Where to buy seed

Rio_GrandeMarch 18, 2014

We are starting this year and in looking at the books from last year we found we spent a lot of dough at johnnys seed, some searching around the net we found bulk prices much cheaper for 3 often 5 times the quantity. So where do you get your bulk seed? We are planning to sell starts this year and the math doesn't work out profitable buying from retailers.

I ask mainly because we had a bad experience with another popular seed company where most of the seeds wouldn't germinate.

Thanks for any recommendation you can provide.

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myfamilysfarm

I also found that Johnny's were expensive. Were you ordering from their regular catalog or the commercial catalog. BIG difference in prices.

I buy from Jordan seeds out of MN for several things, but I didn't buy everything from them.

You have to do a spreadsheet type of thing and make sure that you add the shipping. I pay shipping with Jordans, but their prices were cheaper with the shipping than others with the 'free shipping'.

I've never had a bad experience in regards to germinating, but there's always a first.

I've used Rupp, Seedway, Stokes, Jordan's, and tomato growers.

Marla

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:05PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I get almost all my seed I have to buy from Fedco.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Rio_Grande

Ok, I will look into those. I have been ordering from their regular catalog. We like their seed, just found it to be at a premium price and cost to ship. We need to cut the costs as best we can.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I don't think that Johnny's has a different commercial catalogue, at least i've never seen or heard of it. Their prices get much cheaper when buying large quantities and their quality really can't be beat. Shipping can usually be free with a coupon code or if you buy over $100.
You can also look into Osborne seeds, I buy quite a bit from them and find the quality excellent.
Good luck.
-Mark

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:38PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I will second Mark's recommendation with Osborne Seeds. I started ordering from them 3 or 4 years ago because they had a pepper that did really good for me. I have been ordering more and more from them ever since. They have many different varieties than other companies, in my opinion.

I also have never heard of a commercial Johnnys catalog.

It has been my findings that you do get what you pay for. I can go down to the hardware store and pick up some radish seeds for 59 cents a scoop or I can pay $3.00 for a similar amount. Now when it comes time to plant and my 59 cent seeds, they don't come up very well. Why, because they have been sitting in that box for over a year at less than optimal storage conditions. Now my $3.00 seeds all came up as they are new and stored under optimal conditions. It is also a better variety and I harvest in 21 days. My 59 cent ones are still growing, not very uniform and require another two weeks to grow. True story, Cherry Belle 59 cent seed, $3.00 ones, Crunchy Royal.

Cheap isn't better, but quality is. Find the quality at the best price and go for it.

Jay

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:14AM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

Johnny's does indeed have a commercial catalog. I don't know if the prices are cheaper other than you can buy in bulk amounts via the commercial catalog and they have some varieties in the CC that they do not have the home gardeners catalog.

I get my seeds through Fedco, Johnny's, Seed Savers and I save a lot of seed which makes up around 1/3 to 1/2 of what we plant.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 6:31AM
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Rio_Grande

Jay that is basically what I am looking for. Just trying to make things profitable.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:05AM
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randy41_1

how much seed are you buying?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Rio_Grande

I have enough holes for 5,550 seeds in the starting trays. We will buy more of things like beans, okra, and the like that we don't start in pots.

Hope to sell some starts this year.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:03AM
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brookw_gw

I order from several sources, but the bulk of my orders come from DeBruyn out of MI. I have never been dissatisfied with their seeds. I also order from Osborne, NE Seed, and Twilley. Twilley's is fantastic. For small quantities of things I like to experiment with, Pinetree is good. I also order from Jungs. I also order a lot through Baker Creek for heirlooms. Johnny's is good, but I can't justify the extra expense, and their shipping is outrageous if you can't get a coupon.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I just spoke with a rep from Johnny's and they do not have a commercial catalogue. If anyone has one, i'd like to see a photo of it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 10:53AM
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kelise_m

Lol, I too have been denied the secret Johnny's commercial catalog that I first learned of here a couple years ago. They did send me their secret earthway carrot plate last year so I don't feel totally left out....

Johnny's and High Mowing are where I get the bulk of my seed. I'm also becoming fond of Adaptive Seeds in Sweet Home, Oregon and are trying more of their varieties each year. Johnny's has free shipping if your order is over $200 and mine easily is for my main order in January. I try to order the years seed in January but always end up ordering more in June.

