10 Considerations When Selecting Seeds

This incredibly helpful seed selection guide was inspired by Petra Page-Mann of Fruition Seeds.

Below is a transcribed and edited version of her insightful video, supplemented with a few additional recommendations from us. For the full video, you can visit Petra's YouTube channel here.

A big thank you to Petra for this invaluable resource!

"First and foremost, seeds are living, breathing, infinitely replicable beings, and the seeds that you choose are the foundation of the bountiful harvest that you will enjoy ~ so choose wisely, friends!"

~ Petra Page-Mann, Fruition Seeds


Selecting Seeds

Pictured: Potawatomi Lima Bean (click for seeds)


1. Growing Environment

Indoors or Outdoors?

If you have the necessary materials for indoor planting, such as space, natural light or grow lights, and pots, you can start virtually any seeds. For outdoor growing, consider timing, transplant schedules, and regional adaptability.

See the Nature & Nurture Seeds guide, Seed Starting: Start Inside or Outside?

2. Garden Setup

In a Garden or Container?

Large gardens can accommodate almost any plant size. In containers or raised beds in smaller spaces, size becomes a limiting factor. The good news is that there are numerous compact varieties that don't compromise on abundance.

See our list of Space Savers, including our Container Garden Collection.

3. Regional Considerations

Where Are You Gardening?

Regional adaptation is crucial. Consider heat-tolerant lettuce for Texas, late blight-resistant tomatoes for New York, and early-maturing watermelons for Maine.

See our list of Midwest heirlooms for gardeners in the Great Lakes Region!

4. Local Seed Sourcing

Are Local Seed Companies Offering Locally Sourced Seeds?

Check with local seed companies about the origin of their seeds. Understanding where and how they are grown provides valuable insights into the seed's quality.

At Nature and Nurture Seeds, we grow about 60% of our seed on our certified organic farm outside Ann Arbor, MI.

5. Organic vs. Conventional Seed

Considerations for Organic Seed

Organic seeds can make you a more successful gardener by allowing you to grow more with fewer chemicals. They are robust, need fewer fertilizers, and outcompete weeds naturally.

Our seed farm was Certified Organic in 2017! Learn more about our organic certification and shop the Nature and Nurture Seeds collection of Certified Organic seeds.

6. Seasonal Considerations

What Season Are You Growing In?

Different varieties of vegetables have specific seasonal preferences. For instance, Jericho lettuce is a summer lettuce, while Grand Rapids is excellent for fall, winter, and spring.

Explore our Planting Date Guide for SE Michigan, and shop our lettuces for various conditions.

7. Light and Fertility

Understanding Light and Soil Conditions

Each variety has unique light and soil requirements. Optimal sunlight is crucial for fruiting plants, while leafy greens thrive in less light.

Find more ideas for shady spots on our List of Shade Tolerant Vegetables and Fruits.

8. All Seeds Are Not Equal

Quality and Source of Seeds

The same seed variety can differ between catalogs. Inquire about the seed company's supplier and sourcing practices for better understanding.

9. Experimentation and Exploration

Encouraging Curiosity

Experiment with different varieties to discover what grows best in your garden. Stay open to new seed companies and offerings.

10. GMO-Free Seeds

Considerations for GMOs

While no seed company sells GMO seeds to home gardeners, inquire if the company sources seeds from GMO-selling companies.

Nature & Nurture Seeds only offers Non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds, and we have signed the Safe Seed Pledge.


As you plan your garden and dream of the abundance ahead, ask good questions and don't be shy!

Still unsure which seeds to purchase? Visit our website for more resources on growing and seed saving:

For a printed black and white, text-only list of our seed varieties with descriptions, you can send us a request here or contact us through our website.