Favorite Seed Companies
i have alot of seeds from the dg member jonna sudenius from belgium her website www.seedsite.eu
she have alot good and also cheap seeds
I also love Jonna's site, http://www.seedsite.eu/
http://www.tainongseeds.com/ (very large pkts for $2 . Many varieties within their Asian-farmer-market specialty)
http://www.kitazawaseed.com/ (large pkts, reasonable prices, great Asian variety & detailed descriptions)
http://www.ethaigrocer.ecrater.com/ (they have water spinach from Thailand & some low prices but ship slowly)
Large Packets, large variety:
Crops, with great advice in catalogs & on website:
Flowers, especially unusual:
http://rareseeds.com/shop/ (Baker Creek, lovely paper catalog)
O man, this is a great thread! New sites to research! I like these that haven't been mentioned yet:
Swallowtail Garden Seeds
Thompson & Morgan
Seeds of Change (organic veg seed)
Prairie Moon Nursery (natives, by seed or plant)
Also throwing this question into the mix:
Other than DG and Gardenweb, what other websites do you utilize for seed trading?
>> what other websites do you utilize for seed trading?
Cubits, for just one swap - the annual "Hog Wild Piggy Swap".
- - - - http://cubits.org/ellasgarden/thread/view/67047/
Oink oink, grunt grunt SQUEAL! My favorite.
And may I mention Heather's Tomato & Pepper swap? (hmacdona from Calgary)
She contacts several websites, but I learned of it through the DG seed trading forum:
This message was edited Feb 20, 2012 8:44 PM
Rick & Kerry,
Thanks. I can see I will be busy surfing the Web for new sources.
I have a few clients that really love the exotic flowering plants and I am willing to take the time to grow things from seed that aren't available from the traditional wholesalers around here.
Things that I do (or have seen)>
Dale, lovely flowers...how's those Dancing ladies doing?
I just got several varieties of tomato seeds from wintersown.org for postage.
I don't like them, but that's just opinion.
I recall seeing fewer specific names in their catalog, as if I had to guess at the exact species or cultivar. I don;t recall them being very forthcoming about OP vs. hybrid, but that may be false memory. Their seed pkts have zero information, and the catalog very little (compare to Johnnies or Territorial).
Any time I do a price comparison, they are over-priced and the pkts are small.
They just don;t seem to be a gardener's friend, more of a profit-machine.
And they certainly are part of the "discard all heirlooms, make them buy hybrids" movement.
The only "variety" that I ever see from them is not interesting, real, named cultivars that are hard to find, they are suspiciously-ambiguously-named "Parks Specials" that might be old or new varieties, hybrid or OP, under a marketing name that menas nothing.
But this is opinion. Many people buy from them.
I just think that, if they tried almost any other vendor, they would not go back.
If I'm looking at the right company in the garden watchdog, their reviews are about 50-50.
Thanks much for your opinion! I am a new gardener and I am just venturing out so all this information is very helpful!!
I am going to check out Johnnies and Territorial for sure!!
I will be the last person in the world to defend large corporations especially seed companies, and in general, I do agree with Corey. The companies charge high prices with limited selections, and promote the purchase of hybrid seeds, which generally do not come true to the parent plant. This is how they stay in business, by creating new varieties for us to admire and want.
That being said, what I DO like about Park Seed is their paper catalog and the listing of all the seeds that are available for the season with codes as to their detailed instructions on how to sow each seed packet. Also (most of) the packets have quite detailed germination info. It is on the next page after the middle of the catalog.
One must take into consideration as to what you are buying and how much you actually need. Don't hesitate to shop the sales and get on the mailing lists, at least for the time that you plan to make any purchases. And as Corey stated, don't forget the many trades and swaps that are available in order to save you money and you also have a chance to share what you have. It is possible to shop for price and quality as well.
I DID get some potato seeds from Park Seed. Yes, seeds...not seed potatoes. And some are up already. Very few seed houses, large or small carry those. All the rest I have were from trades.
For hard-to-get items I like Chiltern Seeds, but they are not cheap. They are located in England. You have to pay for the exchange rate plus the shipping from the UK, but sometimes it is worth it if there is something no one else has, and you feel that you must have it.
And for price J.L.Hudson
I do like some of those that have been mentioned already...
Thompson & Morgan
Seeds of Change
And Pinetree Seeds
Some seed houses carry "treated" seeds on their veggies. Be sure to specify that you don't want them, if that is what you want to do. Some of them will have it stated, and sometimes, not.
I compare prices in all the catalogs and then make lists and see which have the best prices for the seeds that I want. Right now I am on a seed-buying hiatus, until I am able to get my (seed-buying) habit under control.LOL!!! It is like going on a diet but all the luscious food is just waiting for you to eat...what to do!!!
