Homestead and Gardening

9 Best Heirloom Seed Companies

Heirloom seeds are my favorite type of seed to grow. If you don’t know what they are, my handy guide to heirloom seeds can answer most of your questions!

If you are familiar, your question might be: What are the best heirloom seed companies?

I have ordered seeds from several reputable heirloom seed companies and I surveyed real gardeners to ask them what seed companies they preferred.

The results are in, and now I can share with you the Best Heirloom Seed Companies for your next seed purchase.

Note: I have an affiliate agreement with four seed companies listed here: High Mowing Seeds, Seeds for Generations, True Leaf Market, and Gardener’s Basics.

The Best Heirloom Seed Companies

Are you convinced that heirloom seeds are for you? Here is a list of some of the BEST heirloom seed companies available online. I have tried out three of these personally, but I polled a large group of gardeners/homesteaders for the remaining recommendations.

1. Seeds for Generations

Seeds for Generations is a small family-owned company and an affiliate of ours. I purchased these seeds last fall and I had very good success with the seeds that I planted.

The radishes came up fast and hearty and the lettuce germinated well. I will try out the purple broccoli and leeks in the upcoming spring and report back.

I love supporting small businesses and I was so happy with the results of the seeds I planted. I am planning on making a bigger order soon to add to my seed collection so I will have more to tell you about by next summer.

Here are a few of the radishes we grew fall of 2022.

Seeds for Generations at a Glance:


  • Supporting a small family-owned business
  • Good germination
  • All heirloom seeds
  • Quick service and easy to work with
  • Website easy to navigate
  • Fast shipping


  • Selection is not as broad as some companies
  • No print catalog (yet!)

Organic: Some, but not all

Heirloom: Yes (all offerings)

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: For fun, I’ll rate the seeds on their seed packet design. I give Seeds for Generations 4/5 stars because I really like the original artwork they use on their seed packets.

2. High Mowing Seeds

High Mowing Seed offers a lot of heirloom seeds and is a reputable company. Not all of their seeds are heirlooms so be on the lookout for that. They do sell 100% organic seeds so if you’re looking for organic AND heirloom, this is a good option.

I ordered my first order from them recently and I’m so excited to try them out this spring.

High Mowing Seeds at a Glance


  • United State’s first organic seed company
  • Everything they offer is organic
  • Fair selection of heirloom vegetables
  • Reviews indicate a good germination rate


  • Many of the seeds listed on the website are hybrids
  • Some prices are a bit higher (probably because all seed offerings are organic)

Organic: Yes

Heirloom: Some

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: 3/5 I like the branding, but I wish they had pictures of the plants on the seed packets.

3. Baker Creek Seeds

Baker Creek Seeds is an extremely well-known heirloom seed company. I remember getting their catalogs years ago and wanting to purchase their seeds, even without any setup to grow them or anywhere to plant them (we were renting a place at the time without access to starting a garden).

If you look for heirloom seeds you will likely come across Baker Creek Seeds.

They offer a ton of varieties of plants and a lot of people love them.

I ordered quite a few seeds from them last year and had great success with the majority of them. I was not as successful with the watermelon and zucchini seeds that I planted, but I’m not sure if Baker Creek is to blame or if it was a strange year for melons in general (it seemed to be).

Baker Creek Seeds are not organic, but they are GMO-free.

Baker Creek at a Glance:


  • Huge selection of seeds
  • Beautiful catalog (perfect for January winters)
  • Family owned business
  • Routinely add new seeds to their collection
  • A cool Facebook group you can join of people that love this company
  • Free shipping
  • Fast shipping


  • The website and catalog omit some important information from seeds. For example, some seeds don’t list how many days it takes until maturity, which can make it difficult to know if a seed can work in your area.
  • Higher prices on some of the seeds

Organic: No

Heirloom: Yes, all offerings

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: 4/5 stars for consistent branding and a very good photographic representation of what the plant will look like

4. True Leaf Market

True Leaf Market was recommended to us, and my Dad who I co-garden with is interested in purchasing some seeds from them.

Not all of their seeds are heirlooms, but they do have a large collection of heirloom seeds to choose from. They also have a sizeable selection of organic seeds. True Leaf Market offers 512 seed varieties that are both organic and heirloom seeds.

I’m awaiting a small order from True Leaf Market including some heirloom asparagus seeds.

Update: I have started using seeds from True Leaf Market starting with Lavender seeds. Lavender is notoriously hard to grow and I have around 20+ plants that are currently thriving under grow lights. I will update you when we see how the asparagus seeds perform.

True Leaf Market at a Glance


  • Lots of seeds to choose from
  • Good selection of heirloom and organic seeds


  • Some reviews state that customer service is poor, but not sure if this is a limited few as some reviews said they have good customer service.
  • Shipping is a little slower than Seeds for Generations and Baker Creek Seeds.

Organic: Some

Heirloom: Some

GMO-Free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: I do like the picture/designs on the seed packets, but they are generic and you have to read the back to know what’s inside. I prefer a picture of the plant or/name of the plant on the front. 2.5/5

5. Gardener’s Basics

Gardener’s Basics is an heirloom seed company that reached out to me and offered to let me try their seeds for a review. They sent me a pack of herb seeds and a pack of flower seeds. I got to work and started using these seeds right away, and they have worked very well for me! I’m very happy with how easily the seeds germinated and the plants are growing very well.

One of the most appealing things about this seed company is its seed collections. They sell seed assortments such as “The Essential Survival Garden” and “The Medicinal Herb Collection” which takes a lot of the guesswork out of which seeds to get for your garden.

