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.
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.
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.
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!.)
>> 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?" =)
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.
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 =)
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
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.
Besides Botanical Interests, I love Tainong seeds and Kitazawa Seeds (for Asian greens, vegetables and herbs).
Hazzards has pretty good value and BIG packets.
Johnnies and Territorial for crops. Great growing tips!
Baker Creek for heirloom flowers and great photos.
Alplians for rare alpine wildflowers, maybe. They have an amazing seed list, and I placed my first order there recently.
I use bagged soil from Lowe's or HD. Which one I buy depends on the type of seed I am planting, the time of year etc.
Lowe's has a brand called Jungle Growth. It is 'chunky' forest product (wood chips, very fine) and it is very well drained. It dries out quickly in our summer heat.
HD has Lambert's and it is peat based. Stays 'wet' and is very fine in texture. Stays moist all the time, hot or cold weather.
JG is for 'big seeds' like Dwarf Poinciana and Lambert's is for fine seed, like Viola (in winter here).
I belileve there was a large corporation (like Monsanto) that went to court in India to get a patent on Neem Oil (which has been in use for at least a few hundred years and is not produced in a test tube) so they could collect royalties. I find most large american corporations behaving in a manner that has nothing to do with diversity and enterprise. Life has taken bad turn since our court system has decided to grant patents on plants/seeds that occur naturally.
Dale ~ Did that company get a patent on neem oil? I agree with you on the selfishness of the large corporations. There are only a few of them, but they want to control the world. I wonder if there is just one owner that owns them all? (Evil Monster!!)
Dale, I haven't seen these seed starter mixes at Lowes or HD, but will look again next time I am there.
I have just planted Calandula seeds and Firecracker orn. grass. It has been 3 weeks and no sprouts yet. I am about to try something else. I used potting mix at the bottom half and Jiffy starter mix for the top half of the pot.
I use lots of spagnum peat moss in my pots. I add lime for acidity.
I found another receipe for seed starter... Spagnum,compost,osmacote and peritlite or vermeculite. I added lime for acidity. I am going to try this as an experiment. I have started sifting these and plan on finishing up by the end of the week. I found the seed starter mixes expensive for the amount of soil purchased.
Thanks for your input about seed starter mixes. One diatvantage for me is that Lowes and HD are about 30 miles away.
Since I live just an hour from park seed,which was bought out of bankruptcy by a group of private investors,I can tell you it is not a big company. I would like to know where is the proof that it is owned by Monsanto. Please educate me.
I'm not sure if it's owned by Monsantos or if it just carries seeds that are owned by Monsantos. Many of the hybrid seeds are but many seed co. sell them. Another words, the seeds are owned by Monsantos but the Companies aren't. Not sure which is true in this case.
Park Seed was bought by Backstreet Capital (a privately held equity firm) as park of bankruptcy proceedings in 2010. To my knowledge, there is no connection between Park and/or Backstreet to Monsanto, other than the possibility that Park may sell some of the 4000+ vegetable / crop varieties offered by Monsanto, the vast majority of which are not GMOs.
The products I mentioned are not 'starter mixes'. The are just bags of potting soil. I don't believe starter mixes have any advantages (in my experience at least).
Seeds have millions of years of practice sprouting. I finding them to be very adaptable.
I just plant them when the temps are right and water to keep them moist.
This year I ordered Viola, Delphiniums, Mimulus and a few other cool season plants. Since they all germinate at around 70* I built an 8' x 8' box of R13 styrofoam with a clear plastic roof, installed a window air conditioner, planted the seeds in plug trays, watered and covered the whole lot with a sheet of clear plastic. That was 8 days ago. All the trays have seeds sprouting. It seems that cool season seeds almost always need light to germinate.
I do love Tainong seeds! They just got my little order of 2-gram packets out. It was delayed becuase market growers in CA are in a buying frenzy at this time of year (I guess their frost date is months later than mine!
I just like it when the I buy Asian seeds from a guy with a strong Mandarin accent.
- - - - Takuchoy (Tatsoi) frost-hardy once established
- - - - Qing-Long’ Chinese Long Bean (name means "The Pure Dragon")
F1 - - ‘Jade Pagoda’ Sakata Michihili (salad)-
F1 - - 'Monument’ Takii Michihili (FALL 45 cm tall)-
F1 - - ‘Mini Napa’ Chinese Cabbage (extra early):
F1 - - 'N-55' Taiwan Napa Cabbage (extra early for Summer season):
- - - - - -Tainong Nanjing Michihili
- - - - - 'Spring Sprinter' Napa Cabbage Early, very late bolting, spring or fall 60 days. 5-6 pounds.
