My all time favorite seed catalog. My husband and I have had tremendous success with their products. He grows a 13 acre vege garden and I grow flowers/plants/vines. We sell at the local Farmers Market and to area grocery stores. Our customers are impressed by the quality of our produce and plants. The majority of our seeds come from Stokes.
Catalogs containing flowers only or vegetables and flowers together are available. There are clear instructions for growing that include germination temperature, transplant advice and growing advice. This is included in the catalog and on the seed packet. Germination rates are excellent (probably because of the clear instructions for growing). Easy to order on-line or via mail.
The customer service people are very helpful. Their on-linsite is improving. I would like to see them include zone information with their perennials...we North Dakotans are a bit limited. Happy gardening!
Stokes came through for me once again. I was looking for a cheap mini-greenhouse to replace the one I had. They had it on clearance much cheaper than anyone else. I also needed some fairly rare seeds and they had those also. They give very detailed planting instructions on each packet and on their website plus germination rates. Stokes sells a lot of seeds to commercial growers, so you can buy in packets and bulk.
One of the real benefits is their shipping charges. $4.95 for orders under $100 regardless of weight. My order was filled quickly, I received email confirmations on processing and when it was shipped.
I hadn't ordered from Stokes in probably 10 years. All of my previous experiences with them were positive, but I pretty much forgot about them. I'm glad they came to mind again since they have very reasonable prices and a large selection to choose from.
On Feb 7, 2006, ownedbycats Southern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've ordered from Stokes for a couple years now. I've found the web site easy to use and it has a lot of information. I wish that all the different varieties had a picture on the web site, and that seed counts were given for all varieties, but these are minor nitpicks. I love being able to get packs of individual colors as well as mixtures. They also have one of the largest pansy/viola selections of any company.
I have been buying mail order for about about 40 years and about 25 years from Stokes. I have always been happy with this companies seed quality,quantity,germination rate and huge selection.The service is great and the employees always honest. Best of all they treat the homegardener with total respect. Their catalog is a must written by real gardeners. It is the Bible of home seed starting. Every new gardener should read this book. It is better than a set of how-to-do seed books. I think this company is the best of all seed companies and am thankful that it is there.
On August 23rd, 2008, hoosac added the following:
I have tried buying seeds from other companies over the years. I am usually let down by the great photos of seeds growing into great and colorful plants and then go back to Stokes and am pleased by quantity and quality of their seed purchase.I think they are an honest business to buy from. The best of all seed companies----Stokes.
On Feb 13, 2005, theplantmgr Schenectady, NY wrote:
Best catalogue on the market. Phone order process efficient. Seeds arrived in a couple weeks. I appreciate their catalogue being alphabetical and divided into vegetables and flowers. Catalogue arrives in December, I order in early January
Their seed packages are most detailed about planting instructions including needs light for germination, temperature, freeze seed 1 week before using, etc. Seed packages also contain % germination so you have a reasonible understanding of the quality of the seed and what to expect.
They are beginning to mix pricing by weight and seed count more and more each year and do not necessarily price by both methods which makes ordering difficult if you don't understand the seed weight vs. quantity.
Today marked my third order with Stokes this season... Their service has been impeccable each and every time (hence the reason for repeated business), they have everything I have needed to do my "stuff" this season, the selection of seeds is quite impressive, and delivery has been near immediate on all three occasions.
I encourage you to at least try this company~ I am positive that you will not be disappointed.
On Jan 8, 2005, lmelling Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
I've been a solid customer of another well-known seed company, but have been unhappy over the last year or two with germination %'s of their seed. After reading all the positive comments about Stokes Seeds here in the Garden Watchdog, I decided to purchase my 2005 seed from them.
I ordered my seed (about $50 worth) on the 3rd of January, 05 and received it yesterday - January 7th! Not only was the service speedy, the company kept me abreast via email on the status of my order. I'm very pleased with the service so far. I'll report on the viability of the seed later on in the year when I've had a chance to evaluate it.
On Jan 5, 2005, EskieLeia Leesville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:
Received order in a timely manner - even though Christmas and New Year's holiday was involved. Order came complete - no backorders. They had a different variety of seed I was looking for. Now, if they just germinate ok.....but so far, I'm pleased with their service and products.
On Dec 31, 2004, orange_knickers Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
This is a copy of an email I sent to Stokes five minutes ago. I felt this needed to be added here. I changed the names invloved, just in case. Thanks!
