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The scoop on 'Johnny's Selected Seeds'

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  Company Profile  
Johnny's Selected Seeds

Mailing Address:
955 Benton Avenue
Winslow, Maine 04901 (United States)

Phone: (207) 861-3900
Fax: 1-800-437-4290

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free in US, Canada & Mexico

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Recent reviews:
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Positive 0 1 3
Neutral 0 0 2
Negative 0 0 0
This company offers a variety of plants and seeds.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on July 3, 2002:  
Johnny's Selected Seeds provides quality vegetable, herb and flower seeds and flower bulbs--as well as a full line of gardening/small-grower accessories--to home garden and commercial growers.

An independent company since 1973, Johnny's prides itself on its superior product, research, technical information, and service. All of Johnny's seeds and accessories are thoroughly tested at their 40-acre certified organic farm in Albion, Maine, and are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Phone or fax orders received before noon weekdays are shipped that afternoon. Orders received after noon are shipped the next working day. Your call is initially answered by an automated attendant, however, it's easy to reach a real person. And, the staff is very knowledgeable about gardening.

Johnny's is proud to be a member of the Safe Seed Initiative, and we invite organizations, governments, businesses, and individuals to join us.

Johnny's Mission Statement: "To provide superior product, research, technical information, and service to critical home gardeners, and specialty and small commercial growers."

Johnny's donates a portion of profits to garden-related charities.

For more information, visit the company web site at Johnnyseeds.com

  Feedback History and Summary  
281 positives
16 neutrals
20 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Bowmore38
Glendale, AZ
(4 reviews)
July 10, 2014
I like Johnny's. They ship quickly, their prices on seeds aren't ridiculous, and they make problems right immediately. With the Shiraz snow peas, they gave everyone their money back without any drama llamas running through the garden.

Their shipping is a little pricey, but they do occasionally have shipping promotions.

Overall, a solid reliable source.
Neutral bacardi870
Casey, IA
(2 reviews)
March 6, 2014
I ordered from johnnys solely for the recommendation from mothererthnews.com as their readers top seed company. I guess im not that impressed. Their seeds are EXPENSIVE...a dollar more than seedsavers per small pack. Their shipping is honestly out of line. Sure it came fast but ill give UPS the props for the shipping.
Anyway I liked their balanced selection between heirlooms & hybrids but the seed cost and shipping cost is a deal breaker for me returning next year.
Neutral Niere
Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b)
(7 reviews)
February 23, 2014
Posted on March 20, 2007, updated February 23, 2014
My recent experience with Johnny's was a mixed bag--thus the "neutral" rating. This past January I placed a seed order plus I ordered a four-block block maker for seed-starting. As I was placing my order I was informed by the service representative that I would need to order the "inserts" for the block maker. I questioned this but she insisted that I would need them so trusting that she knew the company's products better than I, I ordered the inserts. I received my order promptly and yesterday I took out the block maker and couldn't see why I needed the additional inserts. I searched the box and discovered there were no directions for either the block maker or the inserts. I contacted Johnny's and the representative (who was VERY nice) apologized for the lack of instructions but also apologized for the fact that indeed I did not need the inserts. She said that I could return the inserts and I would be credited for them, which is fine, but that they would not cover the return shipping. While I appreciate that the shipping on these items will be minimal, about a total of three or four dollars by the time I purchase a padded envelope and pay for the postage, it still disappoints me that I have to pay to return an item that I originally didn't want but was advised by their representative to purchase, only to find out in the end that in fact I didn't need it at all.
Again, to be fair everyone I dealt with at Johnny's was pleasant and helpful and they even walked me through using the block maker and making adjustements to the seed starting mix so that it would be the proper consistency. I just wish that they'd have sent directions with it and that they would agree to cover returns on products in situations like mine. On a positive note, I really appreciate all the planting information they have on their seed packets--they really excel in this area. And their customer service people have never been anything but helpful and courteous. I will probably order from Johnny's in the future because I like what they stand for as a company and I love their selection, but I hope that in the future they make certain that the people taking their orders are more informed about their products.
On February 23rd, 2014, Niere added the following:

