I have ordered seeds from Harris for seven years. Despite our cold, wet springs in Maine I consistently have over 90% germination. For example, peas get planted around tax day and they do great. While others are replanting in May and June my garden is doing great. Their service is fast, prices resonable, and the service reps very nice. Until I get planted I will plant Harris seeds.
On Jun 12, 2007, bmuller Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have traded with this company only once, ordering seeds from them last fall (2006), with satisfactory results.
However, my more recent experience with them has been anything but satisfactory. In late March of 2007, Harris Seeds sent me a large package of corn seeds ($18.00 worth) that I had not ordered (I live on a small suburban lot--a large quantity of corn seeds would be ludicrous for me). I contacted the company, was treated courteously and was sent a return label, returned the seeds, and believed the error to be corrected.
Then a few weeks later (end of April, probably), I received a refund check in the mail for $18.00. I emailed the company to let them know the check had been sent in error and I was destroying it--which I did. (In retrospect, I probably should have returned it with an explanatory letter, via registered mail.) I received no response to my email, but around June 8 I received a bill in the mail--for $18.00.
I don't know who ordered those corn seeds, nor whether that person ever received seeds, bill, explanation, or anything else. I only know that I did NOT order the seeds and will never place an order with this company again. I wish I had never placed an order with them in the first place; then they would not have had my name and address in their database to confuse with that of another customer.
When this problem first arose, I considered posting a negative rating on DavesGarden but decided I should first try to resolve the matter with Harris Seeds. Only after all of this failed am I exasperated enough to post this rating; I would not have done so if the matter HAD been resolved. Certainly, anyone can make a mistake; however, a reputable company should not make multiple mistakes on the same transaction, especially a transaction that was never sought by the customer in the first place!
On June 20th, 2007, bmuller changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I'm changing my rating based on one positive transaction (as mentioned) and a prompt response from Harris Seeds to my recent complaint.
In today's mail, I received an apology from Joanne Rodrigues, Harris's Customer Care Manager, plus a gift certificate for merchandise from their company. I hope things go well from this point on.
I placed an order with this company after receiving their catalog in the mail. I ordered cherry tomatoes that cascade from a hanging basket, as well as sugar baby watermelon seeds.
The company sent my tomato seeds but said the watermelon seeds were on back order. I planted the tomato seeds, and absolutely nothing happened after two and a half weeks. I also got tired of waiting for my watermelon seeds to arrive so I went to my local home center and bought a packet of sugar baby watermelon seeds and a packet of cherry tomatoes. All came up fairly quickly and are growing nicely.
I received a call today 5/10 (a month later) from Harris seed to tell me the sugar baby watermelon seeds are still on back order. I told the CS rep to cancel the order, as I already bought the seeds elsewhere. All she said was "Okay. Thank you." No apology from the company.
On Mar 30, 2006, talbin Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
This year I decided to test several companies and their vegetable seed to do my own comparisons with pricing, germination, quality, etc. When I received my four packets of seed from Harris, I was shocked to see that they were all treated seeds. If the catalog said that their seeds were treated, then this statement was very well hidden. I have not found anything on their website either. As an organic grower, it is important to me to know that I am not adding any chemicals to the garden. If I had known that these seeds were treated, I would not have ordered them.
I have used this company for years for seeds. I have the best results with their seeds for germination of all the seed companies I have tried. I alway try them first, and use other companies only for the seeds which they do not stock. They have always shipped promptly.
On Nov 19, 2004, kdjoergensen Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I ordered wave petunia seeds from them last year, among others. The petunias were true to type, and arrived in a small plastic container which kept the pelleted seeds whole (other companies have shipped crushed pellets in envelopes). Their prices are excellent, but on the home growers website the selection of individual cultivars are limited (I wish they would sell super elfin impatiens in smaller lots for example). The professional growers site (wholesale ?) has a lot more cultivars to choose from, but lots are bigger.
On March 26th, 2005, kdjoergensen added the following:
In march2005 also received tuberous begonias which were large and shipped as promissed.
Ordered wave petunias from them this spring, and boy was I impressed. They were packed in plastic containers, 5 plugs per container, each sitting in its own plug cell. The plants were totally undamaged, healthy, moist, and a few were already blooming. I wish every company packed like this! Or, alternatively, wish Harris offered a lot more plants ... I would buy everything from them.
I also ordered their seed-starting light stand after researching similar products on the web. Haven't started seeds yet, of course, but I am already using it for plants I want to overwinter indoors. It's very sturdy, well-constructed. So far, all of their non-plant items (seed-starting kits, etc.) seem h igh quality. Not always the cheapest, but we all know how that goes.
