How Much Do Garden Seeds for a Vegetable Garden Cost?

Written by: Staff

Seeds for your garden can be bought in many varieties, and seeds for plants, flowers, vegetables and fruit can all be found at just about any retailer or can be purchased online.

.Seeds! by trec_lit, on Flickr
Seeds!” (CC BY 2.0) by  trec_lit

How much do garden seeds cost?

On average, a packet of seeds is going to cost $1 to $3 for the packet.  Organic seeds can cost upwards of 20% more depending on the type of seed that is purchased.  The price really comes down to the brand.

According to the online store, seeds in their inventory can range anywhere from $1 to as much as $10+ per pack.

If purchased by the bulk, the costs can be anywhere from as little as $3 to $17 per 1/4 pound.  For example, American Meadows charges $16 for a 1/4 pound of Heirloom Rutgers Tomato seeds and $4 for Heirloom Kentucky Wonder bean seeds.

Garden seeds overview

Seeds are usually packed in small paper packets that have instructions on the back showing you how to plant and take care of the plant while it is growing.  Each packet will contain about 800 to 2,000 seeds, depending on the variety and the brand.

Seeds will often be labeled as the following: organic, hybrid, heirloom or GMO.  Organic seeds must be in compliance with the USDA’s National Organic Program.  These certified seeds can’t have genetically engineered traits and must be grown in organic soil, meaning there’s no pest control or fertilizer.  Hybrid seeds will be produced by a cross-pollinated plant.  To produce this seed, specific varieties will be crossed and the hybrid will be collected.  Oftentimes, a hybrid seed was designed to improve a plant, resulting in a better color or disease resistance.  Heirloom seeds come from a plant that was grown in earlier periods in history.  These plants have been argued as to what the true definition is; however, most agree these plants must be open-pollinated and handed down for generations.  Lastly, GMO, known as Genetically Modified Organism, will contain a genetic trait that’s not found in the plant’s DNA.  This is when genes from one species will be artificially implanted into the DNA of another.  With this combination, it wouldn’t exist in nature, making it an artificially created seed.

What are the extra costs?

Fertilizers, while optional, may be needed to grow healthier plants.  Depending on the brand and type of fertilizer, prices can start at $6 and can be as much as $30 or more.  A fertilizer feeder may be used as well to make sure that there is sufficient fertilizer applied to the plant to make sure it grows well.

We all know seeds are just part of the equation and soil will be needed.  Soil can cost about $3 to $11 per 40-pound bag if you need it.   For those just starting a garden and have the adequate soil, a rototiller or a hoe may be required in order to pull up the soil.

Some shipping costs may apply with online seed companies.

Tips to know

If you don’t want to be bothered with waiting for the seeds to grow, consider smaller starter packs at local outdoor nurseries or farmers markets.  These plants will be a few inches tall and can cost about $1 to $3 per plant.  Again, this will depend on the variety.

Always read the label before you plan to know what it requires.  Some plants may require you get a head start indoors and transfer the plant once it reaches a certain height.

If you want a continuous harvest, be sure to purchase extra.  Fast-growing plants, such as lettuce and spinach, can be planted several times.

Consider your space and be selective.  Only plant what you’re going to eat and try to plant things that won’t take up much space if you have a smaller space.  For instance, if you have a smaller raised garden, you will probably want to avoid growing pumpkins or sweet corn.

Always pay attention to your soil temperatures.  If it’s too cold, the seeds can sown and if it’s wet, plants can rot.

If you have extra seeds, consider placing them in an airtight container and store them in a dark, cool room.  Some seeds can be good for several years.

Pay close attention to the “days to harvest” to know how long it takes for the seeds to mature.

List of common garden seeds purchased






Brussel Sprouts

















Sweet Potatoes



Popular seed catalogs




Urban Farmer

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Territorial Seed Company

How can I save money?

Use seeds sparingly.  If you don’t need to use a lot of seeds, then save them for later.  Use only what you need to make sure that you have enough to plant another batch in the future.

Buy seeds at the end of the season to take advantage of clearance sales.

Consider going to local lawn and garden stores to find seeds that can be purchased in bulk.

Buying garden seeds is as frugal as it gets.  According to, if you were to harvest half the packet in 40-foot rows, you would spend $140 to $200 less than if you purchased the mature vegetables in the store.

Look into local nurseries, churches, local organizations and garden clubs.  These places often hold plant/seed sales and it’s a great way to find savings.

If purchasing online, look for special coupon codes and/or promotions before making a purchase.

Signing up with some seed catalogs may include a free coupon.

Want free seeds?  Free seeds can be found at seed swaps, by mail or a seed library.

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