Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Dawn and Others

Posted by crm2431 7 -Tahlequah (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 6, 10 at 19:13

What is your experience with buying from Reimer Seeds in the past?

Also where is the best place to buy Blacktail Mountain watermelon seeds and can the Yellow Doll seeds be bought somewhere besides Swallowtail?

Charlie


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Charlie, I'm not Dawn, but you can get Yellow Doll seed from Willhite and they pay postage in US, plus their prices are good. Almost home boys, in Poolville TX.

Here is a link that might be useful: Willhite


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Charlie, I just asked Dawn about Reimer because they are the only place I can find the Little Lucy okra seeds I want. They don't have an especially good rating, but I will probably risk it.

Renee's Garden offers a packet of 3 different what they call "fancy, icebox" watermelons, that includes Yellow Doll, Tiger Baby, and New Orchid for $2.99. There are a few other places I found, but they are not rated any better than Reimer. I hesitate to guide you to them. I know that Renee's Garden is rated well. I checked Baker Creek because they have a larger selection than most places, but they don't carry it.....yet. Some seed places may add varieties later on. That's been my experience with things anyway. Not that I am even one iota near Dawn's experience at all.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Renee's Garden Seeds


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Susan, I bought Little Lucy okra seed from Nichols Garden last year. They seemed OK, but a little pricey, bought a 100 count pack for almost $13.00 including shipping. The plants did very well with 95 to 100% germination.

Larry


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Charlie,

I never have purchased from Reimer's and likely never will. The only time I would buy from them would be if they were the only source on this earth for the seed I wanted. They just have way too many negative reviews on the garden watchdog site we can't link here because it is on a competing forum. I think Jay may have mentioned in the past that he bought seeds from them with no problem, but I'm not positive about that since my memory isn't as good as it used to be.

I usually buy Yellow Doll from Harris Seed every few years when I'm ordering tomato seed from them. As Carol pointed out, Willhite has it, but I think Remy has the best price (20 seeds for $2.50) at the Sample Seed Shop (linked below).

Some years, I have purchased Blacktail Mountain at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (www.rareseeds.com) and other years I have purchased it at Seed Savers Exchange (www.seedsavers.org). You also can find it at Sandhill Preservation Center where the owner of Sandhill, Glenn Drowns, just happens to be the person who bred Blacktail Mountain. If ordering from Sandhill, follow their directions exactly as it is a part-time business they do on the side in addition to the regular jobs/lives.

The packet Susan mentioned at Renee's is a good blend and I've grown it before and was happy with all three melons.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Yellow Doll at Sample Seeds


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

I need to check out Remy's other vegetables, Dawn! I have looked at them several times, but I have no memory after looking at so many over the last couple months.

You know, I have always just banished Harris Seeds from my repertoire of good seed vendors based on a thread entitled "Beware! Harris Seeds" here at the Rate & Review Vendors. I never opened and read the thread. So, today, since Dawn recommended them, I went there and read the thread. Now, I fear I must eat some humble pie! Which I do often......sigh. There was one complaint on treated corn seeds followed by a response from Harris Seeds' President, and then 7 more "kudos" responses. So, it pays to actually read the threads! My bad.....

Do they espouse non-GMO seeds?

I am now going to check out Harris Seeds so I'll find out.

Susan, with mouth full of Humble Pie!!


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Susan,

Harris Seeds is an outstanding company and I've purchased seeds from them for many years.

I have no idea if they espouse non-GMO seeds or not because it is largely irrelevant to me, and by that, I don't mean that I don't care if the seeds are GMO or not. What I mean is that most if not all seed sold to home gardeners is non-GMO. There is far too much marketing hype about GMO seed in this country, as it applies (or, actually, doesn't apply) to home gardeners.

Almost all GMO food crop seeds sold in this country are for the big commercial commodity crops like corn and soybeans. The average seed sold to the average home gardener is not GMO seed. In order for a home vegetable gardener to purchase GMO seed, you pretty much have to go seek it out and find someone to sell it to you in small quantities because commercial seeds are normally sold in huge quantities.

