The seed catalogs have begun to arrive. Time to consider “new” varieties for demos , check prices, and complete orders. Orders are in before the New Year. Over time I’ve learned to evaluate seed costs carefully. One seed supplier may pack small volumes at what appears to be good prices. When broken down to a cost per seed there may be notable differences in prices. Calculating the amount of seed and the cost (including shipping…) is a late fall job. When done well costs are minimized and planning for the season follows.
My preferred suppliers provide ample information to make clear evaluations. For example Johnny’s has a cost chart for Bush Beans. It makes easy reference. Jade beans are $3.45 for a packet (175 seeds) of .0197 cents/seed and .0066/seed if 1000 are purchased. 175 seeds plants ~25’ . If you plan 400’ you’d need 16 packets and cost $55.20. Or by bulk you’d need 2.28 pounds and you’d pay $25.00 with some left over at a cost per seed of .0058. Comparing between seed suppliers often shows dramatic cost differences. One supplier may have the best prices in pepper seeds then be dramatically different in carrot seeds. All fun with numbers!
One point that often makes evaluation a bit cumbersome is when suppliers mix grams and ounces of seed within a catalog. Seed sellers must copy into their catalogs the information from sources. Many suppliers probably use the metric measurements while domestic ones are in ounces. The cost per seed calculation remains similar but a few more steps to accurately order the correct quantity.
Some catalogs are fun to leaf through and enjoy the pictures and side bar information. The pictures of ideal and beautiful crops is nice eye candy. Some catalogs I read. Like Fedco’s always enjoyable catalog. Social commentary and realistic descriptions. No pictures in their catalog. I usually end up ordering from a handful of reliable suppliers that carry the varieties I trust and have the customer support needed .
Posted by Farmer Pete @ 09:38 AM EST