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.
Courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange
Providing seeds for over 140 years, this experienced company is a staple among the seed world. While you can find Burpee seeds at many other retailers, the most variety comes directly from the company itself. Seeds are organized by vegetables, flowers, herbs, perennials, herbs, fruit, heirloom, and organics. You can find multiple varieties of each, as well as the type of growth and conditions that they prefer.
Seed Savers Exchange
Another powerhouse seed provider, Eden Brothers has flower seeds, wildflower seed mixes, vegetable seeds, herb seeds, heirloom seeds, organic seeds, flowering bulbs, and perennials. All of their seeds are non-GMO and they have the largest variety of seeds in the United States.
“With the largest variety of seeds in the United States, this company allows you to sort seeds and bulbs by color, planting season, and more.”
Focus on environmentally responsible growing
Most consumers are familiar with The Home Depot as a one-stop shop for home repair, renovation, and improvement. They also have a decent garden section. If you are working on multiple projects around your home and just want to place one order, The Home Depot is a great place to do it. Plus, they have brick-and-mortar stores, so returns are generally easier than online-only retailers.
Which seeds should you start indoors? Which should you wait to plant directly in the garden? When? And in what soil temperatures do certain seeds germinate better? Grab this one-page quick reference guide to get your seeds sprouting and your plants growing strong!
They also still have seeds for fall gardening, when many times the big-box stores have taken down their seed displays.
There’s no question — buying seeds from a local big box store or garden center is likely the most convenient option. It’s easy to pick up seeds while you’re already there for other items, and for the most part, you get a decent selection.
Buy seeds as cheaply as possible.
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.
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.
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.
This is why I’m strategic about where I buy seeds — both locally and online — for the most reliable seeds, best selection, budget-friendly options, and most promising harvest.