I've never had a problem with their seeds, but the shipping is just ridiculous. Example:
I place an order with Territorial and BC on the same day, both with flat rate shipping, both roughly the same number of seed packets.
I receive the BC order in less than 5 days. Territorial is still in transit (~7 days), but it was supposed to be delivered today. Why can another company do it for half the price?!
Love that the company is fairly local. They have lots of great seeds that have done well in my garden. And their catalogs contain plenty of information on growing their seeds. So, thumbs up for everything, except...
The cost. I just put in an order for 20 packets of seeds, which they charged me $7.95 to ship. I'm still blinking. An hour ago I put in an order for 27 packets of seeds to Baker Creek, and they charged me $3.50 to ship them across the country.
The Territorial seeds also seem more expensive (for OP, conventional seeds). Not hugely, not enough to keep me from ordering them, but in combination with the shipping costs...I think my next order, I'll stick to seeds from Baker Creek. Their seeds have mostly done well for me, too.
On May 12, 2011, HeidiNH Brentwood, NH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I just sent this comment to Terrritorial Seeds, and my email form the Yahoo! address was blocked by Spamcop - good on them for using a spam blocker but not on a customer! I wanted to comment on the ridiculous shipping costs for seeds.
"I just wanted to say that I love your selections and unusual seeds, which is why I order Tromboncino and Dragon's Tongue beans, among other things from you, no one else carries them. That said, 7.95 is a stupid amount of money for shipping two packets of seeds, that should have been a couple of dollars at the most - surely you can make some accommodation for shipping small, lightweight items? The shipping was more than the seeds! Tough economy and all, I know but that applies to all of us...
I marked this as Neutral even though it feels pretty Negative to me. I placed my order January 10 for 4 packets of seeds as well as potatoes and onion plants. The seeds arrived fairly quickly except for the Graffiti cauliflower seeds. I ordered from Territorial rather than from the other million companies whose catalogs I get because they offered the Graffiti variety of cauliflower. I was not happy when my seeds arrived minus the cauliflower. Generally a company will tell you that something is out of stock and offer either a replacement or cancellation. I emailed their CS mid-February and they said they expected their supply to come in mid-March. Since the indoor planting date for me is Feb. 15, I had to go to a garden center and buy whatever variety they offered. The good news is, germination of the other seeds was 100%. I'm getting a little worried because my onions are supposed to go in this weekend.
On Feb 10, 2011, Bartleby1945 New Britain, CT wrote:
Used them for three or four years and always had decent luck with their plants, but the shipping costs are exorbitant. Even if they aren't gouging you—and maybe they're not—spending that kind of money on shipping is absurd. More and more organic greenhouses are springing up and they offer rare varieties and heirlooms. Even if you had to drive 100 miles, you'd come out ahead. As a last resort—if money is no object—then a yes to Territorial Seed. But for the other 99% of us, I say no.
I've ordered from Territorial for years, but this year, with the exception of some onion plants (which I've had very good luck with in the past) I will be ordering from other places. Their prices are not very competative and their shipping is really high. I can get certified organic potato seeds from Peaceful Valley or Fedco for a LOT less $$.
That said, with the exception of one winter squash variety that was not true to type (I did notify them -with pictures - got no response) I've always had excellent germination and product from them. Seed shipping has always been timely. Not a bad company, just a bit steep if you are on a tight budget.
I've bought seeds from them for several years now, via their Web site. I think their seeds are generally of high quality and true to name, but I have had one issue with Territorial, and it is a BIG issue, in my mind: they WILL sell your customer data to other seed/plant companies and you WILL get a boatload of catalogs from companies you have never dealt with. While some people won't mind that, I regard it as spamming. Apparently somewhere in the tiny TOS print there is a box to UNcheck to opt out of this, but of course, the default behavior should be to OPT IN, if desired. I didn't see it, so I got screwed.