You definitely get what you pay for. I don't have time to experiment with unreliable seed. Seeds are one of the best bargains in life anyway.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Rio_Grande

Anyone use mountain valley seeds?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:39PM
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pepperdave

In 25 years of dealing with Johnnys never had a bad thing to say about them. They dont sell super hots but there greens selection is one of the best. Always had good generation, Good tomato selection also. Micro Greens are a must have. Good company and there seed come in a week. Good selection of Asian Greens. I go for good results vrs. price and Johnnys is one of the best Ive found. Im a loyal customer and dont see that changing any time soon.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:45PM
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GeeMee2

My absolute favorite seed company is Pinetree..... they have heirloom seed, new seed, Italian, oriental, indian and hard to find seed at REASONABLE prices!!!! I have used them for years, love their Pruden purple tomatoes, their wide assortment of greens and herbs.... sweet annie,3 foot high stock, Iput them i plantes to bing in the house an they bloon over the winter and smell great,,.. spices and plenty of actual seed to plant superseed.com o rE PINETREE.@Superseeds.com

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 1:03PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

I guess they don't do two separate catalogs any more but the used to as I used to get both (but since JSS hasn't sent me a paper catalog in over 3 years I doubt that I still have a copy of their commercial growers catalog, but maybe in a pile of magazines there is still a copy from way back (I have been using these guys since 1994).

I see on their website they no longer have a commercial section. But they do have commercial accounts (I have one, it gets you an in house credit line, among other things) and I see they still have commercial sales reps, I assume for bulk orders, something a home gardener would not need.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:43AM
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TomatoesAndThings(7A)

I get a lot of seed from Nolt's in PA. Good seed and very reasonable. There shipping is much cheaper than other companies too.

http://www.noltsproducesupplies.net/

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:33AM
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mdfarmer

Nolts is very cheap for bulk seed, as long as you don't need organic. I buy a lot of supplies from Nolts, and wish that I could buy seed from them because their prices seem very good, but we're an organic farm.

I buy from FedCo, Johnnys, High Mowing, and Peaceful Valley. I think FedCo and Johnnys have the best prices, but I can't find everything I want from them.

I bought seed potatoes from Peaceful Valley last year, but they shipped them in January and everything froze. They refused to delay shipment this year, so I ordered from Maine Potato Lady. Selection is better and prices were a bit lower than Peaceful Valley anyway - and she doesn't start shipping until end of March.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:30AM
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myfamilysfarm

I also don't have one of their commercial catalogs. I used to get them, still wasn't cheep enough for me. I will say that if I need information, I could look it up things with them.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:41AM
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Rio_Grande

I have bought other things from nolts, they have good prices. There seed is good as well?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 3:14PM
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rockbottomfarm

Good place for bulk seed is hazzardseeds.com. Good prices, great germination rates. Ballseeds.com is good also. I also get supplies from Nolts but there is also one in Iowa, no online view though, have to call them for catalog. Good prices on plastics, pots, trays, etc.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:55AM
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boston3381(7)

Johnny's seed for the simple fact that every package has a germination percentages and they will stand by there product..i buy everything form a 50 seed pac to bulk for 5 acres of sunflowers to 4000 tomatoes and lots more..

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:35AM
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lindy_loo

Mountain Valley Seeds is good. They are in my top three seed sources next to Fedco and Johnny's. I will have to look into the other sources suggested here.

Does anyone have a good source for cover crop seed?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 12:32AM
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Rio_Grande

Got our first order of seeds today from DeBryun today and I have to say that is the most seed we have gotten anywhere for 125.00 made an order to pine tree as well. Still need a few odds and ends but nothing major. We are happy with prices paid, hope they don't disappoint.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 7:59PM
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cole_robbie(6)

Morgan County Seed in Missouri is my favorite company to order from. They can be slow when they are busy, which they say up front in the catalog, but they have the lowest prices I have found. They also might possibly be the most honest people in the world. Their 'tomato fertilizer pack' is an excellent product at a very low price. It's two part, one is cal nitrate, the other is 4-18-38.

I also order from Johnny's and they are expensive, but they have good stuff. I order bulk sweet corn and herb seed from Seedway. Grandma always orders melon and pumpkin seed from Rupp. Twilley has a nice catalog, and I have ordered bulk pepper seed from them.

This post was edited by Cole_Robbie on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 22:15

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:12PM
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