores and even dollar shops sell them.
Okay, the truth is finding a good selection of quality seeds from a company you trust is not easy. If you donít have a local nursery that offers what youíre looking for, there are a large number of companies with websites and catalogs featuring over 1000 varieties of seeds.
What to look for:
Selection is not the only thing to look for in a good vendor. Family-owned companies with a long history of supporting gardeners make it their business to offer heirloom varieties and non-GM seeds. These are the kind of responsive companies that tend to treat customers like neighbors.
No genetic modification
When youíre comparing different companies, keep an eye out for those who have signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE. This tells you the business never has and never will sell GM seeds. Signers of this pledge support sustainable agriculture and responsible gardening practices, so it's good to support them.
In 2011, Mother Earth News asked hundreds of seasoned gardeners to rank seed companies and explain why the like them. For many, the quality of detailed information provided on each variety ranked extremely high as a 'why'. The more you know about the vegetables you plant, the more likely you are to choose ones that will thrive and taste oh, so good.
One of the most obvious answers to where should you buy vegetable seeds is probably right in front of you. Many of the websites that provide growing advice and other useful gardening tips also sell seeds. Companies that go the extra step of guiding new gardeners are invested in helping you have high rates of germination.
Organics, heirlooms and hybrids
Donít compromise. If the local nursery doesnít offer organics, heirlooms and hybrids, turn to one of the many companies that do. These businesses specialize in packing and shipping seeds without harming them. Buying local is an understandable preference, but filling the garden with the highest quality plants is a higher priority for many.
That said, itís worth spending a little extra time looking for a regional company to buy a few of your vegetable seeds from. The reason being is locally cultivated seeds are often best suited for your area.
The joy of seed catalogs!
This brings us to the specifics of where should you buy vegetable seeds. You can ask fellow gardeners for recommendations, or request a catalog from several companies. Do this as much for pleasure reading as for figuring out which one to buy from.
If youíre new to gardening, you may be raising your eyebrows, but actually gardening catalogs are quite entertaining. Many include humorous anecdotes and charming illustrations. Plus mail-order is still the most popular way for gardeners to make their purchases. According to Mother Earth News, 70% of those surveyed reported primarily buying through catalogs.
Whether buying online or through the mail, call ahead to make sure the company still has what you want to order. This way you wonít have to wait due to inventory shortage and risk missing the prime planting window. Once the inventory is confirmed, get your order in!
With over one hundred companies in the game, youíre bound to be torn between a few. In this case, go with your gut. Order from the catalog or site that makes you feel inspired and excited for the upcoming growing season.