You can use code “THEMAKINGLIFE” for 10% off of your purchase with Gardener’s Basics.

Gardener’s Basics at a Glance:


  • All seeds are produced in the US
  • All seeds offered are heirloom seeds
  • A ton of seed collections are offered that make it easier to buy what you need
  • The seeds I planted germinated well and were easy to grow


  • Seeds are not organic (if you’re looking for organic seeds)

Organic: No

Heirloom: Yes (all offerings)

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: 4/5 — bright colors and a photograph of the plant make it easy to identify what you’re growing.

6. Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds is another small company that was recommended to us. Her company offers a lot of advice and help, and they state they’re “only a phone call away.” Located in Texas, this seed company sources all its seeds from small family farmers and seed growers in the US.

I ordered a small selection of seeds from this seed supplier so I will let you know more about it as I find out.

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds at a Glance


  • Small woman-ran business
  • Seeds are considered “beyond organic.” From the website: ” We grow what we call “beyond organic” by incorporating companion planting for pest control and plant for the BEES!”
  • The number of seeds in packet is clearly stated
  • Most listings share days until maturity
  • A real sense that the business is run with care and devotion
  • Great prices


  • I haven’t really found a con yet. The website might not look as elaborate as a bigger brand like Baker Creek Seeds, but it’s easy to navigate and the pictures and information offer everything you need to make a purchase.

Organic: Yes

Heirloom: Yes, all offerings

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: I haven’t received my seeds yet so I can’t rate it.

7. MIgardener

MIgardener is a seed company recommended several times over. This business began in 2011, and their entire line is heirloom and organic. I also noticed that every seed they currently offer is $2.00, a great price!

There’s a very nice selection of seeds with this company, and I am expectantly awaiting my order. I was even lucky enough to get an additional percentage off the already good prices. The only thing that I’m a little disappointed by is that they haven’t fulfilled my order yet. I did recently get a notice that it was in the mail, but I haven’t received it yet.

MIgardener at a Glance


  • Amazing selection
  • Everything is organic
  • Everything is heirloom
  • Very nice website


  • Slower to fulfill my order

Organic: Yes

Heirloom: Yes, all offerings

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: Love it! It’s simple, but almost retro design.

8. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange had a lot of support as well. I appreciated in their FAQ section how transparent they were with their product, including mentioning that they do not use chemical treatments on their plants but that they did use diatomaceous earth (DE).

DE is considered organic, but it’s nice to know exactly what they are using on plants.

Their definition of an heirloom is anything before 1940.

Important to note that they state that their seeds perform best in Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.


  • New website coming
  • Donates 10% of sales to Organic Seed Alliance
  • Members of Seed Savers Exchange
  • Lists how many seeds in each packet
  • Most seeds are heirloom
  • Worker run cooperative


  • Not all seeds are organic (if you’re looking for organic seeds)

Organic: About 60% organic as of 2017 (that’s the date listed on the website)

Heirloom: Yes some

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet:

9. Johnny’s Seeds

Johnny’s Seeds is a popular brand, and I did use some of their seeds last year with good success. It is important to know that they sell many hybrids as well as heirloom seeds. They do offer a line of organic/heirloom seeds, and 100% of their seeds are organic.


  • Organic seeds
  • 100% employee-owned
  • You can buy large quantities of seeds at bulk prices
  • You know how many seeds you’re getting per pack
  • Lots of growing information is listed on the site
  • Satisfaction guaranteed


  • Not all their seeds are heirloom seeds. They currently offer ~ 60 heirloom vegetables and 40 heirloom flowers

Organic: Yes

Heirloom: Yes, some

GMO-free: Yes

Design of Seed Packet: I find their seed packet design to be pretty basic without a picture of the product. 2/5

Why Grow Heirloom Seeds

What are the main reasons why you should grow heirloom seeds? Your reasons may be different from mine, but here are some of the top reasons why people grow heirloom seeds.

1. Heirloom Seeds Give You a Taste of the Past

When you eat heirloom produce, you’re actually tasting the same produce that people ate decades ago. That’s a pretty cool thought!

2. Heirloom Seeds Stand the Test of Time

Another good reason to grow heirloom seeds is their quality. People are unlikely to carefully save and pass on seeds generationally that are of poor quality or flavor.

3. Heirloom Seeds Haven’t Been Modified in a Lab

The heirloom seeds you buy may have been hybrids at one point in their history, but they aren’t the product of lab work that introduces genetics into a plant that wouldn’t naturally occur. (Interested in learning more about GMO seeds? Check out my post: What are GMO Seeds?)

4. You Can Save Heirloom Seeds

Perhaps the single most important thing about heirloom seeds is that you can save them to grow the same crop again. You will have the same characteristics from the heirloom seed over and over again.

Note: It is possible to accidentally cross-pollinate your plants. To avoid this, use proper spacing between plants so they will not cross with other similar plants.

Suzanne Ashworth’s book Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners is supposed to be a good guide to tell you the proper distances of heirloom seeds to avoid cross-pollination. I do not personally own this book, but I am interested in purchasing it.

If you prefer not to order your books from Amazon, I recommend trying It’s an online book retailer that supports independent bookstores. You can choose a local bookstore to share in the profits. Here’s a link to Seed to Seed at

The Best Heirloom Seed Companies Available

This is a roundup of the best heirloom seed companies available today. I have ordered seeds from many of these companies personally, and for those that I am not familiar with, I polled other home gardeners for the best options.

Do you love heirloom seeds or seeds in general? What is your favorite place to buy seeds? Let us know in the comments below!

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