It took me a while to start documenting our garden. Honestly, instagram was my inspiration. I had about half of our documentation done just because of the archive feature. Finally, this year I documented what we planted. This includes what is where, how much, what seeds I used, etc. I’ve found that putting it all in my yearly planner is the easiest way as this also allows me to document when I planted everything too. This also allows me to review how things have grown over the year. One part of the analysis is what seeds work best and that now allows me to do a seed company round up!
I just want to start with this note because it’s important no matter where you purchase from. If you want to be able to save your seeds and grow them again next year, make sure you are purchasing heirloom varieties. All of these companies offer them and that’s why I’m recommending them in this seed company round up. We don’t currently save our seeds because we don’t really need to. However, we’ve seen crazy things happen, especially over the past few years. I want to make sure that should something happen we still have the ability to save our seeds if needed.
The other type of seeds is called hybrids. Hybrids will grow just fine for one year but someone has already interfered with their pollination. This doesn’t allow them to pollinate year after year without becoming something slightly different. That means you can try to grow the same zucchini year over year but it may continue to morph into something between a pumpkin and a zucchini depending on how it pollinates and grows. To continue to get the same plant year over year you would need to buy the original seeds each time.
Everyone on the gram seems to love Baker Creek. I’ve ordered several different seeds from them and I do love their many unique varieties. However, I’ve found their seed success to be pretty hit or miss. A lot of what I’ve grown is tomatoes and peppers and they have a varied success rate. I don’t necessarily blame that on Baker Creek but it’s just something that I’ve noticed. We still end up with many more tomatoes and peppers than what we need so I don’t necessarily worry about it too much.
I’m a little partial to MI Gardener simply because I’m from Michigan! I love local companies and want to be able to support them. This is one of my favorites too because they grow plants that are local to us. I’ve had a lot of success with their seeds and I do think part of it is that they are from a very similar growing area. This, obviously, won’t be the same for everyone. Their seeds may not be as compatible with your area which could impact your opinion. Please don’t let this completely deter you. They are a great company with some really good quality product.
This was my first year using high mowing seeds and I’ve been pleasantly impressed with their performance. One of the other things that I really love is their unique varieties. Similar to Baker Creek, they have a lot of very different seeds that you may not see everywhere else. I especially love the new sunflower seeds they released this year and can’t wait to see them in bloom.
This is definitely the very most used seed company in our garden. There are a couple reasons for that. One, I have good success with them. They grow very well here! Two, they are available in store as well as online. This allows me to do some impulse purchases, which is always fun when it comes to seeds. The rest of these companies are only available online which can be a downfall.
This year we had a lot of garden issues and one of those was that the seeds didn’t sprout. It was incredibly dry when we planted this year and I truly think that had a large impact on our success rate. I’m not holding that against any of these companies. However, it did mean that we needed to replant some of our summer garden. Being that we were already behind, we didn’t have time to waste. That meant we needed something we could get right from our local stores. You guessed it- Botanical Interests!
Age of Seeds
One more note here, you’ll want to pay attention to the age of your seeds too. This will impact your success rate. I try not to use them after 2-3 years. Some other people will tell you not to use them over a year old. To be honest, you’re going to have to find your comfort level. If it’s something that I am direct sowing I will try to make sure it’s more recent. If it’s tomatoes or peppers which I have some wiggle room on, I’ll take a gamble on older seeds.
To be clear, I still keep all my old seeds. Back to that “should something happen” scenario. Any seeds that might have a 25% germination rate would be better than no seeds whatsoever. I just put all of the old ones in a big ziploc and store them separately.
In Summary: Seed Company Round Up
Top 5 all here for you! Of course, there are plenty more seed companies out there. In fact, I’ve even ordered seeds right from Azure Standard before too! Sometimes it’s all about convenience and getting done what you can. I’m certainly not saying that there are no other good seed companies out there, but I wanted to share my review of the ones that we are currently using the most. These are tried and true for us and I would not be recommending them if they were not working for us. Trust me, we have seeds that haven’t worked. What is your favorite seed company?
If I had to pick just one of these, I’d choose Botanical Interests.