On Feb 8, 2004, ceresone Willow Springs, MO (Zone 6b) wrote:
It's a long way from New York, where the company is, to Missouri, where i live. But, Iwanted the Heirloom Tomato Plants! along with a few other plants.I was astonished when i opened the package , at the large heathy plants, much better than i had ever ordered before.But--dont order potato sets! Their planting time is lots later than ours, so i had to ask for a refund, which i was cheerfully given. I ordered 2 years in a row with the same results, just not potatoes the second year.
I placed an order for seeds and seed starting supplies which was delivered promptly. However, I started the pansies and was not impressed with the germination rate, so I checked the packages, and they are all packed for last year! They gave me 2003 seeds instead of 2004. When I pay full price for a seed package, I really expect fresh seeds. Otherwise, I'd go to the local home improvement store where I can get them for 50% off and not have to pay any shipping.
I'm marking this a neutral as I have complained to the company and am awaiting their response.
I ordered some wave petunias this year as a surprise for the wife. we recieved a partial order of almost dead plants ,mainly because they had very little root system. The second batch of 20 had been back ordered twice due to what they said was problems with germination. out of the 20 wave petunia plants we did get, 6 survived barely and it turned out they were not waves at all they were trailing petunia's. We bought our waves from wal-mart and they have gone crazy. yes harris did credit my payment for the second batch not received.
On Jun 1, 2003, ownedbycats Southern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Ordered all my veggie seeds and some tomatoe plants. Tomatoe's arrived just after the last frost date (in a "5 pack plastic") plants could be labeled a little better, but all in all I'm happy. My radishes and the gourd mix have sprouted (even though it has been raining and cool for the last 2+ weeks), and the radish seeds were pelleted. I stated some of the flower seeds inside and got really good germination on the impatiens. I will order from them again.
I got the name of this company from my grandmother who has run and operated a commercial farm for over 50 years! I was happy to see I didn't need to order the huge bags of seeds I often dreaded as a kid.....the seeds were shipped promptly and the tomato plants arrived last week healthy...one was broken but I think that was the fault of the person who carried the box in ;)
I've started planting.....it's early here yet, and will write again when I see the progress.....
I ordered some seed and supplies earlier this year. One of the items was on backorder and I called about a week later to cancel it. Customer service was very nice a gave me an immediate credit. Any experience with a mail order company in which I receive my order in a reasonable time and it is half way correct,I figure that I am ahead of the game. If the people that work there are nice and polite when you have to deal with them then that is just icing on the cake.
My order took quite a while to arrive. The package came damaged, with a hole in it. It was a package simply made of weak paper, unlike other companies that ship their seeds in durable Jiffy envelopes. The seed packets are simple, but with good instructions. The seeds themselves were of good quality, although they were teated heavily, more so than other companies usually do. I ordered treated seeds by mistake. But, I expect they will sprout well and have no problems this way. I am willing to order from Harris again.
Harris Seed gives superior customer service! I recently placed an order for a seed starting light cart and asked for a shipping service that was above and beyond normal. I was very impatient and insistent, and still got what I asked for. They were always pleasant on the phone and I'm afraid I probably was not at times. I highly recommend this company! I have yet to receive my merchandise, but I feel certain I'm dealing with a professional company and that everything will be top notch. I hope to do business with them in the future.
On Feb 28, 2003, Morph Dayton, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
Ordered three packs of 500 Purple Majesty Seeds for a co-op. Seed count of total packets did not meet total number of seeds needed (1,500). Placed another order for 500 seeds and received them in packs of 100 each since company was sold out of the 500 packages. Very nice to offer this as an alternative. Seed counts of each 100 package were still not on target. Wrote to company explaining my situation and frustration with seed counts not being accurate and costing myself additional money. Here was their reply:
"Thank you for your email regarding the Purple Majesty. I'm glad you wrote to us, because we went back and did a check on a few of the 100 seed packages, and found some of them to short of 100 seeds, similar to what you experienced. Just a quick note of explanation. Even though we sell in seed count, we actually use a weight equivalent. This is standard industry practice because to produce a high volume of packages by actually counting the seed would be very inefficient, and our scales are very precise. Anyway, we discovered the weight equivalent we were using was slightly off, and therefore a number of packages were short. As a rule, we generally overpack slightly to compensate for seed count fluctuations, but in this case, it wasn't enough.
Our intent is not to intentionally short them on seed and try to fool them. It's not a good business practice, and does us no good as a company. In most instances we package MORE seed than what we state in the catalog to compensate for weight fluctuations. This was truly an honest mistake, and we appreciate you bringing it to our attention so we can repackage the seed to the correct volumes.
In the meantime, we'd be happy to send you two free 100 seed packages to make up for the losses you experienced. Thanks again for bringing this situation to our attention, and if we can help you in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact us."
