Tuesday, February 19

Online Vegetable and Flower Seed Companies Reviewed

Growing up in a fruit and vegetable farming family, seed catalogs were plentiful. Some of those companies have closed down or have been bought up by other companies that are . . . how should I put this . . . not so reputable. Yet, there are still some great ones out there and through searching and experience I have found more companies to add to my list. I wanted to review some of the online seed companies my family purchases fruit and vegetable seed from; as well as review the companies where I purchase (or obtain) flower seed for my nursery and garden.

In no particular order:
Johnny's Selected Seed
We purchase certain vegetable varieties from them that we can't find any other place. They are also big into organic seed and minimal pesticide use, with many untreated seeds available. The quality of service and merchandise is exceptional, and I always have a sense I am purchasing from a family who cares about my family. They are 100% employee owned and you can feel that sense of commitment from each member of the staff. Johnny's caters to both the home gardener and the professional grower. Check out their informative blog here and coupon codes here: http://www.retailmenot.com/view/johnnyseeds.com.

Again, we purchase certain vegetable varieties from them that we can't seem to find any place else. Burpee, in my opinion anyway, is a company whose name means quality. Burpee is a seed brand-name, so to speak, and it's with that reputation that their prices are on the higher end - we are also paying for the name. That's my only qualm with Burpee, and is the reason why we don't purchase a large amount of seeds from them.
Burpee is really a company for home gardeners' first and foremost. I have to mention, also, that Burpee often has some great coupons available so make sure to take a look here before ordering.
15% off any order with code GARDENS15 at Burpee.com through 4/1!

Harris Seeds
Like Johnny's, Harris also caters to both the home gardener and professional grower. You will actually find their website split in half; one half for the gardener (where they can purchase small quantities of seeds) and the other half for the farmer. They carry a large variety of vegetable seed including some of our favorite varieties of sweet corn. Comparing their selection of vegetable seed to their flowers, I would say their flower selection is growing a lot faster. Harris carries our favorite cut sunflowers, the Sunrich Series, and every year, despite the price, we have to get them. Although rarely, Harris may also have a promo code available. Liking their Facebook page will keep you in the loop.

Another 5-star seed company is Stokes and you can see that in their company's statement:
"Growing plants from seed is a wonderful experience that everyone deserves to witness. Stokes is committed to assisting all gardeners – from the large commercial growers to the beginner hobbyist to supply the highest quality seed along with the know-how to ensure success."
Stokes has been on my dad's list of seed companies since he began the farm, which says a lot I think. Stokes is dependable and has a commitment to quality and care. Like them on Facebook for pertinent updates.

Swallowtail Garden Seeds

The selection of  perennial and annual flowers isn't very large, but is satisfactory in regards to the amount of hybrids and cultivars available for each flower. The pricing is very reasonable and keeps me coming back. I want to also note that locating a specific flower is very easy due to the ease of website navigation. I find it one of the best designed and organized websites compared to many other seed company's websites.

Flower Angel Nursery
I've only purchased once from this Ebay store, but the owner is caring and generous. The selection is small with only about 500 listings, but it's still a wonderful place to shop. The pricing is good and combined shipping is great.

John Scheepers
This company doesn't sell seeds, but rather specializes in bulbs. John Scheepers is where I get all my bulbs for my garden, and I have been satisfied with each and every transaction.

Garden Web
This isn't a seed company at all, but I do get a good amount of seed from fellow gardeners and generous green thumbs. And besides, it's fun doing seed trades! This site also has a handy search engine where you can locate the gardeners who have the specific seed you're looking for. Seed trading is a great way to get those seeds that are hard to get or those seed you would not necessarily buy voluntarily. Seed trading should be explained further and I hope to do that in a future post.

On a side note:

We also purchase from various other online seed companies for the farm, but I wanted to give you the ones we purchase from every single year. That doesn't mean the following honorable mentions are any less note-worthy.

HPS Catalog (Horticultural Products and Services)
Totally Tomatoes
Tomato Growers

Siegers Seed Co.

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