Growing plants from seed is an economical and enlightening way to create your garden, and if you shop the right way you can probably find them on sale. While buying an individual pack of seeds is not generally expensive, when you want to cover a large space with a wide variety of plants, the cost can add up quickly. Finding plant seeds on sale isn’t difficult when you know where to look. Shopping early, keeping an eye out for sale announcements, joining distributors’ email lists, becoming a member of your local botanical garden and learning to collect your own seeds are all ways of saving money as you plan your garden.
Visit home and garden retailers in early spring when they may be offering specials to kick off the season. Be aware of discounts for buying in bulk. If such a discount is not advertised, ask a manager if you can work out a deal. Small businesses are especially likely to make you a deal if you are a repeat and loyal customer. Check catalogs for deals on popular items and bulk orders. Buying seeds early ensures the best selection of sale items. Popular seeds such as marigold, basil, parsley and tomatoes are often on sale. “Buy one get one free” offers that feature popular herbs, vegetables and flowers are commonly built right into the cardboard seed racks sent to retailers by seed companies, making them easy to find.
Sign up to get email alerts directly from seed supply companies that have an online presence. Email alerts can include discount codes and other special offers. Visit online retailers frequently to check out sale sections. Unusual seeds may be featured, or those that are overstocked. Sometimes when you buy a certain amount of seeds you can receive free shipping. Ask gardener friends for their recommendations and you will quickly learn which companies people rely on for good deals.
Join your local botanical garden to take advantage of the membership discount at its garden shop. Many botanical gardens have an annual seed and plant sale that is open to members only, or open to members before the rest of the public. Botanical gardens may sell unusual seeds that it would not have occurred to you to grow. Volunteer at the garden to be first in line for any leftovers after planting season.
Joining a local garden club or seed society puts you in contact with people who save seeds, sometimes from rare and interesting varieties of plants. If you save seeds, you can often exchange with other members to develop a dynamic garden without spending anything, or nothing but postage. Sometimes, you can buy seeds from other members. Subscribe to the newsletters and catalogs various groups distribute to get a sense of what is available.
Read gardening magazines to spot ads from companies who are selling seeds on sale. You can also look at advertising to get ideas for new companies to investigate; they often contain different offerings than their physical catalogs. Read the classified ads in gardening magazines to find additional offers for seeds.