Johnny Seeds suspends orders from home gardeners again

VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

Johnny's Seeds has once again suspended accepting new orders from home gardeners, focusing on farmers.

I am very sad to hear this, as they have been one of my preferred seed suppliers.

While I am sympathetic to the struggles of trying to fill high seed demand from home gardeners, I have much less sympathy than I did a year ago the first time this happened. In 2020 it was unexpected, but in 2021 it certainly should have been expected and planned for.

Johnny's is a good company that sells high-quality seed, and I've been very satisfied with their seed products. But I now think that it may be time for home growers to focus their purchases on firms that don't treat us as second class customers.

I checked the web sites of the other seed suppliers I routinely purchase from, and while they are struggling with out of stock varieties and delayed shipping times, none of them have (at this writing) rejected home gardener orders in favor of farmers.

Every home gardener will need to decide which seed suppliers are most worthy of our support.


  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I routinely purchase seeds from Johnny's, Baker Creek, High Mowing, and Renee's, and I will occasionally go elsewhere for something really unusual that I can't find at my "Big Four." Baker Creek has a terrific selection of heirlooms, though it leans toward a slightly warmer climate than I have; High Mowing is a local Vermont company, and their seeds are excellent; and Renee's is a great source of specialty varieties that are hard to find anywhere else. All four have done a good job of getting quality seed to me in a reasonable time...until now.

    Unfortunately, I think Johnny's just dropped off my "Big Four." I will still buy stuff from them that is hard to source elsewhere, such as my sprouts and shoots seeds. But I prefer to put most of my business with organizations that see me, and those like me, as their primary customer, so from now on Johnny's will one of my niche providers that is only used to fill gaps.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    I started exploring smaller local seed companies this last year and I have been so pleased with different varieties and the quality. I’m California I discovered Redwood Seeds. It was a very small company with a smaller selection but the quality was unparalleled. Here in SC I was excited to find untold varieties of okra and cotton. Who knew?

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I went to Johnny's to look for seed and saw that they weren't taking orders from gardeners. And the last time I looked Uprising seeds, they were still trying to restock the stores they supply. Seed for Generations still has seeds available. A few of the local stores have a good supply of Botanical Interests.

  • lewis.mary.e
    lewis.mary.e Posts: 225 ✭✭✭

    I just ordered asparagus from Johnny's on Wednesday. They must have shut it down just after that. I want to be excited about more people growing their own food, but it sure has made supply chain issues more difficult.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lewis.mary.e I want to be excited about more people growing their own food, but it sure has made supply chain issues more difficult."

    Yes, but at no time during the past year have seeds been impossible to get. You may not get the variety you want, you may need to order from a supplier who was not your preferred supplier, and shipping may be delayed. But you could always plant a garden.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree. A few weeks ago I went on Johnny Seeds and Baker Creek both were closed to gardeners at the time. I ended up ordering from botanical interests a company I first found out about in one of the forum threads. The seeds came fast and were high quality. So now I look to them first to try and support them.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @annbeck62 I love botanical interests. Great seeds and all that info on the inside of the packets.

    I have not looked at their seed catalog this year. If I do I will cave in and order...

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I understand about the caving in.....

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    Johnny’s website now says taking orders from all customers. There is a learn more button that says it is taking about 10 days for the smaller garden orders. My guess is because farmers are ordering in larger quantities, which the seeds come into. We gardeners order smaller amounts that need to be repackaged into those smaller quantities. It makes sense but is also disappointing as we feel like we have been demoted or made to wait longer as other orders are filled before ours.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Baker Creek and Botanical Interests are both sending out emails advertising new varieties, so they both seem to be encouraging gardeners' orders. Botanical Interests is getting them to you faster though. Baker Creek is slower and using some convoluted mailing system. They lured me into buying... just a few more seeds that I obviously couldn't live without...March 6. Order was shipped March 8 and is due to arrive March 16. According to the tracking info, at this point the seeds are in St. Louis, on the opposite side of the state from me and Baker Creek too....Why it didn't just go USPS to Kansas City, much closer to us both, I don't know.

    I confess to being led astray by Botanical Interests recent email too..... ordered just a couple more seeds you understand.....on March 1, and those arrived USPS March 6.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,946 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Every place I know (seeds, food, or other things) are all taking longer, I guess we can just chalk it up to the pandemic.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MaryRowe I once ordered some onion transplants that were sourced from a farm in the center of the US. They supplied a tracking number.

    I watched in disbelief as the tracking showed the package getting farther and farther west, ending up in Hawaii (!) I finally wrote an email back to the supplying company, forwarding the email with the tracking number and pointing out that my onions plants probably wouldn't survive even if shipped back to me from Hawaii.

    They shipped a new set of onion transplants to me immediately, and the new batch arrived quickly. We joked about the first batch of onions apparently needing a Hawaiian vacation!

  • Voodoo Flóra
    Voodoo Flóra Posts: 258 ✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy just discovered these guys and so far so great

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @aprilbbrinkman Thank you for the link. Fun site but I had to hide my credit card.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,690 admin

    Richter's is out of quite a few varieties this year. Very few carrot varieties left. I managed to spend quite a bit, though. Next order from West Coast Seeds. I haven't noticed much missing on their website yet but we'll see how it goes when I place my order.