3 Sources to Buy Your Vegetable Seeds

Posted on Feb 22 2012 - 1:27am by Mike Lieberman

You are growing your own food because it’s best for your health and the environment.

When you are first starting out, knowing where to buy your seeds from can be intimidating.

It’s difficult to tell the difference between the companies, types of seeds and who is owned by which company.

My goal is to not only help you maximize your space when growing, but also to help you save time in the process.

In the past I’ve looked up seed companies to see which ones provided non-gmo seeds and had no ties to companies that I didn’t support.

All I came across were huge lists with lots of descriptions. They didn’t save me any time. You’ve likely come across the same lists.

Seed Companies You Can Trust

That’s why I wanted to compile a quick list of seed companies that you can buy from. Again this is a quick list because an exhaustive one wouldn’t save you any time.

SeedsNOW.com

SeedsNow is a family owned business right in Los Angeles that provides 100% Pure GMO-FREE Non-Hybridized/Heirloom seeds. All their seeds are raw and always un-treated. Without getting into the specifics, the seeds they have are the most natural most pure form of seed you can get.  Knowing that their site doesn’t offer any hybrid seeds is a really good thing for me.  With their heirloom open-pollinated varieties I know that I’ll be able to save my seeds after harvest. Can’t do that with hybrid or GM seed!

One of the things that I like most about SeedsNow.com is that they have seed sampler packs starting out at  99¢. At those prices you can afford to try growing a lot of different things.   A lot of people don’t know this but their “sampler” packs actually have the equivalent amount of seed (or more) than regular sized packs form other companies.

They have a huge variety of NON-GMO seeds for you to start growing your own food. Definitely a site worth checking out:  www.SeedsNow.com

You can get 10% off your SeedsNow.com purchase by using the code URBAN10.

Botanical Interests

Botanical Interests is one of the larger seed supply companies that you might’ve seen in your local health food store.

One of the things that they are most well known for is the art on their seed packets.

Their seed packet collection is also quite extensive. You can spend hours pouring through their catalog.

Seed Savers Exchange

I have never used Seed Savers Exchange before, but a lot of you have recommended them before, so I added them to the list.

These three companies should give you a good start for buying your seeds online. Yes, there are dozens of other companies that can be added to this list, but that wouldn’t save you much time.

Your turn

Have you purchased from any of these companies before? Who else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Vanessa

    It never even occurred to me to research seed companies!  I usually buy Botanical Interests or Renee’s Garden but I’ve been wanting to buy from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds.  I got their catalog and was pleased to know that they have a wide variety of everything and are very passionate about what they do.  
    They even had the story of the Canadian farmer who stood up to Monsanto.  (I think the story goes his neighbors planted Monsanto seed but when their crop contaminated his non GMO crop, Monsanto actually sued him for stealing seed but he counter-sued for contamination to his crop.)

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Have heard good things about Baker Creek too. As consumers, we have the responsibility of knowing who and what we are supporting.

  • AH

    I have ordered from Baker Creek a lot, and they are great. Their selection is amazing, orders shipped quickly, they send you a “bonus” pack of seeds with your order, and I had great yields with the seeds I ordered from them. I would definitely recommend them!!!!!

  • Debra

    Mike I would like to see kits that work well in a wet climate like Washington state.  Which plants do well here and not.  It’s hard and a waste of money doing trial and error.

  • Jennifer Hagen

    I have used William Dam seeds from Dudas, Ontario for the past 2 years.  Their seeds are untreated and some are organic…but they don’t say anything about GMO seeds.  It says in their catalog that they buy seeds from “reputable sources” which keep parent lines and heirlooms.  Hybrids and heirlooms are available.  So..what do you think?  Is this still a good choice?

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Nice. Have heard great stuff about them.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Gotcha. Will take note of it.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I never heard of them. I would say to contact them and ask questions. Where they get their seeds from? If they get any of their seeds from a company called Seminis…that is a Monsanto subsidiary.

