I had reported in a previous comment about SESE losing and confusing my order. In that comment, I said I would see what happened when I re-ordered. They handled it fine, and I am willing to recommend them to anyone, not only because of the incredible variety of open-pollinated heirloom varieties mentioned by other comments, but also because of their positive and immediate response to my complaint about my order. They immediately shipped the missing seeds to me, and I already have starts going in my little greenhouse. If you are a serious gardener, you owe it to yourself to check them out.
On Feb 15, 2015, jumpinjo Marshalltown, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered several times from this company. Garlic, potato onions, sweet potato slips and numerous seed items. The seeds are always shipped immediately. The other items are shipped at planting time for my area. They always are helpful and polite on the phone.
On Apr 22, 2014, Gardeningdiva Leesville, SC wrote:
I love this company! You get a lot of seeds in each packet. The seeds have high germination rates, too. I live in the South, so I like having the option to choose from so many varieties that do well in our hot, humid climate. I only wish that they offered more variety in flowers.
My husband ordered some seeds from another company because he wanted a few novelties that SESE didn't have. Since he was ordering, I had him order more bean seeds. All the packets that we received had so few seeds in them. The beans had very poor germination. So, I replanted with seeds leftover from last year from SESE. Every seed came up, and the bean seedlings were far superior compared to the other company's. I told my husband that he wasted his time and money ordering from another company. He agreed, so we will be ordering all of our vegetable seeds and some flowers from SESE.
I've ordered a dozen or more items from them every year for the last several years, and I think SESE deserves very high praise. I recommend them to everyone I can. I think they do an outstanding job of preserving regional crop varieties by selling seed from regionally adapted varieties. Good adaptation counts for so much. I don't think it's a coincidence that the varieties I trial from SESE are most often the ones I wind up sticking with long-term. The cost of their seed is really negligible when, as is often the case with them, I wind up with a great variety that with one or two purchases I can then save my own seed year after year. Their catalog is also a great seed saving resource. The quality and careful selection (for taste and productivity, etc.) of what they offer is so valuable. I don't just love their products, but I feel like what they're doing (even in comparison to other heirloom seed companies) is something really worthy of support.
Posted on February 7, 2011, updated January 13, 2014
Sigh. I think I'm in love! Just discovered this company this year, but will make them my primary vegetable seed source because
1--they grow their stuff and slant their advice to central VA--since I live in WV, this is MUCH more useful than the information--and cultivars--from Oregon or Maine.
2--the catalog (this year's has some really rad frogs on the front) is loaded with useful information--cultivation information for each vegetable, and specific information about cultivars that includes the bad stuff. They don't pretend every variety is perfect in every way.
3--they focus on open-pollinated varieties, in fact only offer four hybrids in the whole catalog.
4--they offer equipment for seed saving--waterproof vials in four sizes, silica gel, corn ear bags, etc.
5--My one order came promptly and without errors
6--I know that this business supports people living in communes, experimenting with solutions, a plus for me.
The only thing that isn't perfect is that they don't sell inocculant. Hint.
On January 13th, 2014, treesmoocher added the following:
A couple of years later, a couple of orders later. All I want to add is that what I'm really appreciating about this company now is what ISN'T in their catalog, in contrast to several others I've received. It isn't loaded with gimmicky stuff for yuppies with too much money, it doesn't focus on organic seed--I garden organically but I don't care whether the SEED was raised in organic conditions, that's such a trifling percentage of the input in my garden--instead they offer many varieties of things I actually want to grow, and actually useful products for gardeners and seed savers. Although--they still don't sell inocculant.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange seeds grow great for me. I live in Virginia so the seeds are suited to my region. I like that they sell winter-hardy seeds, which is what I buy from them. Their mixed packages are affordable and useful. I also buy garlic from them and have never had any problems. I recommend this company.
Although Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE) sells open-pollinated varieties, the incredibly diverse vegetable varieties that they offer has kept me coming back to them year after year.
One of the things that I enjoy most about SESE is that many of the varieties they offer are both disease resistant and many can be grown in a hot southern climate.
Each of my seed orders has been filled completely and well. I have never purchased a seed variety from SESE that looked and grew different from the description given in their catalogue. Overall, their seed varieties grow well. After years of growing out vegetable seeds from SESE, I am very pleased with the results. Additionally, customer service has always been wonderful.
With all these good things to say about SESE, what else could they possibly work on? Perhaps they could have some of their seed suppliers based out of the deep southern or southwestern states Ė where the intensely hot climate will either kill the vegetables or help them produce seed that is more resistant to the adverse temperatures that are common here in the south. Some of us southern gardeners are sick of buying seeds from any supplier that is not based out of the deep south simply because moderate climate vegetables, like tomatoes, donít stand a chance in the open sun unless they are acclimated to our climate.
