Vegetable Seeds from Korea

The last time I was in Seoul, I wanted to get Korean vegetable seeds to take back home to Los Angeles (probably a touch on the illegal side, but I’m only growing them to eat).

After asking around and doing some research I found some nice nurseries and seed shops in the Dongdaemun area. I went to a store, called “Aram,” where they cultivate the seeds directly. The owner was really nice and helped me pick out plants to bring home to my humble garden.

Here are some of the packets:

31seed_packets

I chose a hobak (squash), some sangchu (lettuce), baechu (Korean napa cabbage), altalimu a.k.a. yulmu (ponytail radish), ggaetnip (perilla), oi (cucumber) and she even threw in a geundae (some type of chard) packet. I though some of the packets were pricey at W3,000 each (about $3), but when I opened them up, there were enough seeds to populate an entire field!

I just put them in seed trays (recycled egg cartons) on Monday and am eagerly waiting for the little sprouts to poke their heads out of the dirt.

31seed_trays

I’ll occasionally post pix and updates as the little plants progress. Last year, I had way too many tomatoes, so I’m trying to vary things up a bit this year.

Now if the rains could just stop a bit so I can dig up the weeds in the front yard and prepare the beds for planting. But we rarely get so much rain, so I can’t really complain.

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33 thoughts on “Vegetable Seeds from Korea

  1. Hello, I’m seung-hyun. and I am a script writer at Arirang TV.
    We are looking for someone to join us on our new program called and we would like to have you participate on our show!
    Our program features information on Korean culture and much much more seen through the eyes of foreign residents living in Korea.
    The program is 5 minutes long. It will be a great opportunity to create some fun memories of your life in Korea.
    My phone number is 010-5192-5581. (If you can’t reach me, my co-worker’s number is 010-7174-7964)
    I will be thrilled to hear from you.

  2. Hello, I’m Kim Jin-Hee and I am a script writer at Arirang TV.
    We are looking for someone to join us on our new program called and we would like to have you parcipate on our show!
    Our program features information on Korean culture and much much more seen through the eyes of foreign residents living in Korea.
    The program is 5 minutes long. It will be a great opportunity to create some fun memories of your life in Kores.
    My e-mail address is jinhee0315@gmail.com .
    My phone number is 010-4546-7696.
    I will be thrilled to hear from you.

    • Hello ladies,

      I would love to be on your TV show. However, I’m not a foreigner living in Korea. I’m actually a Korean-American living in the United States (Los Angeles, in fact). If you ever come to LA, let me know.

      I’ll get in touch when I’m back in Korea again (soon, I hope!).

      C.

  3. Hi!

    I’ve accidentally stumble upon your webpage because I was looking for a vegetable seed shop in Seoul. Could you maybe send me some direction per email? That would be great, since I am going home soon and I want to earn Korean vegetables next season!^^

    Lisa

  4. Great, been too busy to check my spelling and now I sound like a loony! Could you please. delete my post after reading? ; )

    • If all of us who have misspelled something on the internet were condemned for our behavior, we’d all be rounded up and executed at dawn! Don’t worry. You don’t look like a loony!

  5. Hello, I am looking to do some herb gardening inside my apartment in Korea. Does this place have herb seeds? DO I really would like to get started before the spring so I am scrambling a little.

  6. Hi! I was searching the Internet looking for resources to locate some vegetable seeds. I came across your blog post and we delighted to see that you actually found some in the Dongducheon area! Can you please help me locate the shop.. Maybe send me directions or give me some loins that were located around it. I really appreciate your help! I’m trying to start a patio garden. 🙂 thank you! Looking forward to your email soon!

    • Hi Sarah,
      I took the bus to the Dongdaemun area, so I’m trying to remember how to get there on the subway. I think you go to Dongdaemun Station and you’ll see shops selling seeds near there. If I can find out more info, I’ll let you know.
      Sorry for the lack of directions!
      C.

  7. I was thinking of mailing some dill seeds to my son, who is currently living in Korea. He loves dill and hasn’t been able to find it there. Do you think this would create a problem at all? I thought he could find a little pot and grow some in his apartment.

    • Yeah, dill isn’t a well-known herb in Korea, but it should grow nicely in a pot there. Shouldn’t be a problem mailing it to him (although the government sometimes opens mail that’s being sent from overseas).