  • Allie Murdock

    I agree, Baker Creek is amazing.  My husband and I joke that their catalog is porn for gardeners.

  • http://www.nicolachatham.com/ Nicola Chatham

    This is a great resource, thanks Mike! You’re such a great contact for organic materials in the USA for this Aussie. 

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    That’s how I roll.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Garden porn…now you got me thinking…

  • ScottfromtheBK

    The Council for Responsible Genetics has a by-state list of companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge for 2012 (non-GMO seeds).  I buy from Territorial Seed (Oregon) and Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Maine).  Johnny’s is super fast and standard shipping to NYC takes 2 days.  Good to know about Baker Creek… I’ll have to give them a try.  Thanks to all for the recommendations!
     
    Mike – I looked at the kits from SeedsNow and while there are a lot of different kits to choose from, I felt that even the kit designed for urban gardeners (Urban Grow Kit) was a little big for the constraints of growing in my apartment.  It’s great that the kit comes with more than 26,000 seeds, but I don’t think I’d ever go through that many seeds (unless I’m planning on making my apartment a jungle)… maybe the solution would be a basic “apartment kit”??  I’d also like to see a kit that’s specifically designed for containers (Johnny’s actually indicates which seeds work best in containers… very helpful).

  • http://www.UrbanFarmAndBeehives.com/ Mil

    I like Baker Creek. I remember reading that they sign the pledge.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks for the feedback and will definitely relay the info to them. I like the container kit idea

  • Aliceanne1949

    Yes, I do have ideas for seed kits: How about Salad Kit? (romaine and other lettuces, tomato, cucumber, green onion, carrot, etc.) or Green Smoothies Kit (kale, collards, chard, parsley, endive, spinach, etc.)? I appreciate your information and dedication. 

  • Eluem

    really great catalogs! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.e.hill Cindy Ellen Hill

    Mike — check out High Mowing Seeds here in Vermont, that’s where I buy a large portion of my seeds from. 

  • http://twitter.com/RamblinGarden Alana Mautone

    I’ve ordered from Seed Savers Exchange-I would highly recommend them.  I also have purchased from Johnny’s every year since 1979 (except for several years when our area didn’t offer a community garden) and love their catalog.  I never would have thought to research this topic.  By the way, our community garden here in upstate NY plans to go organic within the next five years.

  • Mamacynsmith

    Fortunatly for me and not so much for you.  I get my seeds from a local family friend – My mothers friend.  Some of the seeds they use she has never bought.  They got the seed start from her mother, and she has been using the fruit of her labor for the last 45-47 years that I remember her gardening.  I have gotten several squash seeds and bean (green), beets & kale. let alone flower bulbs and (toes) and the like.  I am so very blessed to have a gardener through and through kind of friend. Not that I am that old but I know… They and my mother shared seeds, compost, canning jars, recipies and such.  I grew up “organic gardening”.  I didin’t know there was another way untill I went off to college, even then I couldn’t understand why any one would knowingly put chemicals in their body..  go figure.  Not that I don’t have lots to learn.  I sure do.  I want to gleen every bit of information I possibly can for great gardening.   Kudos to you and all of us trying to make a differnce here for our selves and to show the others the  as I have moved back to my home stompin’ grounds I can get back to gardening as I once knew it.

  • David Browning

    I also use Johnny’s seed and Baker Creek

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Good stuff. Have heard great things about them.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Another company that I have heard lots about.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    They are owned by the Mars company though, which is reason that I don’t support them.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Never heard of them. WIll check out.

  • http://twitter.com/MsFriendlyFire Agatha A

    Hi, Baker Creek is excellent; most of my heirloom seeds are going to be from them. I am concerned with my old vendor, Johnny’s Seeds. They used to get some of their seeds from Seminis, which is a company owned by Monsanto. Johnny’s is currently phasing out of Seminis seed, but until they completely do (I dont know when that is) I refuse to buy from them anymore. If anyone knows more about the Seminis/Monsanto connection please let us know!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Seminis is a subsidiary of Monsanto. have you called Johnny’s Seeds to ask them about their connection?

