My Favorite Seed Suppliers…& Yours

January 28, 2010


I rarely buy annual, perennial, or vegetable seeds from local vendors, because their selections, to be frank, are usually too skimpy for my taste. Take, for instance, petunia seeds. A big box garden center might offer 4 basic varieties. But visit an online seed specialist like Summerhill, and there you will find 55 kinds, including the delightfully fragrant ‘Shock Wave Rose,’ pictured up top. The following seed suppliers get most of my business:

Diane’s Flower Seeds. Diane Linsley offers open-pollinated, heirloom perennial, annual, and vegetable seeds. Seeds have been tested for germination. Her columbine collection is extraordinary; I bought several varieties, including the stunning, blue ‘Alpine.’

Summerhill Seeds. I already mentioned Summerhill’s petunias, but their hollyhocks are equally impressive. You can buy them in mixed or individual hues. I had to restrain myself with these, for I wanted them all. I settled for ‘Apple Blossom,’ a 7-foot variety with fully double, soft-pink blossoms.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds. You can have a field day on this site, too, whether you are looking for flowers or vegetables. I couldn’t resist Johnny’s lime-green variety of Love Lies Bleeding, nor his extra early, ‘Premium’ peas.

Pinetree Garden Seeds. If you need seeds at low, low prices by all means visit Pinetree. This is the place to buy seed potatoes, onions, artichokes, and bareroot raspberries and blueberries. Their online catalog is far from glitzy, but who cares? Packets of flower and vegetable seeds are all under $2.00.

Renee’s Garden. Love cottage gardens? So does Renee Shephard. I’ve already ordered her new-for-2010 double cosmos ‘Rose Bon Bon,’ with double-frilled petals in a rich, romantic pinkish-rose. Also delightful are her knee-high sweet peas, in mixed tones of salmon-rose and soft mid-blue, which grow to only three feet. Renee’s love for flowers and vegetables becomes obvious when you visit her website.

How about you? Who do you buy seeds from, and why?

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Related Posts:
Winter-Sowing 101
Making a Greenhouse & Sowing Seeds
What Gets You Through the Winter?
My Easy, Easy Kitchen Garden

Comments

  1. Samantha says:

    Thanks, Kevin, I hadn't heard of these three dealers. But I clicked on each of the links, and yes, I can see why you like them!

    I've already dropped a chunk of change at Park Seeds, on both annuals and vegetables. They are a habit with me, as I order from them every year.

  2. Tammy says:

    Good list, Kevin. I also love High Mowing Organic Seeds in VT — great source of non-GMO and heirloom varieties and I've had very good luck with the seeds from there for years (no one paid me to say this! – I'm just a fan of what they do).

  3. Eric says:

    I've only purchased seeds locally. But after checking the links, I'm motivated to expand my horizons!

  4. Samantha – I've ordered a number of gardening supplies from Park, including plant trays for my fluorescent set ups. They are certainly reliable.

    Tammy – I just checked High Mowing. Beautiful website, and I instantly found three things I want: jasmine-scented nicotiana (great for winter-sowing); and Black Turtle and Calypso dried beans. Thanks for the tip!

    Eric – Once you've tried the heirloom varieties and unique hybrids of the seed specialist…you never go back!

  5. Justin says:

    I'm going to order my tomatoes from Totallytomato.com. You might want to check them out, Kevin. Holy cow – they have 60 open-pollinated heirloom varieties…and lots of hybrids, too.

  6. Erin says:

    Kevin- Thank you! I just ordered more catalogs! I dont think my yard is big enough for all the beautiful plants I want! Renee's Garden web site is wonderful!!!

  7. Justin – Totally Tomato is totally cool. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Erin – Good for you! I think your yard, by mid summer, will be truly spectacular.

  8. Randy J says:

    Kevin,
    Select Seeds is a stand by of mine but I also like Seeds of Change and Seed Savers for seeds of Heirloom plants. I always try to buy only organic seeds but certainly when it comes to vegetables I will not buy anything else.
    Seeds of Change sells only 100% organic seeds, and Seed Savers Exchange is a not-for-profit that is dedicated to keeping Heirloom plants available. They carry both Organic and non-Organic seeds.

  9. Randy J – Thanks for the alerts!

    I should have added Seeds of Change to my list — I have ordered from their before. Love how they package their seeds for longevity.

    Seed Savers Exchange looks inviting, and I will give them a try. Their Himilayan Blue Poppy instantly drew my attention…looks like a “must-have” plant with great winter-sowing potential!

  10. Kevin, you are making me drool for spring.

  11. GothamDan says:

    Thanks, Kevin. I used Vermont Wildflowers once. Great flowers, except the deer eat everything that isn't white or yellow.

  12. Brigid – you are welcome!

    GothamDan – I'll keep Vermont Wildflowers in my file. And remember, when you dwell in the country, must plant for your visitors, too!

  13. Becky says:

    Hi Kevin, I was so happy to find your blog. We're past seed-buying season now, but I have to mention FEDCO cooperative here in Maine. They have wicked reasonable prices, excellent quality, and a good selection of open-pollenated seeds adapted to our climate. They also sell bulbs, trees, seed potatoes, and gardening supplies through different divisions. Their website is nothing spectacular, and their catalog is black-and-white newsprint, very opinionated, quirky, and full of information. I always shop FEDCO first, then turn to other suppliers (I like Johnny's and Pinetree) when I can't get what I need from my buddies in Waterville.

  14. Becky – nice to meet you. I hadn't thought about FEDCO in years. Thanks for the reminder and your endorsement of them.

  15. Pat says:

    “Pinetree Garden Seeds” I could not connect with this seed company could there be another website for them

  16. B Purtell says:

    Hi,

    I just did some winter sowing of several annuals and perennials week of 3/4 and today 3/12/2013. Also just put out some tomato seeds to try today. Wonder if it’s too late for this process here in the Chicago Midwest? Thank you.

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