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Comments regarding J.L. Hudson, Seedsman

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294 positives
4 neutrals
6 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Positive DonnaMack
(61 reviews)
On Feb 4, 2019, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Posted on January 10, 2018, updated February 4, 2019
Posted on April 27, 2017, updated January 10, 2018
Posted on March 30, 2017, updated April 27, 2017
Posted on May 23, 2015, updated March 30, 2017
Posted on January 5, 2014, updated May 23, 2015
Posted on May 7, 2012, updated January 5, 2014
Posted on December 20, 2002, updated May 7, 2012
I have ordered from J. L. Hudson for the last four years and have been very pleased. The germination rate, if the instructions are followed, is in excess of 95% for the perennials and annuals I have started from seed. Unlike most catalogues, this one specifies the expected rate (50%, for example, which allows you to adjust the amount you sow)
and just how difficult or easy the germination process will be, so you can decide whether it is worth a go. The prices are unbelievably low; (the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"expensive\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" ones are $2.00 a pack) and I have had the opportunity to grow plants that you may have heard described and never seen, or grow a different variant on a familiar plant. As an example, Platycodon grandiflorus (blue ballooon flower) is in every catalogue - but is Perlemutter (mother of pearl with dark pink lines - much more rare, and beautiful, that Fuji Pink) or the white version? And the postage is $1.00 for up to 20 packets! Given the high quality and germination rates, the low prices and the cheap postage, not to mention the sometimes rare and normally expensive varieties, this may be the best bargain in seeds.


On May 7th, 2012, DonnaMack added the following:

Although the prices have gone up just a bit since I wrote my last review, I have continued to be very pleased with my dealings with JL Hudson. I was sent an email confirming my order, and told when it would ship. They are still the best bargain in seeds. I ordered some seeds from their supplemental catalog, and they arrived promptly, well packaged and with generous amounts of seed. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s a pleasure doing business with them.
On January 5th, 2014, DonnaMack added the following:

What I do not include above is that I have ordered year after year from this wonderful company, enjoying unique seeds (salvia ssp. tesquicola, anyone?) and 100% customer satisfaction, and I would like to mention the latter today. I placed an order through Paypal, and one of the seeds that I wanted was unavailable. I got a message from Paypal about my refund, and when I went to my email account the Nice people at JL Hudson informed me which seed was out of stock, and mentioned that the refund had been sent. And the funds are in my account. No waiting, no delays. And since the seed I was after is, for some reason, becoming rare (cerinth Honeywort) I was very pleased to be able to order it immediately from the only company I could find that stocks it.

How cool is that?
On May 23rd, 2015, DonnaMack added the following:

I would like to add that I have just germinated JL Hudson seed from 2008. Yes, I keep it in the fridge but germination on OLD seed is in excess of 90%.
On March 30th, 2017, DonnaMack added the following:

Another happy year of ordering from J.L. Hudson. I am stunned to read my old reviews and realizing that I have been ordering since 1998, the year I purchased my first single family home. I find that I fall in love with new plants and can get the excellent seed from this great company easily and inexpensively. Things that are very expensive to buy as plants, things that are unavailable elsewhere (salvia ssp. tesquicola) things that I want a billion of - all are easily obtainable. I love being able to copy the descriptions into an email, add up the numbers with my address and name, send it off and go to Paypal. It\\\\\\\'s actually the fastest and easiest ordering process out there.

Thank you, J.L Hudson. No one is better.
On April 27th, 2017, DonnaMack added the following:

One more comment. I just germinated platycodon perlmutter seed purchased from J.L. Hudson in the year 2000. Of 12 seeds, I got (so far) 5 viable seedlings that I have potted up.

What a great company!
On January 10th, 2018, DonnaMack added the following:

I placed an order yesterday on email. I received an email from the fine people at JL Hudson 10 hours later that my order had been shipped, and apologized for an out of stock seed (and honestly, they had listed it as out of stock on the website) and my Paypal refund for those seeds has been sent.