Territorial thinks it knows what should go in your garden better then you do. Note that there is no place to put "substitutions not allowed". If you know what needs to go in your garden, and chose carefully, remember to put in the comments section "NO SUBSTITutions, and i mean potatoes TOO!". In 2008/2009, I ordered in Dec/Jan, months later, when the potatoes showed up, just ahead of their planting dates, they were all the wrong potatoes. They were niether the types, nor had the mix of maturities, that I had ordered. I had ordered well ahead of the crush, I had routinly spent over $1000 a year between Territorial's summer and winter catalogs, so I was extremely mad. They had MONTHS to tell me those potatoes were not available and instead they sent generics and I was supposed to take them and shut up. I didn't. Despite the squeeks of protest from the woman on the phone, I sent them back at my own expense, because I don't have room for things I don't plan for, and I don't throw living things in the garbage - let Territorial watch them rot. This is a neutral, not negative, because despite Territorial giving itself an out with a sneaky little disclaimer about no refunds on substitutions, they did, in fact, refund the money fairly quickly. I still order from Territorial (about 10% of last year) but not onion starts (they substituted without telling me, and I did not know they were wrong until I pulled them in the fall) or potatoes, or tomato plants (spindly, tiny, I bought a seed cart and my own looked much better). I wrote this now because if you are looking for Buttes and the other potato varieties Territorial used to offer in the kitchen collection, the ones that loved Werstern Oregon, a quick search online will show you there is another place that sells all of those at the same prices Territorial used to.
On Jul 23, 2009, rvnsbrk Leesburg, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
The seeds from Territorial are far superior to any other. They are more expensive than Burpee, but they offer a different selection and so far everything I have grown is very vigorous. That said, their shipping costs are EXORBITANT!! Shipping for a small bubble envelope is $7.50. According to my Stamps.com account it should cost 1.20 for the postage. I can allow something for the supplies and the time, but I can't get to $7.50. I have even mentioned it politely to them, and gotten no response. In the last few months I have placed several orders for specialty lettuces and now winter harvest items. For about 15 packs of seeds I have spent $23.00 in shipping!! I must be out of my mind.
On Jun 20, 2009, magnolialover Southern, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
Months ago in the winter I placed an order for two echinacea. They offered a shipment time selection which I selected mid-May. It was late May and I hadn't heard from them. I phoned in to the number located on the web site and was given another number to call because evidentally the order number on the web site did not deal with existing orders.
I did reach someone on the number I was given and was told it would be a week or so before they would be shipped. My order arrived mid June with only one of the plants. The plant that was shipped has to be the smallest plant I have ever recieved by mail. It barely had roots. The second plant said it was discontinued on the invoice.
It would have been nice if they would have let me know in some way, that the second plant would not be shipped. To pay $9.95 to ship one tiny plant would not have been worth my trouble.
Unfortunately I will not likely be ordering from this company again. First experiences are worth their weight in gold and one miniscule plant and one missing plant with a large shipping fee do not weigh in much. They came in highly recommended by the Watchdog as a top rated company when I placed my order. I just did not find them to be worthy of that spot, having ordered from several of the Watchdog favorites in the past and being 100% satisfied with those companies....not this one.
On June 24th, 2009, magnolialover added the following:
After typing up this review, I was contacted by the company in regards to this order. They said that would credit the shipping charges and apologized for the lack of communication regarding the order. It's nice to know that companies value what is typed here and actually read the comments.
Keep on typing up your feedback on mail order companies everybody ^_^ It matters.
I am a third generation Territorial Seed planter, and this year, I just couldn't do it. It seems like every year there are more and more hybrid seeds and fewer and fewer open pollinated seeds available from Territorial. I will admit, selling seeds that aren't necessarily "savable" is a good business decision for a company interested in selling seeds year after year. Now, refer back to my first sentence, my grandmother, mother, and I all plant open pollinated seeds, and year after year, order seeds from the company. Some ask why I bother with OPs if I'm just going to order from somewhere else; I save seeds, yes, but there are so many wonderful OP varieties of vegetables out there, how can I pick a favorite, not try the new ones, and risk dietary boredom?!
Please, Territorial Seed Co., sell more OP seed, and less hybrid seed!
I must confess, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Territorial's descriptions, culture, and growing information... that sort of information is definitely needed for those of us on the west side of the Cascades.
I'll still take a gander at next year's (and this winter's) catalogue(s), but until there are more OPs and less F1s, all I'll be doing is looking.
Oh, and perhaps a sliding scale for that flat-rate shipping (I'm thinking for folks whose seed order is, say, less than the shipping price)... or a list of local stores that are carrying your seed - if I do decide to by an OP from y'all this year, I certainly won't pay ten bucks for one packet of seed - I'll head to the food co-op - they have a large display of your seeds.
This company has great packaging, however, I found that for the price the plants were very very small. I could do much better at our local garden center-bigger plants for the same, or even lower price. This was my second year ordering from TS. The first year the plants were much healthier than they were this year. Their seeds and other garden products are really good. Just stay away from transplants.....
