Garden Seeds for New Beginnings & Dreams

With Linda Wiggen Kraft

Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

A garden year, like the twenty-four hours of a day, is filled with rest & activity, planning & doing, and sewing & reaping.   January and the early months are quiet times of rest, planning and sewing.  There is a feeling of contentment from a recently completed gardening year.  There were good times and bad, with the flowers and harvest versus the rabbits and not enough time. But the good out weighed the bad, and now it’s time for new garden beginnings and dreams.


Planting seeds lets gardeners become connected in the great cycle that brings plants to life.  The circle of seed to plant, to flower or fruit, to seed is like magic that inspires hope, awe and amazement and keeps gardeners smitten year after year.  January is the time to plan new gardens and plant that magic by buying seeds.   There are many more plants that can be grown from seed than the already growing bedding plants available in the spring.  Seed companies offer hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seed varieties that can fulfill any gardener’s grandest dreams. With the increasing interest in organic and sustainable grow-your-own gardens, more organic and heirloom flower, vegetable and herb seeds are available.


My ritual of selecting seeds in January has changed this year.  In the past my mailbox was full of catalogs, but this year the pile is slim.  Many companies are sending catalogs later, only when requested, or not at all.  So instead of sitting down with a cup of tea and the many catalogs to peruse, I am going to garden centers and online.


Visits to locally owned garden centers provide the most in-store seed choices by selling seeds from companies that usually don’t sell in big box stores.   Botanical Interests Seeds is a small company that has many organic and heirloom seeds.  The packaging is beautiful and informative, with botanical art from artists of the Denver Botanical Garden’s botanical illustration program. Renee’s Garden has my favorite zinnia seeds in individual colors or mixes.  Olds Seeds reminds me of my childhood in Wisconsin where the company started in the 1800s.  Seed Savers Exchange is the grand daddy of heirloom seed saving, their seed sales help support their important research and goals of keeping plant diversity available.  Bakers Creek is a Missouri based company with over 1400 heirloom varieties. Seeds from these and other companies are sold in the independent garden centers along seed starting soils (some organic), organic fertilizers, trays, pots and other materials needed for starting seeds indoors.


My other choice for selecting seeds is to go online. Most seed company websites have all their seeds online and loads of gardening information. The photos are luscious and glow on the screen.  Search engines help find specific hard-to-find seeds or small companies that might otherwise be unheard of.  It is not the same as working with the soft touch of a paper catalog, but I can learn to curl up in a blanket with my laptop.  I will spend the day enjoying the sight of all the amazing plants that call to me through their beautiful photos.  By going online and in the stores, I know I will find the perfect seeds to grow in this year’s new dream garden.

(See Seed Companies  & From the Pros lists for what is available and where)


Seed Companies Available Locally at Garden Centers

Botanical Interests, www.botanicalinterests.com (some organic & heirloom)

Bakers Creek Heirlooms, www.rareseeds.com  (all heirloom & from MO)

Seed Savers Exchange, www.seedsavers.org  (all organic & heirloom)

Olds Seeds, www.oldsgardenseed.com

Ferry Morris, www.ferry-morse.com

Renee’s Seeds, www.reneesgarden.com (some heirloom)

Livingston Seed (www.livingstonseed.com)



Online Seed Companies (in addition to the websites of locally available seeds)

High Mowing Seeds, www.highmowingseeds.com (all organic, some heirloom)

Seeds of Change, www.seedsofchange.com (all organic & mostly heirloom)

Johnny’s Select Seeds, www.johnnyseeds.com (some organic & heirloom)

Territorial Seeds, www.territorialseed.com  (some organic & biodynamic)

Park Seed Co, www.parkseed.com (some organic)

Burpee, www.burpee.com (some organic)

Thompson & Morgan, www.tmseeds.com (huge selection)

Select Seeds, www.selectseeds.com (antique flowers)


MO online Seed Companies

Bakers Creek Heirlooms, www.rareseeds.com  (heirloom )

Gardener’s Choice, www.gardenerschoiceheirloomseeds.com (heirloom)

Granny’s Heirloom Seeds, www.grannysheirloomseeds.com (heirloom)

Heirloom Acres Seed, www.heirloomacresseeds.com (heirloom)



From the Pros

Starting Seeds, What is Available –From Local Garden Centers


Sugar Creek Nursery – Kirkwood  314-965-3070, www.sugarcreekgardens.com

Seeds from Olds Garden Seeds, cowpots, ladybug organic soil, and Dr. Earth organic fertilizers.   March 6th free class on seed starting, call for reservations.


Greenscapes Gardens – Manchester 314 821-240, www.greenscapesgardens.com

Seeds from Botanical Interests are available year round along with seed trays and potting mix.  Garden Center will reopen Feb. 2nd for the season.


Greene’s Country Store –Lake St. Charles 636 561-6637, www.greenescountrystore.com  Seeds from Olds Garden Seeds, organic fertilizers, and seeds for birds during the winter.

Bayers Garden Center, St. Louis, 314-781-2314, www.bayergardenshops.com
Seeds from Ferry Morris and seed starting trays, heating pads, grow-domes.

Bowood Farms, St. Louis, 314 454-6868, www.bowoodfarms.com
Seeds from Botanical Interests, and Seed Savers Exchange.  Seed starter soil, organic fertilizers, seed trays, pots and heat mats.

Haefner’s Greenhouse For the Garden, Oakville, 314 846-0078, www.forthegarden.net  Seeds from Botanical Interests and seed starting materials.  Greenhouse closed until March 15th.

Hillermann Nursery & Florist – Washington 636-239-6729, www.hillermann.com Seeds from Botanical Interests, Baker Creek and Livingston Seed.  Seed starting trays, pots, soil and supplies

Summerwinds Nursery, Ellisville 636 227-0095, www.sumerwindsmo.com
Seeds from Botanical Interests and Ferry Morris Seeds, seed starter soil, fish emulsion, starter pots, seed starter greenhouses and heat blankets.

University Gardens, U City,  314 863-1700, www.university-gardens.com
Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek

Worm’s Way – Olivette 314 994-3900, www.wormsway.com
Seeds from Botanical Interests and Renee’s Garden. Organic soil, trays, pots, lights and all that is needed to start seeds.