In addition, many people think seed from "this" company or "that" company is inherently better than seed from someone else. Unless you are purchasing from seed companies that grow all their own seed, and there's not very many of them at all, the seed you purchase at Company A or Company B or Company C is likely from a small handful of multinational wholesale seed producers no matter which retailer you purchase it from. That's why you'll see a certain seed variety suddenly unavailable at a whole lot of companies in the same year---because the wholesale seed producer, who may be the only company producing that variety in that year, has had a massive crop failure. (I suspect this might be the case with Little Lucy.) Unless a specific firm has a stockpile of excess seed of that variety left over from the previous year, it can't obtain seed to sell that year. So, if the seed comes from the same multinational wholesale seed producers, why does seed from some companies seem to be a higher quality than seed from others? I think that is a reflection of how the seed is transported and maintained after it leaves the wholesaler.

There are a few fairly large seed suppliers who raise some of their own seed or even most of it, but even they sometimes rely on contract growers or wholesale seed suppliers. I think a few of the seed sellers who are producing some of or most of their own seed include Victory Seed, Baker Creek, Seed Saver's Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and Sandhill Preservation Center. Then there's the smaller companies like Amishland, Skyfire and Remy's Sample Seed Shop that probably produce most, if not all, of their own seed. Lisa at Amishland, for example, grows a lot of her own but she has a friend in another state who grows beans for her to sell.

A lot of retailers in the USA try to give customers the impression that they grow all their own seed themselves in fields right there near their home office in the good ol' USA. That's not how it really is. Like so many other products in the USA, most commercial seed is produced in foreign lands where operating costs are lower.

You see the "wholesale commercial seed grower" effect when new offerings appear every year. Many companies phrase their ad copy in their catalogs to give you the impression that they have this great new variety that they've come up with just for you! That sounds great, gets folks all excited and sells a lot of seeds....but if you look carefully, you'll often see that these incredible new offering just for you at a whole lot of different retailers, and their seed likely came from the same seed wholesaler.

There are some firms who make a big deal about focusing on non-GMO seed because that is what a specific segment of the market is seeking. However, to me it is disingenuous for them to make those claims since home vegetable seed varieties are almost totally non-GMO anyway. By saying they only sell non-GMO seed they make you think everyone else is selling GMO seed, and everyone else is not. With seeds, as with everything else, caveat emptor applies. When shopping for seeds, you can't believe 75% of the hype you read, and you can't even believe the photos you seed in seed catalogs because they can be photoshopped to improve their appearance. If I sound jaded and cynical with regards to the marketing of seed to home gardeners, it is because I am, but for good reason.

Dawn


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

I agree with Dawn for the most part. However, I really don't think Baker's Creek produces any seed. Anyone ever see their production fields? Didn't think So!

I have talked to way too many people that grow for them. Years ago when I was doing one of their shows, Randall walked by my booth and saw my Royal Hillbilly plants, He asked me how I liked it as he just contracted someone to grow seeds for them.

When you are ordering seed from any company and they say they are waiting for stock. They have ordered it from a wholesaler. Most seed are produced outside the US in Japan, China, South America, Israel et....There is a California company "Seeds By Design", that produce lots of vegetable seed and probably 100 or more varieties of OP/Heirloom Tomatoes. They probably are the supplier for most of the smaller companies that retail seed. I tried to order from Seeds by Design once, but they will not even give me the time of day as they only want to deal with larger purchasers.... I am doing lots of soul searching about selling seeds on my website (Next Year), and I will start a new thread in the next few days to ask other opinions are about the varieties I should "Grow".

Germination rate on varieties from different companies may be due to their storage conditions and how old the seed is. Just because the package says "Packaged for 2011" does not mean it was grown in 2010.

I would say that Sand Hill comes the closest to growing all their own seed, but they admit on their website that they do get some varietes in from outside sources.


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Gary,

I wasn't sure about Baker Creek and whether or not they produce any of their own seed, but I have to admit I was thinking that if they ever did...then they probably don't any more. I included them in the list because I wanted to err on the side of safety and I think that early on they did produce some of their own (although maybe that's just an assumption I made back then) and I wasn't sure how much that had changed (if it ever existed to begin with). So, it sounds like they don't now, and maybe never did?

