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.

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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.

63 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Vanessa February 22, 2012 at 8:50 am -

    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.)

  2. Mike Lieberman February 22, 2012 at 10:26 am -

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

  3. AH February 22, 2012 at 11:43 am -

    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!!!!!

  4. Debra February 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm -

    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.

  5. Jennifer Hagen February 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm -

    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?

  6. Mike Lieberman February 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm -

    Nice. Have heard great stuff about them.

  7. Mike Lieberman February 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm -

    Gotcha. Will take note of it.

  8. Mike Lieberman February 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm -

    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.

  9. Allie Murdock February 23, 2012 at 12:44 am -

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

  10. Nicola Chatham February 23, 2012 at 5:16 am -

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

  11. Mike Lieberman February 23, 2012 at 8:32 am -

    That’s how I roll.

  12. Mike Lieberman February 23, 2012 at 8:32 am -

    Garden porn…now you got me thinking…

  13. ScottfromtheBK February 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm -

    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).

  14. Mil February 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm -

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

  15. Mike Lieberman February 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm -

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

  16. Aliceanne1949 February 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm -

    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. 

  17. Eluem February 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm -

    really great catalogs! 

  18. Cindy Ellen Hill February 26, 2012 at 9:05 am -

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

  19. Alana Mautone February 26, 2012 at 10:26 am -

    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.

  20. Mamacynsmith February 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm -

    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.

  21. David Browning February 26, 2012 at 8:13 pm -

    I also use Johnny’s seed and Baker Creek

  22. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 1:34 am -

    Good stuff. Have heard great things about them.

  23. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 1:35 am -

    Another company that I have heard lots about.

  24. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 1:36 am -

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

  25. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 8:03 am -

    Never heard of them. WIll check out.

  26. Agatha A February 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm -

    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!

  27. Mike Lieberman February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm -

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

  28. Melissa February 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm -

    I use primarily use Victory Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.

  29. Mike Lieberman March 1, 2012 at 8:15 am -

    That’s what I’ve heard.

  30. Terri Hamilton March 21, 2012 at 6:33 pm -

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

  31. Mike Lieberman March 21, 2012 at 11:52 pm -

    Nice.

  32. Gigi April 2, 2012 at 9:49 am -

    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?

  33. Mike Lieberman April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm -

    Check SeedsNow.com

  34. Esther April 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm -

    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.  

  35. Mike Lieberman April 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm -

    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.

  36. Mike Lieberman April 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm -

    Cool. Never heard of them.

  37. Teresa Cline May 21, 2012 at 8:35 am -

    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

  38. Deanna D. May 21, 2012 at 8:37 am -

    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.

  39. LeeAnna Tatum May 21, 2012 at 9:09 am -

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

  40. @stampylisa May 21, 2012 at 9:11 am -

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

  41. Mike Lieberman May 21, 2012 at 9:34 am -

    Thanks. Always good to have more options.

  42. Mike Lieberman May 21, 2012 at 9:34 am -

    Appreciate the info.

  43. Cthykysr May 21, 2012 at 10:31 am -

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

  44. Mike Lieberman May 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm -

    Word. That’s a good one.

  45. CAfarmer May 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm -

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

  46. Detroit Makers June 14, 2012 at 5:02 am -

    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.

  47. Mike Lieberman June 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm -

    Ohh…I like that idea.

  48. Garick Chan November 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm -

    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.

  49. Gray Lance May 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm -

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

  50. UOG May 29, 2013 at 11:00 am -

    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!

  51. RunStylish June 21, 2013 at 8:45 am -

    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!!

  52. Paul W. July 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm -

    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

  53. raj August 28, 2013 at 2:23 am -

    Can you send to India?

  54. Michael Faust April 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm -

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

  55. Lydia Monroe July 10, 2015 at 11:53 am -

    Unless you are growing soybeans and or certain varieties of corn- the liklihood of a veggie seed being genetically modified is slim to none. There is no economic benefit to genetically modify most veggies. A non organic seed will be from a plant that was exposed to chemical fertilizers and possibly pesticides however. While that won’t mean that the plants you grow will have those chemicals in them (i.e.: you won’t be eating them) it will mean that the mother plant did not grow adapted to withstanding the elements under it’s own strength. So if you are growing using organic methods- your plant might have a tougher time of it not having those adaptations in it’s parentage.

  56. Lydia Monroe July 10, 2015 at 11:56 am -

    I love Baker Heirloom Seeds, and Natural Gardening Company (the first organic seed company). I also order organic seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. I recently discovered Uprising Seeds and am excited to try some of their seeds as well.

  57. bluepeahen February 24, 2016 at 10:16 pm -

    I’m hooked on another seed source. Peppers and tomatoes.
    Timeless-Tomatoes.
    Reasonable prices, great selection, fast shipping and a $5 minimum.
    I’ve had 100% germination on a lot of my purchases.
    I won’t go anywhere else. People are friendly and willing to do custom stuff.

  58. Anonymus February 10, 2017 at 5:13 am -

    You are the owner right? How are the plants grown? Is it GMO-free and open pollinated and untreated seeds?

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