My Favorite Canadian Seed Sources
We have received a few questions about seed sourcing. While it is our goal to eventually carry seed and seeding supplies in our greenhouse, it won't be this year.
In the meantime here are my suggestions for ordering seeds for the home gardener. Over the years I have ordered from many different seed suppliers. I can tell you they are not created equal. I am listing the seed companies that I personally have ordered from and can vouch for their quality and service.
Just a quick note that I am only including companies based in Canada. If ordering from outside Canada your package may be held at customs, charged import duties and other additional charges or even rejected by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency). For the first time ever, I had to deal with the CFIA on one of our seed orders. Thankfully, they cleared our seed order to cross the border. However, it cost me a trip to their offices at the airport, GST and hours of my day. These unexpected delays and costs can really add up. Just a couple things to keep in mind.
Here are my favorite Canadian seed sources for the home gardener working from west to east...
West Coast Seeds - based in British Columbia, West Coast Seeds was founded in 1983. They offer a good selection of vegetable, flower and herb seeds. They follow the traditions of organic farming and gardening, untreated and certified organic seeds are their focus. This year I ordered Eucalyptus seeds and Poppy seeds for our cut flower garden.
T&T Seeds - based in Manitoba, T&T seeds is celebrating their 77th Edition of their seed catalogue this year. They offer a good selection of early season vegetable, flower and herb seeds. In addition, they also offer home and garden accessories. In 1997, they built a new facility to make the mail order business more efficient but they also have a 5acre trial garden to test new varieties, fertilizers and techniques. Their shipping rates for seeds is one of the best!
Richters Herbs - based in Ontario, Richters Herbs have been growing and selling herbs since 1969. If you are looking for an extensive variety of herb seed, this is your source! Each herb has a detailed description of it's uses both culinary and medicinal. Just a note of caution: please research the seed you are planning to grow, some varieties are considered noxious weeds in Alberta for various reasons. Based on my experience, Richters are good about not shipping those products to AB.
Stokes Seeds - based in Ontario, Stokes Seeds was founded in 1881. I believe they may be the oldest in Canada. They offer a good selection of vegetable, flower and herb seeds. They carry heirloom tomato varieties and very few organic seeds. They also offer some home and garden accessories and have great shipping rates!
Veseys - based in PEI, Veseys was founded in 1939. They offer a good selection of vegetable, flower and herb seeds. In addition, they also offer home and garden accessories and have reasonable shipping rates. Veseys also conducts field trials of each variety offered in their catalogue. This year I ordered Pumpkin and Gourd Mix seeds for our vegetable boxes.
As mentioned earlier, when purchasing certain herbs and flowers especially flowers labeled as wildflowers, please ensure they are not considered an invasive species. Here is a document outlining some of the invasive species in Alberta. A quick google search also works.
Are your favorites included in this list? Do you know of any other reputable Canadian Seed suppliers for the home gardener? Please leave a comment.