Extremely surprised to see so many positive reviews of this company.
I received their catalog and placed all my seeds in one basket by ordering everything for my garden this year from them.
I'm talking about 18 different vegetables. The vast majority did not germinate....some were even planted twice and still did grow. Only the three varieties radishes (pretty much all radishes seem to grow no matter what) and the two varieties of sweet corn were almost 100% successful.
I ended up scurrying to the local nursery and grabbing the dregs they had left over in order to get my garden in. What a shame. So many interesting seeds and so little germination. Obviously, I will never order from them again.
On Jun 5, 2015, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Jun 8, 2015 1:19 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We are so sorry to hear you had problems with your seed germinating! We always germ test our seed, and do not offer it for sale until we get a passing germ test on that lot. That being said, many things can happen to the seed when it leaves our warehouse that can affect germination, including irradiation from the mail service, to leaving the package sitting on the dash in the hot sun... This is why we guarantee germination of our seed for one year from the date of purchase. If you will contact us at email@example.com, we'd be happy to make this right! We can send you a refund for the seeds that did not germinate, or we can send you some different seed if you would like to try again later."
On Mar 29, 2015, IMAGOODSHOT Prairieville, LA wrote:
I placed a $200.00 online. The very day they shipped my order they sent out an email offering their Whole Seed Catalog for free with any $50.00 order. I thought when I received my order it would contain the free catalog. Nope. Okay, no problem. I send a nice email explaining the situation, fully expecting a nice response. Wrong again. What I got was an email from Lisa C. saying my order was placed prior to the when they initiated offer and that she had no way to send me the catalog for free. This is the same catalog that I had bought and paid for the previous year not only for myself but for my daughter as well.
Well nearly two months later I realize I still have not gotten the (5) dahlia bulbs from this same order so I send another email again explaining nicely about the catalog offer and that I would appreciate it if they could send me the catalog with my dahlia bulbs that they had apparently forgotten to ship. Several days later I get an email from them that consists of two items: A copy of my original receipt, and a tracking# showing that something was being shipped to me. No apology, no explanation as to why it took so long - just a tracking#. Okay, well I don't know where you guys went to customer service school at but where I come from that is just downright rude! And to make matters worse, I got the package in from them yesterday, opened it to find only (2) dahlia bulbs instead of the (5) they charged for. Wow. I was going to make a small dahlia bed at the side of my greenhouse. WTH am I going to make with 2 dahlia bulbs? Oh... and they still didn't send me a catalog. That's okay guys, I will no longer be needing it as you made it abundantly clear on several occasions that you did not need my business.
On Mar 29, 2015, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Mar 31, 2015 10:00 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for the confusion, but as we told you in the response to the email we received a day after this post was created, that the dahlias were a pre-order item. It states in the catalog "Order these now and we will ship you good-sized tubers in March, April or May, depending on shipping conditions and your climate location"
We had a crop failure on two of the varieties you purchased, and we mailed you a letter letting you know, as well as offering substitution of 4 different varieties or a refund, your choice. In your email reply to me yesterday evening, you told me what you wanted for replacement, and those are shipping out today.
As for the catalog, we began the free offer on February 5th, and you ordered on February 1st. The special, limited time offer was not retro-active, which is a common business practice. Lisa C.'s response to you asking if you would get a copy was as follows:
The free offer did not come out until 2/5/15 .Sorry for the inconvenience! I have no way to add you to the list it is done automatically."
Posted on September 19, 2014, updated September 19, 2014
Posted on September 14, 2014, updated September 19, 2014
Posted on September 14, 2014, updated September 14, 2014
Posted on September 9, 2014, updated September 14, 2014
I placed an order for seeds toward the end of August. After receiving my e-mail acknowledgment, I heard nothing for almost a week and a half. Puzzled, I sent their customer service an e-mail. Didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t get a response. So, I called them up. (Incidentally, they don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t have a toll-free number, which seems pretty cheap.) The woman I talked to said that she didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t really know what had happened to my order, but that she would try to reach the warehouse. After placing me on hold for a couple of minutes, she came back and said that she couldn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t reach anybody but would try to find out what happened. I called back the next day and talked to the same woman, but she had no more information than on the previous day. She then talked to someone else, and she said that person would call me back. They left me a message a little later that said my package shipped out today (13 days after I placed my order!!!). Also in the message, she said that it was shipped \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"priority,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" so I should receive it in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"3-4 days.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Huh??? Last time I checked, Priority Mail arrives within a couple of days. Well, if I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t receive my seeds within a couple of days, I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m changing this rating to a negative. I mean, my package doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t ship out for 13 days???? What kind of service is that? And if I hadn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t called them up (on my dime, since they didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t respond to my e-mail), would it have even shipped out at all? Timing is very important for a fall garden, and I hope it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s not too late to plant these seeds to still get a decent harvest--that\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s why I ordered them a couple of weeks ago. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s doubtful that I will ever order from this company again.
On September 14th, 2014, rissole added the following:
Interesting how no company representative has bothered to apologize for their terrible service. Well, I\\\\\\\'m done with this company. Even if they apologize at this point, it\\\\\\\'s just too little, too late. On September 14th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
On September 18th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Thank you for at least responding and explaining what happened.