I have been ordering since 1998. I love these guys.
On February 4th, 2019, DonnaMack added the following:

My 2019 order included some seeds so unusual that I had to look them up to see how they appeared. JL Hudson is one of the very few sites that does not boost its prices for unusual seeds (I have more than one that is not in commerce). I was so intrigued by some of the choices (salvia I had never heard of), and so pleased that some of the seeds I wanted cost less than half of other sites, that I ordered far more than I anticipated, and as usual the seeds were promptly sent and excellently packaged.

They are wonderful!
Positive Basil989
(8 reviews)
On Jan 9, 2019, Basil989 Pueblo, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

When I think of J.L. Hudson, Seedsman, I picture the popular internet GIF of Robert Redford as Jeremiah Johnson from the movie . . . Jeremiah Johnson, where he is looking into the camera and giving the slightest little affirming nod.

It's not hard to mythologize Mr. Hudson, since when I stumbled onto his website I felt like I had immediately received the answer to a question I didn't even know I had been looking for.

To get it out of the way, yes, his seed is great. The selection is mind-mindbogglingly amazing. I literally learn something new every time I browse through the catalog. The prices and shipping costs are also extremely fair, shockingly so. I've order more than once now and he is a man of his word- he notifies within the given time frame, he ships on time, it's packed well, and my orders have always been correct. The info on the packet is specific and helpful as well.

What I really love though, is the no-nonsense, respect based approach to what he does. Read the directions, follow them, no problems. I love, love, love his approach to environmentalism, diversity, and the practicality he infuses into not only everything he writes about, but to the catalog itself, as well as the website and the way it operates. No nonsense, just facts, mutual respect, and a love of plants.

Along with one other sort of science-minded esoteric seed website, he has quickly shot to the absolute top of my favorite seed sellers (can you tell? lol).

But honestly, to find someone who truly cares so much, who finds such a balance between scientific facts, ideals, and the reality of having to live in this world, and yet also finds a way to manage a well-run seed bank in the midst of all that . . . what a treasure.

Positive BecLux
(1 review)
On Oct 23, 2018, BecLux Newport, PA wrote:

JL Hudson is the best for price & quality. Excellent customer communication. I have been buying milkweed seeds from them for many years & they never dissapoint.

Positive TigerLilMcD
(1 review)
On Mar 27, 2018, TigerLilMcD Klamath Falls, OR wrote:

Posted on February 16, 2017, updated March 27, 2018
I\'ve been doing business with JL Hudson for a number of years - they never disappoint! Orders are always received promptly - and a public access seed bank is an excellent cause to support. The website is full of helpful information and the seeds are always quality, with outstanding germination rates.


On March 27th, 2018, TigerLilMcD added the following:

They just keep going - getting even better! I placed an email order on Monday & received a note that my order had been shipped on Tuesday evening....

They continue to expand seed selections & I have confidence in the honesty of the 'bank. I just love this place!
Positive lorettalea
(4 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2018, lorettalea Moscow, TN wrote:

I placed two(2) orders from J L Hudson for the 2018 growing season and as usual, they have exceeded my expectations.

This is my 16th year of ordering from J L Hudson. I have never been disappointed nor have I ever had to contact them after placing my order for any reason. I always choose my seeds from their online site, therefore I have never ordered anything that was out of stock, as they update regularly. Great selection, good value and the most economical shipping costs.

Positive SharonVile
(1 review)
On Feb 28, 2018, SharonVile Odessa, MO wrote:

I've been ordering from J.L. Hudson for over 30 years. The catalog is an invaluable source for both old favorites and unusual seeds and contains much valuable information. I've learned a lot, just from reading this catalog over the years.

I also appreciate that seeds are listed by their scientific names. I recently ordered sea kale from another source (Gurney's), but closer investigation revealed that the seeds I had ordered were not true sea kale. I was able to find seeds for true sea kale (Crambe maritima) in the J.L. Hudson catalog.

I kind of appreciate being forced to learn the scientific names for plants. I've found this to be useful. I also appreciate that the correct pronunciations are offered.

I don't remember ever having a problem with J.L. Hudson's products or service.

