Posted on July 26, 2011, updated August 1, 2011
I had ordered, among other things, strawberry spinach seeds from this company. Also ordered ground cherry seeds, bush cherry seeds and garbanzo bean seeds. Ground cherries started in flats only got an inch or so tall and died when transplanted. Garbanzos grew but hardly anything to harvest. No life from the bush cherries whatever.
But, my real story regards the strawberry spinach. What came up did not look like the pictures I had seen online, so I Emailed the company a picture. They said, yes it was strawberry spinach, just immature. However, someone else told me what I had growing from their seeds was a variety of nightshade! Bountiful Gardens insisted it was strawberry spinach. Finally, they sent me a replacement packet of seeds, which never did come up.
What it turned out to be was Wonderberry, or garden huckleberry. They finally admitted the packets "might" have been mislabelled, but insisted it wasn't their fault.
I will be ordering from somewhere else next year!
On August 1st, 2011, NewMichele changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
What a surprise! I went to our mailbox and saw that they had, without asking, refunded not only the mistake, but the entire order!
And I did follow the instructions on the bush cherries - to the letter. Soaked the seeds, refrigerated for four months and then planted.On Aug 1, 2011, Bountiful Gardens responded with:
Michelle, I am sorry the seeds didn't work out for you. When seedlings die after transplanting, or when a variety doesn't produce, it is usually due to the conditions in the garden...warmth, moisture, climate, and so on. So I can't explain what happened to your ground cherries or your garbanzos. Tree/shrub seeds like the bush cherries take some time to germinate, and since the cherries require 4 months of chilling before planting (as stated on the seed packet), and you got them in February, it hasn't really been long enough since you planted them to give up on them! I'd leave them outdoors in their pots/flats and keep them from drying out and they may yet pop up and surprise you. (Protect them from rodents, who will dig them up and eat them.)
With respect to the strawberry spinach, again I cannot explain how you got wonderberry plants. I did answer too hastily when you sent your photo...but it had been a long while since I had actually seen strawberry spinach in my own garden, as I explained to you at the time. We have never carried wonderberry seeds and have never had them on our premises at all. The lot of seeds that we sent you was from a reputable company and it is from the same lot they have been sending us since May of 2009. We have never had a similar complaint about that lot of seed. As I explained to you in a private email, the seeds of strawberry spinach do not look like the seeds of any nightshade family plants. All our seed fillers are familiar with strawberry spinach seeds. That lot of seeds that you received is definitely strawberry spinach and not a nightshade family plant. What you describe above as our "admitting that the packets might have been mislabelled" was actually this statement by me: "The only other possibility is that we mis-labeled one packet of tomatillo or ground cherry with a strawberry spinach label..." I was simply trying to suggest the only way I could imagine that you would have received a nightshade family plant instead of the strawberry spinach. But...we have done a random check of the strawberry spinach packets here and not one of them was a mis-labeled ground cherry or tomatillo. And...we still are left with the fact that there are no wonderberry seeds here and never have been!
Anyway, I am refunding your order. Mysteries abound in the garden world. But, no wonderberry seeds here. Next year perhaps you should order directly from the company that supplies us; I told you in a private email who that is. We all wish you much joy in your garden! love, Betsy/Bountiful Gardens"
I am giving them a neutral at this time though this may change later on. I ordered twice this spring
The seeds did arrive quickly 10 days and everything was there. However I have found the germination on some seeds to be quite poor. I have started several in my greenhouse. Five did great: salad burnet, french sorrel, cardoon, elcampagne and sea kale.
These did poorly: Lovage(1 seedling out of about 10 seeds planted), purslane(2 seedling out of 10), self-heal(1 out of 10). Good King Henry, strawberry spinach and lamb's quarters have not germinated at all. All these seeds have been planted for quite some time, following the directions on the packets.
I do have lots and lots of seedling coming up and doing great in my greenhouse just not these. However if things change and these seeds do sprout I will of course change my rating.
I was also surprised at the small amount of seeds in each packet but went back to the catalog and saw they did send the number stated. I will pay more attention to this next time.
On Dec 30, 2001, gone2seed Milton, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have ordered from this company several times.I am usually pleased with the service but give them only a neutral rating due to the tiny amount of seed in each packet.They do give seed amounts in the description though.