Sorry, but I'm really about done with Johnny's. There was a time when they were the only place for quality seed--that's simply not the case anymore, and I can't continue to justify nearly $4.00 for every seed packet. This year will be my final bulk order with them--next year I'll only purchase seed or products from them which I absolutely cannot find elsewhere.
Positive reeve1
Plano, TX (Zone 8b)
(39 reviews)
February 14, 2014
Another great experience with Johnny's. The shipping was lightning fast, seed packs were well protected. Of 16 different flower varieties I'm getting in excessive of 85% germination on all but the Larkspur. But, it's only been 4 days on the Larkspur and these can take a bit longer to germinate and sprout. Thanks to everyone at Johnny's for your hard work and great seeds! It makes my job so much easier and enjoyable.
Positive bstnh1
Farmington, NH
(3 reviews)
December 6, 2013
Have ordered from Johnny's for several years and have never been disappointed. Quality seeds, reliable, fast shipping.
Negative Jrabbit
Pike Creek, DE
(1 review)
May 21, 2013
30 yr. customer Johnny's customer. I never worried once about shipping. Never complained about germination rates. Some things can't be helped. But less than a hundred seed in a packet of Arugula stated to contain 500 minimum? 12 Marigold seed in a packet costing $3.59? I called to complain about the shorting on Arugula and heard this from customer service: "Happens. I suppose you want another packet." Tried to inquire if there was harvesting difficulty or limited availability (rarity) of the Marigold seed and was told: I'm not sure what your complaint is." I can buy Marigold seed locally for half the price for 10 times the quantity. My final dealings with Johnny's. They won't miss my 60-80$ annual order, or at least their customer rep won't. I won't miss them!
Positive forgottenman
Pennsbury Village, PA
(2 reviews)
May 2, 2013
Bought several packets of seeds, and all (except the cucumbers and kale... haven't started those yet) are making plants. Even with suboptimal germination conditions, these seeds are sprouting at close to the rates specified on the packets. Will be buying more seeds from Johnny's soon!
Positive Beckah
Memphis, TN
(4 reviews)
April 1, 2013
I ordered packets of 'Marvel of Venice' and 'Fortex' bean seeds from Johnny's and have no-o complaints. The seeds even arrived much sooner than I anticipated. ..No problem. :) ...I'm sure I will be ordering from them again in the future.
Positive BrisbaneAnne
Brisbane, CA (Zone 10b)
(24 reviews)
March 31, 2013
Whenever I think about vegetable gardening, Johnny's Seeds come to mind. I have not been disappointed with their seeds yet over the years I have ordered from them.
Positive susiequilts
Syracuse, NY
(3 reviews)
March 15, 2013
Second year ordering from this company. Super quick shipping, well packaged. No surprises.

Catalog is easy to read and find what you need.

Last year's seeds germinated and grew as described.

Would (and will) order from them again every year.

Positive lilygrandma
Ellijay, GA
(15 reviews)
March 7, 2013
Posted on July 22, 2010, updated March 7, 2013
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated July 22, 2010
Posted on March 17, 2009, updated April 12, 2010
I have been ordering from Johnny's for several years and have been very impressed with their seeds and service. My order this year was filled within 8 days (all the way from Maine!) with no missing packets. I also like their selection, and have had good germination with their seeds.
On April 12th, 2010, lilygrandma added the following:

Again this year Johnny's is great at getting all the seeds to me quickly--4 days from Maine to Georgia! Can't wait to see the seeds germinate.
On July 22nd, 2010, lilygrandma added the following:

The seeds I ordered in the spring did very well. Made an order in early July, and received the entire order 4 days later. All the seeds germinated within 5 days! This company continues to please me! I recommend them highly!
On March 7th, 2013, lilygrandma added the following:

Again, quick service from Johnny's--less than a week! Their seeds always do well. Hoping this is another good year!
Positive WillysWoodPile
Kalamazoo, MI
(12 reviews)
February 28, 2013
Top Quality products. Excellent customer service. Prompt delivery. What more could a guy want? Well, I had questions about germinating Stevia seed as I had problems [actually 100% failures] in the past. I asked about this when I placed my order. A nice lady contacted me by phone and explained step-by-step how to properly germinate and grow Stevia. She obviously knew what she was talking about.
Positive AS
(Zone 7a)
(44 reviews)
February 26, 2013
Service was excellent. Their seed varieties generally seem to be aimed more at farmers/ market gardeners than home gardeners (though their lettuce section is an exception and worthy of drooling over, and the tomatoes aren't bad). But they have a nice selection of organic garden products, and their seed descriptions are refreshingly free of the hype I see in many catalogs. And wonder of wonders, the seed packets I ordered were all in stock and sent promptly.
Neutral louie2
Fort Collins, CO
(2 reviews)
January 24, 2013
Two days ago I ordered about $32 worth of seeds--that's 6 packets of seeds. When I got through the ordering process on the phone, the mailing and handling fee was $10! When I said that I wouldn't order because that fee was too high, it was adjusted to $7.00--still too high, but I took it. My thought is that the postage and handling should never be more than $1.00 per packet, and even that is high. Just know that there are options...

