If you decide not to collect viable seeds from your heirlooms (non-hybrids) and need to purchase them from your favorite seed company, now is a good time to do so, before they run out of stock. Last week I tried to order organic heirloom shallot seeds (not bulbs) from one of the more reputable catalogue companies and they already had sold out. Shop early for that particular reason and do it before the new catalogues arrive to purchase seeds at the current price.
Also, when dealing with retailers, insist on getting the item which you ordered instead of letting them manipulate you into settling for substitutes; check off the refund box if such an item is unavailable.
If you’re not satisfied with a good germination rate, inform the company and demand a refund. Several years ago I ordered yellow pepper seeds that failed to germinate in three attempts, and when I notified the company they acknowledged the problem and refunded my money. Has this ever happened to you, and did the company reimburse your money?
Making it an issue may sound cheap or petty, but a delay may disrupt the growing time frame and affect your future crop. Remember, the secret of growing organic heirlooms is to start at the right time, and a significant interruption can result in failure. Make your plans well in advance, use viable organic seeds, and don’t leave anything to chance.
Nick Mancini the Organic Italian