Seedy Business

Every year, we make the mistake of waiting until it's actually warm outside to buy seeds for our garden. Like, May. And every year, we kick ourselves because some of our favorite Maine seed companies sell out long before we get our act together.

But this year, we're not going to make that mistake, and you shouldn't either. For those of you who are new to gardening (and from what we hear from our friends at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, many are trying to grow their own for the first time), you may not be familiar with the local offerings. Well, we are. Unfortunately, some years, we're not as familiar with them as we would like to be. Here are a few of our favorites:

Fedco Seeds. This plant and seed co-op doesn't have a retail store, but its catalogs are works of art. Based in Clinton, Fedco specializes in organic, heirloom and GMO-free varieties — all of which are tested for cold-hardiness. (Image courtesy of Fedco).

Pinetree Garden Seeds. We recently discovered Pinetree, and we like what they're up to. According to Pinetree's Web site, they're focused on "flavor, space efficiency, beauty, and uniqueness." So are we.

Johnny's Selected Seeds. Yes, they cost a little bit more than the crap you find at The Home Depot, but Johnny's has never let us down. We're addicted to their mesclun, and their herb selection is superior. Which is more than we can say for almost anything from a big box.

Allen Sterling & Lothrup. This Falmouth-based garden center may be our favorite garden shop in Maine, and the old-school seed room — you can buy in bulk or by the packet — is only one of the reasons why.

That's all for now. If you have other recommendations, e-mail us at or post a comment (click on the title of this entry, and you'll be able to post). Otherwise, get growing.


LadyOTrout said...

Hey I am making a run to ASL in a week or so - great seeds, great people. (I grew up in Falmouth!) Want me to pick you up anything? Also I am told with the economy the way it is more people will be having gardens this year. So waiting isn't a good plan!

Ditto on the "crappy" when it comes to seeds from big box stores) Germination is a lot less and they seem to be more susceptible to mold and other "Maine" Hazards.

Let me know when the fiddleheads pop up!!

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