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The scoop on 'Johnny's Selected Seeds'

  Company Profile  
Johnny's Selected Seeds

Mailing Address:
955 Benton Avenue
Winslow, Maine 04901 (United States)

Phone: (207) 861-3900
Fax: 1-800-437-4290

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free in US, Canada & Mexico

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Recent reviews:
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Positive 0 1 2
Neutral 0 0 0
Negative 0 1 1
This company offers a variety of plants and seeds.

This company specializes in:

Other helpful information:

  Company Comment, posted on July 3, 2002:  
Johnny's Selected Seeds provides quality vegetable, herb and flower seeds and flower bulbs--as well as a full line of gardening/small-grower accessories--to home garden and commercial growers.

An independent company since 1973, Johnny's prides itself on its superior product, research, technical information, and service. All of Johnny's seeds and accessories are thoroughly tested at their 40-acre certified organic farm in Albion, Maine, and are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Phone or fax orders received before noon weekdays are shipped that afternoon. Orders received after noon are shipped the next working day. Your call is initially answered by an automated attendant, however, it's easy to reach a real person. And, the staff is very knowledgeable about gardening.

Johnny's is proud to be a member of the Safe Seed Initiative, and we invite organizations, governments, businesses, and individuals to join us.

Johnny's Mission Statement: "To provide superior product, research, technical information, and service to critical home gardeners, and specialty and small commercial growers."

Johnny's donates a portion of profits to garden-related charities.

For more information, visit the company web site at

  Feedback History and Summary  
294 positives
18 neutrals
25 negatives


Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

Negative redsteelie
Dundee, IL
(1 review)
January 4, 2019
Used to love Johnny's - but my recent experiences with their website and lack of available customer support has lost my business. I made the mistake of entering the wrong coupon code after entering 45 line items. The website then promptly voided the code I intended to enter as well as another that I had been sent. Both were sent to me by Johnny's and were valid for another 3 weeks. I don't have time to deal with a company which plays "bait and switch" with coupon codes and provides no easy way to contact them other than by phone during normal working hours. There are equally good companies out there who actually care about customer services.
Positive FillingFarm
Emmett, MI
(1 review)
September 23, 2018
To anyone looking for a good company to buy your seeds and potatoes and strawberries from, I recommend Johnny's Seeds. This was the first year I've bought from this company, and I am thoroughly impressed. I purchased a little over $500 worth of product, and I've never been more impressed. For starters, I don't think I've ever had beans produce as much as the ones I bought from there. While zucchinis are big producers, the ones that grew this year seemed to go beyond any other years. I've never had as beautiful pumpkins in the field as the ones that grew from the Johnny's Seeds company. The seed potatoes I bought have by far out produced any that I've grown before. The strawberries I accidentally let fruit this year were some of the best I've ever had.

I had quite a few extra seeds that I didn't have time for between work and a foot injury, so I passed on some to a family friend. They had almost the exact same results as I had. Their corn came in something perfect, the melons just keep on coming in, and all the plants are huge and beautiful.

This year has been a pretty good drought in our area, and Johnny's Seeds has out performed many other seed companies in my eyes. As I continue to work on growing my farm and expanding my sales, I'll definitely be continuing to use Johnny's Seeds. If my next growing season goes as fantastic as this one has, I'll be a sure fire customer for life.
Positive brian1985
Cozad, NE
(3 reviews)
August 28, 2018
This review is strictly on shipping. I ordered onion seeds last week and won't be starting them until end of January. Super fast shipping! I placed my order Friday morning and had the seeds Monday morning. The only complaint I have is the company they shipped with you have to be a paid member to track your package.
Positive Snappingturtle
Cranbury, NJ
(4 reviews)
March 21, 2018
I've ordered from Johnny's Selected Seeds for the last two years. The service has always been wonderful. Shipments arrive quickly and well packed. I had excellent germination rates on all of the 30+ vegetable and herb varieties I've ordered from the company. They sell both organic seed and non-organic seed; I've only ordered organic and have been very pleased. They also carry an amazing array of very high quality tools and equipment. The only con to this company is that the prices are quite high but you do get top of the line equipment and seed for the price.
Positive sungoldmmm
Clermont, FL
(3 reviews)
May 19, 2017
I've ordered many seeds from many internet companies. Johnny's is my new favorite even though I do recognize that their prices seem steep. For me, I appreciate the nice internet interface, the seeds for me have always sprouted better than the germination rate stated on the package, and I appreciate they are employee owned because I feel they care more. My deliveries have always been within 5 days with good messaging that is not always the case with other companies I've dealt with - with few exceptions, they are top 3 fastest delivery for seeds I've experienced so far.

