Ordering Vegetable Seeds

Collage of three seed photos. Variety of vegetable seeds from West Coast Seeds, Greenlane Gardens, and Urban Harvest

At this early stage in the season, the most important thing for you to do is to think about what you want to grow this year so that you can order your seeds. This is one of my favourite aspects of gardening as I get to imagine what my garden will look like later this year.

As gardening becomes more and more popular, the best seeds will sell out early. Therefore, we recommend putting in your initial seed order soon, and you can figure out the other garden details later – including ordering more seeds as needed and where available.

Which Seeds Should You Choose?

Here are some things to consider when choosing seeds:

  • What do you want to eat? This may seem obvious but aim to buy seeds of vegetables that you enjoy, along with only a couple that you’d like to try growing.
  • Do you want to store some of your harvest at the season’s end? Buy greater quantities of vegetables that you know how to preserve.
  • Which vegetables will thrive in your garden, given your available growing space, sunlight, and water levels? Buying seeds that aren’t designed for your growing conditions is usually a waste of seeds and a waste of growing space.

Take note of the key growing conditions in your garden (available space, sunlight, soil type, etc) and compare these to the ideal growing conditions for each plant variety in the seed catalogues or websites – choose the plants whose ideal growing conditions will best match to what your garden can provide.

Also, consider which vegetables grow well beside each other. This is called companion planting, and it’s important as certain vegetables help each other while others compete against each other. Once you have a list of your favourite vegetables, go online to look up their friends and foes. Are there any plants that help your selected crops by deterring pests, attracting pollinators, providing late-day shade, etc.? Which other plants will compete with yours for the same nutrients, air space, or root space? Once you know your ideal companion plants, consider adding them to your seed order.

At this early stage, the plant selection process may be somewhat simplistic – we’ll talk in more detail about garden planning soon. For now, this is all you need to place your initial seed order.

Our Go-To Seed Companies

Lastly, here’s a list of seed companies we order from most often, as they have a wide variety of organic seeds, they’re Canadian, their seeds are designed for our colder climate, and in general, I’ve experienced higher germination rates from their seeds: