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How to Select Your Vegetable Seeds

Date Posted: February 11, 2016

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener How to Select Your Vegetable Seeds
photo credit: Mike the Gardener

You have a lot of vegetable seed choices. Not only in the number of vegetable varieties to choose from, but the companies that you can buy from as well. So when it comes to selecting the right vegetable seeds, where do you begin? Here are some basic tips to consider when choosing vegetable seeds for your garden.


Most companies have a printed catalog showing the seeds they sell, and others have their catalog entirely online. If you decide to get some vegetable seed catalogs mailed to you, make sure you are not being charged for it. While being charged for a catalog is rare, it can happen.


Check the shipping and handling policy of the company you are ordering from. Most offer free shipping, but it is usually based on some level of purchase. For example, you get free shipping if you spend more than ten dollars, that sort of thing.


Going organic is a great way to ensure that the fruits, vegetables and herbs you are growing in your garden are the healthiest and safest they can be. With that said, organic vegetable seeds can be more expensive because they have to go through a special certification process which allows the organic logo to be placed on the seed packet. My recommendation has always been, unless you are 100% committed to growing your garden following organic standards, there is no need to spend the extra money for the certified seeds. I highly recommend organic practices, but unless you are following them, it makes no sense to put out the extra money.

How to Select Your Vegetable Seeds
Photo credit: Mike the Gardener

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Heirloom vegetable seeds are seed varieties that have been passed along from one generation to the next and will produce the same fruit or vegetable today as the seeds did 100 years ago. There are a lot to choose from in this category. There are a lot of common heirloom varieties that you can find in stores or in catalogs, and there are a number of rare heirlooms that are a bit pricier where you get only a few seeds in a packet. I would highly recommend that you try both types. Your garden will look amazing when people see you growing some dragon beans or a Mr. Stripey tomato.


The term wholesale has always been more of a marketing gimmick than what the name implies. Most home gardeners aren’t getting seeds at a wholesale price, but you can buy them bulk which will help reduce some of your costs. The downfall is you now have thousands of seeds that you will never use unless you have a large property to plant a lot of different vegetables. Unless you are running a farm, farmer’s market or growing food for a purpose, I would recommend staying from wholesale or bulk. You will simply have way too many seeds that will go to waste.

How to Select Your Vegetable Seeds
Photo credit: Lisa Steele Fresh Eggs Daily


Finally, I want to touch on non gmo seeds. GMO stands for genetically modified organism. What this means is some scientist modified the genetics of whatever they were working on to serve some kind of purpose. For example, you see a lot of corn species genetically modified to battle insects, have higher sugar contents, self pollinate and so on. Most home gardeners do not have access to GMO seeds as they are very expensive because they are patented. With that said, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a hold of them at all.

I personally stay away from genetically modified anything. I have just not read enough scientific data on the topic that makes me feel comfortable enough to consume these items without knowing any long term benefits or side effects.

Happy gardening!

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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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