Positive MissFish
(1 review)
On Jan 9, 2018, MissFish Healdsburg, CA wrote:

I LOVE THESE GUYS!!! Serious chops! They shipped my order within 24 hours of receiving it. Plus loads of tips and info on their website. They know their stuff!

Positive JOHNFREEMAN
(12 reviews)
On Dec 23, 2017, JOHNFREEMAN Seven Lakes, NC wrote:

Having boughtseeds for 60 years from every sort of deale, finding and buying from Hudson has been the finest experience of seed buying I've ever experienced.Theysell unusual seeds hardly available elsewhere as well as common useful seeds.And, the service! Perfect.Germination on my last order was superb and the flowers were gorgeous.The tiny shipping charges are very unusual in a world where other seed companies apparently attempt to squeeze customers for every nickle possible!

I hope Hudson endures longer than I will so will never have to deal with other seed companies.

Positive dcrisman47
(1 review)
On Jun 6, 2017, dcrisman47 Chickamauga, GA wrote:

Seeds are very reasonably priced and always fresh. It is a real pleasure to germinate them. The PayPal ordering system is straightforward and simple to use. Thanks for continuing to do a great job!

Positive KanapahaLEW
(18 reviews)
On May 18, 2017, KanapahaLEW Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This company has the most amazing selection of seeds -- lots and lots of very unusual seeds that you can't find anywhere else. And germination is usually excellent. I have been ordering from them for many years and have yet to be disappointed by the seeds or the service. As another poster mentioned, I can copy my selections out of the online listing, paste into an email, pay with Paypal, and my seeds will be in my hands in a matter of a few days despite being on the other side of the US from them.

Positive Camieux
(2 reviews)
On May 17, 2017, Camieux Doylestown, PA wrote:

Seeds ordered this year and last year were sent promptly. I had just about 100% germination. I am very happy with the seed selection, far surpasses the ordinary usually offered.

Positive treehugger53ah
(1 review)
On Apr 1, 2017, treehugger53ah Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Been ordering for years. The seeds do well and customer service always has time for my odd questions.

Positive purplethorns
(4 reviews)
On Mar 20, 2017, purplethorns Streetsboro, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Have ordered from this company for years. Have received orders in 2016 and 2017 and am still happy with this company. Always try the unique seeds offered, that you won't find anywhere else. Don,t buy common vegetables and flowers as they are boring for me
Seeds sent have at least an 80% germination, which I think is good. Use a potting soil mix I created to fit the needs of the seeds I order. Never fails for me...Awesome selection of tropical plant seeds.

Positive CathleenM
(1 review)
On Jan 17, 2017, CathleenM Fairfield, PA wrote:

JL Hudson has been one of my favorite seed companies for years. I like that all of their seeds are open pollinated, so that I can grow my own seed. Their catalog is always fun to browse. They have many varieties that you don't see in other places. And the seed packet prices and shipping are very reasonable. Highly recommended!

Positive Rhobo
(2 reviews)
On Dec 14, 2016, Rhobo Denver, CO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Love this company! I've placed 7 orders since discovering them a couple of years ago and never a problem of any kind. They have a fantastic variety of seeds and the seed prices and postage charges are very reasonable.

Positive bunnyholmes
(1 review)
On May 25, 2016, bunnyholmes Beaverdam, VA wrote:

The best seed company I know. They set my business apart from all my peers. I've been buying from them since the 80's. Never had a problem. You will LOVE them! Quick response time too, the best in the business...

Positive Ruth_MI
(6 reviews)
On Apr 30, 2016, Ruth_MI Northville, MI wrote:

Posted on March 22, 2011, updated April 30, 2016
Posted on April 22, 2007, updated March 22, 2011
Wanted to bulk order some seeds, and found them here for a reasonable price. Arrived in about a week from the time I ordered. Will order from them again.