Positive poypoyking
Columbia Heights, MN
(3 reviews)
January 23, 2013
This was my 4th year ordering seeds from Johnny's. I placed my order last Tuesday and had my seeds by Saturday. Everything has had good germination rates on my past orders and their selection is hard to beat.
Positive jeremybro
Saint George, KS
(4 reviews)
January 18, 2013
Just received my third order from Johnny's. Surprised me because I was expecting them to hold my order until the one item that was backordered came in, but just got everything else yesterday. I placed the order four days ago. That's speedy service in my book.

This has been true of every order I have placed with them. The one time I had cause to contact their customer service, the lady was polite, helpful, and corrected my problem in a few minutes.

I continue to order from Johnny's, not just because of their service, but their excellent selection, and (the greatest, in my book) I can order anywhere from a small packet to several pounds of anything in their catalog! I love that!
Positive pawziecat
San Diego, CA
(1 review)
January 4, 2013
I have ordered from Johnny's Selected Seeds for many, many years. The customer service is stellar, and they consistently send a superior quality of seed, with excellent germination rates. If anyone orders from Johnny's and for any reason is not satisfied with their purchase, they should contact Johnny's customer service staff who I have found to be very helpful and will give 100 % effort to correct any problem
Positive midvalleydad
Dickson City, PA
(7 reviews)
December 27, 2012
Ordered onion plants and potatoes from these people. They were shipped separately at the correct times for planting here in Pa. Will definately order from Johnnie's again.
Positive 8opetey
Bristol, CT
(2 reviews)
December 13, 2012
So far, no problems. I got a catalog from a master gardener talk at a local garden. Seems like some of the seeds are pretty pricey. However, I'm used to buying seeds from Walmart or plants from big chain stored and I have mixed luck with them. We placed our first order this weekend and have the seeds in hand already. There were much better prices on some of their sale and internet tabs.
So, c'mon... bush beans... 1000 seeds for $3 with a 80% germination rate. How can you say no?
For the first time, I'm trying early and late season plants as well as a summer garden so I'll update this when I get some growth.
Positive SeniorGardening
Sullivan, IN
(13 reviews)
November 12, 2012
I think itís probably just human nature that we tend to post comments about vendors when we have a problem with them. I certainly have done so here in the past. But when I put together my list of recommended seed suppliers for a Senior Gardening posting this year, I realized that I should make a positive comment here about each of our suppliers that have performed so well over the years.

Weíve used Johnnyís Selected Seeds as one of our two or three main garden seed suppliers for over twenty years. They provide good to exceptional quality seed (in terms of germination) in a time when other suppliers appear to be cutting corners on seed quality.

When weíve had a question about an order or variety, Johnnyís customer service has responded promptly. I especially like some of their Growers Library and Interactive Tools (fall planting calculator, etc.).

While Iím concerned about some of their recent price increases, I find that Iím willing to pay a bit more for seed from them that I can trust.

http://www.senior-gardening.com/features/suppliers.html
Positive teoc
Prineville, OR
(2 reviews)
August 16, 2012
I began gardening when I lived in Maine going back to 1977.

Johnny's was a mainstay then and since returning to gardening in retirement is once again only now I'm on the west coast.

Whether their seeds, their season extending materials or their informational materials I can't say enough good.

I look forward to their catalogs and am on their website on a regular basis.

I wish I could visit their booth at the Common Ground Fair again.
Positive Chrisk1986
Omaha, NE
(5 reviews)
July 10, 2012
These guys are one of our main seed providers for our row crops, everything ships fast and is boxed with care.

Germination rates are always good, they also provide a bunch of tools on the site so you can easily figure how much you need to order out.
Positive Plor
Concow, CA
(2 reviews)
June 16, 2012
I have ordered from Johnny's for around 7 years. I farm 10 acres of row crops to sell at farmer's market and buy large quantities of seed. I have always received satisfactory service from them. Johnny's process and ship quickly orders quickly.
Negative PlanterJoe
Dearborn, MI
(3 reviews)
June 11, 2012
I searched the net to buy seeds and ended up buying from 5 different companies on the net and about 2-3 more from various stores in my local area.

