Where Should You Buy Tomato Seeds? An Online Catalog of Seed Vendors

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Updated 11.27.2023

Where should you buy tomato seeds? Enthusiastic gardeners have long saved tomato seeds to use for next season. But if you’re new to growing tomatoes or if you didn’t save any from last year then plenty of vendors provide that service. And yes, there’s an optimum time to buy tomato seeds.

Your local home improvement center offers a few packets on its seed rack. But selection is usually limited to a dozen or so varieties. What a shame … especially since there are thousands of types of tomatoes. But first …

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Why buy tomato seeds in the first place?

It’s easier, you rationalize, to simply wait a few weeks and buy tomato seedlings from a nursery. But if you’re intent on growing a healthy tomato crop, there are several reasons to buy tomato seeds rather than established tomato plants.

  • Selection. Horticultural experts estimate there are 25,000 tomato varieties available. Yet even the most robust local garden center offers just a couple of dozen types of tomatoes – at most. Buying seeds gives you access to an array of tomato varieties. You can choose from traditional favorites, heirlooms, hybrids, and new introductions. You can tailor your selection to factors like taste, size, color, disease resistance, and your own microclimate conditions. Further, most specialty or heirloom tomato varieties are only available as seeds. If you’d like to try growing a particular type of tomato that isn't commonly found at nurseries, starting from seeds may be the only way to grow it in your garden.
  • Cost savings. Starting plants from seeds is more economical than purchasing established plants. You can buy a packet of tomato seeds for a fraction of the cost of buying multiple plants. Seed starting containers are free or cost next to nothing if you use paper cups. But even if you add in the price of potting soil and seed starting trays, you come out ahead. Starting tomatoes from seeds is especially advantageous if you plan to grow a large number of plants, if you want to give away tomato seedlings to friends and relatives, or if you want to experiment with different varieties.
  • Timing. Growing tomatoes from seeds allows you to start your plants indoors before the last frost. You can harden off your plants as early as your local conditions allow and subsequently prepare to plant sooner than normal. You can extend your season further by warming the soil ahead of time. At least a month before your last frost date, cover your planting area with black plastic (which absorbs heat). When your seedlings are ready, you can get them into the ground a couple of weeks early. extending your growing season. This is particularly helpful in regions with shorter growing seasons or where the weather can be unpredictable. Or in our own case in South Carolina, early planting gives us the benefit of bragging rights over Dear Hubby’s brothers.
  • Growing medium. When you start tomatoes from seeds, you have the flexibility to choose the seed starting soil of your choice. This is especially important if you prefer specific soil blends, organic materials, or have unique growing conditions.
  • Plant health. Have you ever noticed that high-end garden center seedlings sport dark-green leaves and numerous blossoms? Excess nitrogen leads to surplus foliage and early blooming. That’s like giving a child giving birth to a child before she’s ready. It’s no secret that nursery-bred tomato plants can be overfertilized. But when you start tomatoes from seeds, you can control over the growing conditions from the very beginning – including moisture, temperature, light, and fertilizer – ensuring that plants get off to a healthy start.
  • Reduced diseases. Purchased tomato plants, especially those from crowded nurseries, are exposed to diseases that could affect your entire crop – or may even carry those infections themselves. When you start from seeds, you reduce the risk of introducing diseases or pests to your garden.
  • Education. Got kids? Growing tomatoes from seeds can be a rewarding and educational experience. It allows you to teach children about the life cycle of the plant from seed germination to maturity – and gives them opportunity to witness that process for themselves. Children also learn how watering schedules, light, and warmth affect plants. By starting tomato plants from seeds you can help create a whole new generation of young gardeners.
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When should you buy tomato seeds?

Buy your tomato seeds as early as possible before the gardening season begins and you give yourself a leg up for the coming season for …

  • Availability. Popular and high-demand seed varieties may sell out quickly as the planting season approaches. By purchasing seeds early, you ensure that you have access to a wide variety of options, including both common and unique varieties. As the gardening season approaches, popular seeds may sell out, leading to disappointment if you're unable to find the specific varieties you want. Buying early helps you secure the seeds you need before they become scarce.
  • Bigger selection. Buy early and you can choose from a broader range of varieties. This is especially important if you're interested in trying just-released varieties or heirloom varieties with limited availability.
  • Planning. Buy tomato seeds early and you have ample time to plan your garden layout, decide on crop rotations, and develop a comprehensive planting schedule. This contributes to a more organized and efficient gardening season. Having your seeds ready in advance provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on other aspects of garden preparation and maintenance as the planting season unfolds.
  • Special discounts. Seed suppliers like TomatoFest offer early-bird discounts or promotions for customers who purchase seeds well in advance. Taking advantage of these deals can help you save money on your gardening expenses.
  • Indoor seed starting. If you plan to start tomato seeds indoors before transplanting them into the garden, buying early allows you to begin the process at the right time. This is particularly important if you have a long growing season. If you start seeds indoors and get them into the ground early, you have time to start a second crop before frost comes.
  • Quality assurance. If tomato seeds are properly fermented, dried, and stored, they can have up to a 50% viable germination rate for up to 10 years – but often, it’s much lower. In the U.S., the required federal germination rate for commercially-produced seeds is 75%. For a few cents, you can be guaranteed a solid germination rate – especially when you buy seeds during an early bird sale. Purchasing seeds early ensures that you get fresh, high-quality seeds. 
  • Gifts. Tomato seeds are a wonderful holiday gift for the gardener in your life. And as you sit on Santa’s knee and whisper your gift wishes to him, you can mention that tomato seeds are a perfect stocking stuffer for you, too. 

