Last year, since the garden was pretty much an afterthought, I ended up simply stopping by the local garden supply center for my seeds. I've since heard this isn't always the best thing to do because the seeds often sit on shelves for who knows how long in less than optimal storage conditions. Mail order seed companies typically have more controlled storage condtions as well as greater selections. This year as I begun planning back in December, I decided to order seeds online. While trying to pick a seed company I stumbled across the Garden Watchdog which helped make my decision much easier. It's a handy little site that lists tons of seed companies along with extensive comments from people who have dealt with the company in the past. This enabled me to check out a bunch of companies and see if people generally have positive or negative experiences with them. In this way I was able to weed out several companies that initially looked promising but ended up having various issues such as poor customer service or unreliable shipping.
In the end I settled on Victory Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds because they both received great reviews. I ordered mostly from Victory Seeds and used Baker Creek for some additional items I didn't see at Victory Seeds. I was extremely happy with both companies. Both have great websites that are easy to use, great selections, fast delivery and reasonable prices. For some reason I really liked the packaging for the Victory Seeds, which include an internal mini-ziploc that holds the seeds inside the envelope. It makes it much easier for me to get at the seeds and I feel like I lose a lot less when I try to get them out. On the other hand Baker Creek seeds had very pretty packets and even included a freebie packet of carrot seeds (gotta love freebies!). Seeds from both companies are doing extremely well and I've had no problems with germination. Next year I will be ordering from these guys again.
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