Seed Purchasing….

One of my Columbines in one of the patio planters made it! So exciting to see new life!

Yes, an actual post about gardening finally….

When people find out I’ve grown over 5,000 seedlings over the last three years, they ask me….

“Where do you get your seeds….and why do you get them there?”

With all of these seductive, alluring, full color, glossy catalogs – how can a person decide where to get good quality seeds? Don’t even get me started on the new found passion for flower farming and the different companies making it look so easy breezy, glamorous and heavily romantic. Flower farming is dirty, heartbreaking, time consuming, and can be super expensive. But that is a whole different topic that I’ve been meaning to make a video about for several months, perhaps one of these days!

Here is a run down of where I DO and DO NOT get my seeds & why…..(I do not make any money off of my recommendations) Also keep in mind – I’m a flower grower, not a vegetable grower. So, my experiences listed here are from the lens of a flower grower.

At the top of my list is Johnny’s. They have a great selection, their seed counts are above what it says on their packet, their pictures in their catalog are true and honest. In addition to that, their awesome, simple to read packets are a really big plus for this lady who needs large print to be able to see it clearly. Are they sexy & glamorous…….nope, not one bit, but it’s a seed packet for crying-out-loud….mine get written on, and get dirty – they are a tool, not something to frame. Also, a really big hit for me – is when I’m looking at their catalog, it has a description of the plants, growing conditions, growing habit, and little symbols next to them to tell you if they are cutting flowers, heirloom, cold tolerant, easy choice, greenhouse performer, containers, organic, edible, highly fragrant, dried flowers, if they attract butterflies. If you are looking for a particular kind, it’s super easy to scan for those symbols and make your choices based on those facts. At the bottom of the page it has recommendations on how to start them (in trays/cell number/direct seed), days for germination and when to harvest.

Secondly, Rare Seeds, aka Baker Creek, is another place I really enjoy. Like the name suggests, they tend not to have the usual items, like Fever Few but they do have some really unique seeds. Their catalog is beautiful, their seed packs are also very pretty and easy to read. I love that they have free shipping AND they always toss in a packet of free seeds. I’ve received free carrots, basil & dill from this company, super generous of them! There isn’t a lot of information on the seeds they sell on their packet, in their catalog, or on their web page. It’s almost like, if you are new to the game, don’t buy from here because there isn’t a lot of information – you might have to look it up on the web – good luck with deciphering anything on there – so many different stories out there – you just have to give it your best bet and run with it!

Thirdly, Burpees, I don’t particularly care for Burpees all that much – simply because they are expensive, they charge a decent amount for shipping (which is expensive no matter what), however with all that being said – I only grow flowers….so I’m not the best person to ask about veggie seeds from Burpees. I wish they had more information on the seeds they sell, I like a lot of information. I understand that seeds grow differently in different places, but I’m so spoiled with the information from Johnny’s that I wish Burpee’s was as comprehensive. I believe my brother-in-law purchases his vegetable seeds from the local feed stores and Fred Meyer’s from the Burpee line and his garden is always amazing!

The Select Seeds catalog is very reminiscent of the Sears flyer you used to get in the Sunday paper. There isn’t anything wrong with it per say, but it’s print & quality of the magazine isn’t as nice as the other three mentioned above – but it’s NOT about the magazine quality is it?!! The prices are good, I’ve never had any issues with germination, they have a fair selection of different types. Information on each plant isn’t as great as Johnny’s!

John Scheepers, Kitchen Garden Seeds, Renee’s Seeds Territorial Seed Company & Swallowtail are also great places to purchase seeds.

I’ve listed all the places where I would buy seeds from again, there is one place I would never buy from again. Floret, seed packs are impossible for me to read, the seed counts are continually off, they do not have a catalog (at least that I’m aware of), and the pictures and descriptions of her flowers are very misleading.

There are several seed swaps in our area, local people selling seeds and even seed swaps via the internet. Those are always fun to patriciate in. If you are participating in one, please be careful of what you plant in your area; some species can be invasive or poisonous. Be sure to do your homework on the seeds you exchange.

Do you have a favorite place to purchase seeds or a warning as to where not to buy from? Please leave a comment as to from where, and why you like them so much – or ay other information you think might be helpful!

Thanks for dropping in, as promised, I’m working on focusing on gardening post more. The dead horse –I believe- is buried….deeply??!! Until next time my friends, hugs to you!

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