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ekgrows

Ordering seeds in 2021

3 years ago

Wow - looks like 2021 is telling 2020 to "hold my beer" as far as gardening is going. I have already ordered and received most of my seeds thank goodness, but what's going on with mail order seed companies is quite mind-blowing. Baker creek was closed for over a week. Johnnys is only taking orders for market growers. Southern exposure is trying to be open every day, then shuts down when they have to catch up. Same with Fedco. Adaptive seed is closed for a week or 2 to catch up. The only company I've seen state they have no delays in shipping seeds is Hudson. I guess I shouldn't really be surprised, but I still find it pretty amazing.

How is your seed ordering coming along? Are you able to get everything you need?

Comments (36)

  • 3 years ago

    Yikes! I already ordered a couple of months ago (for fall planting and starting under lights), so I had no issues. I guess all those folks who tried baking bread are now moving on to gardening :) Or, more likely, people are looking for another food source and/or extra income. Hope you get everything in time!

  • 3 years ago

    The panic gardening of 2020 has continued into this year, and seed companies don't seem to have adapted to the increased demand. Delays & sold-out stock are being widely reported industry wide. I hope this renewed interest in growing a portion of ones own food supply turns out to be more than temporary. As an SSE member, I am also seeing increased interest in seed saving, which could be a silver lining to this whole situation.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I put in a Johnny's order on January 3rd. About a dozen things. I received all but 3 back ordered items this week. The back ordered stuff hasn't shipped yet.

    I need to talk to my brother to see if he wants me to buy some corn seed locally for him. He always plants about 1/8 of an acre of corn and I'm not sure he realizes that seed may be hard to find.

  • 3 years ago

    Mxk3, sent you a pm.

  • 3 years ago

    I'm really irritated with Johnny's. I didn't order from them last year because we moved, got a late start, and then the pandemic hit and they were closed to home gardeners, so I bought seeds elsewhere. I still have a gift certificate from last year I haven't used. My husband and I tried to put in this year's order on Sunday, but couldn't because again, they are closed to orders from home gardeners. Now I have 2 gift certificates, totaling $100 that I can't use because they literally won't take my order. At the same time, I want to place an order SOMEWHERE so I get what I want, so I'm thinking of ordering from Burpee or Baker. But then I still have $100 in GC. I get that they need to fulfill orders for commercial growers- the food supply, etc- but then why the heck were they selling GC over the holidays?

  • 3 years ago

    I placed a large order with Baker's Creek over the weekend. A few of the tomatoes I wanted to try were sold out but everything else was in stock. However they say they are in a 30 day shipping delay. I'm glad I got my order in now because I won't be starting any seeds for a few months. Had I waited, I think I'd be out of luck.

  • 3 years ago

    ruth, Johnny's might have still been selling GC's during the holidays because they were still offering seed to home gardeners at that time too. Right now they are temporarily not selling to home gardeners, and their GC's are showing as out of stock as well. Hopefully they will be able to start selling to home gardeners again soon.

  • 3 years ago

    Funny. I worked for a seed company for 6 years, and I'm now the grower for a very small organic nursery, Our plants will not be available until mid-april, but we have already had orders, and have secured extra employees for our busy plant season. Seems strange to me that many large seed companies couldn't manage to do that, considering the surge in orders last year.

    We had record plant sales last year. Many new gardeners wanting a secure food source, as well as repeat customers that wanted to grow more.

    What I also find ironic is that out of all the seed companies we order from, all of of those that start with an H are functioning as always, with delays only due to shipping delays. Hudson, HPS, High mowing, and Harris. Ha!

  • 3 years ago

    Thanks guys! Can you guys who have had luck post from what company? Also please share any free shipping since it looks like I am going to be order 1 or 2 seed packets from 10 different places:0

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I'm surprised to see Johnny's is closed again to home gardeners. Well, maybe not surprised -- not sure what word to describe, maybe disappointed? I agree with above post re: seed suppliers should have been prepared for this after what they went through last year, especially a bigger player like Johnny's.