I am a new fan of Park Seed. Their prices are less than other places I've ordered from, like Territorial Seed or Seeds of Change. Mainly when I order from Park or any other catalog it's to get my annual vegetable seeds; Park has a great variety of veggies and fruits. My order, which came in earlier this month, was on time with no substitutions.
Note: I live a few counties away so I see the news about Park.
The story is they were sold a few years ago to big out of state investor who also bought jackson perkins. Drove them into bankruptcy. Reorganized last year with a local management group and financial problems are being resolved. I avoided them during the troubled years and this year took a chance and ordered from then. I had an excellent experience.
Maybe I dealt with them at their very worst, and they've improved since. I haven't bought from them in about 2-3 years.
If their prices are better than Hazzards, Territorial, or Johnnies, they must have started giving much bigger pkts than they used to.
Par Seeds ~ They are lower on some items, and higher on others. You just have to compare all the seeds that you want and go from there. I did not say they were better or worse, but I have had a good experience with them. In fact the order before that, I received an empty packet, and they refunded my money immediately, since they did not have the seeds to replace them. Also they advertised a deer spray that should have read $26.99 and it was advertised at $6.99. I bought 4 of them and they honored the pricing error, but I noticed the website changed the price the next day.
Speaking of errors, "B & T World Seeds" in France advertised Stachys lavandulifolia as being in srtock and accepted my order, which i asked them to ship diretcly to someone in Belgium.
Nothing happened for weeks, so I asked when their expected ship date was. Eventually they figured out that they had lost my order, and/or they were out of stuck, but would ship it in 6 weeks.
More time passed, nothing happened, nothing was said. I asked again.
"Still waiting for fresh seed". I wonder if that means next Fall, or in some future year?
Anyway, they seem not to have billed my credit card, and hopefully won't bill me until they figure out how a _business_ operates.
It seems odd that they CAN lose an order when it's entered online, but I guess anything is possible. And eveidently running out of something doesn;t trigger them to update it as "out of stock" online. They wait for a customer to complain that he didn't recieve the order, instead??
Maybe I'm just a grumpy ex-New Jerseyite who complains about everything.
My loyalty goes to places like Tainong seeds, no matter how small they are, or how 'small-time" their website looks, because they do what they said they would, or they let me know what's happening. And, within their speiclaization, they have a GREAT variety of varieties.
(I also like the fact that, since they specialize in Asian seeds, they first answer the phone in Mandarin and then switch to English if needed. It just seems like a plus, like an Italian restaurant with an Italian chef.)
And even though their main clientel is pro growers, they are totally patient with my questions, and often respond to an email with a phone call.
And their $2 "small pkt" is around 3 grams of seed! Always with a dated germination test.
Also, all praise to them, they obviously do NOT repackage old seeds and call it "Packed For 2012". I asked for one special hybrid, and they called me to say they only had last year's batch left, and thoguh the germination and vigor OUGHT to be excellent for at least two more years, they hadn't re-tested it yet. But if I wanted two pkts for the price of one, that was fine, or they would suggest a few similar substitutes.
Five stars for customer service!
(I'm not an employyee or stockholder, and this was not a paid endorsement!.)
I guess I am not supposed to self-advertise but as a member-writer of DG and running my own one-person seed producing 'company' I probably can add my pinch of salt with www.barbadine.com
These are my three favorite so far in terms of variety, price, size and customer service.
All offer lots of open pollinated, heirloom and unique varieties. Super fast shipping as well.
>> variety, price, size and customer service.
>> open pollinated, heirloom and unique
Is Baker Creek a runner-up on your list? I can't make a very extensive copmparison, but I think they should get pretty good grades on having some unusual OP heirloom varieties. And great photos in their paper catalog!
As far as price and size go, I saw a huge range when I ordered from them. They advertise pkts with "at least" a very small number of seeds. Then they sent some pkts with 10-15 TIMES as many seeds, and a few pkts with just 10-15 % extra.
Corey- I've looked at Baker Creek's website and haven't ordered from them yet. Really its the only website that I've looked at and not ordered from. Oh no, now I'm going to have to go look again =) A local non-profit is doing a fundraiser through Territorial seed, so I need to look through their seeds as well. I'm going to have to send it to a different mailing address because my husband keeps asking "do you really need more seed?" =)
has anyone mentioned Ohio Heirloom seeds? very reasonable prices, very reasonable postage (one low rate no matter how many packets you buy i think it was 2.00 or so)
edited to mention great germination rates
This message was edited Feb 25, 2012 7:04 PM
>> "do you really need more seed?"
That's just the wrong question! It isn't about need, it's about delight.
Does he "really need" television, or beer, or meat, or a computer?