My name is Mike. I placed an order on the 16th of December. I was hoping to have the seeds in time for Christmas (though it was my fault for ordering so late!) I called today, December 31st, to inquire as to where my order was and I had the utmost privilege of working with Jolynn. Not sure if I spelled that correctly! Anyhow, you have a great employee here! One that knows how to treat people and one that truly cares about her job and the well being of the company she works for. This will be my first year of gardening, as we just bought a new house. I have never touched a plant before and so I have spent hours browsing the web reading as much as I can. I have found the Garden Watchdog site to be very useful in reading reviews of seed companies and nurseries. I found that Stokes had one of the highest ratings of service anywhere! And now I can see why! My order had apparently gotten stuck somewhere in fulfillment. Jolynn was very concerned about my order, so much that when she said she would call me right back after investigating, she called back within FIVE minutes! That is unheard of! She was so apologetic that she offered my free shipping on a second order I placed on the phone with her today. And I'll tell you what, that won't be my last order either! Your catalog is beautiful, your selection is tops without a doubt and the service is tops in my book. It is very rare today to find someone working in a customer service job that has the right attitude such as Jolynn. Hang onto her! I am 24, I have worked in retail for six years now, a supervisor for three, and I wish I had employees just like Jolynn. Please be sure that she receives a copy of this email. And please let me know that you have received it as well. If you would like to call, my number is below. I will follow up with her to make sure she has received a copy as well. Jolynn and Deb, thank you and you have a GREAT New Year! I look forward to adding my review of Stokes to the Garden Watchdog!
On Dec 30, 2004, nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:
My internet order was confirmed and shipped in a timely manner. The shipment was complete. I like Stokes' low prices and wide selection of annual, perennial and vegetable seeds. I don't care whether the seeds are organic or not, because I bought mostly flower seeds, don't plan to sell anything, and even with vegetable seed, the potential amount of pesticide residue per plant would be very minimal. (I don't USE any additional pesticides other than insecticidal soap, and that only rarely because I'm lazy).
On March 14th, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
germination rates are good.On December 21st, 2005, nevadagdn added the following:
This year's order arrived in a timely fashion, and was complete. I'll continue to use Stokes for a portion of my garden budget.
On May 2, 2004, purplepinkpolka Leesburg, VA wrote:
I really like Stoke's selection, which is tilted towards the demands of nurseries and thus quite different from catalogues that focus on home gardeners alone. The prices are pretty good, shipping is reasonable, and I've never had no problems in the two times I ordered from them. The catalogue has some devastatingly elaborate and dire instructions on some plants.
On Mar 15, 2004, Electric_Bob California, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:
This is not the same company as the Stokes listed in Iowa.
This Stokes is Stokes Seeds and are in Canada, with offices in Buffalo, New York. I have ordered online with them 2 years in a row, now, and have received absolutely NO disappointments. I hope any of you who will consider ordering from them receive the same courtesies extended to me. Order over $30... FREE shipping, too, as well as FAST service. Hey, we're talking 2-4 days, here!
I have ordered seeds from Stokes for the last two years and I have been very happy with the service and quality of the seeds. They have a wide variety of seeds, although the catalog and web site don't show pictures of a lot of the varieties they offer. I think they cater to wholesalers and retailers more than to the home gardener. The catalog and website and the seed packets give very good instructions for planting. They keep you informed of the status of your order by email on a regular basis. Shipping is quick and inexpensive. I would recommend this company to anyone!
On Feb 15, 2004, Eric_OH Columbus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
This company's offerings are especially interesting if you're looking for older, tall varieties of annuals suitable for cutting or mid to back of border interest (most other seed houses concentrate on compact/mini varieties). Stokes also has the latest intros. Prices are mid-range.
In my limited ordering experience shipment has been prompt and germination good. Online ordering this year went quickly and smoothly.
Many times we tend to get mad & write about the Bad experiences we have, & stay quiet when we are happy.
We have delt with Stokes for so long, I have forgoten when we first bought from them. I want to pass this along just to show our trust in this Company. When they first offered seeds online they got Flowers up first, then after some trouble with timing, the Vegetables came online for sale. We Farm & time is critical but the trust we had in Stokes caused us to wait, so we could order online.
Then that day came, & we placed our order online from their new web site. We cut it close but as always they had our seeds on our Farm in 3 days. Stokes has more of the Heirlooms & Untreated seeds we grow as well as a great Asian selection.
When you buy your seed in 5# bags & have to know that what you order is what you will get. There's one seed company we will always order from first & we know they understand what a Comercial Grower goes through & must have. The name Stokes is who the Lucky Horseshoe Farms will trust & spend our hard earned money with first. Thank you, Stokes
On Jun 17, 2003, WaWild1 Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I ordered seeds via Email 4 days ago...they arrived today! The site was easy to use, quick to place order and prices very resonable. They also had several of the hard to find seeds I was looking for (Edelweis & Dandilion) The seed packing was nice and great directions for planting!
I ordered online. They have a nice webite, with easy to follow ordering instructions. They keep you updated by e-mail of the status of your order. The seeds arrived promptly and are doing fine in the garden. They also have good prices for bulk seeds.
I've been ordering from Stokes for more than 25 years. I've always had great success with their seeds, they provide valuable germination and growing information right on the seed packets (and in their catalog). The only problem is for organic growers as some seed is treated with fungicide and you don't find out until you receive it (they don't list every time the seeds are treated in their catalog - all packets are properly labeled).
I have ordered from Stokes for a few years now. They have a good slection of seed. When you order petunias, for example, you can choose exactly what color. A lot of their seed is lightly treated, but you can also order untreated seeds. All their seeds I have grown germinate and grow very well. I particularly like their precise growing instructions on the packets, as this helps me know what I can do to get excellent germination and results. They also tell you when to expect sizeable plants from sowing time. They always ship my order promptly, and in a durable envelope. I will be ordering again!