Concerning the seeds that were out of stock:
1) I was never informed that the seeds were out of stock and that the order was being held because of that. The proper thing to do is to SEND the package as is, and then send the remaining seeds (at no extra charge) when they get back in stock. (I mean--how long were they planning to hold up my order to wait for these seeds? A month or more???) That\'s what most reputable companies would do. And why was I charged for them in the first place? There was absolutely nothing to indicate they were out of stock when I placed my order. Why was I even allowed to order them if they were out of stock?
2) I had to call up again and find out why that one packet of seeds was missing. Only THEN was I told that they were out of stock. So, I could have ordered these seeds a long time ago from another company, but instead I have to order them late and hope that they don\'t arrive too late for fall planting.
You-all have good seeds, and your prices are good. However, your customer service is very bad and need serious improvement. Because,of that, I\'m leaving the rating as Negative. On September 18th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
On Sep 18, 2014, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We do apologize for the delays in both getting you the seeds you ordered, and in answering your attempts to contact us. This site does not give me your contact information, so I have to guess at who you are. I did find one order that fits your description above as far as how long it took to ship. It appears the warehouse was waiting for a seed to come back in to finish filling your order. When you called, they went ahead and refunded for that seed and shipped the order out. Tracking shows it went out on the 9th, and was delivered on the 11th. We say 3-5 days for priority shipping, as our local mail hub has closed, and we've noticed it taking a little longer than normal sometimes for our customers to receive their packages. We are working with the post office to minimize these delays as much as possible. A majority of our employees were sent out to California for the National Heirloom Exposition, including the main person who monitors and answers things on this website, which is why there was such a delay in getting this answer posted."
On Jun 14, 2014, mefrelix Corona, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I received bittersweet nightshade seeds instead of the Korean hyssop I had ordered. Other seeds were of the wrong variety and with about half of my complete order of different plant seeds, Those packets didn't have one germination. I wish I had known about garden watch dog before. To each own experience though.
On Jun 14, 2014, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Jun 16, 2014 11:48 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry to hear there was a problem with your order! We do guarantee seeds to germinate, and grow true to type, for one year from the date of purchase. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to either send you replacements, or issue you a refund."
On Apr 11, 2014, Anna_Sweden Brösarp Sweden wrote:
Posted on April 11, 2014, updated April 11, 2014
Unfortunately I am not a happy customer and I would not recommend this company to anybody.
Quote from the company's homepage:
"Estimated time until shipping is usually 3 to 5 business days, though it is our goal to ship orders within 48 hours."
Obviously it doesn't apply to all orders. It certainly hasn't applied to mine.
I placed my order online on March 24. Shipping from US to Sweden is generally very fast and reliable so I expected my seeds to arrive within ten days, maybe two weeks at the most. Today, April 10, still no seeds so I mailed and asked when my order was shipped. Baker Creek replied that my order was shipped April 10 (that is today - perhaps the reminder was necessary...what if I hadn't contacted them).
It means that my order was shipped 18 days after I ordered and payed for it. In my opinion it is very poor customer service!
With a lot of luck I will receive my seeds before Easter, but I have my doubts. I will probably not get them until the week after Easter, which means at least four weeks from online order/payment until arrival of seeds. Very disappointing.
It will be too late to sow the tomato seeds this year. Luckily the other seed companies I have ordered from are more reliable.
On April 11th, 2014, Anna_Sweden added the following:
I confused the dates. My order was shipped April 10 and I mailed April 11. So my order was shipped 17 days after I placed it. On Apr 11, 2014, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
Again, we would like to apologize for the delay! As I explained in my email to you, lightning struck our warehouse, and we had to replace some electronics, and we were delayed in sending out some of the orders."
I dislike rating any seed company negatively. Maybe they have too many irons in several worthy fires.
On Jan 4. 2013 I ordered several varieties of tomatoes, winter squash, and peppers from Baker Creek. I am an active member of another site where we grow and discuss processing the hottest peppers in the world. "Supers" or super-hot peppers, are often very difficult to germinate. I'm also a member of another site where we grow and discuss tomatoes. I've been growing from seed for a long time. I order seed from a lot of companies. I do save seeds. However, in order to be able to save and share seeds, the seed has to germinate and grow into a plant. Baker Creek seed did not germinate; when I recently contacted the company via email they said they'd refund, substitute, or reimburse me for the seed order, as they will do that for one year within date of purchase.
I decided to give them another chance but not with the same seed that did not germinate this past spring. I communicated with "Randel" via email. He was grateful that I was giving them another chance and even though I was losing $1.75 on the substitution order, I just wanted substitute seeds. I didn't want the same things that didn't germinate upon repeated attempts at germination last spring.
Randel told me that he would be or a sales rep would be in touch with me when the new substitute order shipped. Yesterday, 6 packs out of the SAME ORDER, of 12 packs of seeds, that I placed on Jan 4., 2013 that 1. did not germinate and 2. I didn't want to try again (and again and again and again) came in the mail. Randel was not "in touch with" me; no "sales rep was in touch" with me: they just sent "something" out.
At this point, I just want them to reimburse me. I feel like Charlie Brown kicking a football that Lucy's going to jerk out from under me with this company.
