Where to buy cheap garden seeds

Picture of sun shining through carrot leaves grown from cheap seeds

Carrot seedling growing on the kitchen windowsill

Searching for cheap garden seeds during lockdown?

Recently, seeds have been flying off the shelves. Many of us, stuck at home and facing food shortages, are keen to grow some of our own fruit and veg.

Yet many of the shops and garden centres which normally sell seeds are shut. Online suppliers are facing increased demand – just as many staff are absent due to childcare or shielding, and remaining staff need extra space and equipment to cope with social distancing (see this heartfelt plea from DT Brown). So allow for longer than normal delivery times if you can find seeds in stock.

Growing your own fruit and veg can be a great way to cut your food costs.

Of course, it all depends on how much you spend on gardening. Investing in a greenhouse to grow tomatoes will make them rather expensive!

Even packets of seeds that only cost £2 to £3 a pop can soon add up if you’re buying several varieties. The good news is that there are loads of ways to buy seeds for less or even get them for free.

When we moved from London to Suffolk, I had great intentions about growing some of our own food. I made the odd attempt in London, keen to show my children where food came from. Despite our postage stamp of a garden, I had a tomato plant on top of the fridge, some strawberries in a hanging basket and a few beans growing up the garden fence.

Getting hold of seeds is the first step to growing your own food, so I’ve been investigating ways to buy them for less.

Cheap packets may contain fewer seeds than fancy packs from big brands. However, if you don’t want to plant huge quantities of the same thing, and get stuck with a glut of courgettes / lettuces / radishes, then why waste money buying more than you need?

Here’s my round up of 8 places to get cheap or free garden seeds.

Picture of packets of cheap seeds from Wilko, from 25p for salad leaves, 50p for tomatoes, radishes and spinach, and 75p for courgettes

Bundle of seed bargains from Wilko

1. Dive into discount stores for cheap garden seeds

Simple enough really – if you want inexpensive seeds, try inexpensive shops.

Wilko is a great source of cheap seeds. Stores are still open, as Wilko sells essentials such as over the counter medication, cleaning products and pet food. The budget options with beetroot, parsnip and lettuce packs from as little as 25p, and other varieties at 50p and 75p are only available in store.

Sadly, most of the stuff available to buy online is  out of stock, but you might get lucky and find a few options for delivery. 

When I checked the Wilko website this morning, of 220 listings for fruit and veg seeds, only 15 were available:  £1 mange tout,  £1.50 cucumber, £1.50 cabbage, six different seed potato packs for £2.50 each,  a couple of runner bean varieties, climbing beans and cucumber for £3 each, and hanging basket kits for strawberries and cherry tomatoes at £6 a pop.

Poundland won’t deliver, but some branches are still open, and its website lists seed potatoes for £1. 

If you can make it to an Aldi, they are selling a multipack of veg seeds available in store only. £1.35 gets you  a whopping 10 varieties, including lettuce, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and peas.

Most B&M branches are still open, and it promises a ‘3 for the price of 2’ offer on Mr Fothergills seeds. Apart from a lone £1.45 packet  of lettuce seeds mentioned on the website, other veg options start from £2.15 a packet.


Picture of 20 packets of seeds that came free with a special offer subscription to Kitchen Garden magazine

Free seeds with a previous Kitchen Garden mag subscription

2. Get gardening magazines with free seeds

Lots of the gardening magazines include free seeds on the cover, but often the magazines themselves aren’t cheap.

The best bargain I’ve seen is the chance to subscribe to Kitchen Garden magazine for a £6.

You not only get 3 issues of the magazine, normally £4.99 each, but 20 packets of veg seeds on top. You’ll even get extra seeds with each copy of the magazine.

The only catch is that you’ll need to cancel your subscription before your discount issues stop, or you’ll end up paying £20 every six months.

Alternatively, subscriptions to Grow Your Own magazine cost £24.80 every six issues with up to 10 packets of seeds with every issue – plus a free plug plant and seed bundle worth over £30 when you first sign up.

Other gardening magazines such as BBC Gardeners’ World often shove free seeds on the front, but you’re likely to find a fair amount of flower seeds, as opposed to veg.

Picture of stuff in special offer potato growing kit with extra free seeds.

Example of ‘free’ potato growing kit that actually cost £5.95 for postage

3. Sign up for magazine mailing lists

On simliar lines, I somehow ended up on the mailing list for Gardeners’ World magazine. Every so often, I get emails with assorted offers, such as the chance to claim a free potato growing kit. Worth keeping an eye out, but beware that the “free” offers normally inolve paying chunky postage. Check out current offers here, including 10% off at Dobies and Marshalls, and consider signing up for email newsletters from other gardening companies and magazines too.