On March 22nd, 2011, Ruth_MI added the following:

ordered from them again in 2011 and once again received fast shipping and good value.
On April 30th, 2016, Ruth_MI added the following:

Continue to order from JL Hudson. Still happy with seeds and shipping times. Seeds germinate well.
Positive jagrogan
(8 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2016, jagrogan Somerset, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Well, I don't honestly know that the evergreen huckleberries, vaccinum ovatum, will sprout for me in Zone 6b in Somerset, Kentucky but I was very pleased to is was so easy to order the seeds to try from Hudson. They are friendly and efficient.

It remains to be seen if that type of huckleberry will grow here if I do get the seed to sprout, if it does I will foundation plant around the north and northeast side of my house with them and part way down the driveway where all the shade is. I will later order about 10 start plants though for in from of the living room picture window.

Oh, and I ordered 2 packs. One pack is going in the freezer til next January when I will try to start those.

Positive Missyinbama
(37 reviews)
On Mar 7, 2016, Missyinbama Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I absolutely love this company's seed selection. If you want colorful photos, don't bother requesting the catalog. The physical catalog doesn't have photos, but it does have a wonderful seed selection with basic growing information. While the online catalog listings include a few photos, they really aren't designed for beginning gardeners who need in depth growing information. If you're just starting out you may want to use the online catalog listings and google the photos and growing conditions of each plant before ordering. Overall this is one of my favorite companies; I'm able to get seeds for plants I couldn't otherwise get locally. I look forward to doing more business with them.

Positive Maplekeys
(1 review)
On Feb 29, 2016, Maplekeys wrote:

I'm another who's signed up to Dave's Garden specifically to be able to give a positive review for JL Hudson!

I've ordered from JLH for years, always easy, always fast, always excellent germination, always among the least costly -- and the wonderful catalog opens my eyes to so many things I'd never have dreamed of trying and that one never sees in "ordinary" catalogs; it's an education in itself. Over the years I've had many fine adventures thanks to the JLH folks.

I can't begin to imagine the hard work it takes to maintain this many varieties, listings, orders... This is a special place, so glad it exists.

Positive chiptree
(1 review)
On Jan 5, 2016, chiptree Boylston, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is the first time in over forty years of doing business with JLHudson that I've had the opportunity to rate my experience with their company and products. The catalogue is worth getting just for the seed germination information, let alone all the other extraneous comments, et cetera. Whether it has been tree seeds, perennial seeds, tropical plant seeds, or vegetable seeds, the quality and quantity have always been excellent. I am a horticulturist by trade, and have worked in the industry for the last forty-nine years, so I do know what I'm talking about. If you are looking for a good source of seeds, here it is.

Positive greenaurangabad
(1 review)
On Jan 4, 2016, greenaurangabad Aurangabad,
India wrote:

I have ordered seeds from J L Hudson many times in the past.
The orders were always delivered on time and without error.

J L Hudson is providing a valuable service by making available
a wide range of seeds.

Ability to sort by plant-type e.g. tree/vines/creepers/fruit-bearing/fragrant/creepers/tropical/ .. etc and addition of a
pictorial catalog would improve user-experience.

Thanks for providing this great service.

Positive RareFruit2909
(5 reviews)
On Dec 27, 2015, RareFruit2909 Lebanon, OH wrote:

This is a good company and deserves all the positive reviews. I've ordered from them a number of times as well as provided them with fresh-harvested bloodroot and paw paw, but this is my first review. Overall, I've had great luck with their seed and have been highly satisfied with the selection, quantity and value. The occasional pack that doesn't germinate - well one has to consider that many of the wild or novel species offered may have very specific soil/light/moisture/scarification requirements and may require a more experienced grower or optimal natural conditions to break the dormancy and achieve the best results. If ordering these types of seed from any supplier, I find my success is often greatly enhanced by researching the species, habitat, and cultivation requirements in advance so that I know the do's/don'ts beforehand. Overall, a great resource and company for conserving and providing non-GMO, non-patented, open-pollinated choices for eco-conscious customers!

Positive karrr
(1 review)
On Nov 27, 2015, karrr Scotch Plains, NJ wrote:

Easy and Super quick! Very happy with my order.

