The Garden Planner’s Guide to Buying Seeds Online

Summer is here and your children are begging you to take them to the local park so they can play on the swings and see their friends, but as parents, you know that the park isn’t the only place they’ll be spending their time this summer. As soon as school gets out, they’ll spend all day long playing in the backyard with their friends until it’s time to start dinner and get ready for bed.

Know your soil type

Before buying seeds online, you should know what type of soil you have. This will help narrow down your options and determine what types of plants are best suited for your environment. If you don’t already know your soil type, it’s a simple process to find out. Simply grab a handful of dirt from different areas around your property and place each sample in a bag or envelope marked with area locations (for example: front yard, back yard). Put samples in the fridge overnight so they cool completely.

Think about your hardiness zone

When you begin to think about your garden planning, it’s time to get serious about climate and location. With a little bit of research, you can find out which vegetables will do well in your zone. Some online maps include planting zones as well.

Watch out for GMO seeds

You want seeds that are free of GMO (genetically modified organisms) because they can cause serious health issues, which is a complete buzzkill when you’re trying to enjoy your garden. So make sure your seeds are Non-GMO Project verified or come from other certified sources. You also want your seeds online to be non-hybrid.

seeds online

Know if you need heirloom or hybrid varieties

Heirloom seeds have been passed down from generation to generation while hybrid varieties are a mix of an heirloom and another variety. Heirlooms tend to offer superior taste but may be more difficult to grow. Hybrid seeds are best for gardeners new to gardening or those with less space in their garden. Regardless of what type you choose, consider researching different seed options before purchasing them online. 

Always check your region’s weather predictions

Make sure your area’s climate is similar to that of where you live or plan on growing your plants. Don’t forget about microclimates as well—it may be sunny and mild for miles around, but you may have a slightly cooler, or warmer, microclimate within a few feet of your garden.

Search for rare plants that are not in season locally

Many native plants are only available during certain seasons. If you’re looking for a plant that’s not in season, be sure to check what time of year it is in its natural habitat. After all, there’s no point in searching for seeds if they can’t grow where you live! The easiest way to find rare and exotic plants is to simply search online by their botanical name.


By nature, gardens are organic and ever-changing, which makes it impossible to create a garden planner that satisfies every gardener’s needs. However, there are some tried-and-true steps you can take to help ensure you buy seeds online from a reliable source. Use the tips above when deciding how and where to purchase your next packet of flower or vegetable seeds. And then go forth and grow!