On Nov 24, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Nov 25, 2013 10:35 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for the mixup! Randel did communicate that you wanted a different list of seeds, and to inform you when it was done. The new person taking care of it did not pay enough attention to the email, and just saw seed replacement, and resent your original order. I have asked our accounting department to send a full refund to your paypal address immediately."
The majority of my seeds from this company did not germinate. I have had to replant all of my beans with other seed and over half of my melons. I started many pepper varieties indoors and got average germination on them but not excellent by any means. I am very disappointed...I have never had this many seeds not come up before. I am sure it is not a planting mistake of mine or an issue of timing because I planted other seed at the same time from elsewhere and all of that stuff came up while the Baker Creek seed did not! I would love to be able to give this company my support in the future by ordering from them again because I believe in their mission, but unfortunately I am not confident in their seed.
On Jul 1, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We are so sorry to hear that you had trouble with our seeds germinating! We have found that many things can happen to the seeds once they leave our warehouse, which can affect the germination of the seeds. This is why we guarantee germination for one year from the date of purchase. Please contact us at email@example.com and we would be happy to send you replacement seed, substitute seed, or a refund for any seed you had trouble with."
I ordered seeds from rareseeds.com back in April- its May 10th and I still have received NOTHING. It is now too late to start the tomatoes and peppers I ordered so the growing season is wasted as is my money and the supplies I bought to grow these seeds. This is my first experience with this company and it will also be my last. Extremely slow shipping and lousy customer service. I DO NOT recommend this company and next year I will return to Burpee for my plant and seed needs.
On May 10, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On May 13, 2013 3:04 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for the delay in shipping your order that we received on the evening of April 30th. Due to our Spring Planting Festival, we did not get it shipped until May 7th. Please follow the instructions our customer service representative gave you when you called, and we will get your money refunded to you."
I am so mad at this company. After over a month when I origanally placed my order to get a head start in my greenhouse I finally received MY order that was over $100 worth of seed. First I received someone else's 12 dollar order that should have gone to Illinois instead of Georgia. Then I woman called me to let me know they were aware of the situation and were immediately reshipping my order that day. 2 weeks go by and no order. I finally demanded a refund and Louis who works for Baker Creek, did credit my Paypal account for the order. He calls me about a week later, probably waiting for me to calm down over the whole mess and apologized and asked if I was interested in reordering, to contact him personally so he could make it up to me. I gave him my CC info and All he did was charge me the exact amount as last time minus the seeds that were no longer available because they sold out during the 5 week mess up of my order. He did no kind of discounting whatsoever for my large order. Now that I know there are other quality heirloom seed companies available I doubt I will ever use Baker Creek again due to the way I was treated. I would highly reccommend stearing clear of this company.
On Mar 26, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Mar 27, 2013 8:42 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We clearly dropped the ball on this one, and we apologize. Filling as many orders as we do, once in a great while an order is going to be seriously messed up, and it looks like in this case, that was your order. We are very sorry.
We are taking a step back and evaluating our fulfillment system in order to implement changes to make a series of mistakes like this less likely in future.
As gardeners ourselves, we understand that it's not just about the seeds--timing is equally important. When orders get delayed, it affects that customer's entire season! By way of apology, we have applied a discount to your order, and issued a refund to your credit card for the difference, as you certainly should have received a discount and priority handling at that point. If you have any questions please contact me personally.
I heard from a friend that Baker carried seeds of a beautiful, VERY show tropical shrub, Leonotis leonurus. She knew I was interested in getting this.
On the web site that botanical name was there in their ad. I paid $4. for the seeds and $3.50 for postage. That comes to $7.50.
The seeds arrived in a few days. That was fast, but the seeds are not the species Leonotis leonurus. They are Leonotis nepetifolia which is an annual and which is not spectacular like the real thing at all. I recognize the L. nepetifolia from the seeds and the foliage which is also very different. The real thing has elongated leaves.
I tried calling the number that was on some paper that came with the seeds, but it was a FAX number. I have no FAX machine. I don't know if I was intentionally cheated, but the seed pack was not labeled Leonotis leonurus when it arrived. It is in the ad.
Also, I could find no e-mail address for Baker. How do I tell them they are sending people a cheap substitute for a very desirable tropical perennial shrub.
I am very disappointed with what I thought was one of the better, more honest companies.If you want Leonotis leonurus seeds, don't be deceived in ordering from here.
On Mar 22, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Mar 22, 2013 1:43 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We checked the documentation from our supplier and you are right--the seed we are now selling is indeed L. nepetifolia. Somehow, somebody goofed either when we ordered, or when our supplier filled the order. We have corrected our description on the website.
We do include our email and phone number on every packet, as well as on the sales receipt, so I'm not sure what happened there, but if you will email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, ATTN: Customer Service, we will do the best we can to make amends. While we assure you that this oversight was unintentional, we are very sorry for any confusion or disappointment this error may have caused our customers.
On Mar 22, 2013 1:55 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. added:
I'm sorry, there was something incorrect in my previous post, we put our phone number and website on all of the packets, and the email address can be found on the website."