Positive DonShirer
(16 reviews)
On Sep 15, 2015, DonShirer Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

Posted on December 29, 2006, updated September 15, 2015
I placed my first order with them last spring with mixed results.
Gaura, centaurea, platycodon and lobelia did well.
Several other perennials germinated but did poorly after transplanting.
This may not be their fault since our soil is generally poor, and I may not
have enriched it enough.
Their Bulls Blood Beet and (surprisingly) Viola Tricolor did not
germinate well.
I may order from them again, since their catalog is quite informative,
but at present I cannot give them a standing ovation.


On September 15th, 2015, DonShirer changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

I have received several orders from them in the years since my first comment with generally good results. Recently I placed an order for an ounce of seeds and forgot to include postage. They sent it anyway with no complaint. (I reimbursed them with my next order!) So I have upgraded my rating to positive +.
On Sep 15, 2015, J.L. Hudson, Seedsman responded with:

"


On Feb 20, 2007 8:04 PM, J.L. Hudson, Seedsman added:

Mr. Shirer placed his request January 16th, and his seeds were mailed January 20th, 2006. We heard nothing more from him until seeing his remarks on Garden Watchdog.

The seeds supplied were good - the Bull's Blood Beet had germination well over the USDA Federal Standard of 80%, and the Viola had close to its maximum germination of about 25% (see below).

When people complain to us, we don't mind - we thank them! I've always said that the rare valid complaint about seed germination is worth $1000 - if a bad lot somehow slips by our quality control program, or particular lot of seed "goes off" in between regular scheduled germination tests, and a client brings this to our attention, we can pull the lot, retest it, and stop distribution if bad. This helps prevent others from having a bad experience, and keeps our reputation intact.

Even an invalid complaint about germination is worth $100 - because by replacing the seed and explaining to the client what might have gone wrong in the sowing of the seed, we can both help the client achieve better success with seeds, and show them that the seed was not at fault, and that we take seed quality seriously.

But if the client never tells us that they had poor germination, we have no chance of making things right. Unfortunately, Mr. Shirer never contacted us at all about these seeds. We wish he had! If he had, we would have reported that the Bull's Blood Beet that he ordered in January 2006 had given 85% when tested just two months before in November 2005, and gave 92% tested June 2007, and gave 96% tested in December 2006 (yes, many seeds go up in germination for several years before they start to go down). Certainly if he had no germination, something was wrong in the conditions when he sowed them. If he had contacted us, we would have gladly sent him another packet to try, and reported to him the results of our test.

The Viola tricolor Sawyer's Black is a tricky one to germinate, and under the best of conditions it usually gives only low germination. Violas can be very tricky, some requiring a prechill, exposure to light, or treatment with GA-3 in order to get germination. Under our description of this seed, we clearly note that it has naturally low germination. Again, we would have sent him another packet with suggestions on how to get better results.

His poor results are no reflection on his skill - he got good results from the Gaura, another kind that is often tricky to germinate.

Seeds are living things and even the best among us will have unexplained failures of germination. Even in our laboratory tests under controlled conditions we sometimes have unexplainable failures, with the same seed giving good results when retested. As we pros say "Go figure!"

So I urge everyone to always, always complain, but be sure you contact the supplier FIRST - don't publicly complain about someone unless you have contacted them first, and given them a chance to fix any problem. All mail-order suppliers are concerned about their reputations, and it is unfair to diminish their reputation without contacting them first.

We are glad Mr. Shirer only gave us a "Neutral" rating (rather than Negative), and he also showed his honesty by mentioning that his soil might have been at fault.

Rule of thumb - don't publicly complain about someone until you have contacted them and given them a chance to fix whatever the problem - it's only fair.

Please, send a friendly report of your results, and you will receive a friendly, helpful reply in return!"


Positive Betauser
(1 review)
On Jul 17, 2015, Betauser Forest City, NC wrote:

Ordered on the weekend, shipped Tuesday & arrived Friday from California to N.C.
Very pleased.

Positive msms
(1 review)
On Jun 20, 2015, msms Oroville, CA wrote:

Fast delivery. Easy to pay and e-mail.

