If you’re in the midwest like me, you’re probably getting ready to start some seeds inside soon! If you’re just starting out (or even if you’re not), here is my list of the best places to get seeds for your garden.
It might only be February, but garden planning is in full swing in my household. And many other gardeners (maybe even you!) are feeling the same way. Anticipation and hope for this year’s summer garden is what’s getting us through the cold and gloomy days of winter.
One of the best places to get seeds is right on your phone or computer. The internet allows us to get seeds from all over the place at the tap of a button. You need to be discerning (if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is), but overall you can find some great stuff online.
A few of my favorite places to buy from are:
- MIGardener – This company is GREAT because they have fantastic heirloom seeds at a great price, as well as educational content to go with them. Luke (the owner) has a YouTube channel where he covers all kinds of gardening tips and tricks, and the seed packets themselves have lots of information on growing, as well as the story behind the seed itself. I now buy the majority of our seeds from MIGardener, and have yet to be disappointed. Free shipping on orders over $12!
- Burpee Seeds – They are a larger company than MIGardener, so they might not have as much educational info, but they could be a “one stop shop” if you wanted to just get everything you need from one place.
- Urban Farmer – I got our seed potatoes from this Indiana based company last year, and was super pleased. We’ve ordered more potatoes from them this year, and added on some grow bags and sweet potato slips to try. Overall great customer service, and a good variety of quality seeds!
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Johnny’s is a staple for a lot of market gardeners. They have great seeds, as well as great seed starting materials. I just bought some new starter trays, lids, and pots for up-potting, and I’m excited to be able to use them for years to come!
If you’d rather grab some seeds without having to pay for shipping, you can always find seeds in your local hardware stores and grocery stores. Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and Target always have seed sections during spring where you can peruse a selection of Burpee seeds, as well as a few other brands. If you’re on a tight budget, you can even hit up the Dollar Store and I bet you could find a few seed packets there. Their germination rate might not be the best and they probably aren’t organic, but they will grow and feed your family which is what matters the most!
Community groups can definitely be one of the best places to get seeds for your garden, because people have things you might not even know about! Involving yourself in your local gardening community will give you the opportunity to meet people you share common interests and goals with, learn new information, and maybe even make some friends! Places to tap into your community are:
- Facebook – Look on Facebook marketplace or join a Facebook group about gardening.
- Library – See if they have any garden groups that meet regularly, or are holding any seed swaps. Seed swaps are a GREAT way to get new seeds for free! This way you can expand the variety of things you grow without having to spend an arm and a leg.
- Contact your local extension office – They often have annual seed swaps, and also have a database of seeds that they give out for free, so you can get started at little or no cost. They are also a HUGE resource of knowledge about your local growing climate, and can be a great group of people to get to know if you are just getting started and want to learn a lot of information fast!
Things to Consider
When deciding where to source your seeds, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, you want to keep your budget in check. With some of the smaller more boutique seed companies, it can be so easy to be wooed by pretty pictures and promises of huge harvests. But one of the points of growing your own food is that it saves you money at the store. So if you’re spending loads of money on crazy seeds (that maybe you won’t even eat), then you won’t save money after all.
Second, consider where the source is located. For instance, I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, so I tend to shop from companies and source my seeds in and around the midwest (MIGardener is based in Michigan, and Urban Farmer is in Indiana). In doing so, I’ll have a greater chance of getting seeds that thrive in my growing zone. Keeping an eye on where your seeds are source and where they are used to growing can be a huge help and make your growing season that much more successful.
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Whether you have questions about a certain seed, or you are on a really tight budget and can’t grow all the things you want, reaching out to fellow gardeners will never fail you. I’ve never met a mean gardener! So contact customer support if you’re wondering about something on a company’s website, or ask a friend if they want to go halfsies with you on some seeds. Then you can both benefit and grow your own gardens without have to spend as much money!
I hope these sources help you find all the seeds you need for a great garden season! Comment down below what you’re growing this year, or tag me on Instagram @sweetgumspot with pictures of your seeds! Best of luck, and I cant wait to see your beautiful gardens!