Experiences with seed sources

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I thought it might be usefule if we shared some information about our experiences with various seed sources. My experiences for this year have been:

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: A very nice company, prompt in answering my email questions about different varieties. Expensive but as they encourage and educate you on saving your own seeds they are jolly well worth it!

Jungs: A company we have done business with for years. Always very prompt. I've been happy with their product.

Cooks Garden: I wrote them a letter before Christmas with several questions. I've had no answer so I did not order from them.

Shumways: I was tempted this year by their low prices. Still have not received order for them (over 3 weeks). What are your experiences with this company?

Johnny's: Have ordered from them in the past. Excellent product but a bit pricey.

Thanks for your replies. Kim

-- kim (fleece@eritter.net), February 03, 2001


Kim: I have ordered from Shumway for four years including this year. Their turn around time on orders is a little slow, but they are a good company to deal with. I am trying Jung also for the first time this year. I hope you have a great garden this year. Tim in the low country.

-- Tim Price (thprice60@hotmail.com), February 04, 2001.

Last year I found a super helpful website, Plants by Mail FAQ. It has a list of all the mail order seed and plant company and consumer comments about each company and links to the sites. Using this resource, I was able to avoid wasting my money on businesses of ill repute.

The address is http://pbmfaq.dvol.com/

I found some really nice companies that I had never heard of before, too. I bet I have the biggest catalog collection of anyone at Countryside.

-- Laura (gsend@hotmail.com), February 04, 2001.

I like Shumways, and also have ordered from them for years. Like their wholesale prices on bulk stuff. It is nice to buy a lb of spinach seeds for 5.00 or there abouts.

-- Linda (hesscat@cot.net), February 04, 2001.

I've been buying from Jung for 35 years and love their products. I also order from TotallyTomatoes and Pinetree Seeds. TotallyTomatoes takes awhile, but there is no hurry. I love Pinetrees catalog and spend hours reading it.

-- Ardie from Wi (a6203@hotmail.com), February 04, 2001.

Here is a good source on seed catalogs. http://www.mertus.org/gardening/cat16/frame-cat.html

I have ordered from Sandhill Preservation and was very pleased with my seeds. They did better than the store purchased seeds.

-- Trisha-MN (tank@linkup.net), February 04, 2001.

We always order our bulk seed and open pollinated varieties from Shumways. They don't treat their seeds. Only one mistake in too many years to count and they made it right very quickly. We also use Jung's, Shepards, Totally Tomatoes, and Vermont Bean and Seed with good results. Gurney's is pretty good to.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), February 04, 2001.

Sandhill Preservation....excellent....good seed count Bountiful Gardens......good service.....pitifully small seed count J.L.Hudson....excellent......largest seed count Pinetree.......excellent Victory Seed....good service.....small seed count Jung......excellent Shumway....slow....sent me incorrectly marked seed...ruined heirloom planting I was trying to increase genetic base.Pissed.Permanently. Abundant Life.....a joke

-- JT in Florida (gone2seed@hotmail.com), February 04, 2001.

Have you ever heard of Vernon Barnes and Son Nursery? I love their prices and they have always been good to me when I asked questions. Fruit trees are very cheap and seem to be good trees. I bought 25 fruit trees for 87 dollars and the only ones that didn't make it were a few of the peaches. They drowned because of where I planted them. The company replaced them all! Some actually made it after looking quite dead and I called to tell them that I thought I owed them money back. She just laughed! Great people! I also order from E and R seed company. They are strictly a mail order company. No phone orders because they are Amish. Great seeds and plenty of them. They had the best chard and new zealand spinach last year!!! I just placed an order with them. The address for the E and R is listed on the Green Thumbs Club post and the phone for the other is 931-668- 8576. They are out of Mcminnville Tenn. You should see the cherry and the plum tree that I got from them a couple of years ago. Way over my head(5'6"). The apple trees are two years old now and had apples on them last year. A few at the top of the tree and some on the branches....oh....the nectarine had fruit too! Birds got all the cherries Bummer!

