Ideas for Shopping for Seeds for Gardening

If I may have each seed on the earth, I might. However I do know that in relation to seeds, much less is extra. The secret is understanding what you’ll be able to truly develop, what you really wish to develop, and managing your expectations. Listed below are the nitty-gritty particulars about shopping for seeds for gardening.

tips for buying seeds for gardening

Studying a seed packet may be like studying a complete different language whenever you first start. Gardening has a TON of jargon and specialty phrases that may make getting began slightly daunting.

And I’ve been there! I didn’t develop up gardening, so it was a steep studying curve after I started my gardening journey.

We’re within the midst of seed beginning season, and I needed to return to the fundamentals. I’ve had individuals ask me issues like the way you decide what to plant (particularly whenever you wish to develop all the pieces!) and what all the data on the again of a seed packet even means.

I’m going to elucidate all of it, so sit again and let’s discuss what you have to find out about shopping for seeds for gardening.

the best garden seeds collected from the garden and placed in separate containers
Reasonably than shopping for seeds for gardening, you too can save seeds out of your present backyard to plant subsequent 12 months.

At this time, I’m sharing some excerpts from my e-book Get Rising! Professional Seed Beginning for the DIY Gardener. Make sure you test it out for the complete information and all the pieces you have to know, from sowing to thinning to transplanting your seeds.

Get Growing ebook cover

Select Your Seeds

Combing via seed catalogues and seed web sites generally is a enjoyable journey if finished correctly, however for those who don’t put together, chances are you’ll find yourself with greater than your backyard (and also you) can deal with.

It is very important first take into consideration what sort of vegetation you need (Flowers? Herbs? Greens?). Is it heat sufficient to develop watermelons in your backyard or cool sufficient to develop kale? Do you actually have area for 3 types of squash, or will one do?

tips for buying seeds for gardening
Ensure to label your seedlings so you recognize what’s what!

Perennial vs Annual Seeds

Beginning seeds early within the season is an effective way to save cash on annuals like flowers, herbs, and greens that can flower or fruit within the first 12 months. For newbies, annuals are sometimes one of the best backyard seeds to purchase.

Extra superior gardeners may additionally begin perennials from seed in lots of circumstances, however it’s a harder and time-consuming course of as perennials may have many months and even years to achieve the dimensions of a nursery plant.

Some perennials are simpler to develop from seed than others, so if you wish to attempt your hand at beginning perennials from seed, make sure you learn up on which of them are your finest guess on this put up.

It’s essential to remember the fact that some vegetation do higher than others from seed. This doesn’t imply that what you sow needs to be severely restricted. There are many flowers, greens, annuals, and perennials that can develop simply from seed and thrive. With so many choices, you would possibly actually have a onerous time selecting what to plant.

In fact, your distinctive location can have its personal limits when it comes to local weather, so make sure you verify the seed packet before you purchase to see in case your space fulfills the seeds’ necessities to succeed.

Solely Purchase Your Favourites

When shopping for seeds for gardening, it may be straightforward to purchase each vibrant, engaging seed packet you see. However attempt to cease and take into consideration how a lot you’ll use.

One of the best backyard seeds might be completely different for every particular person, relying on what you prefer to develop and the place you reside.

Make an inventory of your absolute favourites, and solely sow the quantity of veggies you’ll eat or the flowers you have to fill the beds.

This may make the rising course of less complicated and extra enjoyable, and also you received’t end up overwhelmed by crops you’ll be able to’t sustain with later within the season.

Stephanie in the garden
Herbs are certainly one of my favourites to develop, in order that’s what I prioritize within the backyard.

Heirloom vs Hybrid vs GMO Seeds

These are phrases that may get complicated for brand spanking new gardeners. They usually can simply get blended up with each other! Studying the distinction between the phrases heirloom, hybrid, and GMO is essential. This may allow you to in your seed choice course of and make sure you purchase one of the best backyard seeds to your choice.

I’ve a complete put up on the distinction between a majority of these seeds and all of their execs and cons. Examine that put up out right here.

Easy methods to Learn a Seed Packet

I can’t stress this sufficient. Following the directions on the seed packet provides you with the very best begin. Until, after all, the rising instructions learn just like the radicchio I as soon as began, “Sow seeds just a few days after a moonless night time.” There’s a lengthy historical past of rising vegetation with the cycles of the moon, which you’ll examine on this put up. However for this put up, we’ll stick with utilizing the final frost dates and the Gregorian calendar.

The vast majority of seed directions will record all the pieces you have to begin seeds, like when and the place to sow, planting depth and spacing, particular watering necessities and the variety of days to germination.

Some will record particular info like germination temperatures, repeat sowing, transplanting, and thinning. Following the directions provides you one of the best probability of success, so these map-hating, instruction-scoffing varieties on the market finest pack away their stubbornness for seed packets.

best places to buy seeds
A great seed packet provides you with all the data you have to start rising the plant.

Key Seed Packet Phrases

Listed below are some phrases you would possibly encounter in your seed packet and what they imply.

