Growing vegetables is a practice that lies at the base of agriculture. Good practices are important because they help deliver vegetables that are healthy and very important for human nutrition. But growing vegetables has recently turned into somewhat of a hobby, and people need to be congratulated and supported in their endeavor to eat healthy home-grown veggies.
And now, a new question arises: how does one choose the right vegetable seeds to plan, especially when having to purchase them online? Is there a secret formula or, perhaps, some tips that might help make the shopping process less frustrating? Yes, we can help with that, and we can also throw in a few shop examples where you can find some of the best online vegetable seeds that money can buy.
Tips for Online Seeds Shopping
It is perfectly understandable if you are skeptical about buying seeds online because it can be really frustrating if you don’t get the quality you expect to. Luckily, as with every other product purchase, there is a series of tips that might put you on the right path to buying quality products and avoiding disappointment. Here are some tips that might prove useful:
Ask for Advice
If there are other people that you know who are passionate about gardening and have been doing it for a while, asking for their advice is invaluable. Learning from other people’s experience is awesome, do people who have gardening experience can recommend some of the best seeds they’ve tried and tell you where to get them.
If you don’t know anyone with gardening knowledge, you should feel free to approach people online. Look for contact information from gardening bloggers you trust, or maybe check out some trustworthy YouTube channels. There are plenty of gardening enthusiasts who purchase their seeds online and would surely be happy to give you some pointers.
Do Your Research
If there is a particular online seed store that you are interested in, look around for as much information about it as possible. And we’re not talking about the obvious here: customer reviews. Those do help, that’s true, but there is so much more than you can learn about a company with a few internet searches. While we have nothing against new companies, it’s a known fact that names that have been in the business for longer know what they’re doing, so you are more likely to get quality products from them.
Start Off Slow
With seeds, it’s sometimes about experimenting and finding out what you can grow, what you can’t, what seems too complicated, or is too difficult to care for, etc. A good solution around this is not to buy in bulk the very first time. It is a much better option to experiment and buy a few packets of vegetable seeds from different brands and test out to see what works. This is an even better idea if you plan on growing crops spread on a wider area and you will eventually need to purchase a huge number of seeds.
Check Your Climate
Learning as much about the vegetables you want to plant will save you a lot of frustrations with buying vegetables that you can’t grow. Naturally, some climates are more suitable for types of crops, while others are better for different kinds of crops. When you read as much information as you can about a vegetable that you plan on growing, the more you’ll know about what to expect, what are the risks of diseases/pests it can attract, if the climate is suitable for that particular type of vegetable and so won.
Always make sure you look into the shipping costs, as sometimes it might not be worth buying seeds online if you’re going to buy a single pack and have to pay double because of the shipping costs. If you’re planning on buying multiple types of seeds, then shipping might be free, or at least at a price that’s worth it.
Read the Fine Print
Carefully read everything that’s written on the product page of the vegetable seeds you plan on buying. It sometimes happens that buyers are surprised by the low number of seeds that are actually inside a package, but this information was most likely written on the product page. A thorough reading of the information provided on the product page can save you a lot of frustrations.
Check the Expiry
Always make sure that you buy seeds that have been packaged for the year when you want to plant them. If you find vegetable seeds at amazing discounts, it could also be because they are close to their expiration date, which can leave you very frustrated. The freshness of the seeds will have a say in the germination process, so it’s important for you to check out that information before adding anything to your shopping cart.
7 Best Places to Buy Seeds Online
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the tips that could help put you on the right track to buying seeds that are actually good, let’s move on to some specific examples and talk about some online stores that have seeds for sale.
Burpee Seeds (burpee.com)
Burpee is a seed and gardening tools and accessories supplier with decades of experience in the field. Their vegetable seed variety is very generous, including most of the vegetables you can think of, and even some Burpee exclusive seeds that you will only find in their online store.
While their vegetable offer is extremely generous, you can also find other types of seeds in there. They have a wide selection of fruit, flower, perennials, and herbs like cilantro seeds. Burpee is more than just a seed seller; it is also a valuable online resource that provides information about each of the products they sell.
Their filters will allow you to select vegetables that can be successfully grown in your specific area. You will also find general information about each vegetable you’re interested in and even have the opportunity to buy some heirloom vegetable seeds.
Burpee Exclusive: Italian Ice Hybrid Tomato
Clusters of 1-inch snack-sized fruits ripen from green to ivory white, becoming uniquely sweet and mild-tasting.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com)
Another amazing online store that has a great vegetable seeds catalog is Rare Seeds. They also provide their buyers with a wide selection of vegetable seeds to choose from, and they even included a “new items” category which shows you the latest additions to their website, giving gardening enthusiasts fresh ideas on what to plant next.
The company behind Rare Seeds (Baker Creek Heirloom Seed) offers free shipping for orders placed in the entire northern American territory, including Canada and Mexico. It usually takes between one and three business days for the company to ship your order, which is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, DHL, or FedEx.