What put me over was my Perilla and Saltwort seeds. Both types of seeds sprout very easily if fresh and many people say Perilla for example is invasive where they live, etc. but Perilla ALSO happens to be one of the most difficult seeds to sprout if the seeds are older than say a month and/or stored badly and most often requires cold strat techniques. A search on the internet will show some people feel it's impossible and some think it's invasive and easy to sprout. My experience, I ordered from 2 different internet Asian seed companies and did not have much luck sprouting them save for 2 plants out of 2 seed packets with more than 100 seeds in each packet. These seeds, I would separate into 1/4 portions and put the first 1/4 directly, second 1/4 in the fridge for 2 weeks, third 1/4 in the freezer, and fourth 1/4 I would save for one year later because when they are really old, they are supposed to have better germination, etc. Saltwort, or Okahijiki, is similar in that older seeds can have trouble germinating. After my previous 2 experiences with seeds from 2 different companies, I didn't expect either to spout and emptied half packets into dirt in 20 gallon containers, and forgot about them. Short of it, less than a week later, both sprouted far beyond the germination rate stated on the packet. What took me 2 months of trying to sprout from other companies with only 2 plants to show for it for my troubles, Johnny's seeds sprouted far beyond the germination rate stated on the package in less than a week. Also had great tasting Sungolds when I bought from Johnny's years ago but I bought from a different company this year and the results were so poor I doubt they were genuine Sungold seeds. I learned my lesson.

The cons I have are, I wish they had more varieties of seeds and wish they sold more live plants, cause I wish I could order more from them. Also as I've said, their prices seem a ~$1 steeper a packet than a lot of companies. Still, FOR ME, I appreciate the pros of this company far more than the cons. If I can find the seeds I want from Johnny's, I will buy it there - always get them on time, and always sprout and perform well for me.
Positive Aakbay
Cranbury, NJ
(2 reviews)
April 6, 2017
I've ordered seeds and germination equipment from Johnny's Selected Seeds this year. I've had a great experience with the company and excellent germination rates. When they ran out of organic clover for my large order 650 lbs) they tracked down additional seed and had it shipped directly from the grower. I'll definitely be ordering again.
Positive scilib
Oxford, OH
(5 reviews)
March 31, 2017
First-time customer, but I'll be back. Shipped very quickly (received order a few days after ordering from halfway across the country), with tracking number, professionally packaged. They've got it together.
Positive madielov
Tijeras, NM
(2 reviews)
March 5, 2017
I have had good experiences with Johnny's. I use their green manure mixes every fall and spring. Also like their lettuce mixes
Good germination for me
Positive growin
Beautiful, BC (Zone 8b)
(10 reviews)
February 4, 2017
I ordered a variety of cut flower varieties from Johnny's Seed in early 2016. I had excellent germination rates, good results from the cultivars offered and I had a problem with my credit card (address mismatch due to moving) and the rep called me back and helped me sort it out. I experienced excellent service and product quality so I've ordered much more for 2017.
Negative decherdt
Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a)
(6 reviews)
January 20, 2017
Looks like the new website host/manager really messed up the site, and is keeping it secret from Johnny's. Continuing weeks of unsuccessful log in assistance, broken links to data sheets, etc. Lost my business, small as it was.
Negative 4seasonsgreens
Hendersonville, NC
(1 review)
January 15, 2017
Seed labels are required to have a germination date, and the seed is supposed to be good for 12 mos. from that date. However, there is no policing by any agricultural agency of dates on seed labels and seed viability. If the seed gets old, the label or seed packet can be swapped with a label with a new date.

