The 7 Online Shops You Need to Know if You Want to Grow Your Own Herbs or Veggies

published Apr 30, 2022
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a variety of herbs and lettuce plants outside with gardening tools
Credit: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Spring has sprung! And that means it’s time to begin your kitchen garden! Our best advice: Don’t bother with seeds, which can be finicky and slow to grow. Instead, plant a seeding (aka, a start) and jumpstart (pun intended!) the process.

If you don’t have a reliable nursery nearby — or just prefer the convenience of home delivery — you can find a lot of great shops online. Of course, you can also find a lot of questionable ones online, too. And so we’ve rounded up our favorite online shops that sell consistently great veggie and herb starts. We’ll get to those, but first let’s go over a few things you really should know.

Credit: Linda Ly

3 Things You Should Know Before Ordering Seedlings Online

1. Actual availability

Be sure the grower delivers specifically to your zip code. Not all online nurseries deliver to every single state.

2. The refund/return policy

Most growers take great care that your precious seedlings are packed snug and tight, but understand that these are delicate plants being sent to your door. Make sure you understand the site’s return/refund policy before you place your order — just in case something happens to your tiny seedlings during shipping.

3. Anticipated delivery

Don’t order seedlings and then go on vacation. As soon as your package arrives, you’re going to want to get those seedlings out of that dark box and give them a drink after their long journey. If possible, try to get them in the ground or a container within a day or two.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The Best Places to Buy Veggie and Herb Seedlings Online

1. Burpee

Many home gardeners know Burpee for its seeds, but the nearly 150-year-old Pennsylvania-based company also delivers veggie and herb starts by mail. Their catalog is extensive, and “container-friendly” varieties are perfect for anyone with limited space.

2. Morningsun Herb Farm

Beloved for its culinary and medicinal herbs, this small, family-owned nursery located in Northern California also has a fantastic selection of unusual (and delicious!) vegetables. And good news for lavender fanatics: They grow more than 45 different varieties!

3. Leaf’d Box

If you’re feeling intimidated or not sure where to start with your kitchen garden, Leaf’d Box may be just what the horticulturist ordered. The company offers a subscription service that will send you the right plants for the right season based on your taste and the size of your garden, with plenty of help in the way of pamphlets and online videos.

Credit: almaje/Shutterstock

4. Richters

Canadians in the greater Toronto area have long had a place in their hearts for Richters, a 50-plus-year-old nursery specializing in medicinal and culinary herbs from around the globe. The good news for home gardeners who don’t call Ontario home? Richters ships anywhere in North America, so check their site for your favorite edibles, including mint, thyme, wasabi, and za’atar. 

5. Annie’s Annuals & Perennials

Tucked in the city of Richmond, California, across the bay from San Francisco, Annie’s grows all of its seedlings on a 2.5-acre oasis of greenery and blooms. The company has an impressive collection of heirloom and lesser-known veggies, herbs, and edible flowers, including varieties that can handle drier climates.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Bonnie Plants

It may be based in Alabama, but Bonnie Plants has more than 70 growing stations scattered across the country. So no matter where you’re located, your order likely won’t have to travel far. Choose from more than 300 varieties of edibles, including All-America Selections (AAS) that have won accolades from kitchen gardeners in every planting zone.

7. Etsy

No, this isn’t a typo. Etsy is popular with the arts-and-crafts crowd — and it can be your go-to source for plant starts. As with any online marketplace, just be sure to check the seller’s reviews and ratings before ordering.

What are you growing in your kitchen garden? Tell us your gardening tips in the comments below.