Seeds for Cold Climates

– Posted in: Seeds and Seed Starting

Seeds waiting to be sorted

Seeds of vegetables grown in cold climates need to have a short length to maturity and an ability to tolerate cooler than typical temperatures–day and night. You can look in any general seed catalog for terms like “short growing season,” “early-bearing,” “tolerates cool evenings,” or even the magic words, “especially bred for northern growers.”

It’s even better when you can find a seed company that specializes in seeds for cold climates. Recently, a reader asked me just that:

I live in Norway long term and am trying to find cold climate food seed for my garden.

On my Cold Climate Merchants page I have Fedco, High Altitude, Johnny’s, and Pinetree. Unfortunately, I don’t think any of them ship to Norway.

Readers, Can You Help?

Do any of you know of other seed merchants that specialize in vegetable seeds for cold climates? If they ship to Norway, that would be a bonus.

Don’t miss our Botanic Interests seed giveaway, going on now through Sunday!

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

~Albert Camus in Albert Camus quotations

Comments on this entry are closed. January 29, 2014, 11:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on cold-climate-gardening.

AKgardens December 21, 2010, 3:08 am

I know this post is some time after the fact, but has very good cold climate seeds. All are tested in Alaska, and quite a few were ‘breed’ to perform well in Fairbanks. Another good site is Both sites have really wonderful people that are happy to work with different requests. Hope this helps…

Kathy Purdy December 21, 2010, 9:44 am

Thank you for the information. I added Denali Seeds to Cold Climate Merchants and I added the Agriculture and Horticulture department of Alaska Cooperative Extension to Cold Climate Information.

Fiona Tod April 13, 2010, 6:17 am

Hi all, I live on Bornholm (an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea). Our snow has disappeared now and our temperatures have been above zero for the last two weeks, so I’m pulling on the gardening gloves. I’ve just placed an order with Impecta based on Mari Ann’s recommendation. I’ll keep you posted.
Cheers and keep up the good work,
.-= Fiona Tod´s last blog ..Carpets of wild garlic =-.

Joan Bailey January 16, 2010, 7:33 pm

How about checking out nurseries and garden stores in Norway? Initially, I had a hard time here in Japan, but I’ve gradually found some good local sources. I imagine my resource list will keep growing of local shops or national companies where I can get some things. Package labeling can be a problem – I’m still pretty illiterate in Japanese – but the pictures are quite helpful. It’s been a great excuse to chat up other gardeners, too.

Mari Anne January 16, 2010, 11:55 am

I am sorry, I missed out that the question was about vegetable. Vegetable seeds are available but most of us order from They are cheeper and have a far better collection to choose from. If your reader is still there, put her in contact with me. (mari_braekkan at We gardners are in hibernation untill april.

Amanda Legare January 16, 2010, 10:01 am

Territorial Seeds also comes to mind – for short season seeds.

Mari Anne January 15, 2010, 2:41 am

Gardens North:

I live in Norway too, and Garden North has a good reputation among gardeners here.

Kathy Purdy January 15, 2010, 8:16 am

I almost listed them in my post, but as far as I could tell they didn’t sell vegetables. But you are right, they do have an excellent selection of seeds for the cold climate gardener. Many of them are quite unusual, too.

beccaWA January 15, 2010, 12:42 am

I would think that Norway would have its own varieties of cold-weather garden seeds/plants. And those very local plants would be most adapated to that clime anyway.

Kathy Purdy January 15, 2010, 8:19 am

Well, I would think that, too. But I got the impression that the writer of the email wasn’t native to Norway, but was living there for an extended stay, and it may be she wasn’t able to communicate with the local people or hasn’t met many yet.

Clayton January 14, 2010, 8:57 pm

I would send a note to Jim at Prairie Seeds here in Saskatchewan. He might be able to help you out. There is a link off of my blog.


Kathy Purdy January 15, 2010, 8:20 am

Wow, Clayton! You seem to have a lot of good sources in that sidebar of yours.

Clayton January 15, 2010, 8:39 am

Hi Kathy and thanks for the good word. I am not a big “veggie” fan as that is mostly my wife’s domain but I do get the catalogs and try to keep up with what and where. I think we here in Saskatoon and North Central Saskatchewan are probably a good match for the Norway growing conditions and our own shorter season tends to be quite demanding.
Another option for seeds is to get on GardenBuddies as there are many good “sharing” opportunities for small quantities of seed.
Hopefully everything you tried was still “alive”.

Kathy Green January 14, 2010, 6:40 pm

High Altitude Gardens was first on my list, I order Tomato seeds from there – Sasha Altai is very short season.