Shipping

When was my order shipped?

Estimated time until shipping is usually 3 to 5 business days, though it is our goal to ship orders within 48 hours.  

How will you ship my order to me?

All orders are shipped by the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx.

How long until I receive my order?

The average time to receive your order in the U.S. is between 7 to 10 days after receipt of your order with payment.

What do I do if there was something wrong in my order received?

If you are missing a packet, received the wrong packet, or got an empty packet, just give us a call at (417)924-8917 or email us at seeds@rareseeds.com and we will get the correct packet out to you.

Do you ship internationally? I am in South Africa.

Yes, we do ship Internationally.  Orders of any size are welcome, but we suggest orders shipped outside of the U.S., Canada or Mexico need to check with their local customs officials to see what the regulations are for importing untreated seed into your area.  The shipping cost for international order is 20% of the order total with a $5.00 minimum charge. You will need to check with your local customs office to see what the regulations are for importing untreated seed in your area.  They have been tightening regulations recently and may require import permits, testing or treatment of the seed, and we are no longer able to obtain phytosanitary certificates.  If your country's customs require a phytosanitary certificate, we are not able to provide it, and you would want to be sure of any restrictions for importing seeds to your country, as we are not responsible for any seed seized or destroyed by customs. 

I have friends in the Czech Republic that I would like to send Heirloom seeds to. Do you ship to Eastern Europe and what would it cost.

Yes, we do ship Internationally.  Orders of any size are welcome, but we suggest those shipped outside of the U.S., Canada or Mexico keep under $50 to improve shipping success.  The shipping cost for international order is 20% of the order total with a $5.00 minimum charge. You will need to check with your local customs office to see what the regulations are for importing untreated seed in your area.  They have been tightening regulations recently and may require import permits, testing or treatment of the seed, and we are no longer able to obtain phytosanitary certificates.  If your country's customs require a phytosanitary certificate, we are not able to provide it, and you would want to be sure of any restrictions for importing seeds to your country, as we are not responsible for any seed seized or destroyed by customs. 

When does your Whole Seed Catalog ship and how long does it normally take for the free 2014 catalog to ship?

The pre-ordered Whole Seed Books are mailed directly from the printer around the first week of November by bulk mail and can take up to two weeks to arrive. >The free edition is mailed directly from the printer around the end of November by bulk mail.  Requests made after that time will be shipped in about 2-week intervals beginning the middle of December, directly from the printer by bulk mail.  Requests made for the free catalog after the middle of December should usually take 4-6 weeks to receive.

I would like to order a magazine subscription as a gift. How do I go about doing that?

Ogden is the publisher and owner of the Heirloom Gardener now, please check their site out here.

Is it possible to have some force delivery to Cincinnati (2days) - may be for an additional cost?

Yes, for expedited shipping (in the U.S. only), place your order and then immediately give us a call Monday - Friday from 8 am until 4 pm CDT and let us know your order number.  We'll have the order picked and weighed, and call you with shipping options.  For expedited shipping, we charge you actual shipping costs.

Do you ship to Puerto Rico?

Yes, we do!

Do you ship/deliver your items to the UK? if so what is the delivery/shipping charge? Do we the customer have to pay any further taxes/charges?

Yes, we do ship to the U.K., but we suggest you check with your local customs office before ordering to see what the regulations are for importing untreated seed in your area.  We are not able to provide a phytosanitary certificate from the USDA at this time.  Shipping is 20% of the order total, with a $5.00 minimum.  Any local taxes or customs duties are the responsibility of the customer.

I'm trying to pay through PayPal but the shipping address is defaulting to the billing address and not the shipping address. Can you assist me in this matter, please?

At the top right corner of the shipping address section is a box with a red checkmark that says "use as my billing address"....uncheck that box, and a section will show up to put your billing address in.

Festivals

Are you still accepting booth/vendors for your spring festival? Do you have an application? We make brooms by hand and also could bring some rabbits and poultry if allowed. Thanks. Please let me know of any fees and deadlines.

Just send an email to seeds@rareseeds.com and put ATTN: Festival in the subject line, and she can help you out.

I am interested in becoming a vendor at your monthly festivals. I would like more information.

Just send an email to seeds@rareseeds.com and put ATTN: Festival in the subject line, and she can help you out.

Do you have R.V. camping at the festival? Can you suggest a local campground?

