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The scoop on 'Southern Exposure Seed Exchange'

  Company Profile  
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 460
Mineral, Virginia 23117 (United States)

Phone: (540) 894-9480
Fax: (540) 894-9481

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: $2 US/$3 Canada/$5 elsewhere

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Recent reviews:
Past month Past 6 Months Past 12 Months
Positive 0 1 1
Neutral 0 1 1
Negative 0 0 1
This company offers a variety of seeds.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Feedback History and Summary  
80 positives
6 neutrals
3 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Positive kat1959
Saint Johnsbury, VT
(5 reviews)
January 19, 2021
I can't recommend Southern Exposure Seed Exchange enough. They have a good selection of all things seeds and plants. What I most love is their offering of perennial and heirloom vegetables such as Egyptian Walking Onion, Yellow Potato Onions, and more. They are exceptionally knowledgeable and have gone to a great deal of effort to preserve heirlooms that are not widely available.
Neutral mmoses3222
Newport News, VA
(3 reviews)
January 10, 2021
Most of the orders that I've done with them have ended up really good. They have many heirloom varieties that do well in my area, and the seeds are usually good quality. However, the few times I've had to contact them for customer service it takes them a long time to get back to you.
Negative caninelucy
Silver Spring, MD
(1 review)
June 2, 2020
Did an order early May. it is now June and all i received were excuses. Their service is awful. They have a pretty catalogue but do not deliver the goods.
Positive BuddyMJ
Mount Juliet, TN
(3 reviews)
February 12, 2020
I have four seed companies I order from each year. This is one of them. Always had great service and selection. It's employee owned and ran and they work hard providing seed and service to their customers. They have always corrected any issues, which have been very few in all the years I've ordered from them.
Positive Spunkybart
Richmond, VA (Zone 7a)
(3 reviews)
September 23, 2019
I've always been very pleased with Southern Seed Exchange -- they ship fast, and I like the variety of seeds! I also like shopping local whenever I can.
Neutral Sharpchick
Mabelvale, AR (Zone 8a)
(2 reviews)
May 27, 2019
I can't even get them to send me a catalog. At this point, I wouldn't be comfortable giving them money for seeds. That's a shame, as I like to order from southern seed companies for best matches for my southern garden.
Positive metarachel
United States
(8 reviews)
April 26, 2019
I've ordered from them multiple times. Shipping's very quick, germination is high, and packaging is nice. They're a bit pricey, but it's worth it to me to support their mission and business structure, and they have never disappointed me.
Negative cjhyde
Medford, MA
(1 review)
March 22, 2019
Placed an order with this company ten days ago and have been trying to find out what's going on with it ever since. The order just says "processing" on my orders page. Emails to the company garner no response at all. Terrible customer service and there's no way I'll ever spend money here ever again--I'm not even sure I'll ever get the 35$ worth of seeds I ordered this time.
Positive BJames1
Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a)
(19 reviews)
December 29, 2017
Ordered seed in fall 2016. Shipping was super fast. Great germination! Gardening accessories and books included in catalog are an excellent addition for the gardener wanting to buy everything at one place. Seed catalog is filled with lots of helpful information for the Mid-Atlantic veggie gardener.
Neutral wamojones
Richmond, VA
(1 review)
December 29, 2017
received their new catalog in the mail. Several varieties looked interesting to me. Unfortunately a lot of these varieties are listed as "not available" on their site. Why are they sending out catalogs containing items they don't have in stock? Inquiries sent via email are ignored. "Should be available by" dates come and go and the site isn't updated.
All this makes me very wary about doing business with them. Especially the failure to communicate. Failure to respond to emails (not even an automated response or a cut and paste job) is not a trait I look for in an online retailer!
It's a shame too because I live in Virginia and wanted to support the local guys but they really don't seem to have it together over there.
Positive twintoes
Tuckasegee, NC (Zone 7a)
(5 reviews)
May 17, 2017
I recently bought from this company for the first time. Fast delivery and really great seeds that germinated well. I chose them because of some of their seeds I received in a seed swap that were packaged for 2012 (green beans). I planted them this year (2017) just to see if they would germinate, along with some other varieties. These germinated slower than the others I planted, but every seed germinated from 6 year old bean seeds! Plus they were organically grown - great price for fantastic quality seeds!
Positive rddjgarden
Bristol, FL
(14 reviews)
May 19, 2016
I ordered several packets of seeds this past winter from Southern Exposure Seed. Almost every seed germinated, and I ended up with a lot more plants than I expected. They are all growing very well and blooming. I highly recommend this business.
Neutral TallulahShines
Columbia, KY
(4 reviews)
May 18, 2016
Let me start off by saying, I've ordered from these guys quite a few times - ever since I first started gardening. I'd never had a bad experience, in fact, I like that they have many unique offerings that I can't get elsewhere. This year specifically, I was waiting to place my order, as I was waiting for a specific variety of something to become available. I inquired more than once about this item on social media, and did not receive a response either time. Each time the germination test date would pass, and I would comment, the date on the website would change - so I can only assume that someone at least saw the comments? Who knows. Maybe not? It would have just been nice to know whether or not to keep waiting or whether or not the seed would, in fact, be available. I went ahead and placed my order for the other things I wanted and gave up on the specific item I'd been waiting on to become available. My order came in a timely manner and was in good condition, however, I doubt that I'll ever be ordering again.
Positive Lilyhazen
Ellijay, GA
(13 reviews)
February 17, 2016
Posted on February 6, 2015, updated February 17, 2016
I have ordered from SESE last year and was pleased with the results. This year, I received the order very quickly and am looking forward to another good year!
On February 17th, 2016, Lilyhazen added the following:

