Gardeners are always looking forward to spring. And what better way to dream of tender green things and warmer weather than by perusing bright, garden-fantasy-inducing seed sources?
Here are four of our favorite seed suppliers and some of their specialties:
1. Johnny’s Seeds
This well-established company offers the best of both worlds: a big selection of both heirloom and hybrid varieties of veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers and more, including root veggies, ground cover and medicinal herbs, but with a personalized touch. The Maine company specializes in cultivating seeds for areas with a short growing season, and is willing to stake its reputation on the success of your crops: check out that 100% satisfaction guarantee. Request a catalog or shop online.
2. Kusa Seed Society
If it’s never occurred to you to grow millet, barley or wheat in your home garden, Kusa Seed Society’s mission statement just might change your mind. The organization specializes in ancient and heirloom cereal grains, oilseeds and other edible seeds, and its catalog offers both seeds and instructional literature.
3. Baker Rare Seeds
Owner Jere Gettle started Baker Seeds as an enterprising 17-year-old in 1998. Since then the company has grown to offer the largest selection of heirloom seeds in the United States — over 1300 varieties of flowers, vegetables and herbs, many of which are from the 19th century. Its vintage-style catalog is a pleasure to peruse, and includes information about the festivals hosted at Baker Farm throughout the year. Request a 2013 catalog now; they’ll be mailed in December.
4. Seed Savers Exchange
Started in 1975 when owner Diane Ott Whealy vowed to save her grandfather’s “famous” Bavarian Morning Glories, Seed Savers Exchange has grown into a large membership organization that preserves many thousands of heirloom seeds from all over the world. Its online catalog — available to the public — offers a nice selection of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds – including “Grandpa Ott’s” Morning Glories.