We are all headed into the time of year when we start thinking about cleaning out the summer garden, planning for the fall garden (if that is your thing), and embarking on planning for seed purchases for next year! YAY seed purchases!
I learned something new this summer about where the seeds we purchase online come from. If you are curious about this watch THIS VIDEO!
With that information learned, why would I continue to order from different seed companies? Why not just pick one, or two, and order all my seeds from there? Great question! Let me tell you why I like these companies so much and will continue to order seeds from them for the foreseeable future!
Arguably the BEST place to order heirloom seeds! If you are wanting to focus your growing efforts towards heirloom varieties this could actually be your one-stop-shop! They offer two catalog options. The free catalog is 160+ pages of beautiful pictures and unique varieties with a great description and a little history of the seed. The paid catalog, or Whole Seed Catalog, is really misnamed. This is a 450-page BOOK of seed stories, pictures, and history. It is definitely worth purchasing at least once in my opinion!
Con: The biggest con that I have found with Baker Creek is the lack of information about the disease and pest resistance of their seeds. It doesn’t exist so you have to do some research on your own from other sites to find this information. What I have done to combat this is just to take notes from other places and put them on my seed packets.
Oh, my love for Johnny’s runs deep! Mainly because they have it all! They offer heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds, open-pollinated seeds, organic seeds, and combinations of each of these. On their website and in their 240+ page catalog they have a lot of information about disease resistance, germination guides, and general history of seeds. If you want to try to grow only things that have good resistance, they take the guesswork out for you and you will know exactly what to order and what to pass on. They offer different sized packages based on your need for that type of seed which I find to be very helpful. I could go on and on!
Con: Even though I love Johnny’s so, there is one con that I have found. During this last year, there were times when they closed their shopping to small growers. While I understand their need to ensure large growers got their seeds, it was slightly frustrating to not be able to shop except for during certain times. Should the need arise for them to do this again, I would just suggest having your order prepared ahead of time so you can get your order in during the shopping window.
Hudson Valley Seed Company has a well-rounded collection of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds in both heirloom and open-pollinated options. They also have many organic options and that is important to me. My favorite thing, however, about Hudson Valley Seed Company is their art packs! This is something so unique to this company. While many companies have pretty seed packets, Hudson Valley has an “Art Pack” for so many of their seeds. They commission artists to tell the story of their seeds in art. And let me tell you, some of these packages could be framed. I have been known to add seeds to my cart based solely on the art pack. One of the seeds I currently have in my cart is Bumble Bee Mix Cherry Tomato. I don’t want to grow cherry tomatoes because my family doesn’t really like them. But that dang art pack is so cute that I have to have it!
Con: This is more of an observation than a con. But they are a smaller company…not small just smaller. So, you may not find all of the variety you want. Their catalog is 73 pages, give or take, and each seed listing has just the basic information. You will have to do a little extra research here.
Peace of mind! That is what High Mowing Organic Seeds gives me. I prefer to only grow organic seeds whenever possible. I don’t have to search for that information when I am shopping with High Mowing because ALL of their seeds are organic. The company, in general, has a strong emphasis on rebuilding the food systems in a healthy way…which I love! Their 110+ page catalog is filled with varieties from all your most wanted veggies and melons as well as some flower and cover crop options. They have a very extensive disease and pest resistance description for each item as well. Their seed packets have a great deal of information on them as well. So, when you are in the garden you can just read the seed packet to find the info you are looking for and not worry about carrying the catalog around with you. Like some of the other companies listed, they offer different-sized package options so you can buy what you are wanting, not what someone decided you wanted. They offer all of this at about the same price as all the other companies for comparable size packages.
Con: This is a stretch for me. I genuinely love this company, its philosophy, and its products. The only thing that I can even pick at is their selection of flowers. While they do offer flowers, they are limited in selection. But…who really cares. Even me, with my obsession with organics, will grow a standard flower seed. So, shop with High Mowing Organic Seeds with great confidence that you are getting a stellar product from a great company!
Seed Savers Exchange is the second of my heirloom-focused companies. They have hundreds of rare, heirloom, and open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. What sets them apart is their desire to teach gardeners how to save seeds. They offer gardening and seed saving guides to teach you how to garden with the intention of saving seeds. They also have a membership option so you can be more involved than just buying a few packets of seeds each season. One of the most unique things I have seen is they have a seed exchange part of their website where you can go to list, search and exchange seeds with other gardeners around the country. Such a fun way to connect with like-minded growers you would otherwise never meet.
Con: The first time I went to their site I thought I HAD to join their membership to buy seeds. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but I was confused. I want to make sure that you don’t have this misunderstanding as well because they offer fantastic seeds with a history that we should all want to preserve!
MIgardener is probably the smallest seed company on my list but make no mistake…they belong here. They have an ever-growing list of seeds that they offer and the best part is they offer them at the best price I have ever seen from a legitimate seed company. They don’t skimp on the number of seeds per package either. Their website gives just enough information to successfully grow any of the items they sell, and their fearless leader (Luke) is a stellar teacher of all things garden. While you can’t have him come to your house (or maybe for the right price you could) you can find him on YouTube teaching all things gardening. And, I have seen several times where he will answer questions on Facebook. Having Luke as a resource makes MIgardener sit well within my top 9 list!
Con: They don’t have a catalog that they will mail to you with their seed offerings. Not the end of the world, for sure. But, for people like me that really like to have less screen time and more reading time, this is a bit of a bummer! However, judging from the percentage of my seed collection made up of MIgardener seeds, I have found a workaround!
This is not an exhausted list of companies I buy from. There are so many great seed companies out there but this list is my top, go to places to start. Make your own list and then share with me some that you love to purchase from as well. I always want to hear about new places to feed my addiction!