I bought 1000's of bad Salanova green butter seeds, which germinated poorly, to grow hydroponically for a local restaurant. My Johnny's rep assured me I was the cause of the poor results. Johnny's replaced 3000 of the seeds, but those were also bad. I was told I was the only one complaining about poor Salanova green butter germination. I tried to speak to their experts in germination, but I was never put in touch with anyone. I sustained a $5500 loss as a result of these bad seeds.

I have a lot of experience growing lettuce hydroponically. I know how to germinate lettuce seeds. It is not rocket science. Lettuce is one of the easiest seeds to germinate.

A horticulturist for another seed company told me the seeds were old and told me about the labeling practices of the seed industry. Mystery solved.
Positive nancyji
Aromas, CA
(2 reviews)
December 26, 2016
we have been organic farmers since 1988, and have tried a lot of seeds, and our experience with Johnny's has been superlative. At this point, we've pretty much eliminated all seed competition, and get our farm seed from Johnny's. The prices are very good, we know the sources, and can prove with their paperwork that we are using organic seed.
Positive addicted2plants
Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a)
(3 reviews)
May 27, 2016
We had a fire and I lost ALL of my 5 year collection of vegetable and flower seeds. Late last night, I put in an order of $204 worth of seeds I needed. I paid $20 ish for overnight shipping because I'm under pressure to get the last items into the ground. TODAY, about 14 hours later, I got all but 2 of the seed packets! I've ordered from Johnny's for probably 10 years, but TODAY they actually made me get teary! Thank you Johnny's! You have a customer for LIFE!
Negative celestecomfort
Comfort, TX
(1 review)
April 1, 2016
I ordered the hot cherry zinnias and the Benary's giant wine zinnia seeds from this company based on previous reviews. I have sown the seeds inside using standard practice. Out of the 72 pots of the hot profusion zinnia I sowed (using 2 seeds per pot) only 19 came up. Out of the 25 wine zinnia seed pots I planted only 10 came up.

At the same time I planted various Benary's zinnia seeds from another vendor. Germination rate was around 85%.

Needless to say I am very upset with the germination rate on seeds from Johnny's.
Positive OldPumpkin
North Smithfield, RI
(7 reviews)
July 10, 2015

I have been ordering seeds and supplies from Johnnies for over 30 yrs ! Everything arrives on time and never had to use the service dept . Their catalog is beautiful , many choices and well put together. I would give this company a rating of above excellent !!!
Positive ohiofarmerjohn
New Paris, OH
(1 review)
July 9, 2015
Johnny's is GREAT! Their products are superior, and they only carry the BEST varieties. The staff is very helpful.

I am a market farmer, and this is my first year with Johnny's. Until now I have sourced seeds from many places, but from now on Johnny's will be my main supplier.
I love their philosophy and their dedication to serving organic and naturally grown market farmers.

Johnny's prices may seem high, but for farmer's like me they who buy large quantities of seeds the prices are not bad at all. The more you get the more you save!
Negative junglejimk
Traphill, NC
(1 review)
May 16, 2015
Johnnys was recommended to me by a friend. They put a lot of effort into their catalog, pretty informative and appealing. I hadnt bought seed by mail in many years. I got all excited and ordered $140 of seed last year. It ended up being a pretty sorry year for my garden, I cant blame it all on the seed but had poor results with several crops. particularly poor germination luck with Toscano Kale, paydirt sweet corn, onions (seed), and eggplant. I regret departing from my local seed dealer last season, prices of seed from johnnys was from 2-6 times more expensive than it is just 5 miles down the road from me. The small packets (what one would typically order when experimenting with a "new" crop) are quite expensive for a MINISCULE amount of seed. I probably wont order from Johnnys again unless I really need a special variety that I cant find anywhere else.
Neutral Lilyhazen
Ellijay, GA
(13 reviews)
February 7, 2015
I am posting as a concerned customer. I have bought from Johnny's for 5 years now, and generally been okay with service, seeds, etc (although some seed packets seem skimpy. I did go as far as to count seeds once and found less than half what was stated.) However, I am kerflummoxed about the shipping prices. $4 for less than an ounce of seeds (2 packets)? Could be sent in a tiny bubble envelope for half that.

