Where to Buy Vegetable Plants Online

It's perfectly acceptable to grow many veggies and herbs from transplants instead of seed, and you can even order some online.

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January 26, 2021

People always ask me if I start all my vegetable plants from seed and I’ve finally become confident enough to tell them "no" and not feel ashamed.

Here’s the reality: I have a full-time indoor job that uses most of my daylight hours, I have a relatively small house without space for a growing room, and I don’t have a greenhouse (yet). So, growing everything myself from seed just isn’t reasonable. Instead, I grow some things from seed — the easy, quick things — and buy transplants for other things, including tomatoes. Ain’t no shame in it.

So, what do I grow from seed? A lot: lettuce, greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, squash, melons, some herbs (mostly the annuals), peas and beans. All of these are easy to start outside without the need for indoor seed starting kits and, frankly, hassle.

What don’t I typically start from seed? Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and perennial herbs. Instead, I use transplants — also called “starts” or just plants — that I get from various sources, including local nurseries and farmers markets, big box stores and, yes, online sources.

Ordering seeds online probably feels obvious — after all, it’s the natural evolution of seed catalogs, which have been around forever — but you may be surprised to learn that you can buy vegetable transplants online, too. Not all seed companies sell them, but some do. And while they’re much more expensive than seeds, or than plants you can buy in-person, there’s value in getting a plant that’s healthy and ready to go, dropped at your doorstep. Plant companies also time the shipping of your plants based on your zip code, so they’ll arrive right at the best time for planting. Here are a couple top sources for vegetable transplants online.

Burpee

Burpee has been around for more than a century, and its name is virtually synonymous with seed. They have the most extensive list of vegetable start options online that I've found. When browsing, choose “Plant” under “Form” in their dropdown menu, and you’ll see all the options for transplants. These are some great options and there are so many more.

The Tasteful Garden

A smaller operation, The Tasteful Garden was a leader in selling vegetable plants online, and I’ve ordered from them many times. In addition to a variety of tomatoes, peppers and herbs, they also offer starts for more specialized things like celery and asparagus. These are a couple of classics I recommend.

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