We do offer RV and tent camping here at our place for the festival at no charge.  Spaces are first come first serve, and we do not have electric or water hookups, or a dumpsite.  We do have a bathroom and some shower facilities available, and a water spigot you can fill jugs at.  You are welcome to come in anytime on Friday before the festival, and stay until the day after!

We are planning on attending the festival on May 5-6. We are planning on staying in our tent. Do you have restroom/shower facilities for guests?

Yes, we do!  We have 5 bathroom/shower rooms set up down by the camping area, as well as bathrooms at the restaurant and seed store.  We will also have portable toilets scattered around the property.

If I attend your spring festival, what is the name of the closest town that would have motel accommodations?

Places to stay when visiting Bakersville at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company:

Mansfield (6miles)
Little House Inn
Mansfield Woods Cottages
Weaver Inn Bed and Breakfast
The Little House Airbnb

Seymour (17 miles west on Hwy 60)
The Red Willow Inn 
Value Inn in Seymour

Ava (19 miles south on Hwy 5)
Super 8 by Wyndham
The Foxtrot Inn

Mountain Grove (23 miles east on Hwy 60)
Royal Inn & Suites Travelodge
Missouri Park Campground

Growing

What can I grow in my area?

We suggest you talk with your local county extension agent, or master gardener's club to see what does well in your area.  You can also send us an email at seeds@rareseeds.com and we can make some suggestions.

I am new to heirloom seeds, so I have a few questions. Will I be able to save seeds for the next year from all of the vegetables that you have for sale? I live in Thailand, do you have any recommendations? Thank you! Your website is awesome!!!

Yes, our seeds are open-pollinated heirloom seeds, so as long as you follow guidelines to prevent cross-pollination, you can save the seeds from the vegetables you get from our seeds.  For specific recommendations for what will grow in your area, email us at seeds@rareseeds.com and one of our expert gardeners will help you out.

Just in general, planting instructions, the best time of year, depth, spacing, watering and sunlight

You can find our Growing Guide Here.

How long will seeds store before they will not grow when planted?

Depending on the type of seed, and the environment in which it is stored, seeds can last anywhere from 1-10 years or more before the germination rates will decline.  Tomato and cucumber seeds typically can last up to 10 years, while parsnip seeds will start to decline after only a year.  To help your seeds hold their viability for as long as possible, make sure you store your seeds in an airtight container.  Put that container in a cool, dry, dark spot, or put it in your freezer.  If you do freeze your seeds, just make sure you let them come to room temperature before you open the seed packets, to help prevent condensation inside of the packet.

is there an expiration date for using these seeds. we want to grow all year in a greenhouse and will not plant them all at once. Thanks, Audrey

Depending on the type of seed, and the environment in which it is stored, seeds can last anywhere from 1-10 years or more before the germination rates will decline.  Tomato and cucumber seeds typically can last up to 10 years, while parsnip seeds will start to decline after only a year.  To help your seeds hold their viability for as long as possible, make sure you store your seeds in an airtight container.  Put that container in a cool, dry, dark spot, or put it in your freezer.  If you do freeze your seeds, just make sure you let them come to room temperature before you open the seed packets, to help prevent condensation inside of the packet.

On the Atlantic Giant Pumpkin, was told to get them to grow up to 800 to 1500 lbs. you must leave only 1 pumpkin on the vine & snip off the others. Is that true?

That is correct!  By the end of July, you should have the "favorite" chosen, and remove all of the other pumpkins from that vine.

I planted cauliflower and Brussel sprouts over 120 days ago. I had not had any sign of produce. Just today I did find 1 small start to cauliflower and may see an indication of sprouts. Is this normal?

These are crops that require cooler weather to produce.  The seeds for these vegetables need to be started indoors a good 6 weeks before your last frost, and set out as soon as the chance of frost has passed.  We have a general Growing Guide that might help you, and a good tool to have is the Clyde's Garden planner

I am growing golden giant amaranth and wanted to know if you have any advice on when to harvest the grain? Thanks

When the seed head starts to turn brown and you start to see some of the grain falling off of the head is the time to harvest.

Any suggestion on the best way to irradicate Squash Bugs or Beetles getting on my Squash Plants?

PyGanic is probably the best organic spray out there for squash bugs. It's pyrethrum-based and is supposed to have a quick knock-down effect on them. I take it you already tried hand-picking the bugs and their eggs?

