When I started looking around for organic seed sources with my very first garden (pre-raised bed era), I looked at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Those were the stores I first saw seed packets at. But, they ended up not having the sort of variety I was hoping for. Their organic seed selection is limited. Plus, I really wanted pinto beans. I aspire to someday make a taco out of all home grown ingredients (minus the beef).
I did multiple searches online for organic seed sources and stumbled upon Botanical Interests. And boy, did I go to town on that site. I bought just about every organic vegetable I could. And I bought a lot of them based on appearance alone. If I knew nothing about the vegetable, I bought it. Luckily, my impulse buying is limited to seed packets (and the garden section at Lowe’s and Home Depot). Gucci bags and designer shoes? Nope. I’m lucky my interests aren’t too expensive. Seed packets generally cost less than $3, and you get a decent amount for multiple seasons.
After a bit of time, I realized purchasing seeds because they looked cute wasn’t the best tactic. Instead, I spent a period of time researching the particular varieties that are best suited for Florida – growing zone 9b. Check out Vegetable Varieties for Central Florida to learn about those varieties.
After choosing the varieties that suited my tastes and location, I went back on Botanical Interests to order another round of seeds. But not everything I was looking for was there. So I looked around some more and found two other seed companies that fit the bill – High Mowing Organic Seeds and sustainableseedco.
All three of these sources offer a wide selection of organic seeds.
I’m sure there are other companies that have good quality organic seeds, but these are the ones that I’ve used so far and would recommend.
Of course, all of this research couldn’t prevent me from impulse purchasing a packet of luffa seeds from Walmart one day. I mean, come on, it’s a sponge that grows from a plant. My mind was blown.
A garden is a place to get creative and try new things. I never had swiss chard before my garden. I ended up really liking it – sautéed, in soup, mixed in a salad. Start small, don’t get overwhelmed, and have fun!
Hopefully, this has been informative for you. Happy seed shopping!