  • Germination fee: the probability of a seed germinating, represented as a proportion.
  • Plant kind: solutions whether or not the seed is a perennial, annual, or biennial.
  • Seed spacing: how far aside it’s best to ideally place every seed from each other.
  • Plant spacing/spacing after thinning: how far aside the plant must be from different vegetation.
  • Peak: the peak the plant might be upon maturity.
  • Days to maturity: what number of days from planting till the plant is prepared for harvest/blooms.
  • Planting depth: how deep to plant the seed.
  • Days to germination/sprout: what number of days you’ll be able to count on to cross earlier than the seed begins to develop.
  • Bloom interval: when the plant might be flowering.
buying seeds online
Learn the packet and the rising directions earlier than shopping for the seeds.

Figuring out Your Rising Situations

Earlier than you’ll be able to plant and even purchase your seeds, it’s best to have a good grasp of your rising situations. Every plant has particular must germinate and develop, so you have to make certain your backyard can meet these wants if you wish to develop a particular plant.


On the seed packet, it is going to normally let you know when to plant your seeds based mostly on frost dates. Discovering your common frost date to your space is essential. To do that, you should utilize the calculator from the Farmer’s Almanac.

You possibly can then use this date to depend forwards or backwards or know when to start sure seeds indoors.

I additionally encourage you to attempt to implement succession planting. By fastidiously timing when to begin seeds, you’ll be able to lengthen your harvest and area it out.

the best garden seeds turn into healthy seedlings
Keep away from having all of your greens prepared for harvest on the identical time.


All vegetation can have particular lighting necessities, that are listed on the seed packet. These are normally described as full solar, partial solar, partial shade, or shade. Earlier than shopping for seeds for gardening, guarantee your backyard has the correct amount of daylight (take a look at this put up for the way to measure the daylight in your yard).

Seeds may also want a certain quantity of sunshine when germinating. Seeds with a low planting depth that solely have a skinny layer of soil overtop would require numerous gentle to germinate. Likewise, these planted deeper within the soil would require much less gentle.

Sunny windowsills or develop lights are a should for beginning seeds indoors.


Some seeds require sure soil temperatures to germinate. A heating mat may help obtain this supplemental warmth indoors for sure vegetation like peppers or tomatoes. Others, like carrots or radishes, favor the temperature of the out of doors soil.

For extra on soil temperature, take a look at this put up.


Most vegetation favor well-draining soil, however not all do! Your seed packet might present some info on the kind of soil or location the vegetation favor. If not, do some analysis beforehand for the plant’s soil wants.

For seed beginning, you need potting soil with sterile substances that received’t promote fungal or bacterial development. You’ll find my go-to seed-starting potting soil recipe right here.


Some vegetation are thought of drought tolerant and do higher in areas that received’t obtain supplemental watering or scorching climates. Others favor numerous water, doing finest in locations near the home the place they may obtain additional water or areas that obtain sufficient rainfall.

When choosing your seeds, think about your backyard’s moisture situations and the way a lot additional watering you wish to do.

Olla water catchment system
This olla watering system slowly waters vegetation in my raised mattress.

Finest Locations to Purchase Seeds

If you happen to’re like me, you get giddy when the seed catalogues arrive within the mail. It appears like Christmas is coming, and you may’t assist however circle all one of the best backyard seeds you need.

However for most individuals getting began, step one is discovering a good sources for getting seeds on-line. My favourites for Canada embrace West Coast Seeds and Richters.

Keep away from shopping for seeds on-line from throughout borders or something that could possibly be invasive to your space. When unsure, don’t purchase the seeds. The native backyard centre will at all times carry good-quality and protected seeds.

Additionally, see if there’s a little seed library in your neighbourhood! Some libraries even supply seeds as effectively. As a result of who may say no to free seeds?

FAQ About Shopping for Seeds for Gardening

Is it higher to purchase seeds on-line or in particular person?

Both is a tremendous possibility. When shopping for seeds on-line, you get a wider vary of seeds out there. You’ll find many types and uncommon vegetation that you simply couldn’t get on the backyard centre. You do must double-check and maybe do some additional analysis to make sure the seeds will germinate and develop in your space.

How do I select the proper of seeds?

An important issue when shopping for seeds for gardening is guaranteeing your backyard has the suitable rising necessities for the plant. Have a look at the seed packet for its daylight, water, soil, and area necessities. In case your backyard matches, then the seeds are good to go.

The opposite major side you wish to take a look at is gardening zones. This provides you with a fast indicator of whether or not or not the plant can deal with the temperatures in your gardening zone.

What’s one of the simplest ways to retailer seeds?

Seeds must be saved in hermetic packaging after which labelled with the plant title and selection, the place you grew it, and the date. This info might be very useful whenever you determine the place to plant it the next 12 months.

Preserve the seeds in an space the place they received’t get damp and at a comparatively steady temperature. They need to be in a cool, dry place. Most seeds are good for 2 years. After, their germination fee decreases with each further 12 months in storage.

coriander seeds spread out on a wooden surface
Coriander seeds.

Extra Seed-Beginning Sources

That is just the start of all of the seed-starting information I’ve to share. Take a look at these posts for extra details about the subsequent steps in rising vegetation from seed.

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