What to look for when you buy tomato seeds

What should you look for when you buy tomato seeds – especially if you do so online? 

  • Selection: does the vendor offer a variety that meets your needs?
  • Quality: does the vendor follow USDA guidelines (in the US) and comparable benchmarks if produced elsewhere to produce the best possible seeds and germination rates?
  • Cost: is it reasonable?
  • Customer service: is the vendor reliable? Can you speak with a representative if you have questions?

Where should you buy tomato seeds: Tomato Dirt top recommendations

While dozens of vendors offer high-quality tomato seeds, Tomato Dirt has two favorites.

Heirloom and OP (open-pollinated) Tomato Varieties

TomatoFest logo

For heirloom and OP (open pollinated) tomatoes, Tomato Dirt recommends TomatoFest, which offers over 600 varieties,  including hard-to find and rare varieties. TomatoFest is a certified organic, family run business designed to protect the legacy and bio-diversity of treasured heirloom tomato varieties grows and harvests all of their open-pollinated and heirloom tomato seeds from around the world. Seed sales support TomatoFest Seed Donations program that donates to more than 250 community gardens, urban gardens and school gardens internationally. No Hybrids. No GMO’s.

 Click here to visit TomatoFest.com

Hybrid Tomato Varieties

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For hybrid tomato seeds, we recommend Burpee, a leading home gardening and seed company since 1881.

More tomato seed vendors: where to buy tomato seeds

Here’s the dirt. We’ve compiled a list of companies offering tomato seeds. The list is in alphabetical order. Each company fills a certain niche, so be sure to check what each offers and see if it matches your want or need.

Check reviews of these companies at The Garden Watchdog forum, a free directory of 7,000+ mail order gardening companies, offered as a service through Dave’s Garden. Gardeners share their opinions and experiences with companies and product quality, price, delivery, and service on The Garden Watchdog. You’ll learn a lot there.

Disclaimer: this list, of course, is not complete. We’re counting on readers like you to help us find other vendors that sell quality tomato seeds.) If you have purchased tomato seed or tomato plants from a vendor not listed here, tell us about it! Other gardeners want to know where to buy tomato seeds. Just fill out a content submission form below.

A list of tomato seed vendors with Tomato Dirt #GrowingTomatoes #GrowTomatoes #HomeGardening

Appalachian Seeds
Burnsville, North Carolina (United States)
A small, family farm producing heirloom tomato seeds and plants, eclectic medicinal and culinary herbs, and a diverse selection of heirloom vegetable plants.

Burpee Seeds
Warminster, Pennsylvania (United States)
More than 100 varieties of tomato seeds and plants (nearly half are Burpee exclusives) with an excellent hybrid selection.

Ohio Heirloom Seeds
Gahanna, Ohio (United States)
25 varieties of heirloom, open-pollinated tomato varieties along with over 100 varieties of peppers, lettuce, herbs, and carrots.

Prairie Garden Seeds
Humboldt, Saskatchewan (Canada)
Specializes in distributing Canadian tomato cultivars, especially as part of the Canadian Tomato Project.

Reimer Seeds
Mount Holly, North Carolina (United States)
More than 5,000 quality non-GMO vegetable seeds, herb seeds, and flower seeds for the home garden and market growers, including 700+ tomato varieties.

Seedman (formerly Rachel's Tomato Seed Supply)
Gautier, Mississippi (United States)
Rare and unusual seeds from all over the world.

Seed Savers Exchange
Decorah, Iowa (United States)
A non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

Sow True Seed
Asheville, North Carolina (United States)
An open-pollinated/non-hybrid vegetable, herb and flower seed company specializing in heirloom, certified organic, and traditional Southern Appalachia varieties.

Sweet Tomato Test Garden
Las Vegas, Nevada (United States)
Growing methods and products for desert tomato gardeners.

Tatiana's TOMATObase
Anmore, British Columbia (Canada)
Collects and shares characteristics and historical information for heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable varieties, with focus on tomatoes. Sells 4,000 varieties of tomato seeds.

The Seed Kingdom
Lubbock, Texas (United States)
Vegetable seeds to home gardeners and market growers at bulk and wholesale prices, specializing in heirloom tomato seeds.