As a newly retired gardener, I would like to continue using Johnny's, but this year I am holding off, and going with those who seem to be offering a service at closer to the price of the service.

Like most everything else, there are good and bad points to ordering from Johnny's, but I am sitting this year out.
Neutral Morduk
United States
(1 review)
January 25, 2015
I have bought my seeds from Johnny's for nearly 20 years. Lately, I noticed their prices and shipping costs have been skyrocketing. I called to complain about the prices and was told to contact Hillary Alger. When I wrote to Hillary, I informed her that the many items I bought from Johnny's went up 18% from 2013 to 2014. She informed me that my math was wrong. I then pulled out the 2013 and 2014 catalogs and listed every product and the increases. She then told me the next bigger seed packet only went up 5% I guess that was a plug to buy the bigger packs. I noticed the price of the seeds I ordered in 2014 went up 12% for the 2015 year.

This year I only bought from Johnny's, seeds that I couldn't find anywhere else. I love Johnny's, they are a first class organization, but with the volume of seed I buy every year, they have left my price range.
Positive Majahonke
North Tonawanda, NY
(1 review)
January 7, 2015
I have been an annual Johnny's customer since 1985. Their offerings and service has been superb in that time. In recent years I have become more concerned about the company's direction, however. Prices are skyrocketing while I'm certain seed pack contents are diminishing. Every business has a right and duty to grow but it seems the company is losing sight of the backyard gardener. When gardening costs grow to where budgeting for it becomes necessary I have to wonder whether it is worth it anymore. Last year my Johnny's order was nearly $300. The order was inflated to take advantage of free shipping offer with enough seed to carry me at least two years. Having to think about gardening this way removes the fun and makes it more like a business even in my own yard. After 40 years of gardening I can see my relationship with Johnny's and gardening coming to an end.
Positive Bowmore38
Glendale, AZ
(4 reviews)
July 10, 2014
I like Johnny's. They ship quickly, their prices on seeds aren't ridiculous, and they make problems right immediately. With the Shiraz snow peas, they gave everyone their money back without any drama llamas running through the garden.

Their shipping is a little pricey, but they do occasionally have shipping promotions.

Overall, a solid reliable source.
Neutral bacardi870
Casey, IA
(2 reviews)
March 6, 2014
I ordered from johnnys solely for the recommendation from as their readers top seed company. I guess im not that impressed. Their seeds are EXPENSIVE...a dollar more than seedsavers per small pack. Their shipping is honestly out of line. Sure it came fast but ill give UPS the props for the shipping.
Anyway I liked their balanced selection between heirlooms & hybrids but the seed cost and shipping cost is a deal breaker for me returning next year.
Neutral Niere
Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b)
(7 reviews)
February 23, 2014
Posted on March 20, 2007, updated February 23, 2014
My recent experience with Johnny's was a mixed bag--thus the "neutral" rating. This past January I placed a seed order plus I ordered a four-block block maker for seed-starting. As I was placing my order I was informed by the service representative that I would need to order the "inserts" for the block maker. I questioned this but she insisted that I would need them so trusting that she knew the company's products better than I, I ordered the inserts. I received my order promptly and yesterday I took out the block maker and couldn't see why I needed the additional inserts. I searched the box and discovered there were no directions for either the block maker or the inserts. I contacted Johnny's and the representative (who was VERY nice) apologized for the lack of instructions but also apologized for the fact that indeed I did not need the inserts. She said that I could return the inserts and I would be credited for them, which is fine, but that they would not cover the return shipping. While I appreciate that the shipping on these items will be minimal, about a total of three or four dollars by the time I purchase a padded envelope and pay for the postage, it still disappoints me that I have to pay to return an item that I originally didn't want but was advised by their representative to purchase, only to find out in the end that in fact I didn't need it at all.
Again, to be fair everyone I dealt with at Johnny's was pleasant and helpful and they even walked me through using the block maker and making adjustements to the seed starting mix so that it would be the proper consistency. I just wish that they'd have sent directions with it and that they would agree to cover returns on products in situations like mine. On a positive note, I really appreciate all the planting information they have on their seed packets--they really excel in this area. And their customer service people have never been anything but helpful and courteous. I will probably order from Johnny's in the future because I like what they stand for as a company and I love their selection, but I hope that in the future they make certain that the people taking their orders are more informed about their products.
On February 23rd, 2014, Niere added the following:

