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Best Online Sources for Veggie Seeds?

The cold weather has me yearning for spring and the planting of my garden. Last year was the first year I actually planted an entire garden and I loved it..Not the planting, back breaking work but the reaping...anyway, I'd love to start planning for the garden now and would like to get an idea of the best online sources for vegetable seeds, preferably not outrageously expensive.

I also thought that I'd make the garden interesting and grow some veggies unfamiliar to me or I should say something not seen in every garden like maybe asian vegetables or some Italian veggie. Last year, I grew tomatillos and I had a bumper crop which I loved. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!

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  1. Just to get you started here are 2 seed companies I heartily recommend:

    http://www.cooksgarden.com/
    http://www.seedsofchange.com/

    Of course, it's best to know which horticultural zone you live in, since that's the starting point to discovering which plants will do well in your area. Here in middle eastern almost coastal Massachusetts, for instance, I'm in zone 6A. Since you're in North Carolina I would expect your zone to somewhat higher in number.

    Here's a terrific site that gives you regular regional reports and tells you what seeds to start when, when to plant out doors, etc.
    http://www.garden.org/regional/report

    Happy Gardening!

    1. And here's another - my favorite source for seeds:

      http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: janniecooks

        I second Johnny Seeds, very good for the northeast.

      2. I forgot to put that my zone is 7B-8A..thanks for the replies thus far!

        1. not to thread-jack, but if anyone can offer comments/thoughts on organic and/or heirloom seed shops/options as well that would be superb.

          this will be my first year attempting gardening so i can't offer thoughts...

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                I can vouch for salt spring seed & www.uharvest.ca (aka Urban Harvest) - organic & heirlooms available.... great success with germination

                Also can vouch for Richter's. (Not sure if they are organic or heirlooms... they do have a staggering variety, though.)

            1. Territorial Seed Company is a local Oregon company that I have purchased seeds from for years. Nice folks that do a good job.

              http://www.territorialseed.com/

              15 Replies
              1. re: duck833

                I just got my catalog from them and it made me sad :) We live at Lake Tahoe and I can't grow vegetables at all and certainly not from seed. Our summer is only about two months long and an average high in summer is only about 75. But they're a great company and have all sorts of "toys" too.

                BTW, unless OP is planning on a really big garden, I've found in the past that buying transplants of things like tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc. works better than starting from seed. When we lived in So. Oregon, I could buy transplants of the very heirloom brands that I was wanting. I would buy one or two of several different tomatoes, only ONE squash (!!!! - we all have to learn THAT lesson), etc. Just a thought.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Thanks for the tip, but I prefer seeds for most of my plants...last year I grew cherry tomatoes, squash & zucchini, tomatillos, collards, mixed greens, broccoli, poblano chiles, okra and all of my herbs from seeds. I did buy two bell pepper plants and my mom gave me a few beef steak tomato plants but that's it. My garden is not huge but it's substantial...right now, I'm on a mission to find Hatch chile seeds..I suppose they're called Big JIm...does anyone have a source for these?

                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    Too funny. I just had this site up cause I want to order some of their powders:

                    http://www.hatch-chile.com/catalog.as...

                    1. re: c oliver

                      This is exactly what I'm looking for! Thank you so much!

                    2. re: Cherylptw

                      http://www.botanicalinterests.net/sea...

                      ...and they have a school or other non-profit fundraising program where you can give credit from a protion of your purchase towards your kids' school or...

                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        You will probably have your pick of tomatillo volunteers. I haven't had to plant them in years--although last year (cold, wet in NE) I thought I was out of luck--they finally popped up late June/early July IIRC and I got a decent crop before hard frost.

                        1. re: Aromatherapy

                          I had my garden plowed up so I doubt there is anything to come up from last year; I'll be replanting those tomatillos in a few days....

                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            Do you know if it's necessary to have two plants for pollination? Last year I grew tomatillos for the first time and got plenty of flowers and little paper husks, but no fruit at all.

                            1. re: Glencora

                              I'm not sure because I had about 12 plants so I didn't have that problem.

                                1. re: toodie jane

                                  That's really helpful, thanks. I seem to have a problem with too much nitrogen.

                                  1. re: Glencora

                                    Since soil fertility is expressed as a ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium, you could conceivably bump up your phosphous level to even it out by adding some steamed bone meal.

                                    Too much nitrogen is counter- productive to root crops as well as blossoming/fruiting ones.

                                    Now that there are so many good blended natural fertizers on the market (Dr Earth, Whitney Farms, etc.), I rarely buy single organics anymore, except bone meal. A good all-purpose blended organic fertilizer can be used for almost anything in the garden. You can always fine tune with micronutrients like the excellent Citrus Growers Mix or the like for iron, mangansese (good on yellowing palms) zinc, etc. Here is a good source for micronutrient fertlizer spikes: https://www.lutzcorp.com/index.cfm

                                    1. re: toodie jane

                                      Maybe this should be part of a separate thread, but I wanted to say that I bought and applied some bone meal two weeks ago and my tomatoes and peppers look better already. I think it's too early to tell about the lemons. (Different thread, same problem.) For years, I've had good luck with nothing more than homemade compost and a little purchased potting soil, but something definitely got out of balance recently. Anyway, thanks.