I love the variety and good service this group provides. The varieties of okra I tried last year were lovely and did well. I did not get to tend the beans like I needed to due to heart surgery but this year I have ordered and received my seeds and I am dreaming about the good test I will give them this summer. Thank you so much for the work you do!
Positive MadCheshireGrin
Guyton, GA
(10 reviews)
September 19, 2015
This was my first time ordering from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I ordered 12 seed packets on Sept. 11, 2015 and received them on Sept. 19, 2015. Being in southern Georgia I'll certainly be putting these seeds to the test in our climate!
Positive suwannee
Lake City, FL (Zone 8b)
(1 review)
August 23, 2015
My first order was two years ago, via online order. After ordering, I found out that SESE was part of the Acorn Community. Oh no! The picture in my mind was of a stoned hippie commune, trying to count seeds. I couldn't have been more wrong. Orders have been sent promptly and contain exactly what I ordered. I have ordered since then with the same positive experience.
Positive lambbill9606
Portland, OR
(1 review)
March 31, 2015
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.
Positive sss56
Gastonia, NC (Zone 7b)
(8 reviews)
March 5, 2015
I ordered seeds and they were shipped quickly and everything was exactly as I ordered. A great place to purchase seeds if they have the ones you want.
Positive jumpinjo
Marshalltown, IA (Zone 5a)
(12 reviews)
February 15, 2015
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.
Negative lgfamily8
Savannah, GA
(1 review)
July 29, 2014
Placed an order 01/04/2014. I sent an email on 1/22 asking when should expect my order to be delivered. On the 24th SESE said I should have received the order but that they would reship it and that I should receive it in 3-4 days. I emailed them on the 27th asking what type of packaging I should expect and they replied the next day that it would be in an envelope. On the 29th they emailed and said the first shipment was returned to them on the 23th. How on earth that could have happened, I don't know. I have an oversized mailbox and the postal workers come to the door with packages. By 2/7/2014, a month after the order, I emailed them again to tell them I did not receive the envelop with my order and could they please confirm the address they mailed it to. After apologizing for the slow response as they were all sick there, they confirmed my address. That was the last I heard from them. No seeds and out $60.
Positive mac24
Litchfield Park, AZ
(5 reviews)
April 26, 2014
Great company. With all the heirloom varieties, the catalog is like a trip back in time. Fascinating and informative catalog is one of the seed industry's best.