My next major self-indulgence will be some Wasbai-flavord greens (baby leaf and microgreens) from Kitazawa. But I hope to postpone that for up to a year. Maybe they are just hot mustards with a clever marketing twist. But I love Wasabi paste, and hate strong mustard greens.
Mustard Wasabi - Brassica juncea http://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_438-195.html
" While this is not true Wasabi, it is a variety bred especially for microgreen production and has a sharp, peppery flavor. Its large cotyledons or seed leaves make it showy and flavorful."
sow Year round
Maturity: Approx. 5 days for microgreens
It seems to be set up like an internet farmer's market or ebay. Some sellers seem to have minimum order requirements (you put stuff in your cart and it is separated by vendor, if they have a min. it's flagged until you reach it, you enter your zip and the shipping costs are factored in). I only ordered from one vendor, Garden Medicinals & Culinaries. 5 packs of flower and veg seeds, shipping was $5.50. Yeah, a bit high but for 2 of the flower seed packs, I had only seen at Seed Saver's Exchange and the price per pack was higher as was shipping, so I felt OK with it. Since both the varieties I bought easily make seed I can save, it seemed like a good deal. Ordered and paid on a Thurs. and received on Tues. Pretty fast turn around.
Order was for:
Cosmos Memories of Mona
Marigold Tashkent #1
Sweet Pepper Milord
Sweet Pepper Doe Hill Golden Bell
Tomato Amy's Sugar Gem
Also ordered from ebay--fast shipping and a free pack (they emailed me to let me know I could choose my free option prior to them shipping but I didn't check my email before they had mailed--they sent another pack of what I had ordered which was fine with me). seeds4change_ny was the ebay store/seller.
Ordered 2 packs of Marigold Cempoalxochitl (Aztec marigold) 24-36" tall.
Will have to report how things work out in the spring/summer after they hopefully grow/bloom for me:lol: First time order w/ both places.
[quote="yadavgard"]What do you guys think about Park Seed?
I have purchased from Park for years and always had luck. They will replace any seeds that didn't germinate, at least they used to. I don't buy seeds anymore, except for daylily seeds and those I buy from the Lily Auction. I think I have every perennial from seed that will grow here in my harsh climate.
edited to add that seeds from yours or someone else's garden will not come true from seeds if they are hybrids. The reason I buy from a seed nursery.
I'm not so thrilled with Parks. They are not always very cleear about exactly what variety something is, so you can't research it even if it is a specific registered cultivar or traditional strain which you could compare to other people's flowers ... if you knew its "real" name..
I think they would rather we were depenendent on Parks marketing department to tell us what is "new" or "best" or "unique".
And (as far as I can tell from "marketting names", they don;t have as many rare or unusual strains as places like Baker Creek.
As far as I can tell, most things that Parks sells can be had form almost any seed company, anywhere. Exc pet for those "Parks-Only" marketing specials. Maybe they are unique strains only marketed through Parks. But what If I like something, and want to try related varieties? I have to wiat for Park's marketing department to release another "new and improved" variety with a similar name, and then hope that there is something new ab out it besides the packet art, and something similar to the thing I iked, besides the marketing name.
And they aren't even very up-front about what is OP (comes true to the parent in future generations) or F1 hybrid (you have to buy moe seed from parks every year, or get blurry colors and generic flower shapes and sizes.
Now I give my money only to seed companies that are quick to reveal the Latin name, OP or F1, accepted cultivar name, and so on. I think they are on MY side, empowerin ME, instead of makiing me dependent on THEM. But that's a matter of taste or even opinion.
I agree regarding Latin names that Parks never states. Parks have been sold, when I don't know. They were having economic problems and sold the business. Maybe that is why the company is not as good.
I have not purchased anything from Parks for 3 years so don't know how they are now. My last purchase was mixed colors of Penstemon 'Esprit' stated as a hardy perennial . It was beautiful with large flowers and striking colors. I sowed the whole package and was lucky to get all 5 colors. They bloomed first year from seeds from a February sowing. Come the following summer, they did not come up. No sign of them. I Googles the name and found out it is an annual, not a perennial. Very dissapointing.
Below are the 5 colors. You can understand why I was disappointed. If I remember correctly, the full Latin name is P. grandiflorus 'Esprit'
Blomma ~ They might have been perennial in another zone, but yes, full disclosure is very important before giving your hard-earned cash to find only disppointment. (Still, they were beautiful. too bad you did not collect seeds from them...)
Corey is wise to stick to companies that give all the correct information.
evelyn, I wish but it was rated as an annual when I googled it. It is a hybrid. I have other Penstemon that comes up every year. There are also some that are annuals. I did collect seeds (like dust) from all the colors but they will not come true since they are hybrids.
>> They were having economic problems and sold the business
That may explain why some people love them and some hate them. Both of those factors will drag your quality down.
