This is the first time I've ordered from this company although I've received their catalog for years. I ordered Algoflash and Stowell's Evergreen sweet corn. My order arrived within about six days, so I have no complaints.
As a child, back in the 50's, I remember looking through my grandparent's Shumway catalog. Today, like a child, I enjoy getting that new Shumway catalog every year. I continue to place orders, and the seeds I get have been producing blue ribbon-winning champions at the county fair. I have over 100 first place ribbons and a couple of "best of show" awards.
On Nov 12, 2012, SeniorGardening Sullivan, IN wrote:
I think it’s 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.
We’ve used R.H. Shumay as a seed supplier for over twenty years, starting back in our farming years in the 1980s when the old Shumways still sold Reid’s Yellow Dent field corn and annual hog pasture mix. The company has gone through some hard times over the years, being moved and sold. When they became a part of the Jung Seed conglomerate, I feared their seed quality might suffer, but it appears not to.
We’ve made only one claim with Shumway over the years...for some dead sweet potato plants we received from their supplier. Since it was already late in the season, I declined a replacement shipment and my credit card was promptly credited.
I enjoy Shumway’s “retro” catalog of woodcut illustrations. I especially like that they continue to carry hard to find varieties such as Eclipse peas.
Posted on April 19, 2011, updated September 2, 2011
Posted on February 3, 2011, updated April 19, 2011
I ordered seeds and plants on Jan 21 and received the seeds today Feb 3. I expect the plants in the spring. My order is complete, the seed seems to be in good condition and plentiful, and I had no problem with the website.
Speaking of, the reason I finally decided to order from these folks was that they have an online garden planner. (Perhaps this seems silly, but I have been having problems planning out the amount of seed and plants needed a specific area. As carefully as I tried I always had too may or too few for the bed I laid out. So I tried something new.) I had been Googling for such a thing, but could not find one that was actually helpful, as opposed to a drawing program with cute vegetable icons. As it turns out, the planner is a 3rd party package that can be accessed directly, but I credit RHS for making it available to me, so I wanted to reward them with my business. The planner comes with a free trial and I highly recommend it.
The other factor here was the promise of 5 free seed packets with my order. Free is our friend, right? I'm not sure in this case. All of the free items are nameless - labeled only as the vegetable name with "Experimental Hybrid Variety" underneath. OK, I know hybrids aren't necessarily evil, but I would not have bought any such thing on my own. We'll see what happens.
I also ordered my plants here because they were having a screaming deal on Gooseberries and Currants. So far so good - I look forward to receiving my plants.
On April 19th, 2011, suzy_qu3 added the following:
I received my berry bushes today. They were well packaged and full of life. (They have started to send our leaves and shoots.) The seeds I started indoors turned out quite well. i am very happy with this order. The garden planner continues to be a valuable resource.On September 2nd, 2011, suzy_qu3 added the following:
Two of the currant bushes ended up not making it. I emailed the company and they replied the next day. The sent out a credit voucher since it was too late in the year for a replacement. The other plants did well.
On Aug 9, 2011, paradacrades Hilliard, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
RH Shumway is a great company to do business with. Their seed prices are very reasonable, and seeds are of high quality. Shumway is one of only two mail order seed catalogs I order from, Jung being the other. Both are great companies, and I plan on ordering from them both for many more years to come.
I ordered seeds and 1 Hazelnut tree, plus 2 herb plants. I received all in a timely manner. The tree was a very nice size. One plant was damaged to the point it didn't live. I contacted them, and in a very short time they sent me a new one. I highly recommend this company.
Posted on March 18, 2009, updated March 14, 2011
I have ordered from them for several years and been pleased. This year I ordered online and had the seeds in hand 8 days later. My kind of service. There was one packet on backorder--the one I count on them to have since the seeds are hard to find. Hope to see the seeds soon. Will let you know about germination.
On March 14th, 2011, lilygrandma added the following:
Recieved all seeds 8 days after ordering, including some experimental seeds I cannot wait to try!