I have ordered seed from Stokes for more than 10 years. The catalog is the best single source of information on starting seeds and cultivating plants I have seen anywhere; like other commenters I find my copy is in tatters by the end of the growing season. I have started herbs, perennials, annuals, and vegetable seeds from Stokes with great results. I'm by no means a master gardener and am not as careful as I should be, so getting a plant to grow from seed indoors and into the garden is a challenge; their good information has helped a lot! Varieties that go right into the garden also do well if I follow the directions. The catalog does a superb job of identifying fragrant plants, those that like shade, etc. I have found that their vegetable seeds tend to be a super mix of heirloom varieties and new cultivars. They explain differences between varieties really well; for me in central New England the information on what grows well where is really useful. Their flower selections also include old varieties but fewer of the old-fashioned singles in some. I recommend them highly. (This year, once again, I find most of my seeds are being ordered from Stokes, with Parks and a few others filling in holes where Stokes didn't have the varieties I wanted.) My experience with them has been uniformly positive.
I placed an order in January for both seeds and pots. I ordered from the website with no problem at all. I received the order in about 2 weeks. I bought two hanging baskets and they are wonderful and at a great price! I was missing one packet of seeds and received one that was incorrect. I emailed them and had a quick reply that they would send out the right items. I am very pleased with this company.
On Jan 21, 2003, hopflower Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
After several years of ordering from Stokes Seeds, I had last year the rare experience of having seeds that did not germinate. I am in no way faulting Stokes for this; germination can fail to occur for a number of reasons. No problem for Stokes...I called them, explained the situation, and was sent the same exact seeds that I had previously ordered with no questions asked, and no hassles. The replacement seeds were wonderful and I have a big half-barrel full of beautiful snapdragon seedlings coming up! The really nice part is that you can order separate types of snaps, in any size: border, medium for bedding, or the tall florists' variety, and in any colour! They have the best selection of snapdragons around from any mail order venue. They also have a great assortment of vegetable seeds, and detailed information on how to propagate everything. The customer service was polite and helpful; I highly recommend Stokes and will continue to order from them in future.
I find them superb in terms of seed quality. The information regarding seed germination and how to carry over plants in the seedling stage are excellent both in their catalog and on the packets. I use their catalog so much that it is in pieces by the end of the planting season.
I cross-checked them with Park Seed. My initial inclination was in favor of Park Seed becasue they are geographically closer to me, so I assumed their offering would work better in my garden. It turned out to be the other way around. I ordered the same variety from both company. If I followed Stokes instructions the germiantion rate was very high while in case of Park Seed much- much lower, sometime none.
My guess is that beside the superb instructions, Stokes seeds are more viable becasue they are fresh. And, I feel that backyard gardeners get the same treatment and quality as commercial growers.
I ordered seeds, plants, trees from all over the globe? -that would be an exaggeration, but from US is not - when I started my garden 6 or rather 7 years ago. By now I zeroed in several companies I find much better than the rest, and first I check their catalog. I order from others only if they do not carry what I want.
Plus, I did appreciate in Stokes that after the Antharx scare they were the only company as far as I know who send seeds by FedEx at no extra charge - because they were worried that postal screerning of the regular mail would kill the viable seeds. And I got my seeds from them by Fedex this year as well.
Good products and good customer service from Stokes. I ordered a large $ item (Floralight system). The transaction was smooth despite MY incompetence. They fixed the errors I created and sent me the product in good time. When UPS literally DROPPED the lights on my driveway and ran, I called Stokes. I got a REAL PERSON in under a minute (no automated answering system). She got the ball rolling to replace the broken items without delay. When I told them I'd replace the light (instead of making them ship it again, they credited my credit card for the amount). Great company, I highly recommend.
Aside from all of the other positive comments listed here, I would add that they have the best germination info on their packs, and very helpful and knowledgable customer service for those questions you have about growing from seed! I am speaking of the Canadian website and customer service email.
I have ordered from Stokes for several years and have always been happy with their selection, customer service as well as germination rates. This is a company that doesn't go in for "flashy" full-page pictures of each plant. However, culture descriptions for varieties are correct and Stoke's usually comes in under budget for me while supplying the right amount of seed. I recommend them highly
On Jan 18, 2002, Terry Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered several varieties of flower and herb seeds from Stokes last winter. Good service, everything germinated as expected. The only disappointments:
1. The envelopes tended to smudge and fall apart if they got damp (that's a plus when you're recycling an empty envelope, but not so good if you still have seeds in there!)
2. I felt the number of seeds per packet was a bit lower than packets from other places I ordered from.
But all things considered, I will order from them again, now that I know what to expect. Very good variety and a really nice catalog..
On February 4th, 2003, go_vols added the following:
I ordered from Stokes again this year. Their website is slow and painful to navigate, although once I figured out their "quick order" option to list multiple items at once, it was much smoother. I found they were much less expensive on some things than other retailers, and they were one of the few seed companies with double impatiens at a reasonable price. The order came in promptly, and was exactly what I ordered. They'll stay on my "short list".