    • Hi please.
      This is kalidasan from india. Am grower and supplier of exotic vegetables and herbs. Am looking romanisco broccoli and kaffir lime seeds please. Can you possible please.
      Best regards
      kalidasan
      email:reverside9@gmail.com
      +919940343001

  8. Apparently the dill is now doing very well! It was looking a little droopy when it was in his apartment, so the local 7-11 accepted some of it and it’s thriving!

  9. Hi, i am artist from Georgia, we actually run a course: Artistic practice in relation to organic farming. at the moment in Seoul till aug 26th. i would like to buy some seed of vegetables and trees. how could if find you in Seoul. i am near Songpa station. thanks a lot.

    • Hi, I don’t live in Seoul, and I’m not in Korea at the moment, but the vegetable seeds and plants are in the Dongdaemun/Gwanjang market area. The government has been trying to clear the sidewalks of street vendors, so they’ve moved most of the flower/plant sellers to a side alley. Take the subway to Dongdaemun Station (line 1 or 4, exit 10. Walk straight and the alley is on your right (about a block down). You’ll see the plants you can’t miss it. I know they have live plants, flowers and succulents. I don’t know if they have seeds. Good luck with your class! 🙂

  10. Hi everyone. I live in Kentucky I grow a lot of Korean vegetables. My wife is Korean and I love kimchi, especially artki radish kimchi. Not sure if that is spelled right but is close. I can tell people when I plant and usually comes out very good. Chung moo last of July – first of August, harvest about mid October to 1st of November. Bae choo or cabbage about the middle of August, harvest about the middle of October to first of November. Arkti-moo or small light bulb radish, plant about the first of September, harvest around the first week to middle of October. I have been doing it this way for about the last 5 to 6 year and have produced some pretty big crops I give it away to local Korean seminary students. That is what we do not put up for ourselves we have a kimchi fridge. God bless and happy planting! Plus if you are ever in an area where they have an Assi-Lotte, Hmart or even small Korean grocery sometimes you can pick up seeds there. We go to Atlanta once a year and I stock up then and sometimes order online here: http://evergreenseeds.com

    • Nice! That’s great that you’re able to grow the chugmu in KY. The soil is so hard where I live in LA, that I haven’t had much luck with them. May try again when the weather cools down again next winter. Thanks for the helpful info! 🙂

    • Hello! Goguma, like other sweet potatoes, aren’t grown from seeds. They can only be grown from slips or sprouts. If you’re in Korea, you might be able to get a Korean nursery to sell you some slips. Otherwise, you might be able to grow some by saving some from the Korean market (when in season). Though, quite often the ones sold in stores are covered in wax to prevent sprouting so…

    • You don’t have seeds for that. Buy the Sweet potatoes that have eyes on them just like regular potatoes. I leave mine in the bag lightly tied in a area that is lightly lighted (no direct sunlight ).

  11. Any chance you might have a address or email address to someone in korea that could ship seed to me here in the US. its getting very difficult to find certain seeds.

    • Hi Steve, Unfortunately, I do not. I’m not sure of the legality of shipping seeds overseas, either. If you have a Korean market in your area, they sometimes have Korean vegetable seeds available.

  12. One of my favorite things to do is letting my plants and vegetables seed so I can save them and grow them. I also do that with the vegetables , fruits and …..from the grocery stores . Yes, I get crazy sometimes . This year, I decided to grow WHOLE bunch of squashes and I had to scratch my head more than couple of times! YELLOW Kabocha, Rare BLUE (Blue Kuri) Kabocha, DEEP GREEN with stripes, Deep Green Spotted, Pale Green and Regular Kabocha Squashes from one squash last year!!!! AMAZING! THEN! I had to search and search on the website to find out WHY my Spagetti Squashes were orangish/tan color. YES, they were the seeds from the squash that I planted last year, BUT I bought the plant last tear from Home Depot. Anyways, apparently my spagetti Squash isn’t really SPAGETTI Squash, but ORANGETTI SQUASH! I just love nuture!!!!!!!!!! And yes, yes, yes, my garden is PURE ORGANIC. I kill the bugs by hand, yank the weeds, feed my babies of bone meal, blood meal, lime, iron, fish fertiler, bat poop….they get be expensive, but I’m not adding toxic chemicals…NOOOOOO Miracle-Grow!? HECK NO! IF it kills fish, then it’s bad for you!

  13. Oops and yes, I’m Korean, I call myself imitation Korean. I was born in Korea, got adopted, speak very little Korean, but LOVE Korean Foods!!!!

  14. Hi There~
    I live in Houston and I’ve been looking to purchase good organic perilla leaves seeds.
    If you have any, would you be willing to share some or sell me some?
    Thank you!

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