Rare Seeds' Japanese Wasabi Radish
This Daikon type radish packs a wallop of tingling wasabi heat, making it a much easier to grow substitute for the famously finicky true wasabi root.
The good news when shopping for vegetable seeds on Amazon is the fact that there are so many different products to choose from. The sad part is that there are so many brands offering these kinds of products, you will have to research each seller/brand and particular and make sure that you are buying a quality product.
Amazon reviews will go a long way in telling you if the seeds you want to buy are actually any good (as nothing is more valuable than the real-life experience of buyers who tested the products), but doing some additional research (like searching to find out more information about the manufacturers) can also go a long way in making sure you’re spending your money right.
Plant Theatre Psychedelic Salad Kit
Ideal for beginners, gardeners and children alike. Includes 5 Peat Growing Biodegradable Pots, 5 Peat Discs that expand to 7 times their size when watered, 5 Plant Markers and of course 5 foil sealed seed sachets, plus full sowing and growing TIPS.
Harris Seeds (harrisseeds.com)
Ever since the company was first founded back in 1879, Harris Seeds has been looking to deliver quality seeds for a great gardening experience. Their selection of vegetable seeds included untreated, treated, and organic products that are meant to cover the needs of pretty much every gardener out there.
There is a flat shipping and handling charge for your purchase, which depends on the value of your order. For example, orders lower than $15 will have to pay an additional $3.95 fee for shipping and handling, while orders above $150 won’t have to pay any extra fees. It usually takes 48 hours for the company to send out an order, excluding purchases made during the weekend.
You can also opt for expedited shipping at checkout if you want to receive your order sooner. Standard shipping covers orders through services provided by UPS or the US Postal Service.
Harris Seeds' Squash Yellowfin Organic
Beautiful deep yellow color is expressed best in cooler conditions and carries up into the peduncle. The plant habit is open and semi-spineless for easy picking. Pick daily for continuous yields and longer-lasting plants.
Seed Savers Exchange (seedsavers.org)
With almost 500 different vegetable options, Seed Savers Exchange is another great shop that covers the needs of buyers looking for anything from non-GMO to heirloom vegetable seeds. The company identifies itself as a platform that helps gardeners and farmers all over the world participate in a seed exchange with buyers that are interested in doing do.
The company’s history starts back in 1975, and while it’s not more than a hundred years old (like some of the other companies we’ve included in today’s list), it is still a valuable online resource that doesn’t just sell seeds but also looks to educate gardeners from all over the world through the use of good practices.
Seed Savers Exchange Miniature Yellow Bell Pepper
Fruits grow to 2 inches. Plants are stocky and short. Sweet peppers ripen to shades of yellow and orange.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds (johnnyseeds.com)
Johnny’s Selected Seeds is another name that’s been in business for almost 50 years. They are dedicated to helping gardeners have a fruitful vegetable growing experience by focusing not just on delivering quality seeds, but also on providing buyers with a complete online resource where they can learn as much as possible about the product they want to buy before actually buying them.
The shipping fees are strictly dependent on the value of the end order. For example, people who order seeds less for less than $10 will have to pay a standard shipping fee of $4. Those who make purchases over $200 dollars will benefit from free shipping. Some shipping zones may be subject to special shipping taxes, so make sure that you check the list to learn more about what fees you’ll have to pay.
Johnny's Selected Seeds Millennium Asparagus
A cold-hardy asparagus that maintains tip tightness as it grows. Since Millennium is well-adapted to various soil types, including heavier soils, growers can utilize land previously unsuitable for asparagus production.
Park Seed (parkseed.com)
If you’re interested in another company with 150 years of experience in all things seed, then Park Seed is a worthy candidate that deserves to be at the top of the list. Founded by George W. Park back in 1868, Park Seed is a company that started from a 15-year-old boy’s desire to make some extra pocket money by selling seeds from his own garden. Today, the company is one of the most popular online seed retailers, offering quality seeds while bringing joy to gardeners.
As with most other vegetable seed online stores, Park Seed also applies a flat shipping rate depending on the value of the order you place. Orders below $9.94 will have to pay a shipping fee of $4.95 when opting for standard delivery, while orders above $150 will have to pay a shipping fee that’s 12% of the merchandise total. What’s really interesting is the fact that buying products that are labeled “garden fresh express” will be sent via expedited shipping without any additional costs on your behalf.
Park Seed Chioggia Guardsmark Beet
A neon-bright take on the famous heirloom Bullseye Beet. All the flavor and good looks of the Italian heirloom for which it's named, plus modern vigor!
When buying vegetable seeds online, it’s important to look after brands that have experience in the industry. The companies that have made a name for themselves have been in business for decades and know the ups and downs of gardening enough to be able to provide you with various quality products, while also being transparent about what works for you and what doesn’t.
there are a few general tips that you can follow when looking to buy vegetable seeds online (tips that would apply to pretty much anything that you want to purchase off the internet) but there are also some customized tips that can help you avoid the frustration of buying too many/not enough seeds, or poor quality products that won’t even make it past the germination phase.