Tomato Bob’s Heirloom Tomatoes
Hilliard, Ohio (United States)
A small family owned seed company located in central Ohio specializing in over 700 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, flowers, and vegetables

Tomato Growers Supply Company
Fort Myers, Florida (United States)
More than 500 varieties of tomatoes and peppers, including huge selections of both hybrid tomato seeds and heirloom tomato seeds.

Tomato Solutions
Chatham, Ontario (Canada)
Specializes in the breeding, production, and marketing of hybrid tomato seed for the processing and fresh market industries, selling in commercial amounts only.

Carmel, California (United States)
600+ varieties non-hybrid, non-genetically modified, old-fashioned and rarest heirloom tomato seeds from around the world.

The Victory Seed Company
Liberal, Oregon (United States)
A farm-based, family owned, mission-driven preservation organization working to protect rare, heirloom, open-pollinated seeds by keeping them available to gardeners. Victory emphasizes historical research and accuracy to produce seeds of the highest quality possible. Seed sales directly support Victory's preservation mission and its charitable giving program.

Wild Boar Farms
Suisan Valley, California (United States)
Small, local farmer and breeder offering a large selection of heirloom and open-pollinated tomatoes, with a focus is on bi-color and striped varieties, those with extreme flavor, and unusual-looking tomatoes.

Buy tomato seeds and get started

Now that you know why to buy tomato seeds, when to buy tomato seeds, and where to buy tomato seeds, what's stopping you? Get ready to plant this season’s crop and grow your healthiest tomatoes ever.

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Restoration Seeds 
300+ Heirloom tomato varieties. Organic, open pollinated, no hybrids, no GMOs, rare tomato seeds farm direct! www.restorationseeds.com

MI GARDENER Not rated yet
MI GARDENER is someone I just discovered via his YT Channel. Sells seeds, though I don't know what kind of volume. However, he's working on one that …

Grow one, Give one. Not rated yet
MAURO Seed Co. is a mission-based seed company that sells tomato seeds. For every seed they sell, they donate one to someone in need. "Grow one, Give …

Where to buy Dwarf Tomato Project varieties Not rated yet
Seeds from the project available in the Southern Hemisphere from https://www.dwarftomatoproject.net/ and you'll find sources for Northern Hemisphere growers …

Great delivery and plenty of advice at Growseed Not rated yet
Ordered my tomato seeds from Growseed used them thanks to the brilliant grow guide they provided as well as handy info, they claim to grow everything they …

Miss Penn is the high altitude tomato expert! Not rated yet
Check out Miss Penn's Mountain Seeds at: www.pennandcordsgarden.com Penn Parminder has grown thousands of tomatoes, testing a huge number of varieties, …

The Rarest Heirloom Tomato Varieties  Not rated yet
Renaissance Farms is a specialist in the rarest varieties of heirloom and open pollinated tomato seeds and plants. Seeds and plants are all produced using …

Twilley  Not rated yet
Twilley has been a very good supplier of seeds, very fast service, usually ships next day and prices are very good. I have never had a problem with …

Florida Seeds: Excellent Yield, Fruits Quality and Resistances Not rated yet
Tomato seeds for sale, excellent package of resistances and varieties if you plan planting tomato seeds or need grafted tomato rootstock seeds as well. …

I love seedsnow.com Not rated yet
While they don't exclusively sell tomato seeds, I buy all of my tomato seeds from seedsnow.com. They offer organic, non-gmo seeds for many veggies. I …

Sustainable Seeds has great selection Not rated yet
Sustainable Seed Co of California has a great selection of Heirloom and Organic seeds, many hard to find and unusual varieties of tomatoes and all other …

Timeless-Tomatoes has fresh seed and delivers for FREE Not rated yet

Double Helix Farms has big selection and nice website. Not rated yet
Small farm, with nice variety and good germination. Low prices too, free shipping. Lots of other vegetables, but mainly tomatoes. http://www.doublehelixfarms.com …

heirloom.org Not rated yet
Bill Best has spent many years collecting tomato & beans seeds from the appalachian mountains. Has several varities of heirloom tomato seeds

Totally Tomato Not rated yet
Check out Totally Tomatoes . They've got great seeds and great customer service!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company Not rated yet
I have had very good experience with Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company . They have a large and varied selection. Plus they offer rare and unusual varieties. …

The Patriot Supply: great selection of tomatoes and other seeds Not rated yet
The Patriot Supply offers individual seeds as well as survival seed collections. You can use these GMO seeds to get started growing your own heirloom seeds. …

Great range and excellent service from Mr. Fothergill's Not rated yet
Mr. Fothergill's has a great range of tomato seeds for the garden, the kitchen and even for the kids. Check out their site .

Super cheap tomato seeds in the UK, fast delivery and great germination rate too Not rated yet
Would you mind including UK seed seller to your great list? Seedparade has an excellent reputation here in the UK. The seeds are really cheap. I found …

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