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Vegetable Garden Seeds

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Vegetable Garden Seeds

All seeds are not created equal. Some live longer than others. In general, corn, leek, onion, parsnip and rhubarb are considered “short-lived” and their seeds are only good for a year or two. Moderately long-lived seeds includes those for asparagus, beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrot. Vegetable seeds with a reputation for being long-lived — that is those that can live longer than five years — includes seeds for beets, cucumbers, eggplant and musk melon.
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

Discover and buy hundreds of varieties of rare heirloom and organic vegetable seeds to grow in your garden. You can fill your kitchen table with beautiful, storied, and tasty vegetables by growing heirloom, organic seeds. All our seeds are untreated, non-hybrid, and non-GMO.
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

– Organic Vegetable Seeds: Certified organic seeds are grown in organic soil and are only exposed to inputs (like fertilizer and pest controls) permitted by the USDA’s National Organic Program during its growing, processing, and packaging periods. Read more about organic seeds.
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

One sour point for some seed shoppers was shipping cost, but you won’t pay a cent if you pick up packets at retail stores you often visit. Even big-box stores now carry organic and heirloom seed from Burpee, Ferry-Morse, Cook’s Garden and others, or you can look for more specialized selections at garden centers and health food stores. Food-minded gardeners may find racks from Renee’s Garden at gift and gourmet shops. Food co-ops and independently owned health food stores often have displays from regional seed companies, such as Territorial in the West and Southern Exposure in the East. (Each company’s website includes a store locator button.) Or, maybe you’ll simply have to answer your doorbell: Renee’s, Botanical Interests, John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds, Seeds of Change and other seed companies offer school fundraiser programs.
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

By the time you poke your first seeds into the ground each spring, you already have huge hopes for the success of your crops. You’ve spent hours planning, weeks waiting, and your soil may reflect years of hard work spent building its fertility. With so much potential in those seeds, you want to buy from a seed company you can trust. So how do you know which have the best seeds and selections? And which follow sustainable practices?
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

Our Top 15 list (toward the end of this article) is based on how often the vegetable seed companies were ranked in gardeners’ top three. For our survey takers, it wasn’t just about the seeds. In addition to an array of varieties with consistently high germination rates, they wanted seed companies that provide detailed variety descriptions, growing advice and interesting stories. Genetic integrity was also a top priority. The gardeners we surveyed were deeply concerned about genetically modified (GM) food crops, so we made sure all of the companies here have signed the Safe Seed Pledge — a written commitment to sell only non-GM seed — or made public declarations that they will not knowingly sell GM seeds.
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

April 1, 2016 I was thrilled with Park Seed! Great selection of traditional and unique seeds at a great price. I had a few seeds not germinate and they quickly dispatched a replacement. I’ll plan to order from Park Seed again in the future. Midvale, UT
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Vegetable Garden Seeds

