Seed Shopping Snags in 2021

Many gardeners have run into a few snags while shopping for seeds online this year: out-of-stock items, delayed shipments, even website shutdowns at big name seed companies. These snags can make garden planning more frustrating than in years past, but seed buyers are finding effective ways to adapt–including branching out to try less familiar varieties of their favorite vegetables, herbs, and flowers

So, what’s behind these industry-wide delays and out-of-stock items? A few things:

  • More people are gardening! Last year, pandemic gardens made a huge comeback as social distancing made it difficult to do much of anything else. This means more of us are seed shopping this year.
  • Because seeds are an agricultural crop requiring advanced planning, most of the seed farming done last year was planned under pre-pandemic conditions. This means the quantity of seed harvested in 2020 was planned before anyone could have anticipated a huge spike in demand. The good news is that seed farmers everywhere will be growing much more seed this year to meet the need for seed in 2022.
  • Some delays are due to COVID-safety limits on workplace capacity. Staff assigned to seed packing and order fulfillment need ample space to work in safe conditions. The space requirement means limiting how many people can work on site at any given time.
  • The pandemic continues to delay packages at USPS and other delivery services. We appreciate your patience.

In any given year, environmental factors–from insect damage to wildfires–can result in temporary seed shortages; but such shortages usually resolve the following year. This is why, even in the best of times, you’ll find some seed varieties are more difficult to find. Don’t worry, though; they’ll be back.

Thanks to improvements we made to our inventory and fulfillment systems, we are able to ship most orders within 4-9 business days.

In the meantime, try something new or return to an old favorite that you haven’t grown in a while. You can also add your email to any seed listing that is currently “out of stock” and we will notify you as soon as it becomes available again.

Seed growing keeps us on our toes. Thank you for your patience as we adapt to industry-wide demand and welcome new gardeners into the fold. Happy sowing!