Posted on January 20, 2018, updated January 20, 2018
Posted on March 27, 2017, updated January 20, 2018
Very helpful and knowledgeable staff but I found out, just as I was about to order seed from them, that they're working in partnership with Bayer chemical, the producer of neonicotinoid pesticides. In fact, having a "conservation" seed company seems to be a way for Bayer to work the PR angle.
The EU is in the process of neonics those because of the harmful effects on bees and potentially other insects. The main goal of my meadow was to support insect life, like the Karner Blue.On January 19th, 2018, IndianaOhio changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have looked at a lot of seed companies since I posted my initial comment and I have to say that Ernst has some of the best pricing for many of its wildflower seeds, assuming you need lb+ quantities. The Bayer thing is a question mark but I suppose there are bigger problems, like the steady loss of every square inch of land to development. Ernst also carries some species that are hard to find in quantity and tells you, sometimes, what ecotype they are. I'm not sure about some of their pollinator value ratings, though. Red columbine, for instance, blooms early and is valuable for returning hummingbirds I've read. So, the blooming period may be more important, in some cases, than the quantity of nectar. Also, the pollinator value can vary from pollinator to pollinator. Different species of plants benefit different sets of pollinators. But, it is true that some plants aren't very useful for pollinators, like wind-pollinated plants that aren't host plants for them, provide shelter, etc. I'm changing my rating to positive, despite the Bayer angle, and despite the way I think they sell Dame's Rocket, simply because their pricing is so good for many species. Also, their customer service was good, although I haven't ordered from them (I spoke with one of their plant experts at length, though). I am also under the impression that Blue Flax is rather useless for pollinators because of very low nectar and pollen production but their site says it's a good plant. That seems to be a fairly industry-wide problem, though.On January 19th, 2018, IndianaOhio changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I accidentally submitted without changing to positive.
I have dealt with this company many times for conservation plantings. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, and the catalog a wealth of info. They will custom mix your choice of native grass and wildflowers seeds and will deal in very small quantities. If you have a strict budget, they will adjust your mix to fall within it. The seed is clean, well packaged, and high quality. They are easy to contact and quick to respond to questions at any time. A very, very good company.