Inflation in seed prices and shipping prices

VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

Looking at the same of the prices in new seed catalogs has me blanching a bit.

Some are doing a good job of holding the line on more price increases. Most Baker Creed seed packets are still in the US$3.50 - $4.00 range, and shipping is still free. Baker Creek has always been one of my favorite seed companies even though many of the varieties I want are not available there, and this is going to mean shifting even more of future orders to them.

Johnny's Seeds, on the other hand, is showing steep increases on both seed prices and shipping prices. For example, Fortex has been a favorite pole bean for me for several years now, and it's difficult to find it anywhere except Johnny's. But for 2024, they are asking $5.75 a packet (out of stock, unknown shipping price) or $15.15 for 250 seeds plus shipping $8 shipping. So $25 for 250 seeds, which is probably a 2-3 year supply of Fortex bean seeds for me, vs. $36 for a dozen different seed packets at Baker Creek.

I have think I have a few Fortex bean seeds left over from last year. It's probably time to use them for a seed increase in 2024, rather than eating them. I'll grow something else to eat this year.

It's not just the Fortex. Johnny's is offering Buttercrunch lettuce for $6.15 a packet, Sungold F1 for $5.80 a packet, and so forth. These prices don't include shipping.

When the same variety is offered by both Baker Creek and Johnny's, you can see the difference. Black Cherry tomatoes are $6.15 for a packet of 40 at Johnny's, or $3.50 for a packet of 25+ at Baker Creek (even before adding shipping to the Johnny's order). Personally, I don't need 40 seeds of a single tomato variety.

The only way I can justify the 2024 Johnny's prices is to order things I can't get anywhere else, or to order larger quantities of seed. For example, I still order most of my seeds for winter sprouts and shoots there, but I am buying them in 1/4 lb bags of each.

I think Johnny's is increasing looks to farmers and market gardeners for its sales, and is less interested in offering small backyard gardeners seeds at a competitive price. Baker Creek, on the other hand, seems to see the backyard gardener as the mainstay of their customer base.

We will all have stronger incentives in the future to try to save at least some of our own seeds, rather than purchase all of them every year. This will be true even for those like myself with limited gardening space.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin
    edited January 14

    I am still looking at the benefits of growing rather than the grocery store. It helps me accept some of these inflationary changes as a necessary evil.

    I do try to either over-buy certain seeds that I know I can't grow to seed here, or save seeds when I can. Finally, this year, I will not have to buy seed potatoes!

    I'm also fairly loyal to those companies who don't treat their seed and are generous with their seed in comparison to other companies.

    It is tough to justify shipping when it goes over the cost of seed or if the product bought is exclusive. Often in that case, unless it is a necessity (which it usually hasn't been), I don't buy from those places.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy The shipping price has gone up almost everywhere I shop online as well as most of the products not just seeds. Inflation of everything makes me think twice before purchasing.

    I agree with @LaurieLovesLearning about the benefits of growing your own but you also have to be a savvy shopper.

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,613 admin

    hanks so much for this update. I have not yet opened my seed catalogs - I'm scared to! I might not come out of them for days...

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    I've been going through my catalogs & so have my girls. I have my regular list together. It's now just a matter of the extras this year. We need to determine what those are & how many we are willing to actually pay for.

    I also want to update my tree, shrub, & medicinal herb wish list. I'm not sure that I can get anything off of those this year. Only time will tell.

    I noticed that Richters put duplicate pages in the middle of their print catalogue but missed 17 pages of seeds/plants that at least were able to be found on their website. It's hard to circle things on web pages. 🤪

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    I usually buy from Ritchers Catalog.

  • Jens the Beekeeper
    Jens the Beekeeper Posts: 651 admin

    Well over Here seed prices are increasing too .

    I have for several years now backed a seed company that' only sells Open pollinated varieties and they are coming from Market Garden er so These varieties do perform and there ist sufficent choice.

    I will this Year more than ever Focus on harvesting some seeds of of the varieties I grow.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Botanical Interest has kept their prices about the same and occasional have free shipping. You can also find their seeds at Nurseries or Sprouts.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,113 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been trying to compare seeds from different companies. So irritating when they don't say how many seeds are in each packet. Or they give you a weight from one company and a count or nothing from another.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "I noticed that Richters put duplicate pages in the middle of their print catalogue but missed 17 pages of seeds/plants that at least were able to be found on their website. It's hard to circle things on web pages."

    It's not unusual for seed sellers to have varieties on their web sites that don't make it into the catalog, even when they don't mess up the catalog printing. :-)

    Like @LaurieLovesLearning, I enjoy looking through the paper catalogs and putting a check mark by the ones I am seriously considering. But once I know what I want, I'll usually look at several seed sellers on the web to see if someone is offering it more cheaply (including shipping), or if another similar variety looks more interesting.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym I find that most reputatable seed sellers do state the number of seeds in a packet on their web sites. Certainly Johnny's and Baker Creek both do this. Some, such as High Mowing, give seed weights instead. For large quantities, weights make more sense, but for a single packet it can be confusing.

    I would be a bit wary of seed companies that don't list either number of seeds or seed weights.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭ has free shipping today and tomorrow, they also seem to be a decent price and does give the approx. number of seeds/weight.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,156 ✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy Thanks for the comparisons! I know where to start shopping! Also loved others input--Thanks everyone!