I was excited to find this company, and ordered 6 varieties of tomatoes in 2012. Of those 6 varieties, 3 had poor germination, not terrible, but 20%. Of the 7 companies I ordered from, and the 60 varieties I grew, only Cherrygal had an equally abysmal germination. I germinated Sow Organic tomato seeds from 2006 in the same tray.
After the biggest healthiest seedlings of each variety were planted, 2 varieties created fruit that was niether close to the description, nor similar to the same variety purchased from Baker, Territorial, Totally Tomato, or TomatoFest. I did not contact the company, as it isn't worth the time at that point in the season, and it could be that their varieties are more authentic then the same varieties I get from the other companies.
But, I don't care for surprises. I want the plants to produce canners when I plant canners and have red fruit when I plant a red fruited tomato, not yellow. And to have only 2 seedlings to choose from, out of 10 is dicey. So, I am dropping them this year. To be fair, I only tried them the one year, along with tomatofest, but Tomatofest was great, so I am dumping JL. I also wanted to post so others with similar outcomes would not think it was "just them". Still a neat sounding company, just not something I have time for now, nor would I recommend to gardeners that are tight for space and time, and are depending on every plant.
On Jan 6, 2013, J.L. Hudson, Seedsman responded with:
We are trying to track down your order for tomato seeds that you referenced in your rating of us, but we can find no one in your town who ordered 6 packets of tomato seed in 2012. The only person we can find in your town only ordered 3 packets of tomato seed. Please let us know your name and address, so that we can track down your order. We need this so that we can check the specific varieties you ordered, so that if there is a problem with any of them, we can prevent others from being disappointed. By federal law, vegetable seed must be tested for germination on a regular basis, and all of the tomato seeds we distribute have been tested, and are above the federal standard of 75%. Thanks!"
Posted on March 22, 2007, updated December 11, 2012
Probably the most experienced seedspeople currently working in the US. JLH tests every lot of seed that comes through their facility and makes sure viable material is being sent out. Their Phalaris seed came up in 4 days--the fastest germinator I tested this year. The several complaints I see against this company at this venue appear to be attributable to the normal realities of seed planting--sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you don't--some seeds are easy, some are highly recalcitrant. I feel sorry for gardeners that get stuck in acrimonous diatribe about their failures. Surely they have been mistreated somewhere along the line, but projecting these difficulties onto well-meaning and dedicated seedspeople is inappropriate. Upset about something? Look to the garden as a salve, not a battleground--give the gentle seedspeople a break, plant a different seed, listen to the birds, and concentrate your attentions on all the things that did grow, and make them beautiful--you will have plenty to do, I expect, and get healthier and happier as you garden away your cares.
On December 11th, 2012, RichoCech added the following:
still getting seeds from JLH and the service and quality are even better than before, if that is possible
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 30, 2012
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 28, 2012
Posted on November 28, 2012, updated November 28, 2012
Sold me 1/10 of a gram of GA-3 costed $4 + $4.50 for shipping???? Must be a big 1/10th of a gram Will go to seller basinseed on ebay next time.
They brag about the cheap GA-3 they got from China and at the same time they brag about how their stuff is the best and their the first to sell it,
On November 28th, 2012, DrBud changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On November 28th, 2012, DrBud added the following:
I have to say the service is good and at least you can be sure their GA3 is real and they have a good selection of seeds. I don't find it inconvenient to pay with paypal is easy and you don't have to worry about getting ripped off so thanks JL. Hudson Seedsman On November 30th, 2012, DrBud added the following:
I stated the shipping was too much this is incorrect that was my own fault they quickly refunded me. Hudson's Shipping is very reasonable and fast plus you get free instructions included, had to add this because davesgarden staff will not erase my original feedback above please pay no attention to my first feedback please if you are considering purchasing from them
Posted on April 30, 2012, updated September 19, 2012
I've ordered from J. L. Hudson several times over the last four years and have always been very satisfied with the seed and their service. If only all businesses were as well-run! The seeds do well, the catalog is very informative and the response time is quite reasonable. I hope to be buying seeds from them for many more years!
On September 19th, 2012, crabmeat added the following:
After several years and more purchases made from J. L. Hudson, I still am very happy with their product and their customer service. I've never had a problem with them and have found seeds on their site that I haven't found anywhere else. May they continue their good work!