I purchased the bulk of seeds from Johnnys.

Some of their seeds did not germinate at all. Which I'm really mad about. The Beneficial Insect mix, which has a variety of herbs only sprouted like 10 cilantro greens and that was it from my 1 ounce packet.

I've also had problems with many other seeds sprouting, and then dying off.

Overall, I'm more dissatisfied than satisfied, because of the mixed results I've gotten.

Also, their shipping rates are terribly expensive and their rates aren't as competitive as I'd like.
Positive noseykate
SOUTH WEYMOUTH, MA
(3 reviews)
May 2, 2012
I have been ordering from Johnny's for about 2 decades. They have a unique selection of varieties. Now that I live in New England their short-season veggie strains are particularly valuable for me. The order turnaround is quick, the seed germinates well, the descriptions in the catalog are accurate. I expect to be ordering from them for the next 2 decades too.
Neutral Dempsey
Big Lake, MN
(11 reviews)
April 9, 2012
I did not choose to order from them this year because they are so expensive now and have so few OP seeds and instead so many hybrids. They also need to get rid of their Seminis varieties, as that matters to a lot of consumers now a days.
What I really wanted that only they have is the Monogerm beet and the primed rosemary seeds. Those are awesome!
Johnny's is not bad at all for many gardeners' needs but some of us more 'heirloomy' growers would like them to go in a different direction.
Positive oceanart
Cranberry Isles, ME
(5 reviews)
March 27, 2012
The short version for people just looking for a reputable seed company.
I have ordered from the following companies for years
they all have good prices, customer service and good germination rate.
Johnny's, Kitazawa Seed, Rohrer seeds, Territorial Seed Comp, and Seed Savers Exchange.
Positive southfarm
Kirtland, OH
(2 reviews)
February 13, 2012
Good descriptions of seeds, good selection of specialty equipment and books. Like their use of Youtube demonstrations.
Positive skfla500
Clearwater, FL
(5 reviews)
February 13, 2012
Excellent company (especially for a northeastern based ag/seed company). Nice selection, solid germ rate and responsive & knowledgeable customer service. AND, very good bulk pricing on quite a few of the seeds they offer.

As an fyi, I purchase mostly tomato seed but also some cucumber and pepper seeds. Johnny's offers about 100 different types of tomato cultivators. About half that for pepper seeds and about 30'ish cucumber varieties. This is nothing spectacular compared to some companies that specialize in tomato or pepper seeds but still, a nice selection.

Tomato heirlooms are very reasonable with 250 seeds typically running around $5.00 & 1000 seeds running about $10. Shipping is a little pricey considering but they do periodically run shipping specials.

Germination rates/testing results are printed on each seed packet. The rates are typically accurate and usually in the 90% range.

I found Johnny's to be reliable when I used them some years ago and they remain so today.

PS: They are big believers in grafting root stock. I find it a very interesting idea but can't conceive having the time (or the steady hands) to seriously contemplate. If anyone has tried, can you post some of their results on this page? Please??
Positive Sherilou
Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b)
(21 reviews)
January 28, 2012
Posted on May 4, 2011, updated January 28, 2012
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!

EXCELLENT GERMINATION RATES!!!

FAST SHIPPING!!!

Johnny's Selected Seeds provides a great selection of beautiful, super-healthy, clean seeds. When planning my garden, I always make Johnny's my first stop... highly recommended!
On January 28th, 2012, Sherilou added the following:

They really do have the best, healthiest seeds and the best customer service... order with confidence from this wonderful company!
Positive jserena
Woodfin, NC
(1 review)
January 18, 2012
I've been ordering most of my seed from Johnny's for 13 years. Top quality seeds with consistently high germination rates; excellent selection; prompt fulfillment; friendly and efficient customer service when I've ordered on the phone; and a fast, easy-to-navigate website when I've ordered online. Great company.
Positive bbetv
North Glengarry , ON (Zone 5a)
(11 reviews)
January 17, 2012
I had good germination rates, packets on sale at 1$ were a great way of ''testing'' the company. The packets were a nice big size. Customer service was prompt and curteous. Shipping was a little on the high end for what I ordered, but it is international. I will reorder from Johnny's.
Positive AZPHATMAN
Mesa, AZ
(20 reviews)
January 15, 2012
Over the years I have ordered many times from Johnny's. Aways with good results. They are more expensive than many other sites but have quality products and good customer service. If you want pelleted seeds I think they have the largest selection of any online company. If price is a major factor for you try Morgan County Seeds or FedCo Seeds.
Positive wildflowerhoney
Naples, FL
(6 reviews)
January 15, 2012
Posted on October 15, 2010, updated January 15, 2012
Large selection of seeds and gardening products. Super speedy and reasonable shipping to Florida. Seeds sprouted nearly the moment they hit the soil. Free catalog fun and informative to thumb through; appreciate the helpful planting tips and colorful plant descriptions. Online website very easy to use. No problems. Will buy from again and again because the seeds are fresh, shipping fast, variety vast. Highly recommend Johnny's Selected Seeds.
On January 15th, 2012, wildflowerhoney added the following:

Have ordered from multiple times. FAST SHIPPING, great products, fresh seeds. Among my favorite seed sources.
Positive hatchingbunnies
Gilbert, AZ
(7 reviews)
January 13, 2012
Just placed my 2nd order with Johnny's and was very impressed with shipping speed and customer service. Payment for my 2nd order cleared the bank on the 11th, package arrived on the 12th and I live in Arizona!

There was a minor issue with my first order that I notified them about-customer service was very quick to take care of the problem and did way more to make amends than what I expected.

Germination on the first order was excellent and I have many healthy seedlings in the greenhouse awaiting sale.

Would like to see more heirloom and organic seed offered in the future.
Positive gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA (Zone 6a)
(19 reviews)
December 29, 2011
I placed my first order with Johnny's on the night of Dec. 26, 2011. I was able to take advantage of some $1 sale items plus ordered things I have been looking for. I see some think the prices are higher than other places and that may be true in some cases but I figure it all averaged out in the end. The service is amazing as I received the package today, Dec. 29 and think that is pretty amazing. I will update this review once I sow the seeds this spring and summer and can comment on germination rates.
Positive greybanks
Staten Island, NY
(4 reviews)
September 22, 2011
Recently ordered a good selection of seeds for fall planting (a few different varieties of kale, chamomile, zinnia, angelica, carrots, beets), as they had interesting varieties of all of those and their planting information on the website was very helpful. Plus, their printed catalog is a joy to browse, and the size of a small phone book. Good reference guide.

Shipping was very prompt and well-packed, but I have to second the person who said it seems a little more than it should be for smaller orders. It's done by price range so to maximize your shipping value you must order $30 of packets, which of course isn't hard to do. I think this is because they mainly do larger orders. No question if I had a huge plot I'd be ordering seeds from them by the pound.

Germination rates I've found to be on par with or exceed what they claim on their packets, so I'm quite happy with that. I definitely appreciate the Safe Seed pledge. Will order from again!
Positive shepherdlady
Wellsville, NY (Zone 4a)
(1 review)
August 14, 2011
I have ordered seeds for two years from Johnnys, and have been very satisfied with pricing, packaging, shipping and germination. I will definitely order from them again.
Neutral Eric_OH
Columbus, OH (Zone 6a)
(55 reviews)
July 22, 2011
No problem with the quality/germination of seeds, which has been good, or pricing which is mid-range.

However, this company does have the highest shipping costs of any seed firm I've done business with, which will limit my orders in future years (their catalog also seems to be de-emphasizing ornamentals, a disappointment since I've found some interesting annuals there in the past).
Negative taufgardner
American Fork, UT
(20 reviews)
July 21, 2011
Posted on March 23, 2004, updated July 21, 2011
Seeds came as ordered and quickly.
On July 21st, 2011, taufgardner changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

It had been a few years since I had ordered from Johnny's and now I remember why. Last time, I ordered a unique variety of zucchini. This time I ordered a unique variety of pole bean (Fortex). In each order, I found the germination and performance to be less than my experience with other companies. When I opened the packet to plant the beans, about half were split and broken. The rest germinated at about 40%. I kept putting seeds in the appointed spots until I had germination at all but one of my poles. At any rate, I used Johnny's each time because they carried a desired variety I couldn't get anywhere else and are highly rated on Watchdog. I order from many sources and have terrific luck with my gardens, so I can confidently attribute the poor results to the supplier. Probably won't use again, unless they are the only suppliers for something I just gotta have. Then I will over-order and over-plant because I believe the seeds will perform poorly.

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