Sorry, but I'm really about done with Johnny's. There was a time when they were the only place for quality seed--that's simply not the case anymore, and I can't continue to justify nearly $4.00 for every seed packet. This year will be my final bulk order with them--next year I'll only purchase seed or products from them which I absolutely cannot find elsewhere.
Positive reeve1
Plano, TX (Zone 8b)
(51 reviews)
February 14, 2014
Another great experience with Johnny's. The shipping was lightning fast, seed packs were well protected. Of 16 different flower varieties I'm getting in excessive of 85% germination on all but the Larkspur. But, it's only been 4 days on the Larkspur and these can take a bit longer to germinate and sprout. Thanks to everyone at Johnny's for your hard work and great seeds! It makes my job so much easier and enjoyable.
Positive bstnh1
Barrington, NH (Zone 5a)
(4 reviews)
December 6, 2013
Have ordered from Johnny's for several years and have never been disappointed. Quality seeds, reliable, fast shipping.
Negative Jrabbit
Pike Creek, DE
(1 review)
May 21, 2013
30 yr. customer Johnny's customer. I never worried once about shipping. Never complained about germination rates. Some things can't be helped. But less than a hundred seed in a packet of Arugula stated to contain 500 minimum? 12 Marigold seed in a packet costing $3.59? I called to complain about the shorting on Arugula and heard this from customer service: "Happens. I suppose you want another packet." Tried to inquire if there was harvesting difficulty or limited availability (rarity) of the Marigold seed and was told: I'm not sure what your complaint is." I can buy Marigold seed locally for half the price for 10 times the quantity. My final dealings with Johnny's. They won't miss my 60-80$ annual order, or at least their customer rep won't. I won't miss them!
Positive forgottenman
Pennsbury Village, PA
(2 reviews)
May 2, 2013
Bought several packets of seeds, and all (except the cucumbers and kale... haven't started those yet) are making plants. Even with suboptimal germination conditions, these seeds are sprouting at close to the rates specified on the packets. Will be buying more seeds from Johnny's soon!
Positive Beckah
Memphis, TN
(5 reviews)
April 1, 2013
I ordered packets of 'Marvel of Venice' and 'Fortex' bean seeds from Johnny's and have no-o complaints. The seeds even arrived much sooner than I anticipated. ..No problem. :) ...I'm sure I will be ordering from them again in the future.
Positive BrisbaneAnne
Brisbane, CA (Zone 10b)
(31 reviews)
March 31, 2013
Whenever I think about vegetable gardening, Johnny's Seeds come to mind. I have not been disappointed with their seeds yet over the years I have ordered from them.
Positive susiequilts
Syracuse, NY
(3 reviews)
March 15, 2013
Second year ordering from this company. Super quick shipping, well packaged. No surprises.

Catalog is easy to read and find what you need.

Last year's seeds germinated and grew as described.

Would (and will) order from them again every year.

Positive lilygrandma
Ellijay, GA
(15 reviews)
March 7, 2013
Posted on July 22, 2010, updated March 7, 2013
Posted on April 12, 2010, updated July 22, 2010
Posted on March 17, 2009, updated April 12, 2010
I have been ordering from Johnny's for several years and have been very impressed with their seeds and service. My order this year was filled within 8 days (all the way from Maine!) with no missing packets. I also like their selection, and have had good germination with their seeds.
On April 12th, 2010, lilygrandma added the following:

Again this year Johnny's is great at getting all the seeds to me quickly--4 days from Maine to Georgia! Can't wait to see the seeds germinate.
On July 22nd, 2010, lilygrandma added the following:

