Where to Buy Seeds for your Garden
Starting off with high quality seeds is the first step to successful germination and a successful garden.
Seeds are available at many local stores in the spring, such as garden centres, farm supply stores, and hardware stores. Sometimes the quality can be good, but many times the quality is poor - it can be quite chancey.
High quality seeds are:
seeds that are large and heavy for that particular variety
seeds that have been tested to have high germination rates
seeds that have been grown organically (ideally)
There are a few other factors that affect seed quality too, such as: seeds that are grown locally or in a comparable climate, and how nourished the parent plants were.
Also watch for seeds that have been treated with a fungicide. Most seed catalogues will note if the seeds were treated.
Some seed companies have a reputation for high quality seeds; I’ll share some of my favourites below.
Each seed company has unique interests or specialties, so it’s worth checking into them to find seed companies with values that align with your own, and that carry the range of seeds that you’d like to grow.
William Dam Seeds: located in Ontario; some organic options available; carries standard vegetable seeds; trials various seed varieties each year; all seeds are untreated (eg, no fungicide)
West Coast Seed: located in British Columbia; some organic options available; carries a wide selection of vegetable seeds, including some specialty types; most seeds are untreated
Johnny’s: located in Maine; lots of organic options; carries a very wide selection of vegetable and flower seeds; actively breeds new varieties of seeds, and performs extensive trials; very good quality seeds; most seeds are untreated
High Mowing Seeds: located in Vermont; all seeds are organic; a seed-producing company (not only a re-seller); many of the seeds they sell are produced on their farm; very good quality seed; all seeds are untreated
Adaptive Seeds: located in Washington; all seeds are organic; all seeds are open-pollinated; great selection of vegetable seeds, including over-wintering varieties and other interesting seeds; very good quality seeds; all seeds are untreated
Territorial Seeds: located in Oregon; good selection of vegetable seeds, including over-wintering varieties that are hard to find found elsewhere
Richter’s Herbs: located in Ontario; huge selection of herb seeds; all seeds are untreated
These seed companies all have websites, and will send a free paper catalogue if you request one.