Positive mreizman
(1 review)
On Jun 9, 2015, mreizman Long Beach, CA wrote:

I learned about J.L. Hudson in Michael Pollan's book, Second Nature, and sent away for seeds to plant in my community garden plot -- the first garden I've ever had. I kept it simple and only planted Carrots, Beets, and Brussels Sprouts. All grew extremely well.

Positive dishpantheism
(1 review)
On May 6, 2015, dishpantheism Beverly Hills, CA wrote:

My family has been buying seeds from Hudson (and Harry Saier before him) for many years. I can't say enough nice things about Hudson. The catalog is a labor of love. I always find something interesting within it, and I look forward to receiving one each spring. I have never found these fine seed folk to be anything other than helpful and congenial whenever I've ordered from them. I love that they offer so many options for payment, and that the privacy of their patrons is important to them. I imagine I'll be buying seed from Hudson as long as I'm still able to lift a trowel.

Positive ewait
(1 review)
On Apr 17, 2015, ewait Zimmerman, MN wrote:

Second time ordering from him, and both times positive. He has a good variety of seeds that are hard to find in regular seed catalogs, and I've had good luck with starting the seeds.

Positive servant255
(1 review)
On Mar 27, 2015, servant255 Deltona, FL wrote:

Awesome!! I used the net and Pay-Pal, just a couple of days ago and my seeds are on the way!!..so easy!! I look for the catalog every year, it's my Bible of seeds..so informative and fun to read! Quality and information is Top notch.. Ten years using their seed with no problems...Now the challenge is on all of us to execute and grow..
Mike C... Florida

Positive sss56
(8 reviews)
On Mar 3, 2015, sss56 Gastonia, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This was my first time ordering. I received the seeds quickly and everything was exactly as I ordered. Thanks.

Positive greenthumbler
(1 review)
On Feb 17, 2015, greenthumbler Ellerslie,
Canada wrote:

I love this company. Can't say enough good things about them, and it, and their fascinating seeds. They are a pleasure to deal with. Have been ordering from them for twenty-some years, and the most interesting plants in my garden started from their seeds. Wonderful vegetable varieties, and even Ginkgo Biloba... I started a forest of those two years ago and gave away dozens of seedlings. Very generous quantities of seed in each packet, making the exchange rate quite worthwhile. Also their helpful and informative-- even inspiring-- catalogue, which is educational Winter reading here in the North. I sing their praise.

Positive jumpinjo
(12 reviews)
On Feb 16, 2015, jumpinjo Marshalltown, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Large variety that includes some hard to find items. Generous amount of seeds and good prices. Good germination also.

Positive primrosepath49
(3 reviews)
On Dec 30, 2014, primrosepath49 Chicago, IL wrote:

Wish I'd stumbled across this company before--they have every last arcane species I wanted, including cardoon, huazontle, bronze fennel and tree spinach. Of the varieties I've planted so far, very good germination rates.

Positive AngeloSalvi
(1 review)
On Dec 12, 2014, AngeloSalvi Scafati,
Italy wrote:

I have found what I needed and the mailing is been very fast to be a long distance! I will sure contact them in future for other seeds cause their seeds-bank is really complete!

Positive PracticalAg
(2 reviews)
On Dec 9, 2014, PracticalAg Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have used JL for 6 years now, and I keep coming back due to price, viability, and speed. Whoever is running it is honest with refunds and I have had excellent luck with virtually everything that I have purchased. I don't leave reviews often, but I stand behind this company. It is well worth the "effort" to use PayPal.

Thanks!

Positive guptaas
(2 reviews)
On Nov 5, 2014, guptaas EAST PATCHOGUE, NY wrote:

I found a larger selection of seeds here than anywhere else. The website has no frills but the information is very specific and useful. The ordering process is unusual but smooth using Paypal. The order mailed out in a day. Going by other commentators, if I don't succeed in germinating these seeds, it is likely going to be some error on my part.

Positive helenahkh
(3 reviews)
On Oct 15, 2014, helenahkh Gautier, MS wrote:

Great company to get seeds of rare plants, fast dependable service. Thank you.

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