Ordered for the first time in 2012 on advice from a friend. We ordered a catalog which was big and thick and so full of stuff it was overwhelming but also exciting. We ordered a number of different things from squash, okra, beans, melons,flowers, eggplant, and a couple of odd things like grains. It was already time to plant warm crops by then so we didn't get cold weather crops. Out of the fourteen different things we bought we harvested red noodle beans by the handful even through the summer heat, sorghum, and a few tiny little melons that tasted like dead fish. Our okra sprouted but never got over a foot tall and never bloomed even though okra from a different source grew right beside it very well. None of the five different varieties of squash produced anything while all of our squash from other sources grew and produced well. Two of our melons produced a couple of melons each very late in the season and neither of them were the variety they were supposed to be. Our flowers didn't germinate at all.
Later we ordered some cold weather crops to plant for the fall. While the broccoli did well eventually, the brussel sprouts only half germinated and didn't grow, the rutabagas which I've grown for years from other sources did nothing but put on leaves, the kale was again not the correct variety, and the lettuce never germinated at all.
I've seen them offer to replace seeds that don't germinate or were incorrect but they didn't offer me that service. I think they are all hype and no experience. From now on I'll be sticking with my favorites from years past.
On Mar 8, 2013, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Mar 11, 2013 5:58 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry to hear that you had trouble! We do guarantee germination of our seeds for one year from the date of purchase, and we will replace any seed that grows off type as well. We would be happy to work with you on this, but until this post, we cannot find any communication from you about these issues. If you could please send us an email to email@example.com with the varieties that did not germinate, or grew off type, we'll be happy to work on making things right."
I have two issues. One, the seeds I bought had problems. The Sicilain radishes were supposed to be red but had high number of white roots, and even the red ones had long ugly roots not the perfect red globes they show in catalog. The Blue Hubbard squash were mostly okay, but several plants produced very bitter fruit. Secondly - why aren't they organic? They act organic and write about it in their Heirloom magazine, but don't have organic seeds. I read on a website that conventional seed uses even more toxic chemicals than conventional food because seed isn't considered food. Even if it is heirloom, conventional isn't good for the planet.
On Sep 15, 2012, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for any issues you had with your seeds, and would be happy to offer you replacement seeds or a refund for those seeds. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our customer care representatives will help you with this issue. As for your second issue, we receive our seeds from many different sources, so it is not possible for us to obtain "organic" status. Also, many of our growers grow organically but are too small or don't have the money or time to be certified. All of the varieties that we grow here on our farm in Missouri are grown without any chemicals."
On Jun 19, 2012, adbrickhouse Hollidaysburg, PA wrote:
Wow, Extremely disapointed with the seeds I ordered from this company. I had such high hopes considering all the positive reviews. I'm serious when I say only about 20% of the seeds I ordered germinated. Thats even after I planted them a second time. I'm doing nothing different than previous years where I've had much success. Some seeds like the Sakata sweet melon and cucumbers didn't come up at all. I won't order here again. Disapointing
On Jun 19, 2012, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Jun 19, 2012 9:05 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for the problems you are having with the seeds you purchased from us! We always have a successful germination test result on all of our seed on file before we offer it for sale, but there are many things that can happen to the seed between our store and the customer that can affect that seed. We do guarantee germination of our seeds. We would be happy to send you more of that seed, a different seed of your choice, or issue a refund for those seeds. An email has been sent to the address we have on file for you to see how we can help resolve this issue.
Posted on April 14, 2010, updated April 23, 2012
I have been buying seeds from Baker Creek for years and I am a dedicated customer. I buy more seeds than I should so I have plenty of experience to say this company will go to the end of the world to please a customer. I have only had one experience with seed from this company that didn't germinate. I reported this to them and was given the option of getting a different type of seed or getting another package of the same variety! I also received a package of free seed and a hand written note thanking me for my business .
I recommend Baker Creek to anyone who asks and give them a 10 out of 10 for service, variety, germination rate, price, shipping and friendliness.
On April 23rd, 2012, annatomic changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I have decided to sever ties with this company due to the rampant racism, sexism and zenophobia supported on their forum. I cannot morally support an organization that would give a wink and a smile at the sort of hateful, divisive comments expressed on their site.
If you hate Muslims, think Obama is a communist and believe women shouldn't have access to healthcare then Baker Creek is the perfect company for you. If you have different opinions then perhaps you should spend some time in the Politics of Food forum before placing an order.
I would like 2 say I tried handling this thru the company,but they didn't respond. I purchsed seed from them last season and was impressed by the expensive high quality seed catalog & the fancy seed pkts. However, that is were my favor ended. Several of the seed didn't EVER( after a green house & two seperate planting attempts) NEVER came up. Some things just wound up being greenery in my garden-they never produced anything. I followed the directions & made several tries to grow their seeds. I even waited to pass judgement until the entire season was over,giving them every chance. I emailed them the other day and have not had any response, so be warned...you may get your seed, they may look nice in the pkt.-BUT good luck you have probably purchased some expensive greenery for your garden-if it comes up. Beware!
On Jan 7, 2012, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Jan 9, 2012 6:14 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry that you had a problem with your plants making fruit. I've tried to find an email from any of our customers in your town, but can't seem to find anything. If you could email seeds@rareseeds dot come, and put ATTN: Lisa in the subject line, we would be more than happy to work with you by either replacing the seed, or giving you a refund."
On Dec 11, 2011, itsjustme Cottage Grove, OR wrote:
I ordered all my seeds from Baker Creek, and I was greatly disappointed with the germination rates. It took a whole package of chard seeds, for example, to get just a few plants. It's too bad, because I love the catalog and I love their view about charity. I really WANT to support the company. But how can I when the seeds are bad?
