It Starts with the Seed
With nearly a million Spring 2017 catalogs in gardeners’ homes (the latest were mailed December 22nd, 2016), now is a good time to remind recipients just what it is that we stand for. With a name like “Seeds ‘n Such,” it should come as no surprise that seed quality and seed viability are our top priorities. We make certain that all our seed varieties are carefully chosen for their dependable performance and adaptability throughout a wide range of soil types and climate conditions. As you browse our catalog or peruse our website, you will find cultivars of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and many other vegetables with short growing seasons to fit conditions up North, as well as types best suited to deal with the heat and humidity in the South. For all those first-time gardeners, we even have easy-to-follow cultivation instruction booklets for tomato seed and pepper seed, and lots of helpful tools and supplies to make certain their efforts are successful.
As we launch our brand new 2017 seed season, we are greatly expanding our vegetable-seed offerings, plus adding an entirely new selection of over 200 flower-seed varieties, so you will now be able to choose from nearly 1,000 varieties, with fully 80 pages in this year’s catalog. You will still find all your favorite varieties of Tomatoes, Peppers, Melons and Squash from last season, but we’ve even expanded each of these categories plus added brand new vegetable groups including many cool-season crops to add to your summer garden. New summer garden offerings include Asparagus Seed, Garden Beans (over 50 varieties), new Cucumbers, Sweet Corn, Eggplants, Okra, Pumpkins and Watermelons, both seedless and seeded. An assortment of Herb seeds has also been added (try our new Dulce Fresca Basil!) which can also be started early with protection and transplanted to the garden when cold weather subsides.
We are especially excited about our new selection of over 200 varieties of flower seeds! We have been careful to offer many of the old-timey favorites for our home gardeners but also we’ve included the latest cutting-edge hybrids like the fabulous Wave® Petunias for both professional growers and even amateur gardeners. Best of all, every one of our flower seeds – like our veggie and herb seeds – is available in small, inexpensive packets (as low as $1.99 each! ) that are ideal for home gardeners, up to large “ProPaks” designed for market growers and greenhouse operations.
No company follows more rigorous testing procedures to confirm excellent germination than we at Seeds ‘n Such. The minimum acceptable vegetable and herb seed germination is governed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But we go much further. We test each lot of seed two times before shipping to our customer – once by our supplier who advises at the time of shipment the germination percentage and the date of the germination test, and a second test we perform on that same seed lot upon its receipt by a different and independent seed lab. By testing each seed lot twice, we are confident enough to mark many of our packets with a germination rate much higher than federal standards. For example, the USDA requires that sweet bell peppers germinate at least at 55%. But our double testing gives us the confidence we need to label our sweet bell peppers at 75% — a full 20 percentage points above federal standards. We treat other important crops – like our best-selling tomato seed – in the exact same way.
Unlike vegetable seeds, germination standards for flower seeds are determined by the various States – if standards exist at all. At Seeds ‘n Such, we use the germination standards promulgated by the State of New York, whose standards are long standing and are used by many other mail-order seed companies as well.
The NY-State germination standards for flower seeds provide the minimum germination percentage that should be permitted for a particular flower seed species, but these standards do not suggest what expected germination rates might be. This makes the use of NY-State germination standards a bit confusing. For example, the NY-State standard for petunias is 45%, a rate prominently shown on all our petunia packets. But virtually all our petunias achieved 75 to 85% germination rates when we tested them in recent months. Our famous Wave® Petunias all germinate at actual rates above 90%.
Just remember that comparing germination rates on vegetable seeds is different than comparing rates on flower seeds. Printed germination rates on our vegetable-seed packets approximate very closely what you can expect. Printed germination rates on our flower seed packets, though, are lower than what you should expect; in some cases like petunia seeds, much lower than what you can expect.
Now is the best time of the year to place your order for this year’s garden seeds, so that you can take advantage of our Early Bird Special! For all orders placed prior to March 15, 2017, we will send you Free packets of two recent introductions—Warrior 5443 Hybrid Tomato, with resistance to just about everything, and Blight Buster Hybrid Sweet Bell Pepper, the most disease-resistant pepper variety ever! And it’s so easy – and inexpensive – to choose varieties to qualify for our Early Bird Special! We’ll sell you any 20 packets—mix and match— of our seeds for only $1.99 a packet, with shipping a paltry $2.95 extra! Of course, larger-sized seed containers are available for market gardeners and greenhouse operations.
We are aware of the on-going controversy and concerns about possible harmful affects on our personal health and that of our environment created by crops grown from planting genetically-engineered (GMO) seeds. In our steadfast limited warranty: “We promise that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically-engineered seeds or plants. We further warrant that all of our seeds are untreated. We want you to be happy with our products, which are guaranteed for an entire year after purchase. If you are not satisfied with any item, we will either replace it or refund its purchase price. Our liability, for any reason, is limited to the amount of the purchase price. In no case shall we be liable for more. When you order our products, you understand and agree to this limited warranty.”
We emphatically pledge that ALL seeds from Seeds ‘n Such are Non-GMO, and we qualify that pledge with the following guarantee: “All of our seeds are non-GMO, never genetically modified in any way. You might be surprised to learn that virtually all seeds sold to home gardeners in the U.S. are non-GMO! GMO seeds are actually far more expensive to produce and are used mainly by corporate farms and huge commercial farmers. Nevertheless, many of our customers are concerned about our position on GMOs, so we have labeled our entire seed selection as Non-GMO so that you may shop with confidence.”
Now, as you browse our catalog or website of nearly 1,000 seed varieties, you will find options for selecting your time-tested and faithful favorite heirlooms intermingled with the latest in hybrid introductions—featuring disease resistance, earliness to maturity, drought and heat tolerance and all sorts of other desirable traits. Before making your purchases, read the next article about the pros and cons of both heirlooms and hybrids!