Orders are filled and shipped promptly. I've had good germination and results with almost everything I've purchased, even in Phoenix's brutal climate.

Company performs a great service with its dedication to preserving worthy heirlooms.

Prices and shipping are very reasonable.

One of my favorite companies. I only wish I had more room to try more of their tomatoes and other seeds.
Positive Gardeningdiva
Leesville, SC
(3 reviews)
April 22, 2014
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.
Positive ericb
Yadkinville, NC
(7 reviews)
January 18, 2014
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.
Positive treesmoocher
Spencer, WV
(9 reviews)
January 13, 2014
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.
Positive bluetexasbonnie
Geronimo, TX
(1 review)
January 7, 2014
Love their catalog. The info on planting distances to keep your heirloom varieties pure is great. It was an aspect of seed saving that i had never really thought about.

Lots of selections. Good descriptions, nice pictures. The little historical and production notes that occur on many entries is entertaining.

Received my first order yesterday. Got an email note on Friday, the package (via US Postal system) arrived on Monday. It was neatly packed. The order was complete. The packages were clearly marked.

Now all I need is spring.
Neutral threedogfarm
Statesville, NC
(2 reviews)
April 30, 2013
Just not overly pleased with customer service. I'm sure they're a great company, but it seems my order was put on a back burner and was only shipped after an email inquiry as to it's status. I ordered from SESE because of their location and selection of seeds from my area, unfortunately I don't know if there will be a next time.
Positive linzelu100
(5 reviews)
April 18, 2013
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.
Positive TucsonTomato
Fairfield, CA, CA (Zone 9b)
(5 reviews)
April 17, 2013
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.
Positive Gracye
Warrenton, VA
(7 reviews)
April 6, 2013
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!
Positive Cville_Gardener
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
(13 reviews)
April 5, 2013
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.
Positive pbtxlady
Garland, TX (Zone 8a)
(14 reviews)
February 21, 2013
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.
Positive ckhamster26
Ocala, FL
(1 review)
February 14, 2013
I buy most of my vegetable seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and have been buying from them for several years now. Very high quality seeds, shipped on time and great customer service.
Positive Eekerka
Wonder Lake, IL
(8 reviews)
January 15, 2013
LOVE SESE. They have a wide selection of certified organic seeds, great prices, and wonderful customer service. One of my go-to companies.
Positive Sherilou
Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b)
(23 reviews)
December 29, 2012
Posted on December 29, 2012, updated December 29, 2012
They have a really nice selection of hard-to-find Southern Peas and Lima Beans. They're customer service is great... thank you!
On December 29th, 2012, Sherilou added the following:

Their shipping is fast, too! :)
Positive kdmclynn
Washington, DC
(2 reviews)
August 23, 2012
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!

Positive tomatolarry
Dalton, GA
(10 reviews)
June 16, 2012
I have ordered twice from SESE and I have to say that they are one of the best companies that I have ever dealt with; good prices, good products and helpful staff.
Positive lilygrandma
Ellijay, GA
(15 reviews)
April 20, 2012
I placed my first order with this company Tuesday afternoon, and Friday have the seeds in hand! I can't wait to try them!
Positive lssfishhunter
Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b)
(7 reviews)
March 5, 2012
I ordered some crowder peas and some okra seed from this company. The seeds came very quickly after I ordered. I am very satisfied.
Positive Reddoorfarms
Grundy, VA
(2 reviews)
January 28, 2012
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!
Positive rnation
Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a)
(4 reviews)
January 16, 2012
Been ordering from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange for years. Same fast service, accurate orders, and friendly people each year. Must give credit where credit is due.. Wonderful people to deal with..

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