On Jan 25, 2009, CarynDalton Marysville, OH wrote:
I will try my best to remember to update my review of this company after the seeds have grown so now I am only commenting on the pre-growing experience.
Website: Extremely easy to navigate and does have a search box. Has both side and top navigation bars.
Checkout was simple and quick. They do take personal checks, money orders, VISA and Mastercard but not paypal.
Merchant Rating with BBB: I always check this before ordering online but I could not find this company. BBB keeps negative ratings even when the company has not paid the fee to be a BBB member. I purchased based upon the other reviews here on Watchdog.
Seed Selection: Their website states they have 1,200 varieties of seeds including open-pollinated and untreated vegetable seeds, unusual heirloom and hybrid annual and perennial seeds. They also carry flowering vine, savory herb, rare poppy, super sweet pea and heirloom tomato seeds.
Shipping: Super Quick and came in a standard bubble manilla envelope. Best shipping price I have ever seen at $3.95 for the whole order with a $6.00 minimum. That alone was enough to make me try this company! They did as I requested and emailed me to let me know that they had shipped my order.
Seed count for price: Fair to Generous. They do have bulk seeds available.
Product information: Good pictures of varietes, but sparse information on some that I looked at. I did have to go to other sites for more information on the varieties. There are no customer product reviews on site which would be helpful. Still, I will shop there again even though I have to work a bit to get the information I need. I would like to see more disease resistance information listed for the varieties.
The seed packets are white manilla envelopes and are written in English and dated. There is adequate sowing/growing on information on seed packs. Packs of seeds were bundled into groups with thin rubber bands within the bubble envelope.
There is not a paper catalog available that I could find.
I have ordered flower and vegetable seeds from Swallowtail for the past 3 years. Their website is simple to use and contains superb photographs. Each year, I find many unique varieties that I've never seen anywhere else. Seed germination has been excellent.
This year I placed my order in early January. A couple weeks later, I hadn't received the seeds & was champing at the bit to start my early sowing. Voila'! The very next day, an overnight express envelope arrived with my seeds! The company spent a good bit of money to get them to me this way, and I appreciate it! I've recommended Swallowtail Garden Seeds to all my fellow community gardeners.
On Aug 30, 2008, geminitrv Marshall, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered from Swallowtail Garden seeds for the first time recently. I received a nice package today, and everything looked great! There was lots of information and planting instructions on each packet. I would recommend this company and will definitely order from them again in the future. =)
I ordered a number of seeds from this company this year and found them to be wonderful seeds. They all germinated wonderfully and are growing very well. When there was a question about my shipping address for my seeds, not only did I receive several e-mails but phone calls as well. I will definately order from them again next year.
On Jun 23, 2008, rebecca101 Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered several seed packets from them this year and was very pleased. They had a great selection, reasonable prices, and fast shipping. Germination was excellent and the flowers so far have been lovely. Will definitely be back for more next year.
I have been buying seeds from Swallowtail for two years. They shipped very fast and all seeds were well packed. I have successfully grow some beautiful plants from their seeds. Will keep shopping with them.
On May 14, 2008, gardenlemur Pittsburgh, PA wrote:
I am really pleased with Swallowtail Garden Seeds. Before I ordered I sent questions via email and their response was quick and very informative. I placed my order with ease through their website and the seeds arrived promptly. They were neatly packaged and included good directions. I can tell that they really enjoy what they do and are willing to help their customers along. They have a very nice selection of seeds and I appreciate the reasonable shipping charges. I will certainly order from them again.
On May 14, 2008, bethany_in_ct Hartford, CT wrote:
This is my first time growing plants from seed, but so far I'm very happy with Swallowtail. First, I thought the website was very easy to use, and they had the best selection and info I found on the internet. Then, the seeds arrived VERY quickly after ordering, with very reasonable shipping rates. Next, the packaging was really nice--just enough packaging, nice seed packages, and seeds in convenient ziplock bags inside the paper seed packs, with wax paper packets inside those for really small seeds. I've also had great germination rates with the seeds I've planted so far--two heirloom tomatoes and foxglove (>90% on the tomatoes, harder to tell but still very good on the foxglove).
On Apr 14, 2008, Cynara Champaign, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
I've been a customer for two years, and have ordered maybe ten seed packets each year. I've been very pleased with the experience. Speedy delivery, reliable labeling, and excellent germination. I've ordered from a lot of sources, and this is the one I'm coming to trust the most.
This was my first time ordering from Swallowtail seeds. I ordered a bunch of primrose seeds (as well as others) and all but one that I opened were perfect. One of my primrose seed packets was light - so I emailed the company. WIthin 48 hours they had 1) refunded my money for the packet and 2) mailed me another one!
I've started monarda and primrose and so far, the germination rate has been really solid. I recommend this company!
On Mar 27, 2008, msonmezay Mission Hills, CA wrote:
This was my first order with Swallowtail Garden Seeds, and I am quite pleased. They really give you a generous amount of seeds! My order came quickly. Their selection of seeds is big, it was hard to choose what I wanted! I would order again next year.
On Mar 17, 2008, gemini_sage Winchester, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
This was my first order with Swallowtail Gardens, and thus far I'm quite pleased. The germination rate on the snapdragons I've sown has been excellent, and I was thrilled with the quantities of seed for such good prices. I ordered from 3 other sources on line the same day I ordered from SG, and received all of them 1-2weeks before my order from SG, so I was glad I ordered early. Considering the bulk pricing and good luck I've had with the seed so far, I don't mind getting my order in early :-)
On Feb 29, 2008, IronstoneGarden Andover, MA wrote:
Last year was my first time ordering with Swallowtail and I am very happy that I did. Their product descriptions were right on, everything (veggies and flowers) came up great – grew/looked/tasted exactly as described. Great company, great customer service...it's reassuring to know that there really is an actual “somebody there” at the other end of the internet in case something happens. I will rely on their descriptions and be a little more adventurous in my ordering this year!
