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On Nov 29, 2013, SeniorGardening Sullivan, IN wrote:
Posted on November 12, 2012, updated November 29, 2013
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 Stokes Seeds as one of our two or three main garden seed suppliers for over twenty years. They provide good to exceptional quality seed (in terms of germination) in a time when other suppliers appear to be cutting corners on seed quality.
An example of Stokes good customer service for us was when we ordered and received a GardenWatchCamera from them several years ago with the essential base plate missing. When I called to report the problem, I was a bit pushy in insisting they open the box before shipping a replacement to ensure the base plate was there. When the replacement arrived, sure enough, they’d opened the box and checked...leaving me a note they’d done so.
On November 29th, 2013, SeniorGardening changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Thirty years of good seed and service has to be worth something. In this case, it means a change to a neutral (from positive) rating for Stokes Seeds instead of a negative rating.
We received "hard" geranium seed from stokes last year, an item still hotly contested by the president of Stokes. We also found that they sell old seed from the previous season that still meets their and federal germination requirements as new seed.
Stokes' reasoning on selling old seed as new was basically that "everybody is doing it." I refused to accept such excuses from my students over thirty-four years in the classroom, and I'm not about to accept such an excuse for such a dubious practice, even from a respected seed company. Stokes should be a leader in providing folks with fresh seed with the insurance that it isn't year-old seed that has been re-tested and re-labeled.
1.) I filled out a long list of items for my cart, on-line. When I got to the end (even tho it provided an order #) my cart was EMPTY. I just wasted about 2 hours.
2.) I called, and spoke to a very nice person (in their Canadian office) who helped me RE-ORDER everything on my list. Wasted another hour.
3.) The seeds arrived a few days later......didn't realize that most were treated with pesticide, and the directions called for using more pesticide during the growth stage.
4.) Also, they are set up more for professional growers, then the home gardener. It makes the directions a bit annoying when all I want to know is how to start seeds in a growth flat I bought at WalMart.
On Jan 24, 2010, Carolsflowers Brunswick, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:
Stokes catalog is very informative with a wide selection & quality seed. Their service was good. My neutral rating is caused by the fact that most of the seed is treated. While some folks prefer this, I do not. This fact does not seem to be mentioned in the catalog in a manner for the customer to make a decision. The treated seed issue is the ONLY reason for not posting a positive rating.
On Feb 10, 2007, bestgardener Cincinnati, OH wrote:
Stokes has a great selection and great seeds. The only problem I have had in the past is slow service. Shipping costs don't necessarily bother me since I buy a lot seeds. Also I have had problems ordering on line, so I usually have to call in my order.
On Jan 31, 2007, ilithiya Salem, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:
I haven't grown out my seeds yet, so my comments are just about the service and ordering process.
Frankly, I'm unhappy. I ordered five packs of seeds and the shipping was $6.95. The only way I could justify it is that they had seeds I wanted that I couldn't get elsewhere. The shipping was slow as well - simultaneous orders from Pinetree and Baker arrived a full week before Stokes' did.
The packaging is good - foil lined packets - and has good growing info on the back, and does cite country of origin.
My only complaint is the shipping costs. I'm satisfied enough with the rest of the process that should their shipping prices drop, I would probably order again.
Suggestion: pack small/dust size seeds in double packets. In my order minute seeds of Clarkia, Chamomile, Xeranthemum, Silene all stuck in corners and eges of large packet, difficult to extract. Only Gypsophila was in double packet. Ordered some extra packets as gifts, but their appearance is dreadful -- might discourage the recipient. Could packages be of the same quality as the visually excellent catalogue?
On Dec 18, 2002, CountryGardens Lewisville, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
We have ordered from them for years. Always slow because they must wait for check to clear. Must send it to tim-buck-too as long as it takes. Anyway thought we would order off their web site, (do this with other companies & seeds come in record time)have been sitting here for nearly an hour waiting for order to go through. Finally page came up claiming heavy traffic, at midnite? I think they need to hire Dave to set up a decent web site or buy a new computer that can handle things for them! I will keep trying because they have things that we probably can't get elsewhere.
I've received a Stokes catalog for the last 2 years but never ordered from them. Their cultivars seemed more appropriate for commercial growers than for a kitchen gardener interested more in taste than in shipping and storage.