                                      1. re: Glencora

                                        Generally speaking, being an organic fertilizer, it would take several weeks before the soil microbes could break down the bone meal into a form that would be available to the plant. Supposedly 'steamed bone meal' is a little more quickly available. I try to buy this form when possible.

                                        Glad your veggies are looking good. I spent several pleasurable hours in my raised beds yesterday, pulling old plants, weeding, turning soil and applying more humus and some Whitney Farms all purpose fertilizer. I use a long-handled spade (sometimes called a lady shovel) but my arms and shoulders still got a workout. Bit of a burn this morning. So VERY satisfying, though, to do the work myself, despite being accompanied by Arthur Itis. Got zinnias, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, shallots, transplanted. Will do some direct seeding this week, from leftovers of my out-of-date stash. Since it's just me and the cat now, I'll be planting more flowers in the beds, which I've always wanted to do, but didn't have room for.

                      2. re: duck833

                        I second the recommendation for Territorial Seed Company, another Oregon company known for their herbs http://www.nicholsgardennursery.com/s...
                        I also like http://www.tomatogrowers.com/ for their large selection of tomato & pepper seeds.

                      3. www.richters.com has some unusual and interesting stuff

                        1. Here's some seed companies we've used:

                          http://www.southernexposure.com/index... (this one specializes in heritage and heirloom seeds for the southern-mid-atlantic regions

                          )

                          http://www.gourmetseed.com/c=mhOW8FFL...

                          http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/

                          http://www.osborneseed.com/index.cfm

                          http://www.territorialseed.com/

                          We also used Johnny's Selected Seeds last year but they were expensive, the germination rate was extremely poor and customer service was pretty none existent. The service rep SHOUTED AT US IN ALL CAPS IN E-MAILS and never addressed the issue. It took several phone calls until we got a rep who would actually converse with us. Won't use them again.

                          1. http://seedsavers.org/

                            I've liked Seed Savers, however since it's heirlooms some things have really good germination and some are poor. They also sell some great dried beans for eating.

                            1. I really like Pinetree Garden Seeds--- www.superseeds.com I've been using them for years. The packets are smaller, and VERY reasonably priced. Good for those like me who grow just a few each of a wide variety of veggies.
                              Seed Savers is also good.
                              For organic seeds, check out Peaceful Valley at www.groworganic.com

                              1. I purchase my seeds from Burpee and from Seeds of Change, you can never go wrong with these two companies and they have a wide selection of seeds to plant throughout the year - based on where you live.

                                I have been using these companies for over thirteen years to grow my container plants and I have never had a problem with any of the seeds.

                                www.burpee.com
                                www.seedsofchange.com

                                Be well,
                                Annie

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: EbonyEyedEnigma

                                  If you want to grow peppers from seed, this is the best site for seeds that I've ever found.
                                  www.pepperjoe.com

                                2. I have a new favorite seed place, Hudson Valley Seed Library

                                  http://www.seedlibrary.org/

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                    If you want Asian veggies and herbs check out Kitazawa seeds.

                                    http://www.kitazawaseed.com/

                                    They are very generous with the quantity of seeds and you can also order bulk if you need. I also order from Territorial seeds as well. Burpee has a pretty catalog but they seem to be stingy on the quantity of seeds last few times I ordered from them. Any one else feel that way with burpee?
                                    Any ways check out kitizawa they have all kinds of cool unusual stuff!

                                    1. re: Jay D.

                                      Thanks; I like that site! I'm thinking of the jicama...

                                  2. I recently found this page on the davesgarden.com site: http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/
                                    It's user reviews of seed and nursery vendors and already it's helped me not to waste my money on some too-good-to-be-true offers on shrubs and fruit trees.

                                    1. I'm a big fan of Seed Savers : www.seedsavers.org. I also like Reimer Seeds a lot : http://www.reimerseeds.com/

                                      1. For herbs, check out www.thymegarden.com

                                        They've got both medicinal and culinary herbs, many you'd have trouble finding elsewhere. For veggies, this organization helps developing countries, seeds were fine:

                                        http://www.echonet.org/

                                        Six or seven households in our neighborhood get together and hold a seed swap from time to time to offset gardening costs. Usually the seed packets have way more than a single family needs.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: MCFAC

                                          The most beautiful catalog and some very fine heirloom selections are offered from Baker Creek Seeds http://www.rareseeds.com I have had good results from this company, and they sponsor a discussion board at idigmygarden.com