This Pennsylvania seed company offers a substantive catalog of heirloom vegetables (they approximately 1400 varieties) which they define as varieties that are about fifty years old. Their descriptions are terse but to the point and do include the botanic name of the vegetable. There is also a nice short statement on soil pH and general growing requirements for most of the vegetable varieties offered. As always, you have to know your own climate when ordering from a seed company that is outside your growing area. An heirloom tomato that might do well in Pennsylvania is unlikely to thrive in my coastal Northern California garden. Planting guides with reference to first frost dates are provided for gardeners who live where the winters are cold. Overall, a seed catalog well worth perusing and ordering from. The seed prices are exceedingly reasonable.
See Underwood Gardens, below.
Renée Shepherd sold her first seed company (Shepherd’s Garden Seeds) to White Flower Farms and started a new one. This is the link to her current seed company. Beautiful drawings and good plant descriptions. Renée sells many European seeds, especially seeds from Italy.
Hot peppers and native grasses are specialties of the Redwood City Seed Company. The site includes a page of pepper photographs and an extremely valuable page on growing peppers from seed, as well as advice on pepper culture. If peppers is your thing — especially hot peppers — then this specialty seed company is for you. Pepper seeds are offered by individual variety and grouped as collections.
(Heirloom) (Botanic Names: yes) USA
The medicinal herb collection is strong. The vegetable seed collection is fair. Plant descriptions are good, and since this is a Canadian seed company attention is paid to plant hardiness. (Botanic Names: yes) Canada
This vegetable seed company, founded in England 1860, specializes in show vegetables, for example, a 5 pound (2 kg) onion. While big may not always mean better, growing large vegetables is both fun, and a horticultural challenge. (UK)
This is the site for an ambitious project: “maintaining, evaluating and keeping databases for all the edible, medicinal and useful crops that can be grown in Canada.” The database project is operated by a nonprofit organization affiliated with Salt Spring Seeds. The selection of wheat varieties is impressive. The online catalogue, however, is a little rough around the edges — plant descriptions range from minimal to extensive. As a Canadian company with an interest in Canadian crops, the selections offered are appropriate for northern climates. On my most recent visit to the site there was a notice stating that they can no longer ship seeds to the US. The site is worth a visit, regardless, and hopefully this will change and they will once again be able to ship to American clients. (Heirloom) (Botanic names: yes) Canada