Come to think of it, would he really want you asking yourself if you "really need" him?
Not all questions "really need" to be asked or answered.
It's better than bringing home excess quantities of younger men, liquor or drugs.
Of course, my opinion about what is "enough seeds" is very suspect. I keep bringing home bigger boxes from work so that I can say that my seed collection "mostly fits in one box". But now I either need a bigger door so I can bring in a bigger box, or it's about to become "two boxes".
If civilization completely and totally collapses around us, our vegetable and herb seeds will become very valuable. They're "investments"!
Still sorting...I have too many, and I will probably just give you the duplicates, as I will want to try every seed packet in there unless I have extras of the same one. (And some are just too old...I actually threw some out...)
I have been sowing "like mad", though just getting back into the swing of things, as I am getting over bronchitis, and now the weather is turning colder and windy. I was thinking that spring was already here since we have had such a mild winter. I haven't even done much of the winter sowing, as it was so warm. Now I am used to the warmer weather and don't want to go outside...I have even had to water a couple of times. I usually put the hoses away for winter.
Aren't we gardeners a bunch of complainers?
My thoughts exactly =) I'm actually planning to sell cut flowers and maybe a few veggies at the local farmers market so I'm using the angle of a "business" expense. Since we own the dairy it is the perfect angle because 90% of what we gross goes right back into the cows (that's a good year, we just try to keep it under 100%). Plus, all my seed money comes from my online teaching job which brings more into the household then the dairy at the moment. But, usually I just smile and sneak the packet back to my collection of boxes without bringing all this up.
At least it is a healthy addiction...pack of seeds is only $2 where a bottle of whiskey is $20 and who knows what a pack of cigarettes goes for these days =)
>> usually I just smile and sneak
My SO told me (back when she was with someone else) that sometimes you "have to" tell people what makes them happy. I'm beginning to see the wisdom of that.
Sometimes I've even been known to say "Yes, Dear" ...
are my favorites.
Three cheers for Botanical Interests! Many somewhat unusual varieties, and also mixes of different OP varieties (or colors).
Very usefull growing infomation on the insides of pkts. And more information for each variety on their website.
A nursery near me used to have a whole wall of BI seeds, and two years ago marked down any unsold packets at year's end. First to $1, then 50 cents, then 25 cents.
This year, that nursery returned unsold pkts to BI for credit. Then they went out of business!
This message was edited Feb 29, 2012 2:54 PM
Lots of interesting (and new to me) seed companies.
I wish there were seed sources that specialized in semi-tropical climates, which is where I live.
The companies I have done business with most often are>
My favorite for a decade, best seed value I have ever gotten from a company - these folks http://www.ivygarth.com/
http://brazilplants.com/ has many seeds that do well in the tropics
http://www.silverhillseeds.co.za/ is the best company for seed from Africa - especially winter growing bulbs
And the search continues.....
I grew these, Freesia laxa, from seed>
I used to live about 45 min. from Park Seed and would visit spring n fall - the only real complaint I ever had about them was the seed count was off on packs - you could truly clean up on their in store sales at 10cents to 50 cents a pack - Also got my heat mat and grow light on clearance there (no complaints on those two items they've been wonderful to have) - Enjoyed seeing their trial gardens for a feel of what a plant at maturity would look like and when the J&P had a rose or bulb sale - they were packed and you got GREAT deals...
This year I have tried http://sampleseeds.com/ and thus far all the tomato's have germ'd with a very high rate so will def. be visiting Remy's site next spring
For herbs I tried http://www.cherrygal.com/ this spring and again, pleased with them all the way around too
I also do a lot of seed trading on Facebook - several 'closed' groups (which is nice because then the mainstream doesn't see your posts etc) Trudi with wintersown.org has a great page and so do several others (seed swappers paradise, thymesquare gardens, seed traders etc) have had really great trades and fun people
Wowee - I'd be broker than broke if I lived near Park Seed. Worked for a greenhouse myself and never got "deals" because we sold to third party retailers and had to pay full price. O well - sometimes those culled plants were not perfect, but still half price on the clearance rack was the best we could do.
I've gone completely off the deep end - sowed over 70 kinds of seed mostly collected this past year, my first trading year on DG. I still have more - can't count so high - don't know where they will go, but good God the garden will be spectacular. :D
Thanks for sharing your seed sources. I am taking good notes.
John Scheeper's, known for bulbs, has had seeds for sale for a few years now and they seem to be quality.
I have had good luck this year with Annie's Heirlooms. They sent my order out the same day as ordered, and the seeds germinated beautifully.
I couldn't find a physical location on Annie's website. Where are they located?
After looking through the website for a while and finding nothing, I looked at the return address on my postage envelope (I can be blonde sometimes). They are physically located in Michigan.