How do you store tomato seeds after tHey Have been dried out?

After any seed has been dried well, put them in an airtight container, and store that in a cool, dry dark spot, or put them in your freezer.  Just make sure, if you freeze them, to let them come completely to room temperature before opening them, to prevent condensation in the package.

Do you guys sell any Genetically Modified seeds?

We do not!  All of our seeds are non-treated, open-pollinated NON-GMO seeds.

I would like to grow several types of peppers. Do I need to separate pepper types to prevent cross-pollination? If so, how much spacing between pepper types? Thanks.

Yes, peppers cross pretty freely, and the bees carry the pollen up to about 500 feet. Even though peppers come in 4 different main species, experts say that sometimes crossing can even occur between species as well. Separate them by 500 feet, or cage your seed-producing plants, or bag a few seed-producing bloom before they open, to assure purity.

I live in western New York and I was wondering how your seeds will do in my area. I'm zoned for level 5. One other thing is I'm switching over to open-pollinated seeds, a little nervous. I want to make sure the germination is high. Thanks

Hello, our germination rates should be good as we test our seed lots periodically. As to what you could grow, no not all our varieties are going to be good everywhere--heirlooms tend toward regional adaptation. So you'll need to identify varieties that come from similar environments to your own. I'm assuming that your climate tends toward shorter, cooler summers. So focus on varieties that originated in the northern portion of the country, Canada, or eastern Europe/former USSR. Many others may grow well for you as well, but this is a safe place to start! Also, if you need uninterrupted production from your garden, it might be wise to transition a bit gradually, and consider holding onto a few of your current star performers--you will experience some trial-and-error in your selection of heirloom types. Finally, we're happy to offer specific recommendations. Please email further questions to seeds@rareseeds.com.

Hello, Is there a brand/type/features that you would recommend when buying a freezer specifically for freezing seeds? Thank you for your time, Valerie

Not really. It might be best to get a self-defrosting type, both for convenience and because, in a regular type of freezer, should the power go out for a prolonged period, there is going to be a LOT of moisture surrounding your seeds. (Yes, I've heard of this on several occasions--tragic!!) Otherwise, it just needs to be a reliable freezer that isn't going to be a constant worry. I'm thinking most new freezers are going to be suitable.

I am new to growing heirloom varieties. My question is: can I mix heirloom and GMO/hybrids plants in the same garden? I want to start with some heirloom tomatoes, but still, have lots of GMO/hybrids from last year. If so, what is the spacing? Thx!

Hello! First of all, in tomatoes, you probably don't have any GMO, even if you do have hybrids. So it's simply a matter of how the plants cross. And the mechanics are going to be the same, whether they are hybrid, heirloom or GMO. Tomatoes are almost entirely self-pollinating, but a distance of 25-50 feet between varieties virtually assures purity. (The exception is potato-leaf varieties, which need 500 feet to be safe.) The crossing is only of concern if you plan to save seeds and grow them in the future. If you are only interested in the fruit, the crossing isn't going to affect this year's fruit quality.

Are your seeds organic?

Hello. All our seed is untreated, and we sell only non-GMO open-pollinated varieties. Some of the seeds we offer are grown organically (whether Certified or on un-certified farms) and some are grown conventionally. However, we are not a Certified Organic seed packing operation. So none of the seed we offer can be labeled or described as Organic. Certified Organic growers may often use untreated, non-certified or conventional seed if they document to their Certifier that they were unable to obtain the variety as Certified Organic. Local regulations may vary so it's wise to check with your certifying agency before proceeding.

What countries do you obtain your seeds from? Which seeds are from the United States? Thank you, Kelly

Our seeds are from all over the world. Most are grown in the US by us or our contract growers, and most of the companies from whom we purchase are in this country. However, these companies may have growers anywhere in the world. So I am unable to answer this question as there is no list of which varieties are grown in which country. Thanks for your interest in our seeds

Do you have any tips for keeping weeds down in large garden plots? Do you use any sort of overcrop to shade out weeds?

We use a lot of mulch. Cover crops can be great between rows or beds while your crop plants are in place, and of course, cover crops can smother weed competition if you can work them in between crop planting times. Hope this helps. Feel free to email us directly at seeds@rareseeds.com if this raises more questions.