I stumbled on the Swallowtail seeds website after doing a web search for a particular type of California poppy seed I couldn't find. I was very happy with the speed of their delivery and their germination rates. the flowers were just gorgeous. This year I wanted to order more, but I was unsure whether they had their 2008 seeds ready, so I emailed them and got a very prompt reply. Once again, my order was sent very quickly! I expanded my order this year beyond California Poppies, and I expect good results, based on last year's performance. Their web site is beautiful, the descriptions and pictures are accurate, and it is very easy to navigate, load, and order. They have varieties I can't find anywhere else. They are one of my favorite companies!
I ordered several packets of seeds from this company and received my order within a few days. I won't have any idea of the germination rate until next spring, but the website, ordering and order fulfillment were all great. I will do business with them again.
On Jan 19, 2008, bmuller Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
Excellent company! I've ordered from them in the past (one or two years ago) with good service, as well as good germination rates. Recently ordered again--and received the seeds in an incredibly short time. They also have a good selection of seeds.
On Jan 12, 2008, tepelus Nashville, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:
Ordered from them for the first time and was very pleased. All the seeds I had ordered had come and had arrived within a few days of ordering. They have a great selection, good prices and wouldn't hesitate to order from them again. Sowing instructions are easy to follow, now I just have to see how well I can germinate and grow them! I will recommend them to my friends.
I'm not sure why this company isn't still in the top 30. I really like Swallowtail Seeds. I've never done any formal calculation of germination rates on their seed, but I've been pleased with pretty much everything I've ordered from them over the last few years. They're quick and fairly inexpensive, especially their bulk seed. They have a wonderful selection of things. Their website could be a little easier to navigate, and their seed packets do sometimes leave off the oddest, important information (e.g., planting depth or light requirements for adult plants), but their seed packets are usually very clear and straightforward about what the seeds need to germinate -- much clearer than some other companies in my estimation. Rather than say, "Sow seed in early spring," Swallowtail Seed tells you what temperature the seeds need for germination, so you can plant them whenever you want (if you can control the temperature), or you can plant them at the appropriate time of spring or summer (based on the temperature outside). I also really like their seed packaging. They always have an outer envelope of paper with instructions and information printed on it, and then they have an inner plastic envelope for the seeds. I like this arrangement, because I can open the paper envelope and check out how big the seeds are and how many there are without disturbing the airtight seal on the clear plastic envelope inside. And the packet usually has quite a few seeds. Their packets of Dame's Rocket and Foxglove, for example, are essentially bulk amounts at regular seed packet prices.
Great source for rare seeds. I was looking for alpine strawberries and they were the only place i could find the seeds. Good shipping, seeds arrived the same day as a seed order of similar size placed with a competetor two days earlier. I've yet to see how the germination rate goes, but I'll edit later if it isn't good.
Placed an order online on Monday the 21st, received my seeds on Friday the 25th. Everything was packaged nicely and arrived safely. Now I've got to see if I can them to grow (I'm notoriously bad starting with seeds)! :-)
On Apr 14, 2007, maye20 San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
I ordered five vegetable/herb seeds and one type of flower seeds. The germination rate was impressive (probably >90%). Communication was fast, and they answered a question via email clearly and thoroughly. Although it took almost two weeks to get to me (which was surprising, since they are a local company), I was pleased with my experience and would order again.
On Mar 30, 2007, cycloyd Muskogee, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is my 3rd year of ordering from Swallowtail Gardens. I found their website while searching for cypress vine seeds and I've expanded my order each year. This year, I placed my order last Sat night and rec'd it today. The seeds have always germinated well, their packaging and instructions are great. In my experience, they have been great and offer a wonderful selection.
On Mar 30, 2007, Aimee_ Walnut Creek, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
I ordered seeds, they arrived quick, and the germination rate of the seeds was fantastic! I had a question regarding some information on some seeds and the customer service is superb. I will definately be ordering again from them.
Swallowtail Garden Seeds offers a great selection with their online catalog and the seeds I ordered arrived in just a few days. Everything is packaged very nicely. I like the fact that seeds are enclosed in a sealed plastic bag within the paper packet with instructions. Also, the prices are very reasonable. I can't wait to get started with this year's garden.
All of the seeds I ordered were in stock (I checked the online status before ordering), and the seed packets have contained at least the amount of seed specified, usually a little more. Germination has been excellent on geraniums (100%) and pansies (80% or better) I'll update if germination is poor on any varieties I start later. The germination instructions were OK - germination temps for non-direct seeded plants, seed depth, light needed for germination were available on most packets. Minor quibbles: It would be nice if they included the time to start indoors before the last frost. I did have to look this up. And noting the outdoor soil temps for sowing (cool or warm) would be a plus for novice gardeners. The instructions on the sweet pea seeds and sunflower seeds are vague enough that a beginner might start the sweet peas far too late in our climate, and the sunflowers a little too early.
Shipping was a week or two slower than Parks and Pinetree Garden Seeds, even considering the distance, but it was acceptable.
Rec'd seeds quickly, and packages have the description and germinating instructions. I don't know about germination rates yet, but I would not hesitate to order again. Good prices and generous seed amounts.
On Feb 16, 2007, jasmyne Lindenwold, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
I placed an order with this company and received it less than a week to the east coast. I found that they have great prices, good information, excellent shipping costs, and so far the germination rates have been 90-100%. Highly recommended.