Thanks too for bringing up germination rates and "packed for" dates. Both are greatly misunderstood, especially by newer gardeners.

I'd be remiss, though, if I didn't say that I do think seed companies often get blamed excessively for the, mistakes made by novice seed-starters, and that's not fair to the reputable seed companies. A novice seed-starter cannot blame the seed company for all their own failures. Usually, if a specific seed company has a batch of bad seed somehow make it out onto the market (which is rare), word gets around fast and we know when it is a seed failure as opposed to a human error. And, of course, the errors I'm referring to usually are crossed or mislabeled seed, and not seed that just won't germinate. Also, some people don't know the USDA-required seed germination rates, which can be lower than folks expect! I do hate seeing people blame a seed company for a total lack of germination, or even worse--seeing them blame damping off on the seed company. Usually, properly germination-tested seed is what is shipped and the seed-starting failures belong to the seed starters themselves and not the seeds.

I look forward to seeing your thread on seed sales, and I know I owe you and everyone here a Sweet Potato update and I promise one soon---probably next week. There's lots of good news to report from the seed potato trial, but all the potatoes are sitting in their little plastic bins and I haven't had time to go back and jot down a lot of notes about which ones produced more heavily. With a huge fire dept. Christmas party and 44 bags of gifts/goodies to put together (I still have shopping to do!) and wrap by Saturday, my computer time is mostly limited to typing something while I eat a meal, and the sweet potato report deserves more attention than that.

I remember (and long for) the good old days when we had local seed companies, like Gene E. Porter & Sons in the Stephenville, TX, area and Willhite Seeds (still in existence) in Poolville, TX, which are two we purchased seed from when I was a kid. Back then, you knew where your seed came from. I still prefer going to old-fashioned seed-and-feed stores that have veggie seeds in bulk bins or in cans similar to paint cans, and you just scoop out how many seeds you want, put them into a blank envelope or tiny bag, label it and go pay for it. Places like that are becoming so rare nowadays. We have to drive about 75 miles to reach one of the few "bin seed companies" in Texas and there's another in Fort Worth, but I usually only go to it if I'm in Fort Worth to visit family or something, because it is about a 170 mile drive, round-trip.

Dawn


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

You could spend a fortune every year if you bought from every company that has something you like. I try to buy from only a couple of companies, then the next year I buy from someone else. The seeds are good for more than one year, and I don't waste a lot of money in postage. I did buy from Willhite a couple of times last year, but if I remember they don't charge postage, and may charge a small handling fee. Anyway, it was a good deal.

Just last night, I was watching the picture gallery at Johnny's and there were pictures of them harvesting squash seed. Every now and then I have to log on to the Johnny's web site and just stare at the picture of their farm. The picture on their home page is fantastic.

I doubt that Baker Creek grows their own seed. They have several large gardens around the store, but they have very varied crops in them. The one in the front of the seed store has a lot of tomatoes, but they appear to be lots of different types and that wouldn't seem to be a good method for seed saving in large quantities. I think their gardens are more demonstration gardens. BTW, I saw several 'hearts' growing there, and I have heard several people say they can't grow them well in Oklahoma. I grew one this year and got a few tomatoes, but I can't think of the name right now.

I have seen the comment "got the seed from an Amish family", that I have wondered how many of the Amish are in the business of growing seed, as well as the crops they provide.

I wanted to link the Johnny's farm picture on the link but when I went out to find it, it had changed. I will link the Flickr page. Grab a snack and a drink and click on Slideshow up near the top right corner. Great ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Johnny's


 o
Despicable

Soonergrandmom,

Those photos are very nice, but I just have to say how rotten I think it is that Johnny's would take pictures of my hometown, my family and my back yard garden, then try to pass it all off as their own. Clearly, they have hacked my photobucket account. Despicable, just despicable.

Seedmama, miffed


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Gary, am looking forward to your thread concerning seeds.

