I am on the distribution list for just about every seed company I know of. In December and January we flip through them and plan what we want to plant in the coming year. The catalogs end up all over the house and car. I always want to try something new. Steven wants to make sure we can get all of our favorites again. This year I am excited to try a cut flower garden, and hardy greens for the cold frames that Steven is planning to build. This is a good time to order bare root fruit trees and bushes too. That order will show up after the ground is warm enough to plant. So how do we decide what to buy and from who? Here are a few of my favorites companies that we have ordered from. Now we just have to get the seed trays out and get started!
If you are looking for open pollinated varieties so that you can save your own seed from year to year, this is the place to look. They have so many cool seeds to choose from. We don't always think of plants being endangered species, but lots of varieties fall out of favor and are lost.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
If you want heirloom seeds Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a great spot to look. I always try something new and fun from them. This year i'm trying some pink celery and a fruit radish. I love their fun seeds from all around the world.
Johnny's Selected Seeds
They have a wide range of products, some hybrid and commercial varieties, some open pollinated and heirloom some great new varieties too. They have a good selection and I like that they test all the seeds to make sure they have a good germination rate. This year I am buying a bunch of cut flower seeds and all the greens for my cold frames in addition to some veggies for the garden.
Stark Bro's Nurseries and Orchard's Co.
Jung Seeds & Plants
If you are planning to but a fruit tree please don't buy it in a pot from a big box store parking lot. I know they seem less expensive or bigger. In my experience a bare root tree is a much better option. You can order spring and fall and the variety is so much better, and the root stock is better. You will be so much happier. They are better trees.
Gurney's Seed & Nursery
Both of these are good catalogs and they usually have good deals. I will purchase some of my carrots tomatoes, and cucumbers here this year. Any garden seeds will be good from either one. Burpee has more variety than Gurney's. You can find some Burpee seeds in big box stores, but the selection in much better online.
If you want a tomato that you can't find, try this site. I get some of my harder to find varieties here.
I love their selection of unique and unusual edibles. I spent a lot of time looking through their online catalog wishing I had space for more plants. They have a great selection of edible plants.
Prairie Moon Nursery
If you are into native prairie plants, look at this one. I love planting native prairie plants and my pollinators love it too. I'm still hoping to make a rain garden, and when I do, I will fill it with plants from here.
After a few years you will have lots of seeds. We try to keep the seeds as cool and as dry as possible so they will last a long time. Heat and moisture are the enemies of seed storage. Some seeds last longer than others as well. Onion seeds do not last well, neither does parsley, but I get pretty good results from tomatoes peppers and other seeds. You can probably find a seed swap near you, if you have more seeds than you can use, or if you want to try a lot of varieties without buying a bunch of seeds. Abundant Design holds one every February that is close to me in central Iowa. So does Nine Square Feet. It's also agreat opportunity to get out and meet some fellow gardeners in your area!