Do You Ask These Important Questions Before Buying Seeds?

If you’ve been interested in prepping for any amount of time, then you’ve probably started to take a longer-term approach to surviving when society collapses. Maybe you have purchased rural property and built an off-the-grid cabin or home. Probably, you’ve considered water and food sources.

But, if you haven’t taken this step (and we recommend that you do), then you may not even know where to start. A good place to begin is to think about growing your own food as this is one of the fundamental concerns during a societal collapse. Starting a garden at your current home can help you to learn how to supplement your current food sources (probably restaurants and grocery stores) and, eventually, maybe even replace them.

One key factor in starting and maintaining your garden is your choice of seeds. Beginning gardeners often don’t even know the right questions to ask. Fortunately, Kathy Bernier suggests asking these five questions before buying seeds (along with our commentary):

  1. How long do seeds last? Not all seeds are the same. How long a seed can last while still being able to germinate depends on the plant (grains can often germinate after ten years but many beans for only up to two years) and how they were stored (cool, dry places store better). Buying seeds from a trustworthy source who cares for their seeds and knowing the time-frames for seed germination for different plants will help you determine what to purchase from a particular seller.
  2. How early should they be started indoors? If you’re serious about growing a productive garden, then you’ll likely want to start your germination process indoors before the outside temperature is ideal for growing. Some seeds require more sunlight than you can practically provide indoors in your particular climate. You need to be aware of the needs of the plants which you are considering so that you don’t waste money purchasing seeds that you won’t be able to use.
  3. Start them at home or buy seedlings? It may make more sense for your situation to simply skip buying seeds and buy the seedlings depending on how much you want to grow, how much time and effort you have to put into starting your garden, and your financial resources, as seedlings typically are more expensive.
  4. How much is enough? Seeds can be inexpensive (sometimes), so it can be easy to waste money by buying more than you actually need or will be able to use. Try to get a realistic idea of the crop yield that you are trying to get, and then buy the seeds that you need for that yield. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll very likely buy too many seeds of one variety and too few seeds of another.
  5. Open-pollinated versus hybrid? Bernier writes,

    “Open-pollinated seeds are those which can be replicated at home. In other words, the seeds produced by your open-pollinated vegetables can be dried, saved and planted next year, and the result will be the same vegetable as this year.

    “Hybrid seeds are genetic mutations. They very often produce a higher quality vegetable out of the seed packet, having been developed for specific purposes such as disease-resistance or drought tolerance or higher sugar content or better productivity. But the seeds from this year’s vegetables will not produce identical offspring next year.

    “If you are a seed-saver, open-pollinated is a must.  If you are not, then it is OK to choose your seeds based upon other factors.

So, there you have it, five questions to ask before you buy seeds. Do you ask any additional questions before buying seeds? If so, share them below.


  • Jeanette Davis

    I have learned how to harvest my own seeds, even highbread corn seed.