Hardy Perennial grown as a "tough luck, Jack, we've got YOUR money" Annual
Funny, DG lists Penstemon grandiflorus 'Esprit Mix' as perennial to Zone 3a (-40F).
Tom Clothier or Jim Swayne lists P. grandiflorus , Group Anularius, as Zone 3. http://tomclothier.hort.net/page08.html
ZipCodeZoo says "evergeen" and cold-hardy to 3a.
Parks still calls it a perennial to Zone 3. I don't see "f1" or "OP" in their ad.
Burpee calls it perennial.
The group name "Annularius" is interesting. Maybe it is a really, REALLY short-lived "perennial" under some circumstances.
Those ARE nice colors.
Penstemon has been my most frustrating plant to date. They were worse than thigns that just never emerged - these guys waited for months after WS to appear, and then took 10-12 months to get larger than 1" tall. I assume I was doing something wrong!
www.georgiavines.com has a ton of seeds all on their website. If you subscribe to her newsletter, she will send you a $ 5.00 coupon. I just ordered some rare seeds from Lori Rubel. She also sells on eBay.
Hmm, I don't have ANY of those species! I'v e particulalry wanted to grow out
P. eatonii Firecracker
P. smallii 'Violet Dusk'
Penstemon x mexicali "Red Rocks"
But I'm aiming at much easier things for a few years, seeing if I can keep up with simple chores before4 I look for a challenge. Maybe when I'm ready to try Penstemon again, I'll prqac tice o9n the easier ones you suggested. I saved them to my "Penstemon Page".
I just got their catalog without requesting it, and they have some great prices. Not much variety and nothing unusual (except for weatermelons), but great prices for bulk seeds, like 1 ounc e to one pound.
But I found some mixed reviews like "they get overwhelmed when its busy", and not answering phones or email or resolving complaints. And one guy got several batches of low-germination seed. His comment was something like "I saved a few dollars but lost thousands".
Baker Creek (Quick shipping, great service, fun varieties, freebie seed packet that is always something useful)
The Sample Seed Shop (Smaller quantities which is great for smaller gardens, great prices, Remy is super-friendly)
Sophie's Seed & Swine on Etsy (Cute packaging, great germination)
Swallowtail Garden (Can't beat their flower varieties)
Catalogs have started coming and I have to say the photos in Baker Creek's catalog are pure art--I don't think I've ever seen more gorgeous photos--I'm thinking I'm saving this catalog:lol: I ordered in Sept and am thinking I may need to order again:lol:
Burpee's and Park seeds are some of the first places I ever ordered from due to familiarity and before I ever got a computer. Seems like my parents had always received their catalogs (R.L. Shumway's too). After purchasing from many different places after discovering all the other online sources I have to say that those companies don't rate very high on my list. Pricing (seed count vs pkt price is high), S&H pricing and germination are the main negatives for me. T&M is falling into that category for me too. I do buy in May or June when they run their big seed sale.
I'm looking at places for tomatoes and found these places in the tomato forum:
I went to that website and found Earliana, which is a tomato I grew for years during the 70's and 80's in the midwest until I no longer could find it. That tomato planted mid-May gave me mideum sized fruit as early as July.
By their own statement, this is the last year they will be offered seeds from 2006. Tomato and other seeds if kept in a cooling enviroment with remain viable. What I do wonder is there are several varieties of Earliana, one originated from N. Dakota, the other from Canada with a slight change in names. So I wonder which is the one I have grown?
When a company grows several types of tomatoes for seed production, how can cross pollination be prevented. Even Tatiana stated that their mission is to preserve open pollinated Heirloom Tomatoes. The seeds from Heirloom Tomato varieties that cross pollinate are no longer heirlooms but a new variety. Also many seeds have been donated from other growers. This is why I am so sceptical regarding heirloom veggies and tomatoes.
An alternative tomato is Early Girl, which I think replaced it. It is not as early as Earliana.
I will say that she does have a good selection of tomatoes and veggies.
I never really knew what varieties of tomato my parents grew--more than likely whatever the local garden centers or nurseries had in 3 or 4 in pots. I was the seed starter in our family but veggies are my stumbling block. I love tomatoes and even in my small space I want to grow a couple or three in containers:)
I've chose a few from the Tatiana site--some of the last chance varieties too. I have to say that most of my choices are made based on whether or not it can be container grown, height/sprawl and flavor descriptions. I can't grow the big guys with my space limits and water availability (apt, no outside faucet--so all handwatering or rain dependent).
blomma, I did see a mention about the possibility of crosses--notify them if you note differences once grown out so they can pull that batch of seeds--but that would most likely be frustrating if you really wanted a certain variety.
My daughter grew Early Girl in her greenhouse to extend Wyoming growing season. It was planted in a 24" pot (measure across). It was an experiment. Although she thought to do this a bit too late, she still got some nice tomatoes out of it. She will do it eaier this season, the reason she purchased a greenhouse in Fall of 2011. Herbs did great also in there.
