Johnny's Seeds - packet sizes

axeman(7)February 1, 2009

I was looking in the Johnny's Seeds catalog at the Cosmos Sensations mix. I've had good luck with them in the past, they tend to fit in nice with other plants, and they're highlighted as an easy grower.

I noticed that the description says 4,300 seeds/oz. You can buy 50 seeds for $2.75 or 1/2 OZ for $5.20. I did a double take when I saw that. Is that 2,150 seeds for $5.20? It seems to me that the choice is between the 1/2 OZ at 4.1 seeds/penny, and the 50 seeds at .19 seeds/penny. Am I reading this correctly?

I saw a few other seed sets that also have a major jump in value between the lowest price packet and a relatively small increase in price. I admit 2150 seeds may be a lot more then I really need, but 50 may be less then I need when taking into account my germination success rates, and I can save some for next year.

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zen_man

axeman,

"It seems to me that the choice is between the 1/2 OZ at 4.1 seeds/penny, and the 50 seeds at .19 seeds/penny. Am I reading this correctly?"

You are reading that correctly. They usually put a few extra seeds in the packet, but using their figures, in the packet you get seeds for 5.5¢ each and in the ½-oz you get the seeds for about .24¢ per seed. The one-half-ounce order is more than 22 times cheaper than the packet order on a cost-per-seed basis. You get similar cost savings on other cosmos from Johnny's, such as Cosmos Double Click or Cosmos Sea Shells. The quantity discounts are very significant at Johnnys.

Unfortunately, other seed companies are not so generous. For example, Burpee sells their Burpeeana Giants zinnias only by the packet. So if you need more than a packet, as I do, you are obligated to purchase several packets and they don't even reduce the packet price in quantities. But I pay the price at Burpees, grudgingly, because their zinnias are good.

ZM

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:08AM
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mmqchdygg(Z5NH)

Minor correction: Your 1/2-oz price is 2/10ths of one cent per seed, not 24¢ per seed.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 8:24AM
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mmqchdygg(Z5NH)

oh, wait...zen did put a decimal in front. hehe. sorry!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 8:27AM
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zen_man

I thought about about writing that as 0.24¢ and the next time I will. Those little dots are pretty small.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 11:08AM
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mmqchdygg(Z5NH)

p.s. You can get these particular (dime-a-dozen variety) way cheaper than the 2-soemthing for 50.
I'd check around the trade boards if you're into trading, or your local retailers. No sense paying shipping (unless I guess if you're already placing a big order that it doesn't matter...)

Just tossing another 2¢ out there.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 12:36PM
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lgslgs(z6 SE ohio)

For Burpeena Giant zinnias, check out the 1/4 oz and 1 oz (or even the half pound) sizes at Stokes Seeds. They carry a lot of their seeds in industrial sized packets. :)

Lynda

Here is a link that might be useful: Stokes

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:53PM
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zen_man

Lynda,

Thanks for the suggestion of Stokes as a bulk source of Burpeeana Giant zinnias. As a matter of fact, I did purchase a pound of Burpeeana Giants from Stokes last year, because one of my hobbies is breeding zinnias and I like to grow a lot of them looking for exceptional specimens.

I grew a bunch of those last year. They would be great for creating a colorful landscape display, but they were somewhat disappointing for use in my zinnia breeding project. Very few were worthy of use in my breeding program. Whereas the Burpeeana Giants from Burpee had a lot of good specimens. The Stokes Burpeeanas came from a grower in Tanzania while the Burpee Burpeeanas came from a grower in France. I have learned that it makes a difference which field a packet of zinnia seeds comes from, even for zinnias with the same name in the same country. That's why I buy zinnia seeds from more than one source. I will benefit from the one-pound of Stokes seeds, by going through them picking out extra big seeds or otherwise unusual seeds. I did some of that last year and I did get one unusual "toothy" zinnia from Tanzania. I still wish that Burpee offered quantity discounts. But thanks again for your response.

ZM

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 3:23PM
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mmqchdygg(Z5NH)

holy mackerel! I wondered what a pound of zinnia seeds might look like.
'bout how many they figure are in there- just for kicks...wowza!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:22AM
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zen_man

mmqchdygg,

"...'bout how many they figure are in there- just for kicks..."

Not as many as you might suppose. Burpeeana zinnia seeds run about 3000 seeds/ounce, so that would be about 48,000 seeds in a pound. When I first saw that big package, the figure one million seeds ran through my mind. That wasn't even "in the ballpark".

ZM

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 11:16AM
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