  • Melissa

    I use primarily use Victory Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    That’s what I’ve heard.

  • Terri Hamilton

    I have bought Seed Savers Exchange before–there is a store in my city that actually stocks some of their seeds every spring.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Nice.

  • Gigi

    By any chance do you or anyone else know where to purchase non-gmo, non-hybrid and open-pollinated fruit seeds?  I have been looking for strawberries and other fruit other than just watermelon, and apples.  Do you have any companies for those items?

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Check SeedsNow.com

  • Esther

    Don’t have time to plant seeds.  Where can I buy plants?  Saw some at my local Mom’s Organic Market but am not certain the plants are non-gmo.  

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    If you have access to the grower, ask them how their plants are raised and what their growing practices are. 

    GMO plants and crops also aren’t available to consumers.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Cool. Never heard of them.

  • http://www.teresaclinegallery.com/ Teresa Cline

    In the Florida Panhandle this seed company can provide seeds and advice about what grows well in the Northern Florida climes. http://www.moonlightmicrofarm.com/Default.asp

  • Deanna D.

    SeedsNow.com has fruit seeds…I know they have watermelon and canteloupe…not sure about fruit trees…apples and most other fruit trees are grafted to a disease resistent root stock, so rarely will you see seeds sold for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=550065799 LeeAnna Tatum

    I use Sustainable Seed Company, http://www.sustainableseedco.com

  • @stampylisa

    Johnnyseeds.com is another good source for specialty organic and heirloom seeds

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Thanks. Always good to have more options.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Appreciate the info.

  • Cthykysr

    Landreth Seeds – the oldest seed company in the US.  And they’re all heirloom varieties.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Word. That’s a good one.

  • CAfarmer

    I’m not familiar with the first one, but I love BI and SSE. I buy more and more from High Mowing Seeds.

  • Detroit Makers

    Can you make a “make your own salsa” kit? I’ve been focused on growing tomatoes, many kinds of peppers, cilantro, etc., with the goal of making some Detroit Organic Salsa!  A suggestion list of kit would be just awesome. Thanks so much for all that you do. I had been watching your videos on youtube for the last few weeks (I moved to Detroit from NYC 4 years ago, so was happy to hear a proper accent) but only yesterday found your site. Had no idea there was so much info on this site! You may want to make that more clear on your video titles, for people like me who almost missed out of such a huge resource. Now I consider your videos and website a one(two) stop shop for almost all the info I need to continue the huge growth at our Detroit Rivertown community garden and Art Park!   -Hugs from Detroit.

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Ohh…I like that idea.

  • http://www.Nimble.com Garick Chan

    Where’s a good source to buy planting/seed-sprouting trays? I’ve read a lot of articles and have watched a lot of articles where people are using small square or rectangular containers, slightly bigger than an outspread palm.

    However, none of the seed suppliers seem to also offer the trays to grow them in.

  • Gray Lance

    In Oregon – Territorial Seeds and Nichols Seed Company are two good ones.

  • UOG

    Good question. They’re not saying their seeds are organic but they are stating that in order for you to grow “organic” food the #1 requirement (as defined by the USDA) is the seeds need to be NON-Genetically Modified. SeedsNow.com sells only Non-GMO seeds. And as long as you take their seeds and grow them organically – without the use of pesticides and chemicals – then the produce you are growing will be “organic”. Hope this helps!

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  • RunStylish

    I purchase organic veggies to plant in my garden about 80% of the time. It just dawned on me that the other plants may be genetically modified. Yikes! Your site is a great resource and I will link to you when I write a post on the subject. Thanks!!

  • Paul W.

    High Mowing was suggested to me, too. I am using Fedco right now, but it is my first time growing organic, and I did not know about the difference between hybrids and open-pollinators. Fedco has both, it seems. I’ll try Seeds Now and High Mowing

  • raj

    Can you send to India?

  • Michael Faust

    You go Detroit!
    Just bought my Bocce set last weekend!