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), February 04, 2001.

I get very irritated by companies that use the postage and handling charge as a profit center. I check the order form for shipping charges even before I look at their products. One particularly bad one is Farmer's Seeds with a MN address, but really a division of an IL company - their MINIMUM shipping charge is $6.50. I wrote them a postcard telling them what I thought about that, and now I am telling you.

-- Sandy in MN (jpevans_56353@yahoo.com), February 05, 2001.

Boy, Sandy I agree with you! It is a little hard to spend 99 cents on a packet of seeds and spend 4 or 5 bucks for shipping. I do like the way E and R does it. If you only order seeds they charge you 2.95 for any amount. If you order something that is heavier than a pound each, they charge you a FOB charge(not sure I know what that stands for...I'm awful at acronyms as many of you know!). I very rarely order anything that weighs more than a pound. I get my heavier stuff at the Coop or at the feedstore that my husband works at. I bought Corn(1#) and about 20 other odds and ends of 1 oz. stuff. Probably totalled about 2 or so pounds and it came to the 2.95 for shipping. The Vernon Barnes and sons have free shipping on orders of 50.00 or more. They have a discount of 10% on 40.00 for the total order. Free plants with 15.00 and I just love a surprise!!!! I looked at Burpee and some of the other cats. and I couldn't believe how much their seeds were and then shipping to boot! My husband says that I am frugile(I say miser!HEEHEE). I buy the cheapest seeds and pay the cheapest shipping. Check out E and R! You'll love it! VERY dependable seeds too!!!! Tons of choices! I just use my other catalogues to see what the seeds are cuz they don't have all of the pictures in the cat.

-- Nan (davidl41@ipa.net), February 05, 2001.

Also try P.L. Rohrer, in Smoketown, PA, 17576. Their vegetable seeds grow okay. Phone: (717)299-2571, see if they'll send you a catalog. Also have had good results from Schumway's Goliath corn and other items.

Gurneys has twice sent me inferior (soaking wet) potato sets. Have fun.xxxxxxxxxxxxx

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), February 05, 2001.

P.S. if it GROWS after 4 or 5 months, or if it just SURVIVES during that time... That's what I go by. Dollar wise, penny foolish, or vice-versa. Spend wisely, but while you're at it, spend WISELY !

-- Action Dude (theactiondude@yahoo.com), February 05, 2001.

I like Pinetree, they always have something new and different from the other companies. Sometimes the seed count is small, but they tell you ahead of time in the catalog how many seeds you are going to get. You can try two or three varieties for the same price you would pay for one packet from other companies. I have gotten some really neat varieties from Totally Tomatoes, too. I agree that sometimes the postage for some of the companies seems excessive, but think about all the free catalogs they send out, a lot of which never get ordered from.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), February 05, 2001.

I was about to send off an order to Farmers Seed. My s&h was 2.95, this is the company out of IL. Is it the same one you had trouble with? I am also ordering out of Burgess.I have never ordered from either one of these before,but my Dad swears by Burgess. I will never order from Gurneys again, personally. I have ordered from them 4 yrs straight and nothing yet has lived.I don't know about my little blueberry plant, as it was too close to the dry ice goings ons at a birthday party...but nothing else has lived. They were very nice this last year in that they sent me twice as many strawberries as I ordered with a note saying that they were inferior quality so they gave me a bonus order...but still enough money down the drain with them. I can't for the life of me remember the company my brother buys his seeds from....they do the heirloom seeds...I bought from them a couple of years ago and liked the service, but they were pricey...I'm no help, huh? ;-) I usually buy the .10 seeds from the local feed store anyway, and have always been pleased with the results. Sometimes, cheap is good. I do hope that Burgess is good. I have not mailed my order yet, still sitting in the "out" box..but I ordered a bunch of fruit trees, bushes from them. Anyone have experience with them? I am tired and rambling on, so I will close for now. Keep up the good posting!!

-- Cindy in OK (cynthiacluck@yahoo.com), February 09, 2001.

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