    ETA: I got all my other seed orders already, even though they all said to expect shipping delays. But no Johnny's.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I had very fast response from True Leaf Market, the seed arrived within a week from the time I placed the order... but they do charge shipping. I've had consistently fast response from Burrell over many years, and shipping is free for quantities of 1/2 pound or less.

  • 3 years ago

    @mxk3 z5b_MI - my johnnys order showed up without getting a shipping notification - as did my SESE. My thoughts are that they are too busy to send that "order update" email. I hope you get yours soon. I did see today that they are not taking home gardeners orders until February 10-11. :(

  • 3 years ago

    Dropped almost 2 grand on seeds on Monday. Took 1/2 a day to find all the seeds I wanted, had to settle for some different varieties and purchase from 5 or 6 different vendors, but that is all done. I went ahead and ordered all my seeds for this fall too. I don't want to take any chances on not getting something.

  • 3 years ago

    jrslick- Who carries the most varieties of seeds that you purchase?

    I am having a hard time this year getting the varieties I want. Some are out of stock or unavailable. I have called about orders and finding that the seed companies are swamped and having a hard time just finding out when specific varieties will be available. I have even heard them tell me that the seed suppliers can't give them a date because the don't even have the seed cleaned yet. I have ordered from 10 companies but am still waiting on many items. I'm starting to consider double ordering some things from different companies in hopes of getting what I need.

  • 3 years ago

    Wow $2K on seed!?! Are you a farmer's market grower or small-scale farmer?

  • 3 years ago

    Have to admit, I'm a bit taken aback at two grand on seed too. Dang, I'm feeling hefty if I blow a couple hundred in a season, lol.

    I did blow a couple hundred on seed for this year. I ordered my seed last year. I'm in the habit of doing some stocking stuffing ordering, but I just went ahead and order the bulk of what I wanted when it was available for a Halloween present last year. I tend to 2-3 vendors in a season, but last fall was spread across 5-6? vendors.

    I figured with the way last year spring went, and the way the fall availability was already going, this years spring ordering would be chaos too.

  • 3 years ago

    I ordered most of my seeds for my small garden from Johnny's back in October. But I had a few I wanted that they didn't carry and found some of them recently at Botanical Interests. Reasonable price on shipping, too.

  • 3 years ago

    ^^ I can get Botanical Interests locally OTR. Excellent seed.

  • 3 years ago

    Yes, both Jay (jrslick) and Tom are market growers.

    My back ordered items from Johnny's still haven't been shipped. Or at least I haven't been notified yet that they have.

  • 3 years ago

    Update on my Baker's Creek seed order from last weekend. They said a 30 days shipping delay but I got a notice they were shipped this week and should arrive in a few days.

    I went on the MIgardener site that used to sell seeds for .99... they are now at $2 which still isn't too bad but after searching thru about 10 pages of seeds and almost everything I was interested in was out of stock, I gave up.

  • 3 years ago

    Your best bet is the big box stores or garden centers if you are a home gardener. Put on your mask and head out. The big seed companies have their hands full and apparently not prepared for the "rush".

    I have a lot of old seeds that I have in my seed box from year ago. Will give those a try. A peroxide soak , clear water rinse and a paper towel might tell me within a couple of days if they are viable.

  • 3 years ago

    If this seed unavailability persists (and signs are that it will) an alternative of last resort could be the Seed Savers Exchange. Not their catalog (which is just as backed up as many commercial vendors) but the membership Exchange. Only heirloom and/or OP varieties are offered there (no hybrids), by independent seed savers (full disclosure, I am one of those seed savers). You do need to be a member to access the Exchange though.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Just went to Baker Creek to see if they had the couple seeds they didn't have last fall... Interesting message:

    We apologize, but due to the unprecedented volume of seed orders, our website will be closed beginning Friday, January 29 at 3 a.m. CST and reopening on Wednesday, February 3rd at 10 p.m. CST, to give us time to catch up on orders, restock seed supplies and clean and sanitize our work spaces. At present, our warehouses and shipping line are running 24 hours a day, with social distancing and other safety precautions in place to protect employees. Our workforce, like many others, has been affected by COVID-19, and we highly value our workers’ health and wellness. Thank you for your patience, and for sharing our belief that gardening makes us more human and more whole.
    We will be live again February 3rd at 10 p.m. CST


    Swallowtail is down too:

    Due to a high volume of orders, and staffing limitations in place to keep our team safe, we have temporarily stopped accepting new orders. We continue to fulfill existing orders.