Posted on February 16, 2011, updated March 8, 2011
I ordered approx. 20 different seeds on Friday Feb. 4th, received them on Tuesday Feb. 15th - that includes 2 weekends, so I thought shipping was very quick. The garden planner they have available on site has a wonderful "when to plant" feature for my zone!! My BIGGEST screw-up in gardening has always been when to start seeds, when to transplant, what works in my area, etc. ....my timing is ALWAYS off. I really love the planner - I drug one of each seed I got onto a mock-up garden, clicked the "all plants" feature", and got a listing by month for every single plant as to when to seed inside, when to start hardening off, when to transplant....VERY helpful for an amateur garden piddler like me! Between the fast service, the online planner, and the help on each online item, I am going to have to work VERY hard to screw up my timing this year!!
No seeds in pots yet, so I can't speak for germination, but VERY well pleased with this company so far!
On March 8th, 2011, shushine added the following:
Update: as of today (March 8), have to say I am WELL pleased with germination rates on at least the herb portion of my order....even on seeds noted on the package from R.H. Shumway that germination may be low!! I have started chives, oregano, basil, "mini" bush basil, chamomile, ROSEMARY and STEVIA.....(those two both notoriously bad to start from seed).
I started all in Jiffy Pot plugs in a sunny window at my work, 2 72-pod trays, so I can hand out herbs to all my co-workers as we do every year. I was hoping to get one good rosemary and was praying for 1 Stevia out of the 10 seeds I received, and of course intended to keep those for myself :-).
EVERY POD BUT 8 IS GROWING, and growing well!!! 8 out of 10 Stevia?? WOW! And the rosemary has 6 out of 18 pods that have not sprouted, but I'll take a 70% germination rate any day - I can NOT get rosemary to start from seed, and REFUSE to just buy a plant out of stubborn principal!! LOL!!!!
I also have started the artichokes, and this week will start peppers, tomatos, beans, peas, squash, pumpkins, and melons.........will get back on them.
So far I have to say I am EXTREMELY pleased with R.H. Shumway!
I'm really impressed with Shumway's. I placed my order (seeds & merchandise) on the 28th of Dec. and received the total order in great condition on the 31st. I would be hard pressed to find another company that has their merchandise packed and delivered in 3 days without extra charges!
They also sent 5 packs (for ordering early) of experimental seeds to try free of charge. It doesn't get any better than this!!
Just received my order from Shumway: a jostaberry, 2 elderberries and a hops vine. The plants were packaged well and arrived in good shape. The bare root berry plants are all very healthy and if anything goes wrong it will be my fault. I would order from them again.
On Mar 20, 2009, cerridwenn Farmington, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:
ordered a combination of live plants, seeds and supplies this year. have not ordered from this company before. found the prices for the most part to be reasonable especially for live plants - some of the trees i want are beyond my budget but i am hoping that is because they are so large and healthy that they are worth it.
the peat pot deals are especially a bargain, and some of the vegetable processing equipment are things i have not been able to find anywhere else.
my live plants are shipping separately, i'm not sure when but will comment on their state when i get them. the seeds and supplies came very promptly. also enclosed were some "bonus" seeds which were appreciated. shipping costs were very reasonable, especially considering several other places i have ordered from.
So far so good. It's early in the season and I have not had the opportunity to plant many of the seeds I ordered yet. Our planting time is not until May. However, I started the petunia seeds inside and they germinated in 4 days. The columbine just started to germinate. The asparagus and onion startes are on backorder. They will probably not ship until planting time. I ordered from these folks last year and was very satisfied. I will post after I receive the backordered items.
I actually got my seed orders in early this year (Feb) and Shumway did their part as well! Complete order, received in one week's time...I was a bit startled at how fast I got it. Have used their seeds before and they have always given me great results! I think their catalog is cool!!
On Feb 11, 2009, mersiepoo New Freeport, PA wrote:
I have ordered seeds from them for the past several years and was always pleased with them.
I finally ordered some bush cherries from them (first live plants I ordered from them) last spring. Years ago I had gotten 3 bush cherries from another company and only 1 had survived (the other 2 got destroyed by our township. So, I needed a pollinator. I ordered 3 bush cherry plants and one patriot blueberry.