4. Order from online seed specialists

I’ve ended up with more cheap and free seeds than I know what to do with from the sources above.

However, I have seen recommendations for the website MoreVeg.  Right now, it’s shut. But it’s due to reopen for new orders on Saturday 25 April from 10am.

Normally MoreVeg sells small packets of seeds, rather than saddling you with more seeds than you could sow or your family could eat. It promises more than 500 varieties at just 50p per packet, but also does special offers bundling packets even cheaper.  Postage is free for seed orders over £10, but is still only £1.35 if you’re spending less than a tenner.

5. Seek special offers from the big seed companies

Times can’t be great if garden centres are shut, so it’s worth seeing what the big seed companies have on special offer. 

Thompson & Morgan are running a seed clearance offer at £1 a pack, with 23 veg options currently showing in stock. Postage and packing is £2.95 on seed orders.

DT Brown are listing more than 50 varieties of veg seeds at 99p a pack, but warn of higher than normal demand, which means delivery may take longer than normal. Postage on seed only orders only costs 95p.

Marshalls is showing nearly 50 veg options in stock at £1.49 or less per packet, including Unwins ‘Little Growers’ suitable for young gardeners. Small items shipping is £1.99 but Marshalls also warns that deliveries are taking longer than normal.

Meanwhile Suttons lists 24 veg varieties available at £1.55 or less a packet. Postage costs £1.99 an order on seeds.

6. Join a gardening club

Usually, gardening clubs can be a good way to meet other like-minded souls and find people willing to swap seeds or even more organised seed swaps.

COVID-19 may have put the kibosh on physical meetings,  but it could still be worth emailing your local club, to see if anyone is up for sharing unwanted seeds. One friend also called a local florist, who has promised to pass on leftover seedlings.

A picture of a glass of water with mint sprigs that have grown roots, on my kitchen windowsill

A marvel of hydroponic gardening, ie leaving sprigs of mint in water too long

7. Grow from cuttings or existing plants

While these aren’t strictly seeds, I’ve had minor success in getting cuttings to root in a glass of water (by accident, admittedly). I also bought a few growing herb pots from supermarkets. These may not be in the best condition, but they stand more chance of surviving if you can repot into a larger container, or plant them out in the garden.

8. Stalk garden centre sales

Who knows how the dust will settle after the pandemic.  I suspect some garden centres will be forced to close permanently. But for those that reopen later in the year, look out for end of season sales. If you go shopping for seeds in September or October, you may be able to grab seeds for pennies rather than pounds ready for next year.


So now over to you – any other great sources of where to get garden seeds for free? Where to pay less for seed packets? I’d love to hear, so do share your tips in the comments.

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  1. 26th April 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Hi – I agree about Wilko for cheap veg seeds. They’re great for staples like tomatoes and courgettes. Buy seed at end-of-season sales too as you can get them at heavily reduced prices. I’ve bought dozens from Wilko at 10p a pack in the past.
    I’d add – split packets of seeds with gardening friends, so you buy different varieties and share. Especially good with flower seeds where you invariably get way more in a packet than you need. Also, don’t overlook free seeds in the kitchen. Save butternut squash seeds, for example, when you’ve chopped one up for dinner. I used to help myself to Love-in-a-mist seeds from a council flower bed on a road-side grass verge. I wouldn’t pick the flowers in bloom (don’t agree with that!!) but felt it was okay to snaffle a handful of seed pods when I was passing. You could do the same with poppy seedheads. But generally I’d say, get chatting to other gardeners who tend to be a generous bunch. You’re invariably offered seeds and cuttings.

    • Faith
      26th April 2017 / 6:25 pm

      Great tips, thanks for commenting Valerie! Thanks also for reminding me about love-in-a-mist and poppy seeds. Believe it or not, I actually stashed some away after they flowered in our garden last year, Sounds like it would be worth sowing them in the hope of new flowers.

  2. 28th April 2017 / 6:35 pm

    We love Wilko for seeds, even more come November. They clear out and stock is as low as just 10p a packet. The seeds usually last 2-3 years. The crops we are growing this year are from those cheap bargain seeds we bought last year!

    Great post and it is so cheap to grow your own really!

    • 29th April 2017 / 6:31 am

      Wilko in November sounds like the place to be! I have banned myself from buying any more new seeds until I’ve used up some of the ones I have. Will look forward to reading about progress on your allotment.

  3. CrazyCatLady
    18th January 2021 / 1:04 pm

    its worth picking up seeds at the end of the season prices between 10p and 50p. Also try sites like Bargain seeds(dot)co (dot) uk and budget seeds godaddysites (dot) com
    prices start at 29p a packet, ive just ordered a load!!!!