I've ordered seeds for the past several years and had great success. I wanted my dad to have a more successful gardening experience, so this year I ordered him seedlings from Territorial. I e-mailed ahead of time to get recommendations of what they have that might be successful in South Carolina. I then ordered 2 tomatoes, 2 peppers, and a sweet basil. They just arrived today. My dad reports: No labels in any of the plants. All of the dirt was out of the sweet basil - nothing even clinging to the roots. The tomatoes were drooping and one's leaves were curled in and appeared to be just about dead. What dirt was in the pots and the shipping box was completely dried out. He's going to try to water and revive them, but was very disappointed. He had planned to just get tomatoes from the local "big box" store, but I convinced him that the quality and selection would be better elsewhere. I guess I assumed that if they couldn't safely ship live plants to the east coast they would say so.
On April 13th, 2007, E_M_I changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
They responded to my e-mail complaint and have promised to replace the plants that died. I'm hoping that the replacements are in much better shape when they get there. I've upgraded the rating to neutral because they seem eager to correct the problems.On April 23rd, 2007, E_M_I added the following:
Plants arrived in much better condition. My dad was relieved and happy to note that this time the pepper plants had labels. Territorial was moderately quick to address the problems.
First off, let me say that my experience with Customer Service was great, and that's why this rating is Neutral instead of Negative. I really wanted to give this company a Positive rating, and I'm disappointed that things didn't go that way.
I ordered a batch of plants from Territorial--tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. I particularly wanted the 'Orange Balsam' thyme, specifically asked about its availability, and was told it was available, so I placed an order for it and the other plants. Had 'OB' thyme not been available, I wouldn't have ordered. Unfortunately, when the order arrived, not only was there no 'Orange Balsam' thyme (the company had substituted lemon thyme at no cost, but forgot to subtract the shipping), but the plants were covered with aphids. (I was surprised at how very small the plants were, but only complained about the aphids.) Customer Service bent over backwards to refund the shipping and replace what few plants were still available, but when they arrived, they too were infested. Again, CS was great; they apologized and refunded my money. I've still lost a growing season, though, and will not order plants from Territorial again, although I will probably order seeds.
On May 12, 2005, ajincolorado Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
I ordered several plants from Territorial Seeds after seeing all the great reviews on this website. I received my plants from Territorial and plants from another Watchdog 30 company yesterday - and I've got to tell you - after seeing both sets of plants side by side, on the same day, I am not that impressed with Territorial's quality. The plants are tiny and were not packed well at all compared to their competitor. As a matter of fact, several arrived out of their cells and looking pretty bad. I was so disappointed. I called the company to let them know about the plants poor condition and was pleased with how helpful they were. Their customer service is great, hence the neutral not negative rating. They are sending replacements of all my damaged plants. I hope this next shipment doesn't disappoint. I have heard great things about their seeds, but I don’t think I’ll be purchasing plants from them again in the future.
On May 21st, 2005, ajincolorado changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I just received my replacement plants from Territorial. What tiny, sad little plants! All but one arrived alive this time, however, so I guess that’s a plus. I would suggest that you just stick with seed ordering from Territorial. For the price, the puny size and poor condition of the plants is ridiculous. On July 1st, 2005, ajincolorado changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
After posting my last comment, I received a very nice (and most unexpected) email from Josh at Territorial. He apologized for the poor quality of plants I received and offered me an immediate refund. Lori at Territorial issued that refund exactly 3 days after the original email. There were no “you are wrong” statements or “it’s not our fault but the mail” statements. You know, every excuse that somehow tries to twist it back onto the customer….Just an apology and a quick fix. Now, that’s customer service --- and that should be commended! If Territorial works to increase plant size, I would definitely try their plants again. At it stands right now, I think I’ll just stick with seeds. Nevertheless, Josh’s kind email made a huge difference --- thank you.
I bought a lot of seeds from them last year and the seeds did OK. I did email them last year and got no response from them. I wanted to sell their seeds in a veggie market that I am working on getting open, but I got no answer. This year I got their catalog in february. I hate to tell them but most serious gardeners have allready bought their seeds. I also noticed that their prices have gone up about 25%. $10.50 for 1# of seed potatoes. Give me a break. I really think that they are getting to big for their britches and that thyey have forgotten about us little guys. I have found many good companies out there and I doubt that I will be buying from them again.
as i live in oregon, territorial is the source for many of our garden seeds, but i am so far not impressed with the germination rate. also, i bought a package of "anise hyssop" seeds, and the resulting plants were hyssop, alright, but there was no hint of the anise flavor i get from the anise hyssop plant i bought from a local nursery. i wrote territorial a note to the effect that the seeds could not have been anise hyssop. never heard a word. for a small, family owned business, i expected at least a comment from them and maybe even a packet of the correct seeds!