I got MONSTER cherry bushes! They were the largest ones I've ever gotten, they looked almost full grown and were the opposite of the tiny sticks I had purchased from another plant company in the past. They were very reasonably priced and even put out flowers that same year! I was extremely happy with them and would order again if I need more bush cherries. The patriot blueberry was also extremely nice, and it survived the drought we had last summer with minimal watering.
The lemongrass plant I got was very healthy as well! It's still putting out leaves in my house. It grew exponentially last summer!
I decided to give this company a try as I received a coupon to use and was very delighted at the way they package their seeds, the instructions are very easy to read and understand and they were all in order. I have since then ordered pepper plants from them and I'm expecting that they will mail those at the proper time. Will I use them again? If my pepper plants show up like I think they will and in a timely manner, definately.
On March 10th, 2009, joy112854 added the following:
I will defintely buy from RH Shumway again, and again, and again. I planted most of the seeds they sent, as this was the first time I'd tried this company, they don't scrimp on the amount of seeds they send you and they all germinated, didn't have any duds in the bunch. My plants are so beautiful too, so I would buy from this company again.
On Jun 28, 2008, ket0276 Aurora, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
I received a catalog in the mail this winter, and I was happy to see that they offer non GMO seeds, so I placed a pretty good sized order. I have been VERY impressed by the quality of the plants that I've gotten from these seeds. I will definitely be ordering from them again this winter.
After reading the feedback about Shumway I was very uneasy about my recent order. My nieghbor had given me corn seed from Shumway last year. I really liked it and place a fairly good sized order with them. I recieved 95% of my order in under 10 days with only one item backordered. I e-mailed with a question, and was e-mailed back within a few hours with the answer. I'm very pleased so far with this company and would order from them again.
All seeds and all plants are not the same, My response to R.H. Shumways is POSITIVE. This Company will answer there telephone and e-mail and make good on there products. Early in the year (2007) I ordered Rasberry's and Blackberries all but 1 did great, they promptly repaced the one that did not come up but also sent two in the place of one. No argument at all. I later ordered strawberries and received them in a timely maner and in good shape. I highly recomend this Company. Thank you and good gardening to all. Bob & Carol
On Apr 6, 2007, Vashur Wichita, KS (Zone 6b) wrote:
This was my first order from the company. I ordered onion plants and potato sets because the cost was much less than my usual source. They arrived today and they are really good looking product. I also received a generous bonus pack. I would have liked them a couple of weeks earlier but it is working out for the best anyhow because we now have unseasonably cold weather and they won't have to contend with it. I will certainly use this company for a larger order next year.
I have ordered from this company for years without any problem. They may not as flashy as some companies, but they deliver good quality seed at fair prices. I also like the fact that I can order bulk seed without spending an arm and a leg.
On Jan 21, 2007, gafbuffalo Orchard Park, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
Good, fast service on seed delivery. This company has a very nice selection of vegetable seeds, generally better than their parent, Jung, at least for what I like to grow. I've never had a problem with germination rates, either.
I ordered about 25 different varieties of seed, 20 asparagus crowns, and 8 different berry shrubs (2 blueberry, 2 lingonberry, 2 gooseberries, and 2 black currents). The seeds were shipped 2-3 weeks after I placed my order (by mail), except fava beans, which were on back order. It was down to the wire with them to get them in time for the narrow planting window, but they did make it here by the first week of March, and I got them in the ground a week later. The shrubs all arrived in one shipment in late March. We put them in the ground right away; one of the gooseberries did not sprout from the existing stems, but it did manage to send up new growth from the roots, and now all the berry bushes are looking happy. The aspargus crowns all eventually came up as well.
I received several bonus packets of "experimental" varieties, which was nice, although they should indicate what the sweetness genetics of the experimental sweet corn are, since certain hybrids shouldn't be planted with certain other hybrids.
All told, I will definitely use RH Shumway again--they have good prices on a lot of old standbys,
This was the first time I ordered from R.H. Shumway. I am so happy with my order, it was shipped very fast and everything I ordered is very good quality. I ordered rhubarb and they have to be at least 6-8 inches long and about three inches around! I also ordered walking onions (multiplyer onions) it says 10 to a package but one package has 19 and the other has 16! My mint chocolate plant is also a nice size! I am very happy with my order! I will order from them again.
