Grow Your Own Seedlings

Published on February 23rd, 2013 | by Mary Gerush

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Mother Earth News Shares Their Top 15 Seed Companies

Seedlings

Here in the south, it’s a happy time of year. Spring is making calls between brief bouts of freezing temperatures. Even if you live in a snowglobe, you know spring is knocking on the door. It’s time to plan — and plant — your 2013 garden.

I usually buy previously sprouted plants from my local home store or nursery. Plop ‘em in the ground, give them water and sun, and watch them take off (or not). More recently, I’ve experimented starting seeds indoors which has been challenging. Starting plants from seeds takes knowledge, care, and a bit of karma, and I’m no plant whisperer. I’ve often wondered if the seeds I’m buying (which usually come from the local hardware store) don’t have much life in them.

Mother Earth News may help me remove that factor from the equation. They recently conducted a survey of gardeners to find the top 15 seed companies. The survey results showed that gardeners care not only about the variety and success of the seeds. They also value sustainable practices, growing advice, quality gardening tools, and genetic integrity. The Mother Earth News story reads: “The gardeners we surveyed were deeply concerned about genetically modified (GM) food crops, so we made sure all 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.”

For more information on the winners and their qualities, check out the full story. Here are your top 15.

Mother Earth News Top 15 Seed Companies

  1. Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Winslow, Maine)
  2. Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, Iowa)
  3. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, Mo.)
  4. Burpee Seeds and Plants (Warminster, Pa.)
  5. Territorial Seed Company (Cottage Grove, Ore.)
  6. Seeds of Change (Rancho Dominguez, Calif.)
  7. Ferry-Morse Seed Company (Fulton, Ky.)
  8. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Mineral, Va.)
  9. High Mowing Organic Seeds (Wolcott, Vt.)
  10. Fedco Seeds (Waterville, Maine)
  11. Nichols Garden Nursery (Albany, Ore.)
  12. The Cook’s Garden (Warminster, Pa.)
  13. Botanical Interests (Broomfield, Colo.)
  14. Renee’s Garden Seeds (Felton, Calif.)
  15. Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (Grass Valley, Calif.)

Have you bought these brands? Do you have a favorite seed company that didn’t make the list? Share your seedling experiences, and happy gardening!

Image Credit: stevendepolo via flickr/CC



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About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !



  • Patty

    I have to comment that the Burpee Seed Company is still selling products produced by Monsanto. They are also unwilling to label this product for consumers. Although some of the other companies on your list will identify what they sell from Monsanto, they should be boycotted until they are Monsanto-Seminis free. Our favorite seed company is High Mowing…organic….non-gmo….non Monsanto-Seminis….great selection and fast shipping.

  • http://www.landailyn.com Janine

    The oldest seed co. in the U.S., D. Landreth Seed Company.

  • Mary Gerush

    Patty – thanks so much for your comments. It’s helpful to hear from a satisfied shopper with deeper insight into a company we may not want to patronize. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jessica

    WHAT…Really surprised to see Burpee on the list! I too, use Landreth Seed Co.

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