    We will resume accepting new orders on Monday, February 1st at 9:00 AM (Pacific Time). We appreciate your patience and support.

  • 3 years ago

    @zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin - I was thinking that too. We used to donate to get the catalog, I had no idea you could order these days without doing so. Good to know!

    @poetie - I agree. My local menards and farm and fleet have many seeds. Great for home gardeners. I have a lot of leftover seed too, so should be good.

    @beesneeds - it is growing and growing and growing! Companies that had no notices up in the past now do. ;/

    I got notice that my fedco order placed 1/8 shipped yesterday. 20 days, so a tad sooner than they anticipated. My second Southern Exposure order that I placed Tuesday shipped yesterday - only 2 days later. Granted - it was a small order and they are limiting the amount of orders they are taking every day, but they can obviously keep up with a decent shipping time with that schedule. Just have to get on their website right about 10 am.

    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. Hoping we are all able to get what we need for the season. Strange days indeed....


  • 3 years ago

    Seeds From Italy looks like they are still up and running- though they are still on delay for import pepper and tomato seed. That kicked in kind of early on. But they still have a lot of their other seeds available.

    Pinetree Seeds looks up and running too- though they have shipping delays notices up.

    High Mowing is still up- a lot of out of stocks listed.

    Kitazawa looks like it's up and running. Slight shipping delays listed.

  • 3 years ago

    Baker Creek is shut down again to catch up on orders.


  • 3 years ago

    I just got a shipping notification from Johnny's for the 3 back ordered items from my early January order. Now I just need to wait for the USPS to mishandle it 3 or 4 times before it makes it to my mailbox.

  • 3 years ago

    mxk3:

    Yes I am a market gardener. We grow year around and market year around(almost). We have 6 high tunnels, and grow on about 1.75 acres. I usually spread out my seed orders through out the year, but this year I just said I am not going to wait! We grow lots of cherry tomatoes (250+ plants) and have 10-15 varieties. Those start to add up very quick! I could get by and only grow one variety much more cheaply, but my customers have come to love the variety.


    Tom:

    I order from Osborne, Johnnys, Morgan County Seeds, Tomato Growers, and Pinetree (for one thing)


  • 3 years ago

    I just got my Johnny's order yesterday -- everything was there, so looks like I'm all set for the year. :0)

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Baker Creek is back up and taking orders- 30 day shipping delay.

    Update. Put in my order 9 hours ago when I wrote the above, and a couple hours ago got processed and shipped out notices. Will let folks know when the package comes in :)

  • 3 years ago

    Update: Baker Creek order just came in. My free seed packet is White Tomesol tomato- nice, I haven't had that one in a while :)

  • 3 years ago

    Ordered some from Baker's Creek Thursday... shipped Friday. Maybe I just got lucky, would have ordered a few more if I knew there was no wait.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I've ordered from Baker's Creek, which has already shipped and Prairie Moon Nursery I just received my native seed order yesterday. FEDCO on the other hand is reporting a 30 day estimate of receiving seeds. Wish I had not placed an order with them. I would have liked to start some of those seed sooner.

  • 3 years ago

    Nope, guess I wasn't done. Went out to the local nursery to pick up some potting mix and some viola and marigold seeds came home with me. I'm just going to scatter the violas in the grass somewhere and see what they do, and I've never seen this "Phyllis" marigold before so thought I'd try it. Both are from Botanical Interests. Now I think I'm done :0)

  • 3 years ago

    Just checked Fedco again, as when I ordered the Silverado chard was not yet available. It is now, but they implemented a waiting list. The list ensures you can order within 3 weeks, but even the wait list is full right now. Then there's 4-6 weeks for them to arrive.

    I decided to add a dwarf paste tomato to the mix this year, so just placed an order with tomato fest. My last order arrived in about a week. I have a month before I need to think about starting them, so all is good.

    JR - thanks for the reminder about Morgan County seeds. It's been almost 2 decades since I ordered from them - just totally forgot about them!!!!


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