Posted on February 21, 2012, updated July 20, 2012
Very professional. Acknowledged the order next business day. Fast turn around from order to shipping. Notified me when seeds were shipped. Quick delivery. Only time will tell on germination & growth!
On July 20th, 2012, MAINE_CAL added the following:
There were supposed to be 15 seeds. Instead of 15 seeds, there were well over 50 seeds! I started the seeds. 39 sprouted, 38 made it through the transplanting. They will overwinter submerged in their little pots in my veggie garden 'til next year. I was very pleased. Now, to find enough places to plant them next year!
It really has been a great experience to do business with J.L.Hudson. I wish every company would handle their businesses like they do. Decent shipping rates and outstanding communication. I will order again.
On Jun 26, 2012, tzei_yang Denton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I found this seller through the Garden Watchdog. J.L. Hudson carries a wide variety of seeds, gives generous amounts of seeds per packet, and asks for minimal shipping fees, so I gave them my business. I received prompt service: e-mailed and paid Wednesday morning, sent seeds Friday, and got them the mailbox by the following Monday.
You do have to keep track of the packets you want and also calculate the total price yourself. This can be an easier process if you use some sort of spreadsheet software to do the work.
Make sure to request a copy of their printed seed catalog for free with your order. It has their whole catalog in printed form and is worth the price of the postage and packing.
On Jun 23, 2012, blumenlieber vancouver, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on July 12, 2011, updated June 23, 2012
Long time catalogue peruser, first time customer. What was i waiting for? Wonderful selection of the ordinary and extraordinary, lots of helpful and interesting info. Great value, easy ordering process, quick delivery. Next to nothing for shipping. Thank you. I'll be back for more.
On June 23rd, 2012, blumenlieber added the following:
Excellent germination on all seeds. I'll be back for more. Thank you so much JLH!
I have always had great experiences when ordering from J.L.Hudson. The order process is easy, particularly since I can order and pay the same afternoon using my Paypal account. Hudson seems to get some of the best varieties, and even some of the really rare stuff. And unlike too many online seed providers, Hudson's seeds are always fresh and viable. I could not ask for a better experience than J. L. Hudson seed orders. It is the number one seed source online.
I have been a happy customer of JL Hudson for 20+ years. The one time I had a question about how a plant was performing, he sent me a handwritten letter with helpful suggestions, followed by a free packet of seeds. One time my check bounced on an order because I had had to close the account suddenly (due to theft). They were very polite and sympathetic in working with me to get it straightened out.
Like one of the other reviewers, I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and go through their unique catalog. I do look at the other catalogs, too, but before I order from another company I always check the JL Hudson catalog to see if can order the same or similar seed from them because of their lower prices and exceptional customer service. Besides, I like what they do and would rather support them than some big corporation.
I have been buying from this company for many years, and am always very happy with them. They have unusual seeds that you can't find anywhere else, they ship quickly, their shipping is very reasonable, and they are a small business that communicates with their customers. On the rare occasions that there is an error in an order they immediately make it good. I highly recommend them.
On May 9, 2012, serge1966 Ellicott City, MD wrote:
I purchased Ramsons seeds from a GB seller this spring and was unable to have them germinated. Some reviews say that this plant is difficult to cultivate from seeds. Found the seeds in the J.L. Hudson list and decided to give it a try. The seeds have very high germination rate. Really happy. Also found some plants in their catalog I considered rare.
I have used this seed source for many years. I thoroughly enjoy reading the catalogs with a cup of tea. I always find interesting new plants to grow. I appreciate the very reasonable pricing and quick response to my orders. This is a really fun place to shop. Try it - you'll like it!
This company is really a gem! But if you're expecting it like your ordinary seed company, you may be disappointed (see Neutral reviews). However, their selection of some unusual plants and ease of shipping make it more than worthwhile. Sorry for the lady who had to use more than one step to order. Poor baby!
On Apr 30, 2012, chespen Neudorf, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:
I have been ordering from this company for a number of years and am very impressed with their service, their prices and their very informative catalog-I use it as a reference for lots of things from correct pronunciation to hardiness information. They are not hard to order from: fill out order form, buy money order and mail. As well, the germination rate of the seeds is very high. If there was a star rating, I would give them 10 out of 10.If you are looking for flashy pictures and flowery descriptions, this is not the company for you but it is if you are looking for excellent service and seeds.