Having read the reviews here, I committed my whole veggie and flower order to this company.
Boy did I "Choose Wisely," as they said in that Indiana Jones movie...
Incredible quality, instant delivery, and you know what? I really believe that there is something to buying seeds from the immediate area where you live.
The incredible success of my seedlings led me to saving the "Cast-Offs" when potting-up and my living room has a new color scheme - GREEN.
I plan to order from them forever. I appreciate the whole concept behind this Exchange. Rare, close, value!
On Apr 5, 2013, Cville_Gardener Clarksville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have been quite pleased with this company. In spite of having had a warehouse fire this spring, I received my order in a timely manner. They are thorough and send the amount of seeds per packet as described. Germination test date and % results are clearly stated on the packets.
In addition to seeds, I have ordered Inchellium Red softneck garlic and yellow potato onions for fall planting.
On Feb 21, 2013, pbtxlady Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I've been ordering from Southern Exposure for several years, including this year. My space is limited and my orders are small, but every order has arrived very quickly without any problems. Great high-quality seeds and trustworthy company.
LOVE this seed company. Great source of heirloom seeds as well as a great information resource. They are my prime source for seeds for our school garden. For example, they not only have heirloom corn, beans & squash for a Three Sisters Garden, they also offer multiple varieties of rice, cotton, and other culturally important crops in small quantities. Give them a try!
Posted on January 28, 2012, updated January 28, 2012
Posted on January 22, 2011, updated January 28, 2012
Posted on February 5, 2010, updated January 22, 2011
I love to browse the catalog first, kind of like my Christmas wish book, before ordering online. The seeds are great, descriptions true, the price is reasonable, and customer service wonderful. Truly an A+ company!
On January 22nd, 2011, Reddoorfarms added the following:
I placed my order the last week in Decemeber '10 and received it the first week in January. I tried to order early because the bean seeds I wanted last spring were sold out. I'm glad to have gotten them this year, and so PROMPTLY despite the bad weather! Love this company and their garden seeds!On January 28th, 2012, Reddoorfarms added the following:
I received my order promptly (as always!) but wanted to comment on the dvd on cover and compost crops I ordered along with my seeds. If you wanted more information and to see how it works I highly recommend it. You can get the same information from various books but watching Cindy Conner's garden progress through the seasons along with what I already knew really helped to make it all click. SESE's catalog really has it all and I haven't been disappointed with anything I've ordered from them yet!On January 28th, 2012, Reddoorfarms added the following:
I received my order promptly (as always!) but wanted to comment on the dvd on cover and compost crops I ordered along with my seeds. If you wanted more information and to see how it works I highly recommend it. You can get the same information from various books but watching Cindy Conner's garden progress through the seasons along with what I already knew really helped to make it all click. SESE's catalog really has it all and I haven't been disappointed with anything I've ordered from them yet!
I have ordered from Southern Exposure several times over the last three years. Each time shipping was prompt the seeds were packaged well and I've had no complaints with their germination gates. Could not ask for any better. A+++
On Jan 9, 2012, hatchingbunnies Gilbert, AZ wrote:
Good prices and good germination on the varieties I ordered. Shipping could be a little quicker. Also, not a huge deal, but worth mentioning to anyone sowing lots of seeds--the tomato seeds were in large clumps and had to be carefully pulled apart before sowing, so it took quite a bit longer to sow ones from SESE than other companies. Again, probably only applicable to those sowing hundreds or thousands of seeds at a time.
On Jan 7, 2012, veggiequeen Shepherdstown, WV wrote:
I ordered from SESE for the first time in 2011. The lettuce mix grew exceptionally well, and I was giving away fresh leaf lettuce after other people's lettuce beds had bolted.
Deer got into the garden and ate the Potomac beans almost to the ground, just when they were getting ready to flower. The plants recovered beautifully and I had an amazing crop, just a little late. The beans had excellent flavor and froze well. I'm placing a much larger order this year.
On Aug 29, 2011, makocat2000 Fort Bragg, NC wrote:
I have been very pleased with SESE's customer service. I was planning on having a great gardening experience this year as I discovered them this past winter. I ordered seed from them, but unfortunately, I came down on orders to deploy to Iraq. I had to return the seed and the company was very gracious and understanding.
I did bring the catalog over with me and have been going over it with a fine tooth comb to plan my garden next year. I love the catalog, the layout is great and the descriptions are excellent. I look forward to ordering seed this winter.
