As everyone knows we grow our seeds. We do this to ensure you are getting seeds immediately as we harvest them. And we store our seeds correctly to ensure a high germination rate. We only hold onto to our seeds for sale for one cycle. In some cases this may only be a few weeks, at the most one year. Seeds not sold during this time are either kept for us to grow ourselves or we dispose of.
Large seed companies don't do this. When purchasing seeds from these places you run a risk of purchasing seeds with a poor germination rate. We have to get our seed stock from somewhere and in the case of our sweet pea seeds they come from extremely reputable companies that grow their seeds and store them like we do (all of these companies are sweet pea breeders).
However, all our other seeds are purchased from well known seed companies. But even in those cases you can run into problems. Our imported poppy seeds this year came from a company that is very well known and we haven't had a problem with them in the past. However, both of us have had extremely poor to almost no germination from several of their poppy seeds.
How do we know it was their seeds? Simple. At the same time we sowed their seeds we sowed some of our fresh poppy seeds. I also sowed fresh poppy seeds given to me by a friend. The germination rate for these seeds was close to 100%.
What you don't know but need to know when purchasing seeds is: * who grew them. * how were they grown. * how were they stored and long for before being packaged.
When at the retail outlet you need to take notice of: * location of seed stock in the shop (are they in sun, are they being kept too warm, are the display conditions constantly cool and dry.) * use by date. * full horticultural growing instructions.
What frustrates me is that consumers often blame themselves when they can't seeds to grow. In most cases it is not the consumer but poor quality seeds that are at fault. #freshseeds