This year is the first time I've ordered plants from this company, although I've ordered seeds from them off and on for many years.
I found customer service to be very responsive to emails, but have been disappointed in the plants I've received to date. The first shipment was supposed to contain 2 plants according to the packing slip. I actually ordered several plants, but they sent them in separate shipments. According to the packing slip there should have been a tomato plant and an eggplant plant in the box. There were plant markers for both plants, but only one actual plant in the box (the tomato)and it was almost completely dead. Tiny little seedling with very little sign of life. It did die within a day or two of receiving it. I emailed customer service and they've informed me that they will resend the plants.
Today I received another box with the rest of the "other" plants I ordered. The herb plants are small, but appear healthy and the pepper plant is so tiny that I couldn't even see it until the box was completely unpacked. It had one set of tiny, just emerged true leaves. Considering how young this plant is, I could have planted my own seeds instead of purchasing a "plant" and paying for shipping. Since we do have a long growing season in OK, I may actually see fruit from this plant if I nurture it and season it off once it's larger. The dying tomato plant wasn't much larger.
Although I may order seeds from them again in the future, I will not order plants again. There are too many other suppliers who provide much better plants.
A four pack of pepper plants arrived today from a different company and they were many times the size of the pitiful thing I got from Territorial.
I have bought Territtorial seed products for quite a few years from local retailers, and in person at one of their nurseries. I really like their products a lot. I placed my second online order with them several days ago. Beware as they do not currently send UPS tracking numbers or even respond to emails concerning shipment.
They do not offer an online order information. They do email you the order number right after you place your order but do not include any information as to what you ordered or how much your CC was actually charged. You must save or print the order information off of their website because you will not have access to it until you get your order. Perhaps you could always phone them. They definately need to upgrade to upgrade their website and need to improve customer service. I really like the products they sell but other online vendors offer similar products and provide much better customer service.
Recently ordered from them. Turns out the pea I ordered was a bush variety, not a climbing/tall variety as they had (mis)described in the catalog. One of their lettuce descriptions was also incorrect (the variety turns out to be a butter lettuce, not a romaine as they described.) The descriptions were also incorrect on the website and still are, even though I brought it to their attention to change. I only ordered 8 packets of seed, but besides the two above errors, they also sent me an incorrect packet of seed instead of the variety I ordered (not a substitution.)
Everyone makes mistakes, but when I brought these three errors on my single order to their attention, they simply said "whoops, sorry!" No offer was made to correct their mistakes or replace my seed. I had to email them again requesting substitutions. They then wanted me to pay to mail back the incorrect seed they had goofed up! I'm happy to return it, but not at *my* expense, it wasn't my error, I already paid to have correctly described (and ordered,)seed shipped the first time! Anyhow, here it is a month since I've notified them of the website description errors and it still hasn't been changed (I have to wonder how many other people have notified them of the errors since last fall, and it still hasn't been changed...)
They seem like very nice people, but I won't trust their seed descriptions (web or print) again, nor will I trust their customer service to correct any errors which might occur.
On October 24th, 2002, ashkebird changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Territorial saw my complaint on this website and immediately followed up on the discrepancies and errors. They refunded my credit card for the mis-described seeds and replaced the seed which had been incorrectly mailed to me (instead of what I ordered.) They also confirmed that their policy is to simply replace seed errors, not have seed mailed back to them, and that was a misunderstanding/error when this was previously discussed with them.
Josh, who works in customer service went the extra mile on this when he saw my comment here and I very much appreciate that the problems were solved. I did suggest to them that they need to have some public notification of mis-described seeds on the website and catalog, and I hope they will continue to work on that, so that people know before ordering (or even after,) that the seed has a different habit, etc., than catalog described. Apparently their website can not easily be updated with new description info. Josh promised that they would work on it. But they definitely did correct their errors and I received the new seed today.
On Jan 10, 2002, ncpepper Pilot Mountain, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
- Great selection and variety
- Good cultivation tips
- Good germination
- Customer service/order system needs to be improved. Last year, I received fertilizer which had leaked all over the package due to their poor packaging. Customer service never responded to my complaint. This year, my order was a month late, so I contacted them. They had trouble finding my order and I finally received some of it (they did not bill me for missing items).
While I like this company a lot, and buy all my seeds exclusively from them, they sometimes mis-package seeds. This year we planted both parsley and carrots, and instead of vegetables, what came up were flowers; I am not sure what kind! This also happened to friends of ours. So beware!