Decent selection, but prices a bit high. was a little slower on shipping than other companies I ordered from, but not terrible (ordered from Pinetree and Cook's on the same day as from Harris, got their orders within a week, Harris took two weeks). Also they called and left a message that there was a problem with my credit card, when I called back to the extension they left, the woman I spoke with was nice seemed a bit clueless. said she wasn't the one who called, didn't have my info available, but took my info and said would look into it. My order did come through so guess everything was OK
If you are an organic grower, note that it seems their seeds are treated unless specifically noted that they are untreated. Also if you are a seed-saver, be careful when ordering from their website. I placed my order out of their online site, when I got my seeds, I discovered that a couple of the varieties I ordered, specifically with the intent of being able to save seed, were F1 hybrids. I checked back on the website, thinking I may have just overlooked that, but it was not noted anywhere in the descriptions (even though another variety of the same species as one of them was indicated as such). I cross-checked with the print catalog, they did have it correctly labelled as an F1 in there. So if you care if what you get is hybrid, I recommend checking their print catalog.
Placed small order for seeds on Jan 17; received them on Jan 22. This has been my usual experience over a few years, and have not yet had cause for a complaint. I particularly appreciate their pelleted small seeds.
We have had good service and excellent seed quality from Harris. They are one of the few places left that mostly sells treated seeds (though they have untreated available too for most items). We think treated seed is the way to go, and that's one reason we use Harris.
I ordered supplies for seed germination from Harris Seeds. I had a few specific questions about heating mats. When I called to speak to a customer service representative, she connected me with the gentleman who is in charge of the "accessories" department. He answered all of my questions in detail, offering a lot of useful information that would not have otherwise been available to me. He was clearly interested in providing excellent customer service, and encouraged me to call him back if I had additional questions once I received the product. This was a very positive experience. I ordered the products from them right away. Sure beats speaking to someone who asks you what page of the catalog you are looking at so that they can read the product description back to you when you ask them a question!
Placed two orders with them, hoping they'd get their act together. Forget about it (as of 2001, won't order from in 2002). Mis-shipped simple order and backordered indefinitely some seed starting kits that were obviously low-balled because every other catalog was more expensive.
Cheesy answer why they weren't available (other companies had no problem filling order).
Year before, seed was of marginal quality.
Having grown up on a commercial vegetable farm, I cannot promote Harris Seeds and Harris-Moran enough. In 40+ years, we have never had any problems with quality, delivery, or germination. Their variety is some of the best around in both vegetable and flower seeds.
I ordered some calla lily bulbs and some begonia plants from Harris. The bulbs came up nicely, but I was very disappointed with the plants. They were very small and even though I planted and watered them, all but one died. I don't think I'll order from them again.
On Apr 1, 2000, Nell495 Manassas, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I would like to add a comment on Harris. I ordered an inexpensive propagation chamber (a Styrofoam cooler heated with a light bulb) and an Abutilon plant, not seed. The "cooler" came long before the plant. While waiting for the plant, I started Abutilon seeds from Burpee. I had 15 gorgeous 6" plants weeks before the poor spindly 8" plant arrived. I have worked and worked with the plant but I think it's a goner. The "cooler" on the other hand is an unqualified success. I have started many plants in it and have had uniform (excellent) germination. I will order more propagation systems and never order another plant! Don't know about their seeds.
I also bought a plant stand from Harris Seed. Although I did not get it on sale, they did give me a $30.00 credit for anything else I wanted to order. Their stands are the best built and the most reasonable priced I found. I had a light that came damaged and they replaced it right away. They sent me another light before they had to damaged light back. I will order from Harris Seed next year and every year there after that I garden. They go out of their way for their customers.
I purchased a wonderful light stand from Harris. After doing much comparison shopping because it is a major investment (although it pays for itself with the savings from starting your own plants from seed). The Harris light stand was the best designed I found also at the best price!!! It gave me the most growing area for the space required, is on wheels, hold standard size flats and included light bulbs with the purchase price. Not only that...there was an early bird special and I got it "on sale"! I LOVE IT!
They primarily sell seeds, lots of seeds, many varieties (including single colors of impatiens, for one example), though they have recently added a seedling service and a minimalist perennial selection. They also sell good supplies and equipment for starting seeds. They produce seeds, and briefly discuss seed treatments in their catalog and allude to their trial results in the ad copy. This focus even shows in comments about lilies: "The earliest lily to flower in our trials this summer..."If a variety doesn't do well in a cold soil test, they don't sell it, so their catalog should be of particular interest to northern gardeners. I've had good luck (i.e. better than the alternatives) with their seeds and varieties, as have many people I know in Minnesota and Michigan.