We are installing an apiary in the next few weeks and have done lots of "home work" on what bees thrive on. Some of what I was looking for could be found on other sites but I wanted to see if there was one site that had it all. Somewhere in Googledom, I found a link to JL Hudson and I could not believe their website! Retro! But you never judge a book by its cover and once I began to forage through their garden of seeds, I was smitten. They had everything I was looking for (and some I was NOT looking for)! Seeds came today and just as I expected, in nice small typewritten (looks just like their site) envelops with great attention to detail. Will be starting these seeds off this weekend and will post results. Thank you, JL Hudson. Now I am going out to tell 10 friends!
On Apr 5, 2012, RoseyQ Crystal Lake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on December 17, 2006, updated April 5, 2012
I like this company very much.
On April 5th, 2012, RoseyQ changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
The reason why I am not ordering from them this year is becuase it's too much work to place an order. You have to send them an email with cut and pasted decriptions of what you want, the quanity and price, add it all up, figure the correct shipping fee, send them the email request, then you have to pay through PayPal. It's a two-step process. They really do make ordering alot of work for their customers and I find no other seed companies ask this of their customers in order to sell seeds.
Maybe they could look at the other top 5 companies at the Garden Watchdog and see how they recieve and process orders online.
Plentiful in seed and cordiality. I look at the pictures in T&M then go shopping at JLHudson. Great prices- Support these Majestic sons'o bitches. Real nitty gritty individually owned buisness breakin' sweat. Delivery?... All the express none of the ponies-they put the horsepower in hot rod's & cold ones. Love'M
On Mar 19, 2012, lawyer3145 vancouver, BC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I have only been ordering from J L Hudson for a few years but I must agree with everyone else: the selection is wonderful, the service rapid, the seeds of high quality, and the prices low - so low that I hope they can stay in business. And my children love the catalogue, getting a feel for old tyme anarchism.
On Mar 16, 2012, dwc47 Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on April 22, 2010, updated March 16, 2012
I have bought seeds here for many years now. Seeds have always been fresh and viable and the quantity received very generous for the low price paid. Read the catalog thoroughly, and you will find a refreshingly honest view of exotics vs. natives.
On March 16th, 2012, dwc47 added the following:
Last year I had some problems with germination of the Fatsia japonica offered. I sent a short note to David, not really as a complaint, but more of a fyi. I didn't expect anything, but a year later he sent me 2 packets of new seed, and I have already gotten germination in about 9 days. I have never received this level of service from any other seed company! I offer my highest recommendation for David and for Ms. Calkins.
Just an amazing catalog both online and print.
I'm glad to find some use for the Latin classes I took back in the day!
I can't see how they break even with the shipping fees they charge, not complaining just very appreciative dealing with a company who doesn't gouge you at the checkout.
I have been exuberantly ordering from J L Hudson Seedsman Catalog for countless number of years and it is one of the few that I am proud to share with my neighbors. The switch to using Paypal is another example of J L Hudson Seedsman's continuing search for excellence. I like the online for ordering and the catalog for sharing.
Orders at J L Hudson Seeds
On Feb 8, 2012, gregr18 Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Posted on August 11, 2011, updated February 8, 2012
I ordered a variety of interesting seeds from J.L.H. and they shipped my order quickly. There were detailed sowing instructions and a generous quantity of seeds in each packet. Reading the website is an education in itself, and includes some interesting and thought-provoking words about biodiversity and man's role in it. The information about GA-3 for seed germination is also a good read for anyone interested in propagation from seed.
I don't yet know about the germination rates on their seed, and I will update on that as I find out, but I expect good results considering their reputation.
On February 8th, 2012, gregr18 added the following:
Germination, even of tricky seeds, has been excellent, and just as importantly, seedlings have been healthy and putting out their true leaves. Germination times listed in their interesting (and very aesthetically pleasing) catalog have been, for me, accurate if not a little conservative, at least in the conditions in which I am sprouting them.
I really encourage anyone interested in growing from seed to try one of their GA-3 kits. The stuff couldn't be any easier to use and the results, both good (bypassing cold treatment, jump-starting slow to germinate seeds, initiating overnight germination, etc) and bad (watching over-exposed seedlings turn into little more then long spindly stems with tiny stunted cotyledons that keel over and rot) are really interesting. The good far outweighs the bad, and most of the bad results I obtained intentionally just to see what would happen.