I gave up growing veggies when my 4 kids got married. Two of them are gardeners so I don't have to go without.
I have a feeling I may have gotten this info from this thread, but don't want to read all the way back...
I ordered from Reimer's seeds for the first time, and was very impressed. I was looking for Tomato Cupid, and they had it. At a local market a grower said he's never found anything better in a cherry type, finally just grows this one: great flavor, early ripening, heavy bearing, and a long season. Research told me it's also good for sauce, which DH will love.
Blomma there are many ways to prevent cross pollination in O/P veggies ie: isolation, bagging the flowers, to name just a couple. Heirloom O/P veggie aren't hybrids that are hand pollinated to get a specific variety like Celebrity and Early Girl. The home gardener can save seeds from O/P veggies and expect them to grow true the next season, if the seeds are saved correctly. Not so with hybrid seeds.
I would somewhat recommend Cherrygal.com,
Yes, she has many bad reviews because people have had some serious concerns with germination rates, professionalism, and lack of customer service.
Her website however, has a wealth of information, a ton of rare heirloom seeds, and the prices do not exceed $1.50ish. She is able to keep the packets down by offering just 20-30 seeds of each cultivar. At least check it out.
Tried to read through as much as possible, so sorry if this is a double post.
But my new favorite website for seeds is:
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds : www.rareseeds.com
Good prices, and a ton of rare cultivars.
I also have ordered from: Sustainable Seed Company many times ( www.sustainableseedco.com ) - They're absolutely wonderful. Classy website with wonderful navigation and great selections on heirlooms. They seem to really care about the quality of their seeds. Every time I get packets from them the vegetables grow to insane sizes and are always overly healthy.
[quote="1lisac"]Blomma there are many ways to prevent cross pollination in O/P veggies ie: isolation, bagging the flowers, to name just a couple. Heirloom O/P veggie aren't hybrids that are hand pollinated to get a specific variety like Celebrity and Early Girl. The home gardener can save seeds from O/P veggies and expect them to grow true the next season, if the seeds are saved correctly. Not so with hybrid seeds.[/quote]
I am well aware of all that. There is no guarantees if what you buy is true to name. I have seen that stated in website. I pollinate both iris and daylilies so I know how it works and how persistant bees are. Sellers that sell seed must have a huge volume of plants to isolate from sneaky bees.
You really have to take what sellers of seeeds state with a grain of salt.
Blomma I dont know anything about flowers but many veggies are self pollinating some are better at it then others due to the shape of the flower. I have had good luck with commercial seeds but I dont even bother with trades anymore, Ive ended up with too many crosses.
To be perfectly honest, most of our world's biodiversity is a by-product of billions and billions of cross pollinations.
I understand the passion involved in people wanting to keep heirlooms as pure as possible (it kind of reminds me of
hardcore dog breeders who find mutts absolutely disgusting in their opinion). But philosophically speaking,
I really don't care if I receive a seed in a trade that is a 'tad' different than what it's cultivar is 'suppose' to look like.
I just take joy in growing things, and as a gardener, I find beauty in all life. Just my two cents.
I agree too. My favorite animals are mutts, that somebody dropped off on my country road and they adopted me. However, if I pay for a pure bred I expect a that.
Also, I like the idea of keeping a genetic line pure. I realize that mutations will happen as a result of natural selection. But if I get a type of tomato that grows well, I like the flavor and it grows well here I want to be able to grow it again. Peppers are the worst, especially hot peppers as far as crossing goes. They maybe self pollinating but they cross easily too. It's frustrating to grow out a pepper, that I've wanted, only to have it set fruit...and it's not what I was expecting...less experienced growers may think it's what it's supposed to be, so it gets passed off as something it's not. Nobody wants to pay for a pure bred and get a mutt. I've been breeding horses for too long to do that. : )
I assume 2 dollars to trade a large sum of seeds is next to nothing. When trading, I don't have expectations. I also buy quality heirlooms from reputable distributors when I'm looking for them and have expectations. But trading has been an amazing medium for me to save the money and still try new things. If I find out it wasn't what I was hoping for, no sweat. No money lost really. =)
And yes, "experienced" growers. It's difficult to know who's who until you actually 'try' out their seeds. I personally will not trade my own seeds unless I know for sure I am trading the correct cultivar after growing it myself. I think the risk in trading is worth it seeing as it costs next to nothing to work out trades with people. It's a community effort, really.
I love Pinetree Gardens of Maine aka of late, Super Seeds. Very high quality, huge selection (some very rare) , very low prices and incredibly fast service. I have never been disappointed with anything I have purchased from there. https://www.superseeds.com/