What does it mean when a seed pack is "Overpacked"?

My seed pack is marked “overpacked.” What does this mean? 

If your seeds are marked as “overpacked," this means that although these seeds exceed the federal germination standards for the species, their germination rate is slightly below our higher in-house standards. We've included additional seeds beyond the stated seed count on the pack so that you can achieve the results you were expecting; simply sow a few more seeds than you normally would, and you’ll be good to go!



Does this mean there is something wrong with my seeds? 

No! Because seeds are a living, natural product, germination rates vary from season to season. To ensure that you're getting the most plants for your garden, we run germination tests on all of our seeds and overpack according to these test results.



Do seeds labeled as overpacked always meet or exceed federal germination standards? 

Yes. We test every seed lot twice per year and only sell seed that exceeds the federal germination standards. Our overpacked packs are offered as a courtesy and a convenience and because we want our customers to succeed.



How many more seeds should I sow per planting? 

Sow your overpacked seeds at 2-3x the rate listed on your sowing instructions for great results. 



Why is it important to work with seed lots that have slightly-lower-than-ideal germination rates? 

Unlike other products, seeds cannot be manufactured. Each year we have one chance to produce seed of each variety, and in order to preserve as much genetic diversity in our catalog as possible, we have to stagger our production year to year. We want your garden to contain as much genetic diversity as possible, too, so it's important that we find ways to ensure that good seed doesn't go to waste before it is truly no longer viable. So, we overpack varieties that have slightly-lower-than-ideal germination rates so that you can have both genetic diversity in your garden and good success with your seeds.