I like this seed bank a lot, and will gladly continue to buy from them.
I ordered seeds from J.L. Hudson Seedsman after reading their feedback and must say, they are a great company to deal with. They mailed the seeds (Fatsia Japonica) to me without delay. I had requested a catalog, however, assumed it would arrive with my seeds. I had also ordered catalogs for my mother and sister, who live in another state. My seed packet directions referred me to the catalog for sowing, so when I did not have the catalog, I sent an e-mail inquiring about this, and received the following reply!
Thanks very much! I learned something - when people request catalogs for others, always include a note in their order letting them know that they were sent!
The catalog arrived a few days later, has a wealth of information, and is a pleasure to have. They are definitely up front and courteous to their customers, and have maintained their ability to be personable throughout their many years or business. I will definitely order from them again!!
Posted on August 31, 2004, updated February 3, 2012
I absolutely love this company. What a great list of seeds. Never a problem, ever!
On February 27th, 2005, chunx added the following:
I just received my Spring order of seeds. Once again, not a disappointment. Fast shipping, very low prices, dirt cheap shipping, and everything was in stock. I am always happy in my dealings with these people. If I can't find the particular seeds I'm looking for from this company (which carries a lot of unusual and native seeds), I can find them at Park Seed. These are my favorite 2 seed providers because of selection and customer service. Why go anywhere else?On February 3rd, 2012, chunx added the following:
Each year I've placed my order for seeds and they've never failed me. Excellent germination, fast shipping, no errors, and excellent customer service. See, it can be done the old fashioned way. Why? Because they care.
I have ordered for years and am always pleased. They have seeds that you won't see down at the big box. Be prepared to see things you never knew existed! I hope they never get a shopping cart system- stay small and focused and be unique. It also keeps the riff-raff from bugging you all the time! I will be back!
I found the transaction of ordering seeds to be quite satisfying. The instructions how to place a order was explained well. I even recieved an email notification when my order was shipped without even having to ask for one.
On Jan 5, 2012, JacobJacob Beverly Hills, CA wrote:
Have ordered for several years now. They have new toys for those of us too old for colorful plastic. The orders are always correct and they barely take any money for anything they do. And besides that you might as well get corn/tomatoes/okra/etc while you're ordering from them, they don't just do exotics. They like their jobs obviously. (I will slightly echo one thing someone said below, I did once suggest NZ Spinach should be marked "cook this, it's mildly poisonous raw." The guy wasn't angry, but he did say he'd never heard of that, he eats it all the time. I think he was full of manure. (Come to think of it the stuff that burned my mouth was from another seed company, maybe JLH has a breed with lower oxalic acid.) Anyway don't eat anything raw with high oxalic acid.)
On Oct 11, 2011, greybanks Staten Island, NY wrote:
Their catalog is a thing of wonder. "Produced without the use of computers!" As in typeset by hand. I think this shows dedication to doing things a certain way, and I greatly appreciate their philosophy and mission of preservation. Truly rare these days.
Service was prompt and friendly. My recent (internet) order was filled promptly and I had received it later that same week. The shipping cost is the most reasonable I've seen. Emails are answered promptly.
Their selection is very wide. I ordered mostly flowers and some vegetables, just due to the time of year it is now, but will be ordering more in the future. I've already started those from my order that don't require chilling and germination rates have been great. Overall, really delighted with these guys and will be ordering again soon once I have some more space for starts.
On Sep 16, 2011, jtellerelsberg Norwich, VT (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered seeds from J.L. Hudson twice now, and on both occasions the orders were filled correctly and promptly. I appreciate J.L. Hudson's extensive selection. It would be nice if the website were a little more user-friendly and included a bit more information on each plant, but even without those changes I am sure that I will order from J.L. Hudson again in the future.
I bought from this company a few years ago. Their catalog was easy to read and find things in, their prices were good. and delviery was prompt, that's all anyone could really expect. My only complaint was i wrote a short note inquiring about a certian speices, the owner wrote back very disturbed by my question. I'm not sure, but it sounded like he was disturbed because he felt I questioned his integrity via his products. I never wrote back explaining it was nothing personal, rather I told myself in the future if I've any questions to use google rather than ask him. His reply really did disturb me just because he was so angry, and i hadn't a clue my question would cause that kind of reaction. I'd do business with them again, but don't ever ask any questions.