    • Faith
      18th January 2021 / 1:08 pm

      Brilliant that you got such a good deal, thanks so much for the suggestions!

      • abdul qayyum
        16th April 2021 / 4:16 pm

        I always wanted to grow my own veggies etc, never had the time. So this year, I ordered a load of seeds from Bargainseeds, because of their price. I did not receive anything from them. I am still trying to get my money back. KEEP WELL AWAY from this company is my advice.

  4. colin moull
    27th February 2021 / 12:44 pm

    I always grow on growing herbs from supermarkets, one or two basil plants last a whole year, I’ve used the same thyme and rosemary plant for 12 years and have 3 mint buckets from just a few sprigs (not even rooted)(again 12 years). (same plants provide 100’s of cuttings which I sell at church fund raisers)
    I brought a single growing salad tray from Lidl and after we ate it planted the roots in a shallow pot, we ate salads from those 6 cut and come again plants all year until they went to seed, used 1 packet of mixed seeds for last 10 years to cut and come again.
    Last year seeds were unavailable and I used old seed packets and seeds from groceries to fill in gaps. We ate sweet pointed peppers for months and ended up selling (and giving away) via honesty box, hundreds of pepper and gardeners delight plants.

    The range and Wilko have an end of season sale where all seeds are reduced to 10p or 20p, (all within date for next year or so), you can’t guarantee getting all that you want, but I don’t mind paying full price for the odd one or two missing varieties.
    I use dried peas from pantry meant for soaking and soups to provide pea shoots to liven up salads, on box last two gardeners 3 years.
    I want to try mushrooms from the peat and stalk bottoms of value chestnut mushrooms but haven’t got round to it yet

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  7. 30th September 2021 / 9:02 am

    Even cheaper seeds at budgetseeds.co.uk

    • Faith
      1st October 2021 / 8:05 am

      Top tip, I will check them out.

  8. Marie Foreman Nunn
    6th September 2022 / 12:36 pm

    Some great info on cheap seed options, thank you! There’s also Budget Seeds from Darlington. They have a really good range of veg, fruit and flowers at some of the cheapest prices going – https://budgetseeds.co.uk/

  9. Tom Green Fingers
    25th September 2022 / 1:39 am

    Love love love how wilko reduce their seeds even though they have sow by dates well into 2025 on most of them! Makes the £5 delivery worth it when you get a few more bits and bobs like my new watering can.

    I’ve used a company called small garden sowing for my september seeds (https://smallgardensowing.co.uk/) through an ad on google. They’ve got a smaller collection but do smaller seed packets and somehow even have redudced sowing “packs” for even cheaper. I used paypal because I was a little skeptical but everything arrived 🙂

    • Faith
      26th September 2022 / 4:38 pm

      Oooh good tip about Small Garden Sowing, will check them out! Glad you order arrived safely.

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    In order to buy seeds I visit a garden centre not far away from the flat. Failing that you can see if a local general shop can provide you with packets of the stuff in question. Alternatively perhaps find seeds at friends and relatives houses instead. Otherwise you can even try contacting a few different allotment holders to obtain a lot more seed packets. My local garden centre has a decent number of packets for sale too. Best wishes. Make up some brief summary notes on whatever you happen to find to use at home in any case here. Try a fruit or veg pot. Make healthy snacks.

    Often times I know the local supermarkets will sell you a variety of seeds as well. I advise beginning there to discover seed options. Try your luck in charity stores, perhaps they stock options. You can also visit country shows to get useful tips. Yet another recommended source from which you can find other seeds is a local gardening club and they can offer tailored advice and tips. Friends may have old packets of seeds. So may relatives. It is always worth a go. Request advice on what to do with loose veg and fruit.

    A possible classic method via which to obtain free advice and seeds is through a local library. I know that the community gardens may have some to spare. And it is not impossible to find seeds at a pick your own farm that grows fruit and veg to pass on to the community. Use your inner knowledge. Visit car boot sales. Attend the big horticultural events to discover and learn more about how to maintain a decent garden all year round. You can use fresh fruit to make sandwiches and cakes.

    You can use fresh veg in all kinds of hot soups. Fruit can be also added to salads. Fruit can be turned into juices. Fruit and veg is a real friend. Fruit can be used to make jam. You can also use fruit to decorate a salad platter or add it to a cake. Veg can be used on pizza. And I think that fresh vegetables can safely be mixed up into a classic hearty stew or cooked raw. You can make raw pears into stewed ones for a pudding. Rolls look quite nice with vegetables like raw beans. You can even use a blender for milkshakes. Buy loose.

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