The TikTok Gardening Community Recommends These Seed Companies To Start Gardening

When TikTok gardeners emerge from their burrows and start recommending seed companies, you can bet that spring is in full swing. Experienced growers are great resources for new gardeners, including the best companies to buy garden seeds from. They are loyal and dedicated supporters, but the second time a seed company's products don't germinate well, the TikTok gardeners are likely to drop their endorsement (for new seeds, that is; garden seed expiration dates are often just a way of letting you know that germination rates will deteriorate over time). At the same time, they know enough not to ding a company for being out of stock in the middle of spring, which is to be expected. So we raked through dozens of users' seed company recommendations to cultivate our list of TikTok's top three seed companies for beginners.

Botanical Interests, Johnny's Selected Seeds, and Territorial Seed Company are the three most popular on TikTok, but by no means the only seed companies that are great at their jobs. There seem to be as many good seed company recommendations as good GardenTok creators, so find someone you trust on TikTok and see who they trust with their seed orders. They're usually excited to tell you all about it.

Botanical Interests

GardenTok homesteader @thewhistlingroosterhs sums up Botanical Interests by saying that the seed company offers beautiful illustrations, lots of sowing and growing information, and a great variety of seeds, including lots of heirlooms. TikToker @from_the_garden adds that their germination rates are also amazing. Botanical Interests has some of the loveliest seed packets in the industry. They also have a genius feature on their website: drawings of each variety's seedlings, so you'll know what you're caring for is actually Swiss Chard and not some nuisance plant like spiny amaranth. And that same seedling sketch appears on the back of each seed packet in what turns out to be a peek inside Botanical Interests' M.O.: giving you every tool you can use to grow seeds successfully, and every reason to keep coming back. In this case, the seedling drawing is at the top of a cut-out seed tag on the back of each packet that features all the critical planting info: days to emergence, planting depth and spacing, row spacing, thinning instructions, days to maturity, and a little space where you can write in the date your seed was sown.

This might feel like a gimmick, except that everywhere you look, Botanical Interests is throwing more resources at you. Their website features five free ebooks, including the very well-produced and informative How To Start Seeds: A Complete Guide. There are enlightening articles on everything from starting to storing. You can even download Botanical Interests wallpaper for your computer.

Territorial Seed Company

"Cultivating Gardeners" is Territorial Seed Company's tagline, and it drives home some truths about the company's goals and values. Tom and Julie Johns purchased the company in 1985 and focused on self-sufficiency and local, clean food. They made their business about teaching and empowering customers to focus on productivity and sustainability. Territorial Seed Company has become an amalgam of two interdependent philosophies: the small farmer's focus on yield and quality, and the gardener's focus on community and beauty. You see these things clearly in both the company's catalogs for both professional growers and home gardeners, including the U.S.'s only catalog focused on winter gardening. The catalog cover art is commissioned from working artists, as are Territorial's seed packets, and inside is a cornucopia of information on the varieties they sell and how to cultivate them successfully. If the cover is art, the photos inside are pure function — perfect shots of each variety, beautiful in their clarity.

The catalog is, inevitably, the main interface between a seed company and its customers, but that's not the relationship Territorial cultivates. You can call them with questions, and they'll give you confident answers because they trial every variety they sell at their London Spring Farms facility. Their website distills a lot of their accumulated knowledge into 44 online growing guides organized by plant type and season, plus some really useful charts and lists. All of this culminates in high germination rates and successful crops backed by Territorial's 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Johnny's Selected Seeds gets many recommendations for its varieties, processes, the tools it designs and sells, and the educational resources it provides — especially for market gardeners, as mentioned by @t_six_farms in her TikTok video. A lot of Johnny's vibe and value derives from the concept of market gardens — farms with cash crops, but farms still small enough to grow by gardening rather than by chemical and mechanical dominance over the land. Johnny's develops its own vegetable varieties and its own line of tools aimed squarely at small-scale productivity, whether by a hobbyist or a hobby farmer. They offer a line of tools designed in partnership with organic gardening trailblazer Eliot Coleman, and their website's farm seed section features a selection of seeds for purposes like promoting the health of beneficial insect populations, including insects. That's where market growers and home gardeners often intersect: the application of gardening principles in a way too often lost on commercial growers.

But make no mistake, Johnny's is all about home gardeners, particularly new growers. The company's website includes a Grower's Library with videos, product collections, articles, and planning tools, like succession planting workbooks and an interactive seed quantity calculator. They have detailed information and product groups for greenhouse, hydroponic, and every other variety of grower, from mid-summer planters to the early birds aiming to reap the benefits of starting seed indoors. It's just the sort of toolkit that can keep beginners happily busy for many hours.