There is an expanding market out there for those of us who grow veggies in containers especially, IMHO. While Dawn has given me a good start with her thread regarding suitable vegetable varieties for containers, it just takes a ton of research on the Internet to find those certain varieties, and right now, I don't expect we will ever see a one-stop-shop solution to the situation. So, I've been bouncing from seed site to seed site, like Tigger, trying to locate a few that are suitable containers, suitable for Oklahoma, and that I can expect fairly good production from. I also like purchasing smaller packs of seed because I don't grow as many vegetables as the typical in-ground gardener.

I would definitely be interested in seed for proven plants in Oklahoma, and hopefully you can offer some determinate and dwarf tomatos, and other vegetables that can be grown in pots. Not trying to influence your decision, but just give some input.

I also don't think you would have any problems with advertising by word of mouth! LOL!

Thanks for the explanation, Dawn, but I am still unsure about the issues of non-GMO, so will take your info into consideration and continue doing more research. There is so much information out there on the worldwide web and with it as many opinions, pro and con. There has been some discussion here at GW, especially on the Organic Gardening Forum. I've already purchased most of my seed for this spring, If I save my seed of my heirlooms this year, I will have organic seed next year for those. I think there are certain vegetables that you shouldn't save unless you have taken proper precautions to protect them from cross-pollinating with other varieties of the same type, e.g., squash, is that correct? Anyway, we may not have to worry about GMO seeds right now, but it could happen eventually.

BTW, I went to the Harris Seeds website today and it was just a real pain to navigate. They may have been working on it, so I'll try again tomorrow.

Susan


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

I did buy seeds from Reimer's one time. My overall result was fair. I haven't bought from them since and probably won't unless they are the only source for something I feel I must have. Although I did look at a variety recently that they had. I know several on another site reported crossed seeds and poor germination on pepper seeds a few years ago. My problems was poor germination on one tomato variety. A few others on the forums experienced the same results with the same variety. Their customer service dept at that time was very arrogant and insulting. I called and told a lady about the problem and asked if others had reported anything and also about the possibility of getting a few more seeds to try in case the ones I received was damaged in shipping or something. Knowing that a few said they had contacted them about the variety. I was told their guarantee was only good if you used a certain brand of seed starting mix. I went and bought that brand and tried again. And still no germination. I called back and was told I probably didn't know what I was doing and that without proof I was using the brand they specified and also showing proof that I kept the mix at the correct temps while trying to germinate them there would be no refund or more seeds sent. It was a variety I really wanted to grow. I just called it experience and went on. I sowed the whole packet if I remember correctly and not one seed germinated. That year I had way over 90% germination overall. Whether the seed was damaged somehow in the mail or it was just poor quality seed I don't know. I also had one crossed variety as I remember. I had placed a fairly large order and the rest were fine. I know of several that have had good results. It just matters if a person is willing to take a gamble. Jay


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Well Seedmama, Your garden does look great, but you should have told us that you were entertaining Elliott Coleman and wife Barbara. We would all have been there. Are did you notice that was him in those pictures?


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

I just wish more seed sellers could make lucrative inroads into our farmers' markets. Especially those selling OK native seeds/starters.


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Soonergrandmom,

I guess I should have mentioned Barb and El are my Godparents. It's just never come up before. Shall I invite them to the Spring Fling?

Seedmama


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Seedmama,

You can't fool me. I looked at all those photos and didn't see one single thing that identifies them as photos of your place. Where are the funnel clouds that are always hovering up there in the sky as y'all run for the basement? Where are the hailstones? Where are the photos of the ground quaking and shaking? No, that's not your place.

However, please do invite your Godparents and Best Friends, El and Barb, to attend the Spring Fling so they can enjoy the phenomenal weather.

Dawn


 o
I'll invite them

Dawn,

I'll be sure to invite them, once I clear it with p-mac. I don't want to add to her stress by inviting famous people without permission. I'll introduce you as the one who first told me about Dixondale onions. That's what I'm giving them for a Holiday gift this year, via gift card. They'll need long days, of course.

Seedmama


 o
RE: Dawn and Others

Seedmama,

That sounds like a winner of a holidy gift that only a farmer or gardener could love---a gift card for onions.

Dawn


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Oklahoma Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here