I'm sorry if this is a dumb question. Many of your seed packets say, "perennial to 2 ft." Others say "perennial to 4 ft." What does that mean? I know what a tender and a hardy perennial is, but what does the "to 2 ft." or whatever mean? Thanks.

These figures refer to height. The information is useful when you're trying to decide how to position your plants. hope this helps, feel free to write back if it raises further question!

Camelina...When grown as a cover crop does it fix nitrogen the way legumes do? Do I need to till the entire plant in or can I use the tops for livestock feed? Days to harvest are? I got this in a Large Southern Garden bucket. Thank you!

Camelina is not a nitrogen-fixing crop, but it will hold nitrogen already present in the soil, and keep it from leaching away. It is about 60-90 days from planting to seed maturity, unless you overwinter it, in which case, it will take much longer. You can feed the tops to livestock, or let them graze, but then you have a bit less organic matter to incorporate into your soil.
It grows best in cool, fairly dry conditions.

I am wondering if there is a particular sunflower that the birds seem to like over the others.

Not really--they like them all! However, the sunflowers with many smaller flowers make smaller seeds, so if you want to encourage smaller birds, you might try growing any of these multi-flowered types.

My mother has diverticulitis what are some varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers that have very small to no seeds or any suggestions of some other vegetables

Well, we're not experts on diverticulitis, but I think in general if you pick the cucumbers younger, the seeds will be less developed and therefore less of a problem. Cucumbers are always used in an immature state anyway, so you don't need to let them get "ripe." You can use them even a couple of days after they bloom. They'll be small, yes, but they'll still taste right and they'll be very tender.
Tomatoes are more problematic. There are no seedless heirlooms. Some varieties that are reputed to be very low in seeds are Orange, and Pink Icicle, German Red Strawberry, Jersey Devil, Martino's Roma, and San Marzano Lungo no. 2. 

Please provide Northern Ruby Tomato description Lot#111DB. Indeterminate? Shape? Size? Plant height? Harvest time? Origin, etc.

Here's the description we had when we carried it: 65 days, indeterminate--Selected out of Heinz 2653 over 20 years by the Baty family of Montana, this variety takes cool conditions that stop most others! All-purpose fruits are juicy enough for fresh use, yet meaty enough for canning. Very full tomato taste, few seeds. A Baker Creek exclusive! We most likely stopped carrying it due to a supply issue: as our sales increase, we are sometimes left high and dry on supply, with no way to get more until after growing the variety.

My garden never really got off the ground. I have rareseeds packed for last year. What is the likelihood of anything to grow? I may not have a room with all I bought this year. Just checking.

Most garden seeds will germinate very well if stored for a year, provided storage is relatively cool and dry. (Keep your seed bank away from heaters, sunny windows, etc, and don't store in a damp basement, bathroom closet, etc.)
The few which are not likely to be much good the second year would be onion family, including leeks, chives, and shallot seeds, parsnips, possibly peppers and lettuce. Sow plenty of extra seed to compensate for relatively low germination. Most garden seeds will keep longer than just one year. If stored as mentioned above, Most types are worth planting even after 2-3 years of storage, and many types, including squash, beans, and tomatoes, can give surprisingly good results even at 5 years. Just remember, germination drops off gradually with most types, to seed ages, plants correspondingly greater amounts of seed to compensate for reduced germination.

It took years to find Cockscombs, Amish White and Red. What is the best way to start these seeds? I am new to planting seeds. My mother had these when I was small I don't want anything to happen to them. Please help, thank you!

They start well enough seeded directly into the garden at the time of last spring frost. However, the seeds are tiny, so therefore so are the young seedlings, and so they are apt to be overrun by weeds.
They can also be started indoors. Sow them in flats or pots a few weeks before last frost date, setting out sturdy young transplants after frost. The seedlings aren't fussy about being transplanted. This method uses less seed and results in earlier bloom.
In either case sow seeds into fine-textured medium, and do not bury the tiny seeds too deeply--no more than a quarter of an inch. Or simply sprinkle the seeds onto the surface and water very well--the water, as it pools and then drains, will work most of the seeds into tiny crevices where they can stay damp but still have ready access to light when they sprout. Keep seedbed uniformly moist until the seedlings appear. After sprouting the plants just need ordinary garden soil, not too rich, adequate moisture (but established plants can tolerate some drought), and full sun. They're very easy to grow in warm conditions.

