Last updated on January 4th, 2012
AS I’VE SAID BEFORE, I rarely buy annual, perennial or vegetable seeds from local vendors. Why? Because their selections are limited to what will fit on a rack. Take, for example, petunia seeds. The local big-box store might sell 3 basic varieties (if you’re lucky). But visit an on-line seed specialist like Summerhill, and you will find 61 petunia varieties, including the delightful ‘Shock Wave Rose,’ pictured up top. The following seed-sellers 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 winter-sowed several varieties last year, 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. Last year, 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 winter-sowed her double cosmos ‘Rose Bon Bon’ last year, and enjoyed the rich, romantic, frilled flowers from spring through frost. You might like 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.
Seeds of Change. My friend Randy introduced me to this company which sells only 100-percent organic seeds. I’ve already placed an order with them for ‘Nutri-Bud’ broccoli, ‘Golden Giant’ amaranth, and ‘Roma’ and ‘Amish’ paste tomatoes.
Seed Savers Exchange. This non-profit group of gardeners is dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. I rely on them for almost all of my heirloom veggie needs. I can heartily recommend their ‘German Pink’, ‘Golden Sunray’, ‘Italian Heirloom,’ and ‘Striped Cavern’ tomatoes — for these performed brilliantly here last year.
Now it’s your turn. Who gets your seed money?
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I have bought some from Renee's Garden, more from Victory Seeds, New Hope Seeds, and Freedom Seeds.
Did you know that the Food Stamp program will pay for vegetable seeds and plants! Although not online:)
I've used Vermont-based High Mowing Seeds for the last decade and been very happy with their selection, germination rate, and customer service, not to mention how easy they make it to find non-GMO organic seeds and sets. Like you experienced on some of the seeds sites, Kevin, I get on High Mowing's website and could spend hours. But that's ok in the middle of the winter on a weekend afternoon! 🙂
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Terry – thanks for the links. I did not know about food stamps being accepted for veggie seeds and plants. This is a GOOD thing!
Tammy – I keep hearing positive comments about High Mowing Seeds. I'll place an order with them. I know what you mean about spending hours on-line…I tend to want EVERYTHING.
oh somehow I missed Botanical Interests which is where I bought most of my seeds last year. They have the most beautiful catalog and seed packages!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Terry – thanks for the link; like PineTree Gardens, Botanical Interests is a good bargain outfit — seeds cost under $2 per packet.
I've used Vermont Wildflower Farm in the past and had a really nice wildflower garden, although the deer seemed to eat anything that wasn't yellow or white. I just planted their woodlands mix, deer resistant mix and fall flower mix; I'll let you know what happens.
Jerry (Daisy) says
My absolute favorite is Johnny's Select Seeds, they offer organic and heirloom varieties.Last year we tried Burpee small container varieties just to see what they produced. The squash and eggplants did very well. I also grow new potatos in large (36″) pots, 24″ deep. We are in the country and have gofer issues with root veggies. Already doing my wish lists for spring!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
GothamDan – good luck with the deer resistant wildflower mix!
Jerry – I like Johnny's too. And what a great idea to grow potatoes in a deep pot.
My kitchen garden borders a woodland, but so far no creatures have trespassed it save for a woodchuck, who caused no harm. I've been lucky.