On Dec 11, 2011, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Jan 5, 2012 12:01 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We apologize for any problems you had with the seed you received from us! There are many reasons why a seed doesn't germinate, but we do offer a guarantee. Just give us a call, or send us an email, and we'll be happy to replace the seed, or give you a refund."
On Oct 23, 2011, stormygace kure beach, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I have purchased from Baker Creek for 2 years & will not again. I find their need to insert political views (which are saccharinely naive and concomitantly offensive) in their beautiful but overblown catalogue (much in the style of the one Elaine worked in Seinfeld) not something I am willing to support with my pocketbook. Thee are simply too many other purveyors of wonderful varieties which germinate better & grow true to descriptions to be bothered with the breathless nutjobs at BC. FTR - a dear friend who was raised in Iraq & got his degree in agricultural engineering there laughed & laughed when I showed him the little tale associated with Rouge D'Irak - utter fiction; to what end? What tripe.
Customer Service has been horrible. First of all last year I ordered Black Cherry Tomato and what came out of the ground was not Black Cherry Tomatoes. When I called customer service they did nothing to correct or acknowledge their mistake. Second this years order was 2 weeks late. I called customer service and was told I had not paid for items and that was why they did not ship. This was impossible since I had a gift cert. that I used and the web site kept telling me that my shipment was pending. Next when I got my order today it was not correct. I received Riesentraube tomatoes instead of what I ordered which was Reisetomate tomatoes which are now out of stock due to the delay in shipment. I could go on about my crop last year and the customer service I received.
On Feb 16, 2011, backwoodsfarm Eminence, MO wrote:
We bought seeds from Baker Creek when they first started... Our original purchase had issues with germination/bugs in packet, and we never bought seeds from them again. Several years later we decided to give 'em another chance (as they have such a diverse collection of seed varieties available in their lovely catalog). But once again, it's not about the beautiful catalog, it's about "the seeds". We ordered early and after planting several packets of tomatoes in advance (in a climate controlled area for early germination as we always do every year quite successfully) most seeds did not sprout at all. Seeds which we purchased from other seed companies are (& they were all grown side by side)... Currently I have sweet peppers & etc several inches in height and no tomatoes. Let's just say that my family and I are quite disappointed, and will not be buying from them again. Seed companies sell seeds, which are suppose to be fresh/germinate... sadly we give them a "negative" rating as our experience with their seeds was a failure.
On a positive note they apologized and gave us a refund, but we are still late with our garden starts/not willing to go through this again as we live off of our garden (self reliant) and need to get the maximum from our yearly gardening season.
Like they say "early bird gets the (worm) vegetables".... more like bad seed, wasted time & a refund. : (
For the past four years I've ordered from Baker Creek with mixed results. They are frequently out of what I order, the germination rates have been poor on many seeds, and the customer service is, as people have written, "snarky". Because of shortfalls with BC, two years ago I started rounding out my orders from Seed Savers. This was when I fully appreciated the difference in germination rates. Seed Savers has a readily available selection seeds, quick turnaround, and great customer service by pleasant people who answer the phone.
This year I ordered from Seed Savers first and was going to use Baker Creek to round out my order. I went to BCs site to find they weren't taking orders over the holiday. When I was able to order on line, many of the things I wanted weren't on the system and the turnaround jumped to 35 days. The reason given for the long turnaround is because of high demand and being a family owned business. This shouldn't be something unanticipated. This is high demand time for seeds and it makes logical sense you would hire part time or temp workers to round out your business model during this time period.
I gave up on BC and went back to Seed Savers to order the rest of my seeds for the season. I'll have them next week. They may not have been as interesting as the ones I thought I was going to buy from Baker Creek (which some ended up being unavailable), but they meet my needs.
On Jan 9, 2011, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
On Jan 12, 2011 9:48 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"All orders are currently taking a minimum 35 business days to process . (Credit cards will not be charged until order ships) Please keep this in mind before placing your order. We realize the importance of customers knowing how long it will be before their orders are shipped, so we feel it necessary to inform you of this detail before placing an order.
We are a small, family run seed-house - not a large corporation - and all work is done by family members. We are working 7 days a week, with 15 hour days, striving to fulfill orders, so your patience at this time is appreciated.
All orders will be processed in the sequence they are received. Sorry, we cannot expedite orders at the present time.
We appreciate your business, and thank you for helping to preserve our heritage.
Your friends at Heirloom Seeds"
We, on the other hand, have never run a 35 day turn around. So, please check your records, and if you find the problem seeds did come from us, let us know and we'll refund or replace them at your option.
While I've been a customer for a few years I won't be buying from Baker Creek in the future because of the shocking wickedness and insanity displayed, defended, protected on their Idig forums. The world is going to end because Obama is the anti-Christ, did you know that? Black helicopters and chemtrails will be our undoing. Violence against women is completely justified if they're Liberal. Hatred of blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, the weak and disabled, anyone who isn't the correct kind of fringe nutcase Christian, and anyone who works in government are all not so subtly enmeshed in fancy looking words and phrases and spewed as if it were valid opinion and not just sick people looking for attention and someone to hurt. Frankly if you're not sharp enough to see how this is intolerable then you don't need my money, you need a kick upside the head.
