Garden seed companies exist to meet the needs of you, the home gardener. When it comes to home garden seeds, I’m sure you want only the very best. There are several traits that gardeners value highly. First and foremost, they want quality seeds. Gardeners need to feel confident, that the seeds they plant will sprout and grow well. Often, there’s no second chance to replant seeds. If the first planting fails to sprout, there may not be enough time to make a second planting. So, it’s off to the local garden center to buy expensive, young plants.
Imagine waiting weeks to see if your pepper or tomato plants sprout indoors. By the time you give up on the first planting, your garden season is behind by 2-3 weeks. You may have to buy more expensive live plants from a local garden center. There are long-season crops, like watermelons or pumpkins, that you directly sow outdoors. So, if they don’t sprout the first time, your season might be over before it even begins.
Gardeners want variety in the seeds offered. We certainly have our favorites. Gardeners generally know what variety grows best in their home garden. For example, dozens of tomato varieties on the market offer different tastes, appearances, and uses. Everyone has a favorite zinnia or marigold that they like to grow, and in specific colors. Livingston Seed Company is the perfect example here. At a time when many seed companies are trimming the number of varieties they offer, Livingston offers a few hundred varieties. For example, they have a couple of dozen varieties each of pumpkins and tomatoes. This is far more than other seed companies offer. So, if a seed company does not offer those choices, buyers look elsewhere.
Many home gardeners also enjoy growing new and different varieties. They place value on new plant introductions. It’s an opportunity to take up the challenge of growing something new and different, or something no one else in the neighborhood has in their garden. For example, the Burpee seed company comes out with several exciting new varieties each year. The challenge of trying a new variety proves irresistible to many growers. As they purchase these new garden gems, they usually find the rest of their seeds from Burpee’s line. It’s a sure way to build customer loyalty and grow sales.
Some companies offer a guarantee that the seeds will grow. While successful seed germination is often impacted by the experience of the gardener, or weather, top seed companies stand behind their product. Ferry-Morse is well known for its “Guarantee to Grow”. It’s written on the back of each seed packet. This “guarantee to grow” gives gardeners comfort, and they are more likely to buy from that seed company. It’s a great way to build customer loyalty.
Price is a part of the seed selection process for some. It should be, as the price is usually a partial reflection of product quality. Personal budget constraints often drive some gardeners to lower-cost seed brands. Meanwhile, price is not an issue to some gardeners, whose top priorities are quality, seed viability, or product selection.
Did You Know? Seeds are a vital part of gardening and a huge market. 44% of Americans grow a flower or vegetable garden, or both.
In times of trouble, crisis, or uncertainty, many people turn to vegetable gardens, to ease their concerns. During these times, survival seeds, take on increased importance. As a result, seed sales grow significantly. Even people who don’t normally have a garden, purchase seeds and store them away in anticipation of the “Apocalypse”. Recessions are a cause of increased sales. More recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, more people stay home. Some people fill the extra time at home by growing a vegetable garden.
Listed below are some of the top seed companies in America.
Burpee – Top quality, noted for exciting new product introductions, premium prices
Ferry-Morse Seeds – Top-quality seeds, iron-clad “Guarantee to Grow”, value price
Lilly Miller – A Pacific Northwest favorite. Good quality, limited variety.
Livingston Seed Company. – Wide product line with many less common varieties, value-priced.
Did You Know? Burpee, Ferry-Morse, Lilly Miller, and Livingston all got their start in the seed business in the 1800s.