I live in zone 5, the Finger Lakes Region of NYS. I know I probably will get better results if I use a grow light. I have looked at different lights and I would like to know what wattage is enough as there are so many choices out there.

Yes, there are many choices, and it depends on many factors. Could you help me help you by answering some questions?
1 - Are you going to grow your plants indoors or outdoors?
2 - I assume indoors and if that's the case will sunlight be able to supplement your plant's lighting needs? If not have you seen the SolaTube?
3 - Do you have a preference for the following types of lights? LED, High-Pressure Sodium, Metal Halide, Incandescent, CFL or T8 tube fluorescent lights.
4 – What type of plant(s) do you want to grow?
5 – How much area do you want to be covered by the lighting system?
A brief explanation of the types of lights (Keep in mind that all of these systems need a ceiling suspension system.):

  • LED - Expensive but energy-saving and longest life. Create little to no heat.
  • High-Pressure Sodium - Used for the flowering state of plants in a Special type of fixture with a ballast. The same one could be used for a Metal Halide light bulb. Typical wattages run from 200 watts to 4000 watts and create a lot of heat and need a cooling system installed with the light fixture.
  • Incandescent - Does not work so well from my experiments, I recommend not using Incandescent light bulbs to grow.
  • Metal Halide - Used for the vegetative state of plants in a Special type of fixture with a ballast. The same one could be used for a High-Pressure Sodium light bulb. Typical wattages run from 200 watts to 4000 watts and create a lot of heat and need a cooling system installed with the light fixture.
  • CFL or T8 tube florescent lights - CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and T8 tube florescent lights in a grow light spectrum can work well and are cheap but if they break you can be exposed to Mercury and its toxic effects. They create little heat.

Will N. Georgia Candy Roaster squash cross-pollinate with lemon squash?? ANd can these squash be grown vertically on a trellis?? Thanks.

They are two different species so they won't likely cross with each other, and the two can be safely grown close to each other (assuming there are no OTHER squashes nearby!). Neither in my opinion is a great candidate for trellis growing, however. Lemon Squash is a bush type and won't be climbing anything. Candy Roaster will climb, but the fruits are rather large. The stems may be sturdy enough to support the fruits, or they may not. If you do try it, watch their development carefully, as you may need to improvise some sort of a sling or support to help the fruits stay attached until they have matured. Hope this helps!

Are all your calendula seeds the edible/medicinal types? Thank you.

All our calendulas are Calendula officinalis, which is the edible/medicinal species. We do offer the variety called Resina, which is said to be of higher potency as far as the medicinal constituents are concerned. However, I do not know what impact, if any, this higher concentration has on the flavor if you are just wanting it for a potherb.

I live in coastal Mass and I've never had luck with tomatoes due to blight and leaf spot. Do you have a guide regarding certain varieties that are disease resistant and successful in this climate? I'm new to this site and I'm hooked!

We don't have a guide or list. We do offer some varieties that carry some disease resistance but, unfortunately, disease resistance is not well documented for the majority of heirloom varieties.
>If you will email your inquiry to seeds@rareseeds.com, and put ATTN ART in the subject line, our horticulturist will share what he knows and hopefully get you onto the right track. 

Last year, I planted 3 Fordhook zucchini plants. The plants grew large and healthy with plenty of blooms, however, only one zucchini developed from all of my plants! I'm trying again this year, any advice to avoid the disappointing harvest?

First thing is to be sure the bees are working the blooms. No bees equal no squash. Check for them between sunrise and noon. You should see a number of them going from blossom to blossom. If you don't see them, you'll need to hand pollinate. The only other cause I can think of for poor fruit set would be marginal growing conditions--too hot, too cool, to dry, too wet, or not enough light. I'm betting it's a lack of pollination, though.

What zones are your seed collections for? They just say northern and southern.

Northern collections are best suited to USDA Zones 5 and northward (lower numbers); southern collections are best suited Zone 7 and southward (higher numbers). In Zone 6, I would use Southern collection unless the garden is subject to unusual stresses, like not full sun all day, high elevation, exposed, windy site, lack of reliable irrigation, etc.

Is the Rebekah Allen #TK175 an indeterminate variety? Would it be suited to zone 6?

Hello. It is indeterminate and it grew very well for us in Zone 6B. Thanks for your inquiry!