On Nov 23, 2010, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Nov 23, 2010 2:42 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry to hear that you would stop doing business with us based on what some folks posted on our forum, iDigmyGarden.com. Posts there are made by members and do not necessarily reflect Baker Creek policy or positions.
We try to encourage all political viewpoints on our forum because we believe in freedom of expression, within reasonable restraints. Our customers run the gamut politically. We find that, on our forum and at our monthly festivals, these folks tend to get along pretty well most of the time despite the divergence of opinion. Very little "kicking upside the head" usually.
We're sorry that doesn't work for you. But thank you for your patronage."
On Aug 16, 2010, BlackSpruce Elizabethtown, NY wrote:
Needless to say after my experience this past January I am very surprised to read all those compliments about Baker Creek. We do have an about 2000 sqft vegetable garden near Lake Champlain (NY) that, year after year, does very well thanks to a mix of great top soil over sand and goat manure. This past winter reading about Baker Creek we requested their catalogue and charmed by its appearance and choice of seeds we ordered (January 6) 36 packages of various seeds. The seeds were delivered promptly with a typed note at the bottom comments box “out of stock: RB104, EG110, EE101, SC103, WM 129 thanks for ordering, happy planting” and a hand written “Thank you, Rhonda”. Since we had ordered so early I called to inquire about having so early in the season almost 15% of their products out of stock and was told all the ones I had ordered and many mores had never been available due to bad crops but too late to have them removed from the catalogue. I had to call twice to get the refund when the check finally came it was not signed, so I called again and soon received a signed check ($12.50). Well even though it was disappointed not to have all the seeds we had ordered it does happen occasionally with other mail orders company even if not in that high a percentage. I should mention too that the packaging was certainly not in par with the beautiful catalogue but there again we figured it was due to their success and did not stopped us from planting! Sadly that was not the end of our troubles as the germination of some seeds was very poor and a few others were certainly not what was advertized on the package. Every year we do order as well from Fedco, Johnny’ Selected Seeds and John Scheepers, and have never encountered problems with seeds germination and/or mislabelling of that magnitude, good thing that still a sizeable portion of our seeds came from them this year as it would have otherwise been a depressing gardening year.
As the saying goes it was too good to be true...
On Aug 16, 2010, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
"On Aug 22, 2010 11:37 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
So sorry to hear about all your problems getting and germinating our seeds, it is are goal to have the best service and seeds, but we sometimes make mistakes.
I hope we can help make it right.
Please call 866-OLDSEED or 417-924-8917
for a refund.
On Aug 20, 2009, smartparts000 Santa Rosa, CA wrote:
Lack of Information ! Lack of Help
I would consider my self an amateur Gardner with experience in citrus, herbs, & bonsai with some formal education from college level course in botany & horticulture.
I herd of this new seed bank a deiced to give them a call. I live an hour away and my time to me is just as valuable as your time to you.
First off it was impossible for me to find the number to the Petaluma Location. Google Maps couldn't even retrieve an address let alone a phone number. Yellow pages was also unable to locate a phone number let alone the business. I had to do research on Baker Seed Heirloom to acquire a phone number for a Missouri location so that i could find the number for the California location.
Finally as i call in i am poorly greeted by an older lady. I begin to share my experience recommending they update their contact info as this may be interfering with business. She mentioned quickly she just got a cash register, but was short on time for me. I replied with "i am a customer and am interested in some herbs & spices, including citrus & more specifically oranges, seeds versus grafting." She invited me to come down and take a look, i commented by taking her up on her offer but would like to know quickly about the oranges so as not to waste a trip. Her final comment before she disconnected my call "Im busy come down and take a look" CLICK !
I'm afraid i wont be taking them on their offer to visit their location and would much rather visit a nursery or make my purchase online. They say it takes 10 perfect transactions to take 1 customer from Brand Assassin (sharing dislike of the company) to Brand Loyal ( praise for the company). However for every 1 brand assassin, he will more than likely recruit another 10 by sharing his experiences with his family & friends.
Not to be cliche... All it takes is 1 bad apple...
On Aug 20, 2009, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
So sorry for your poor experience with our new store, sorry about the service, I am sad to hear you were treated poorly and we are working to fix any prolems like this. But we no nothing about citrus trees, grafting and bonsai, we are a heirloom seed company, not a orchard or tree specialist, so I suggest contacting some one in the line of work.
We only do seeds, like vegetables, flowers and herbs.
I work with a woman in New York who opened a gardening boutique this past year. We would love to carry a really amazing seed company in the shop so we did some research and bought from a few companies with outstanding reputations. Baker Creek was one of these "outstanding" companies. I've been gardening from a very young age and although I don't consider myself to be an expert, I feel that I've had enough experience growing vegetables from seed to be able to tell a good seed from a bad seed. I ordered about 15 different varieties of herbs and vegetables and the only seed that even germinated was a green pepper that grew to about one inch and never got any larger. I was pretty upset with the results and certainly won't be ordering from them again. Needless to say, we will not be ordering the seeds for our new shop either.
On Aug 14, 2009, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
So sorry to hear about the poor results, please note these are not normal, but a lot of things can happen to little seeds from the time they leave our place until they are planted, and some times they are damaged in shipping.