February 2, 2016 I have loved Park Seed since I first began purchasing from them 37 years ago. I quit ordering for the last few years because I wasn’t sure of their purity. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I received my catalog this year with the word that all Park Seeds are non-GMO! Yahoo! I could order my favorites again! Thank you for your integrity in raising seeds with exceptional quality. A customer for life. Yreka, CA
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Fedco Seeds: “Excellent variety choice, and usually the cheapest prices. I like supporting a co-op, and Fedco offers information on where their seeds are from.”
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In the Northwest, Territorial Seeds reigned supreme as a regional seed source, with excellent ratings for producing catalogs brimming with varietal and cultural information. “They always have what I want in stock, so I don’t have to wait. The variety descriptions are excellent,” wrote a gardener with a small plot who’s just getting started. And Territorial Seed is successful nationally, too. “Territorial has good selection across the board, dependable seeds and fair pricing,” said a New England gardener. Additionally, Territorial is one of the only major seed companies that publishes a winter catalog, which is of tremendous interest to food gardeners in areas with mild winters.
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Nearly 70 percent of gardeners said they buy most of their seeds from mail-order vegetable seed companies. Most gardeners were quick to heap praise on their favorite seed companies and their catalogs. Of Fedco, one gardener said, “Their catalog makes wonderful, entertaining, laugh-out-loud reading, and all of the vintage graphics are wonderful.”
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Those in search of undiscovered garden pleasures often find them in packets from Renee’s Garden, which is also a valued source for garden-worthy annual flowers. “The Renee’s Garden catalog introduced me to favorite new crops, including ‘Trombetta’ squash and ‘Garden Babies’ lettuce,” said an experienced gardener from the Southwest. A Midwestern gardener with 20 years of experience praised Renee’s “combo packs” that include three varieties of lettuce, squash, tomato or pepper.
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What is All-America Selections? All-America Selections (AAS) is an independent, non-profit organization that began in 1932 to conduct confidential and impartial trials of new, never-before-sold flower and vegetable varieties throughout North America. Entries are trialed in many different geographic locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, grown side-by-side with currently available comparison varieties to evaluate garden performance, earliness, flower, or fruit size or any other characteristic important to the home gardener.
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The starter beds should be near your vegetable garden, if that’s practical and some place where your seedlings will receive plenty of light, but also will be protected from drying winds. Powell recommends placing seedling beds against a fence or wall, for example.
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December 21, 2016 Trusted site for top-quality seeds, packed to retain high germination for more than one year. Also sells excellent seed-starting systems. Since the firm is based in my area I feel confident their preferred varieties will do well where I live.
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March 24, 2016 I was very pleased with the order for you have a very high reputation for the products and services you provide. Online services surprise me for I was able to get seeds cheaper than the catlog shows. Thanks for your services. Dendron, VA
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If you decide to start growing from seed, the next question that needs to be answered, is whether to start them indoors or outdoors. The answer depends on plant quantities, how much space you have to devote to indoor gardening and the length of your growing season. Another thing to think about: plants begun indoors have higher survival rates than those started outdoors. Learn more about starting seeds indoors from the University of Minnesota Extension.
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Eileen Powell, author of From Seed to Bloom, recommends starting seeds in a designated starter bed and then transplanting. She believes it’s actually less work to do it that way rather than starting the plants in what will be their permanent location.
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When selecting seeds, give some thought to heirloom varieties. These are the old-fashioned, open-pollinated vegetables that have stood the test of time. Not only are they full of flavor, but they’re hardy. They’ve survived whatever nature has thrown at them over many years.
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Superior ratings in multiple categories put Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a company that offers heirlooms, organics and hybrids, in the top spot. “The Johnny’s catalog is accurate and informative without the hype, and I have never had a failed crop from their seed,” wrote a Midwestern gardener with more than 20 years of experience. Others praised Johnny’s “cool tools” and hard-to-find organic gardening supplies, and many said they liked doing business with an employee-owned company.
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A strong sense of purpose has earned Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds many loyal patrons. A prominent spokesman against GM “Frankenfoods,” founder Jere Gettle has amassed a global selection of rare and worthwhile varieties. “What’s not to love about Baker Creek?” wrote a Mid-Atlantic gardener. “They’re making a hugely positive impact on the world. With all the GM seed obscenities going on, they’re helping make sure humans will be able to eat in the future!”
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Gardeners of all skill levels enjoy trying new crops and varieties, and many look to mail-order seed companies to add to the adventure. “Nichols Garden Nursery always has something new and interesting, plus they continue to carry my old favorites,” said a veteran gardener from the Southwest. A Mid-Atlantic gardener noted, “The family warmth of Nichols shows in the care they take with each order, and they have taken a stand against treated and GMO seed.” A gardener from the Midwest with more than 20 years of experience summed it up this way: “When I’m looking for old-world heirlooms or just plain fun, Nichols Garden Nursery is my favorite.”

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