The seeds I ordered in the spring did very well. Made an order in early July, and received the entire order 4 days later. All the seeds germinated within 5 days! This company continues to please me! I recommend them highly!
On March 7th, 2013, lilygrandma added the following:

Again, quick service from Johnny's--less than a week! Their seeds always do well. Hoping this is another good year!
Positive WillysWoodPile
Kalamazoo, MI
(12 reviews)
February 28, 2013
Top Quality products. Excellent customer service. Prompt delivery. What more could a guy want? Well, I had questions about germinating Stevia seed as I had problems [actually 100% failures] in the past. I asked about this when I placed my order. A nice lady contacted me by phone and explained step-by-step how to properly germinate and grow Stevia. She obviously knew what she was talking about.
Positive AS
(Zone 7a)
(46 reviews)
February 26, 2013
Service was excellent. Their seed varieties generally seem to be aimed more at farmers/ market gardeners than home gardeners (though their lettuce section is an exception and worthy of drooling over, and the tomatoes aren't bad). But they have a nice selection of organic garden products, and their seed descriptions are refreshingly free of the hype I see in many catalogs. And wonder of wonders, the seed packets I ordered were all in stock and sent promptly.
Neutral louie2
Fort Collins, CO
(3 reviews)
January 24, 2013
Two days ago I ordered about $32 worth of seeds--that's 6 packets of seeds. When I got through the ordering process on the phone, the mailing and handling fee was $10! When I said that I wouldn't order because that fee was too high, it was adjusted to $7.00--still too high, but I took it. My thought is that the postage and handling should never be more than $1.00 per packet, and even that is high. Just know that there are options...

Positive poypoyking
Columbia Heights, MN
(3 reviews)
January 23, 2013
This was my 4th year ordering seeds from Johnny's. I placed my order last Tuesday and had my seeds by Saturday. Everything has had good germination rates on my past orders and their selection is hard to beat.
Positive jeremybro
Mulvane, KS (Zone 6b)
(6 reviews)
January 18, 2013
Just received my third order from Johnny's. Surprised me because I was expecting them to hold my order until the one item that was backordered came in, but just got everything else yesterday. I placed the order four days ago. That's speedy service in my book.

This has been true of every order I have placed with them. The one time I had cause to contact their customer service, the lady was polite, helpful, and corrected my problem in a few minutes.

I continue to order from Johnny's, not just because of their service, but their excellent selection, and (the greatest, in my book) I can order anywhere from a small packet to several pounds of anything in their catalog! I love that!
Positive pawziecat
San Diego, CA
(1 review)
January 4, 2013
I have ordered from Johnny's Selected Seeds for many, many years. The customer service is stellar, and they consistently send a superior quality of seed, with excellent germination rates. If anyone orders from Johnny's and for any reason is not satisfied with their purchase, they should contact Johnny's customer service staff who I have found to be very helpful and will give 100 % effort to correct any problem
Positive midvalleydad
Dickson City, PA
(7 reviews)
December 27, 2012
Ordered onion plants and potatoes from these people. They were shipped separately at the correct times for planting here in Pa. Will definately order from Johnnie's again.
Positive 8opetey
Bristol, CT
(4 reviews)
December 13, 2012
So far, no problems. I got a catalog from a master gardener talk at a local garden. Seems like some of the seeds are pretty pricey. However, I'm used to buying seeds from Walmart or plants from big chain stored and I have mixed luck with them. We placed our first order this weekend and have the seeds in hand already. There were much better prices on some of their sale and internet tabs.
So, c'mon... bush beans... 1000 seeds for $3 with a 80% germination rate. How can you say no?
For the first time, I'm trying early and late season plants as well as a summer garden so I'll update this when I get some growth.
Positive SeniorGardening
Sullivan, IN
(14 reviews)
November 12, 2012
I think itís 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.

Weíve used Johnnyís Selected 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.

When weíve had a question about an order or variety, Johnnyís customer service has responded promptly. I especially like some of their Growers Library and Interactive Tools (fall planting calculator, etc.).

While Iím concerned about some of their recent price increases, I find that Iím willing to pay a bit more for seed from them that I can trust.


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