So sorry! all our seeds meet federal standards when they leave are place, so it is sad to hear when they dont work out. I know that is so disappointing!
On May 16, 2009, wolfmanJack2009 Manchester, TN wrote:
I am very disappointed at the quality of their seed. EVERYTHING I ordered from them either did not sprout, or just plain dampened off and died. I've been gardening for a long time, and this is the first time I've ever had this much difficulty. I had no problem with the seed purchased elsewhere.
On May 16, 2009, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
I enjoyed the catalog, they have a great selection of seeds that I haven't found anywhere else. Prices and cost of shipping is very reasonable.
I ordered my seeds, after reading such great things from this company, via mail, knowing that it may take a little longer, but I had no problem with that. I had checked online to make sure that nothing I ordered was out of stock. A week after I mailed my order, the check I had sent along with my order was cashed.
Two weeks later, I had still not received my order, so I called BC to confirm if my order had been sent or not. The person I spoke to said that she "couldn't find" my order and that it must be "lost" somewhere. My order had been lost, despite my check being cashed two weeks ago. I offered to mail back a copy of my order form and a copy of the cashed check and explain the situation. She said that would be fine, and we hung up. No apology was offered.
I mailed all the information they needed the next day, along with my address and phone number. A few days later, I received a phone call from BC that told me they received my order again and that they would be sending it soon. I asked, out of curiosity, if anything had gone out of stock since I first sent my order. The man listed about 5 items that I would not be receiving. I was slightly disappointed, but these were items I could live without. No apology was offered.
I did receive my order a few days later (a MONTH after I initially mailed my order form and check, three weeks after my check was cashed), along with a check. Both my first name and last name were misspelled on this check, despite the fact that I had clearly written my name in all capital letters on both my order form and the letter I sent to them. (Please note: This merely an annoyance on top of everything else. Had everything gone right, I would have shrugged it off.) I went through my order to make sure nothing was missing. On the receipt, the items that the man had listed were crossed out, but as I was going through the order I noticed additional things missing (these were items I REALLY DID want). The refund check was written for the full amount of the missing items. Of the 30 or so items I ordered, I wound up not receiving 10 of them.
I checked their website to verify that all these items were out of stock, but they were all listed as available for purchase on their website. I called to verify that these things were actually out of stock and not just a mistake. The person I talked to did verify that these were things that have been out of stock and claimed that there were only 1 or 2 people who could update their website, but she assured me the website was updated regularly. Again, no apology was offered.
While others claim to have received notes of apology for a slight lateness of their order, I have received no apology the four times I've been in contact with them regarding my "lost" order. They lost my order, which caused it to arrive WEEKS late, and now the items that I am missing are out of stock nearly everywhere else. Even now, over a month later, these "missing" items are still listed as available on their website.
Germination rates are good, but many of their seed packets do not have any planting instructions on them, and the ones that do are not variety specific. It appears that the same description is used for all varieties of "tomatoes" or "squash", etc. You must seek out the planting instructions elsewhere.
I am hoping this is an isolated incident and I am willing to give them another shot next year. (I thought I ordered pretty early this year, but will try to order even earlier next year, I guess.) But as of now, I have to say that this has not been a positive experience.
On Apr 11, 2009, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
So sorry so much went wrong with your order, we were very understaffed much of this last Winter due to a huge volume of orders, (Double normal volumes) and our regular staff was really streched thin, we had to add on lots of last minute help.
We are working very hard this summer, so hopefully this won't happen again!
I want to tell you how sorry we all feel and offer you a full refund, call us a 866-OLDSEED
I also did not find out they were out of 2 products I wanted until I opened my mail, found a five dollar bill stapled to my invoice and had to sort through the other packets to find out what was missing. There was no email, no note on the invoice, nothing. I wish they would have told me, so I could have immediately ordered these two varieties from somewhere else.
Their descriptions are over blown. The tasty melons were horrible. But more important they sent my seed to my deep freeze unused mailbox, instead of my PO Box, even after I specifically asked them not to.
Customer service tried to convince me frozen squash seed is a good thing and it was my fault.....
On Feb 17, 2007, lazysfarm Bruner, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have known Jeremia since before he even had a seed catalog and he was selling seeds at a local swap meet. As his company has grown I feel he has grown away from what he started as.
He seems to focus more on music and entertainment and charging fees to attend his events.
He does not provide enough info on when ,how ,where to grow most of his seeds,and I have had several different seeds that either did not grow or was the wrong type all together.
Jeremia please remember why you started selling seeds and sell good seeds for a fair price. Also do away with the addmision price to your spring and fall festivals and I for one would come back and give you another chance to earn my business back..
On Feb 17, 2007, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
On Feb 20, 2007 12:36 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. added:
Good to hear from you, I am sorry you feel we have changed directions... But let me point out, we are now preserving over 10 times as many seeds as when we started. Which is the goal of our company.
Sorry you don't like the $2-$3 gate fee's at our Festivals, but let me point out, customers are welcome to shop at the store the rest the year with out a fee...
Also, yes we use the gate fee's to pay speaker's, portapotties and yes, entertainment, etc.
Also let me point out, what other garden event of our size lets you in for a couple bucks?