On Dec 9, 2010, terri_emory Alba, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
This is my first time ordering from SESE and I will again. Prompt service and a good selection of seldom found varieties. A good selection of determinat tomatoes (not as popular to grow). I'm glad to have found them!
On Jun 21, 2010, millvalley09 Mill Valley, CA wrote:
Wow! I bought 6 packets of lettuce seeds. I presprout everything I grow, so I know germination rates to the day. Every single one of these seeds sprouted and was ready to plant within 3 days. 100% germination in 3 days (or less). I have planted 11 other types of lettuce and have never had such great results (most of my other lettuce seeds are from Botanical Interests, which has great customer service but I've had trouble with some of their seed.) I've never ordered from this company before so I don't know if this is typical, but I'm extremely happy with what I bought.
Posted on April 16, 2010, updated June 7, 2010
I so want to rate this company as Positive because they have a wonderful selection of heirloom products and other seeds and plants that cannot be found elsewhere. I placed an order with them in February for seeds and a pound of fingerling seed potatoes. The seeds came promptly, accompanied by an invoice that indicated that the potatoes would be sent in early March. That is too late for planting Irish potatoes in southeastern Louisiana; I should have had them in the ground in January. I decided to wait, and take a chance on planting them late, since the weather was unseasonably cool. Early March came and went and no potatoes. In mid-March, I e-mailed them and asked that the order be canceled, as it was now much too late to plant. At this date (April 16) I have not received a response to my e-mail, I have not received any potatoes, I have not received a refund, and I have not received any information about the issue. I have e-mailed them again and hope for a reply soon. I will happily upgrade the rating when this issue is resolved.
On June 7th, 2010, SMStauffer changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Thanks to Dave's Garden Gardenwatchdog, I finally heard from the folks at Southern Exposure. They could not have been more apologetic. They not only refunded the charge, they included a gift certificate, one that I can hardly wait to use this Fall.
On Jun 4, 2010, karmakaytlyn Wolcott, VT (Zone 4a) wrote:
I heart SESE. Last year we ordered peanuts and they actually did quite well in our chilly Zone 4 climate. This year we started over 100 ground cherries from SESE, both the Cossack Pineapple and the Goldie varieties and had a near 100% germination rate. The plants are growing strong and vigorously. SESE is not just for folks in the south! Thanks for the awesome seeds!
On May 28, 2010, blackthumbmary Williams, IN wrote:
Fantastic seed quality with an average of 99 % germination rate. I planted 1,800 Buhl corn seeds, 100 Pike melons seeds, 100 Kansas melons seeds, and 300 Rattlesnake beans and literally had an average of a 98-99 % germination rate. Some seeds were started indoors, others sown directly into Southern Indiana clay soil.
Really unique heirloom varieties - especially corn, beans, and melons. One of the few companies that carries Bulh corn.
Fast delivery and good prices. I have placed multiple orders with this company and always received my seed on time!
Excellent informative catalog. One of the best in terms of giving planting dates and directions-as well as product description. Almost like a basic gardening book.
On Apr 13, 2010, VAgardener2 Richmond , VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I ordered from this company twice this year already. I like their selection and speedy delivery. Return customers get a 5% discount.
I live in Virginia, and I like that they identify the plants suited to this region.
I recommend this company and their seeds and support their mission of non-GMO seeds.
Posted on December 10, 2009, updated January 22, 2010
I have purchased seed and also onions from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I found their communication about when shipments would be sent to be outstanding. Their descriptions of each seed and how they will perform in a Southern Garden area wonderful, as is the selection. Shipments are always timely.
I will continue to purchase from Southern Exposure!
On January 22nd, 2010, girlgroupgirl added the following:
I purchased some more seeds in January 2010 from Southern Exposure. They arrived within the week with a note of apology for taking so long!!!!
What a wonderful company!
This is one of my most favorite vegetable seed company. I love the wide diversity. This year I ordered "Washday" cowpea that I believe may be the same as a "Rotten Crowder" pea that my grandparents grew.
On Mar 4, 2009, SatorArepo Charlottesville, VA wrote:
I love these guys, I really do. They're my sentimental favorite. I grow a garden full of their seeds every year. I love their commitment to heirloom, open-pollinated varieties that are well-adapted to the Mid-Atlantic and South, and I love that their catalog is full of thoughtful horticultural advice. Growing some of their varieties (like Hickory King Corn, Cornfield Beans, Hill Country Okra, Cayenne Peppers etc.) gives you a real sense of the history and tradition of gardening in the South.