So far, Shumway's has been so-so. This is my 1st time ordering from them, and they took pretty long for being such a large outfit. I ordered from 3 companies at the same time, and Shumway's delivered last (and was also the largest company). One of them was even snail mailed in versus my Shumway's order that was placed via the internet, and it still arrived before Shumway. The order was incomplete, but the backordered packet did arrive about 2 weeks later. I took a leap of faith and ordered 2 blueberry plants which are to arrive in Spring, so I am keeping the fingers crossed on that one. The good thing about Shumway is their price, they have a lot of varities at a lower cost than other catalogs I received.
On May 15th, 2006, shockme_wv added the following:
Well, my 2 blueberry plants arrived and were in good shape and since being planted (in March) they're doing very well. My rosemary seed did not germinate well (3 came up out of 24 planted) but I don't know if this is because rosemary is difficult or if the seeds were bad). I would order from Shumway's again after my experience which overall was generally positive.
On Mar 17, 2005, IslandJim Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
I placed an order for three Stevia [rebaudiana] plants from Shumway's on February 28, 2005; they arrived today, March 17, 2005. They were well packed. They arrived a bit dry, but perked up as soon as watered. I'm satisfied with what I got for what I paid. Tomorrow, if the rain stops, I will plant them out.
I have ordered from Shumway on a couple of different occasions and both times I've been quite pleased with both the speed and quality of the seeds I've bought. The prices were beyond fair according to what I've seen elsewhere on the internet, too. A big thumbs up to Shumways.
I was shocked at reading all the negative experiences with this company. I ordered from them in 2004 & my order arrived promptly & completely. I am a market farmer & it was a fairly large order, though it was all seeds, no live plants or seed potatoes. I think when you deal with a company affiliated with the Randolph, WI address, you almost HAVE to get your order in extra-early, & I would NEVER order anything but seeds from them. Course most of the other companies at this address will not ship until March or April, but Shumways claims to be the exception to this rule.
After reading all the negative remarks here I wasnt sure if i wanted to place an order with this company. However I decided to try my luck and I place a 50 plus dollar order with them. Two weeks later I had my order in hand and it was 100% complete, no back orders or out of stocks. I will use this company again in the future. All I can say is great company and great service!!!!
On Dec 4, 2003, Farmerdill Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have purchased vegetable seed from the Shumway company since the 40's. The major positive has always been their good selection of traditional open pollinated varieties. In the 60's while it was still a Shumway company located in Rockford , Illinois quality and service began to slip. On occasion mis-labeled cultivars arrived. The company name was bought and moved to Graniteville SC and during the 90's I bought a lot of seed from them. Again the attraction of older cultivars that are difficult to find and the fact that I could go down to the warehouse and buy the seeds without the mailorder hassle.( It was only 11 miles from me) Only problem was that their major supplier (Seeds By Design) which is a major player in the production of heirloom seeds has spent too little time insuring the purity of their cultivars. Since the Jungs buyout and subsequent move to Wisconsin, I hope they get their act together, but I am not holding my breath.
On January 25th, 2004, Farmerdill changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
Placed an order first week of January and was pleasantly surprised to receive complete AND correct order within a week. This was for seeds only. They use to drop ship plants and garden supplies so many problems could have been with contract shippers. At any rate the Jung people show signs of getting the company in order so I have go positive. Downside is that they seem to be phasing out many of the vegetable varieties that drew mw to them in the first place.
Whenever I use a new supplier, I tend to order small, which is what I did this year. Ordered seeds and three elephant ear bulbs. The elephant ears were only 3 for 12.00, much more reasonable than other sources and they are magnificent!!!
Yes, my order did come in three shipments, but to be honest, I received all in a timely fashion and with explanation.
I notice that most of the negative comments about this company are from past years. This year (2003), I ordered several items from R.H. Shumway, including seed potatoes and vegetable seeds. All except two backordered items arrived promptly and in good condition, and even those two still arrived in time for normal planting. I think these guys deserve a chance!