Episode 1: Seeds! Hosts Shauna and Dorothy Dobbie interview John Barrett of Vesey’s Seeds to learn how Vesey’s and other seed suppliers coped with the explosion of seed orders when the pandemic hit. “It was March 12, 2020 and 3,200 orders came in!” said John. They thought that was a nice blip in the order routine, but it not only continued, but the orders also grew and grew!
Who are all these new gardeners and will their interest last? John Barrett thinks this is a trend that will continue. He said that from the Vesey Seeds records, 84 percent of new gardeners had success and are eager to try new things.
John also talks about the viability of saved seeds, how to store them, and what are the chances of germination as time goes on. He points out that the advice to store seeds in the freezer really depends on the type of seeds; some need scarification, but to others, freezing could be the kiss of death. His best advice is to buy fresh seeds every year and, if you do save some for the previous year, to expect a diminished germination rate.
He explains the various reasons for seeds being pelleted (for ease of handling, protection from moisture and fungus) and whether this affects organic designations for seeds. And what makes a seed “organic”, anyway? He talks about the “Sage Seed pledge”, how that works and what Vesey’s seeds does to ensure the integrity of their product.
We learn where all those seeds come from around the world in Episode 1 of our podcast. John also normally takes about 125 flights a year looking for the 9,000-plus hard products they supply to gardeners.
The seed company puts out its fall bulb catalogue for spring but prints it in early March to ensure that seed buyers get a copy with their orders.