How to Choose Organic Vegetable Seeds (and 3 Ways to Nurture Them)

With so many different vegetable seeds available online and at stores, you might be unsure which ones you should buy for your garden. Should you grab conventional or organic vegetable seeds, and does it matter?

We think the healthiest gardens begin with the best quality seeds you can find. And this guide to organic vegetable seeds will help you get your garden off on the right foot. You’ll learn more about choosing organic vegetable seeds and the differences between hybrid and heirloom seeds. You’ll also discover some of our top tips for getting the most from your seeds right from the start.

Choose Organic Vegetable Seeds

Keeping an organic garden is affordable, sustainable, and better for your family and the environment. And if you have your heart set on having an organic vegetable garden, you’ll want to start with organic vegetable seeds. 

Start by looking for a seed company that has taken the safe seed pledge. This guarantees your garden seeds will be non-GMO and protected for future generations. 

Another way to ensure you’re getting safe and top-quality vegetable seeds is to buy organic. All Back to the Roots seeds are 100% organic, non-GMO, and grown domestically in the United States, so you never have to worry about where your seeds are coming from. Organic seeds are best suited to organic gardening methods that use fewer chemicals and more natural approaches.

Getting to Know Organic Vegetable Seeds

When shopping for organic vegetable seeds, you may notice seed packets labeled as hybrid or heirloom seeds. Both have their advantages, but they aren’t the same. 

Hybrid Seeds

Hybrid seeds are crosses between two different plants and usually include the best traits of each. This means you might have plants that are more resistant to disease and pests, grow heartier, or yield extra flavorful fruits and veggies. 

Keep in mind, once you’ve planted all your hybrid seeds, you’ll need to buy more if you’d like to enjoy the same veggies next season. 

Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are seeds from plants that are more than 50 years old, which means you get to plant the same varieties of fruits and vegetables previous generations of gardeners have. 

These seeds can be self- or open-pollinated. Unlike open-pollinated seeds, self-pollinated seeds can pollinate themselves and don’t rely on Mother Nature to lend a hand. Birds, bees, butterflies, or other helpful critters are critical for completing the pollination process.

Also, unlike hybrid seeds, you can harvest seeds from heirloom varieties for future gardening seasons, which is why some growers favor them over hybrids.

Psst: Curious about including more heirloom veggies in your garden? Look for a nonprofit organization or seed savers exchange where you can share heirloom seeds with other gardeners. 

What Can You Plant?

organic vegetable seeds: Seeds and gardening tools on soil

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can plant in your organic home garden. From fruit trees to flowers, here’s a list of our favorite garden additions.

Fruits and Veggies 

With careful planning, you can enjoy fruits and vegetables year-round, even in a winter garden

Herbs and Flowers

If you don’t feel ready to tackle fruits and vegetables, give herbs and flowers a try. An herb garden is a cinch to maintain, and some flowers can help deter pests.

Psst: Don’t forget to pay attention to where your herb seeds and flower seeds come from. If you want an organic garden, it’s best to start with organic seeds.

3 Tips for Nurturing Your Organic Vegetable Seeds

You want to get the most from your certified organic vegetable seeds. That means giving them everything they need to thrive in your garden, whether that’s a sunny windowsill inside or a garden bed outdoors. Here’s how to get started:

1. Keep It Chemical Free

One reason organic gardeners favor this gardening method is because it’s gentler on the environment and better supports organic vegetable seeds. Part of that starts with keeping things chemical free whether it’s pest control or weeding out your garden beds.

Go Buggy (In a Good Way) 

Keeping hungry insects out of your garden doesn’t require heavy-duty pesticides you see at most garden centers (which eventually make their way to your dinner plate). Consider picking up insecticidal soap at your local Home Depot or Walmart Garden Center or make your own at home. 

Believe it or not, Mother Nature is a fantastic helper in this arena. Besides populating your garden with plant-friendly insects such as ladybugs, you can include some plant allies in your lineup with a little careful planning.

Certain plants can actually repel insects. Both lavender and marigolds can help your garden stay safe from hungry creepy-crawlies.

Use Mulch for Simple Weed Management

While you won’t be able to dodge weed duty entirely, you can definitely make it more manageable sans chemicals.

Mulch provides natural and reliable weed control, but there’s a way to help it work even better. Take the time to look for a biodegradable weed barrier. Because it’s made from natural fibers, your plants will still get plenty of air circulation, and you get the benefit of having fewer weeds to pull.

2. Manage Soil Quality 

Woman spraying water on a tray of soil with seeds while indoors

Don’t underestimate the impact soil quality can have on your organic vegetable seeds and how well they grow. We always recommend starting with organic potting soil to give them a nutrient-rich foundation. Soils high in organic matter can help ensure your plants get what they need to grow their best. 

Composting is another terrific way to repurpose kitchen scraps and give your garden soil a boost. You’ll have an eco-friendly source of high-quality nutrients at your fingertips. Or you could give organic fertilizer a try for happy, healthy plants. The right fertilizer can improve plant growth and keep soil in excellent condition.

You can also take a cue from organic farms and consider crop rotation in your own backyard garden. Crop rotation is one of the oldest farming practices. It can help enrich your soil, manage pests, and even decrease the odds of having disease ravage your garden.

It will take some careful planning since you don’t want to plant your fruits and veggies in the same place each season, but it can go a long way in maintaining your soil quality. 

Psst: Borrow another technique from organic farms and plant cover crops. These grasses and legumes work to increase the nutrients in your soil and protect against soil erosion.

3. Make Your Garden Work For You Indoors and Out

The best thing about starting a garden with organic vegetable seeds is how easily you can make it work for you no matter the space you have available. Whether you have room for a patio garden or only enough space for a few pots indoors, you can still grow your own food and have fun doing it.

Check out Back to the Roots Fabric Raised Garden Bed to strategically expand your outdoor garden. Made from durable and long-lasting fabric, this portable garden bed will help your plants get plenty of oxygen, good drainage, and sets up in minutes. 

Alternatively, you can bring nature indoors with a small-scale garden. Terrariums are low maintenance miniature gardens and great for kids, so you can enjoy the beauty of live plants when space is at a premium.

Create the Garden of Your Dreams With Organic Vegetable Seeds

It’s easy for home gardeners like you to get started with organic vegetable seeds and see the garden of your dreams take shape with a bit of TLC. Quality seeds make all the difference in how your garden grows. By choosing organic, you’re avoiding non-GMO seeds and giving your family the best. 

Looking for more tips on how you can have a flourishing organic garden? Keep reading on our Back to the Roots blog.

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