On Feb 7, 2007, stellaps Boise, ID (Zone 6a) wrote:
My order arrived on January 31 minus 2 seed pkgs which a note stated were out of stock until February. Stapled to the note were 4 one dollar bills - my refund. Since Baker Creek must be ordered via postal service and charges $2.50 shipping per order I will not re-order these seeds. Why could they not have simply marked them "back-ordered" and sent them when they arrived?
On Feb 7, 2007, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
On Feb 7, 2007 2:32 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. added:
Since most customers prefer a refund to back orders that is why we refund you when we are out of stock on an item. Also we try to keep our shipping costs about half of other companies in order to make it easier to reorder, also if any one wants back orders they can say so on the order form."
2006 Feb,I ordered some disease resist American Melons seeds.
But they sent me very very OLD melon seeds.Shell of these seeds are very dark color. Of course No seed was germinated ,except only one Edist 47, but soonly after rotted.Seeds are too old to germinate.
As to disease resist melons ,Baker Creek Seeds has very dark personality.
In my experience, this company does not support the products they sell.
A variety of tomato that I purchased for the 2005 growing season grew out to be (obviously) wrong. I contacted them 3 times (with photos) over the span of 3 months advising them of the situation and soliciting feedback, and never got any response.
I understand that mix-ups, cross pollinations, etc. happen, and are part of the gardening business. What I find unforgivable is a complete lack of customer support. Perhaps this was a unique case, but I believe a seed company, like any other company, is accountable for the product sell. This one has lost my buisness.
On Oct 4, 2005, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
On Oct 24, 2005 11:11 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. added:
We answer email in 2-3 days, generally.
I believe we never received it, our spam gard blocks messages with photos most of the time,
If you like call our 1-866-OLDSEED toll-free number and we would love to find out where we messed up!
We would love to have you back, but if not please support other heirloom companies, as they all need help to keep preserving rare seeds.
Thanks for letting us know, but please let us know by phone,
Well regading are seed order to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. we are very very un-happy in Dec 2003 we did place are first order with Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. and then in the spring of 2004 we did place three more seed orders and it did go from bad to very bad.
We are a small commerical growers of Heirloom vegies and have been doing it for years!
Well in the seeds that was shipped to us in Dec 2003 they where old seeds and did not sprout.
The three shippments in the spring of 2004 where not packed right for shippment in the US mail and the seeds where crushed. When we did contact Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. we where told at that time the seeds that we had ordered and where interested in planting as are cash crop 2004 where all sold out!
Of the un crushed seeds that we planted none of them did sprout!
There was one rare mellon that we where the mosted interested and did spend lots of time and money and they did not sprout at all.
It does look to us that Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. spends more time and effort in Publishing than they do in the seed production and seed handling!
All four seed orders where not packed right for shippment!
We will never order seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. again!
On Sep 5, 2004, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
I wish this dear person would return the seeds for a refund if this info is correct.
Your postmaster must be popping all the bubbles in are mailers, and for that we are sorry.
Why would you keep getting "ripped off" four (4!) times, I would not repeat order 4 times if I kept getting crushed seeds?
We offer refunds on all seeds that fail to sprout for up to 1 year.
Please know that I would not have taken the time to write this negitive comment had I not already tried to work out my complaint with baker rare seed company. A lenghthy e-mail was sent explaining the proplems we exsperenced apon recieving our order as well as some positive points . But their response was curt and only addressed one of our concerns bacause they new they were looking at heavy fines concerns First may I say they Have a lot of desireable seeds in their catalog both hard copy and on the web . unfortunately the ones that draw you to their sight are sold out eight of the sixteen seeds I logged on to purchase were sold out on the web site. one of the ones I ordered that was not sold out turned out to be sold out when I recieved my order . In its place I recieved a credit slip which is Illegle and subject to heavy fines from the credit card company used. They are required to refund back to the card this shows a certain underhanded way of doing bissiness requiring me to requist that it be applied back to my credit card. secoundly the seeds arrived in a ' thin ' manilla envelope with a fragile sticker that was stronger then the envelope it was of course riped halfway open and crumpled by the post office I nicely suggested they change to reinforced envelope and up the shipping cost five cents to this they made no reply. the seed packets themselves were sealed with a small strip of tape some "two" of them had come open and I dont how much seed I lost but some were floating around loose in manilla envelope which as I said was torn nearly in half. when I recieved my confirmation order e-mail It didnt show my order inventory I recieved seeds I didn't order in place of seeds that I had ordered. they then produced for me a "copy" of my odor. which did not match my handwritten one that I had made from their hard catalog Their may be some confusion here on my part because I continualy had to make alternate selection as they were seemingly always sold out. The old crocery store trick " big sign in window steak 50 cents apound then when you pull in their lot and find a parking place and walk through the rain to get some of this cheap steak they are always sold out even though the sign went up as you were driving by" also the seed catalog nomenclature doesnt correspond between catalogs or even the seed packets themselves some seed packets had machine printed sticky labels and were legible others were wriitten in scrathy pen and nearly illegible all in all Ive spent about nighty dollars on seed this season and of that I was only screwed out of Fourteen of them all by BAKER RARE SEED I hope they read this and realize that their are people that will take the time to warn their fellow gardeners of companies that are shoddely ran. thankyou for your time! Loren Rogers, Mossy Bottom Truck farm