Do you have any tips for isolating the different kinds of corn? The farmer across from us grows corn often and there is about a hundred-foot distance from their fields to our garden. Will our corn be cross-pollinated? Thanks :)

Most likely you will see some crossing, probably quite a bit if the field is less than 1000 feet from yours. In this situation, you must either plant your corn early or late so that it's not sending out tassels at the same time as your neighbor's, or bag and hand pollinate. Here's a link to the basic process.
http://www.ehow.com/how_5840381_pollinate-sweet-corn-hand.html
Just remember that to secure pure seed, you must bag the tassels and the silks before their full development so that no stray pollen is blown onto them from your neighbor's field. I hope this helps, thanks!

How many seeds come in a packet? For let's say tomatoes? Thank you

Packet size can be found by clicking on the "read more" button for an individual listing. This opens an expanded view which does describe seed count. In the case of tomatoes, packet size is a minimum of 25 seeds unless otherwise stated in the description.

Hello Baker Creek, I am wanting to make my seed starter, what would you recommend? What do you use to start your seeds? What do you feed your seedlings as they are growing? Thank you so much! I love Baker Creek! Blessings, Katie S

Hello, I have had pretty good results with a home-mixed medium of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part mushroom compost. You might add a pinch of lime if you plan to grow cabbage-family stuff in it, as I think it's a bit acidic, but OI has had decent results with cabbages in this mix as well. I normally feed seedlings with fish emulsion.

Hi, I planted the Chinese 5 color peppers in an indoor seed starting kit. All the other plants came up except for these. I planted them on 2/19/15. Do they take a long time? Thank you.

Yes, from 2/19 to 2/27 is only 8 days. Unless temp is perfect, they will not sprout this fast. Please make sure you are holding them at 80-85 degrees F., and keep the seeds moist but not constantly flooded. If they haven't sprouted within 3 weeks from sowing, THEN there is a problem. But at present, it isn't time to worry just yet. Thanks!

How much area will one package of hairy vetch cover if using for a cover crop? Thanks.

The seeding rate is highly variable for cover cropping, as it depends upon the time of year, the planned growth period and the condition of the soil at sowing. For Hairy Vetch, drilling seed into prepared (tilled) soil, we recommend planting one 1/4 lb packet per 300 square feet.

How do you keep plants from cross-pollinating?

To keep seed varieties true to type, they must be protected from accidental pollination with other varieties of the same species. The easiest way to do this is by allowing enough space, per known isolation requirements. Some types, like beans, regular-leaf tomatoes, and lettuce are almost always self-pollinating and only a very short distance is required. Others, like corn, beets, and amaranth, are wind-pollinated and can cross for up to a mile, although even a few hundred feet gives better results than growing them very close together. It is possible to cage or screen some plants to exclude insects, which keeps chance crossing from occurring. Also with some varieties, it is possible to stagger planting times so that varieties with the potential to cross are simply not in bloom simultaneously.

Can Zucchino Rampicante Squash (the fruit itself, not the seeds) be stored through the fall/winter-like butternut squash?

Zucchino Rampicante does make a good winter squash, similar to Butternut if allowed to mature fully It will keep if handled this way, but perhaps not as long as Butternut (which will keep for months). We've never held mature Zucchinos for a long time, but they will keep for at least 2-3 months, in our experience.

I ordered your taro collection and all three plants are doing well. Two of the plants are developing above-ground runners with baby leaves at the end. Do I need to bury the runners or should I cut them off and try to root them? Please advise. Thanks!

Well, there are running types and there are clumping types. You should leave them alone until you are sure you are seeing true runners--I wouldn't separate them until actual roots begin to grow from the runners or at least not before root tissue (or areas that look like they SHOULD produce roots) become apparent.

I am very interested in starting a small propagation/growing business. I know a lot of seeds have a patent, which makes growing and selling the seeds illegal. Is it possible to sell flowers and vegetables grown from your seeds? Thank you very much!

Great question! All of our seed varieties are public domain breeding. No one has any special rights to them. Therefore, anyone can grow, increase, and sell both the seeds themselves or the produce from them.

Can most heirloom seeds/tubers be grown in containers? For decades, I battled heavy clay that smothers all but weeds--most plants have to be in pots & barrels. Used to get Abundant Life seeds--never knew if some failed due to container growth.

Any plant can be container-grown, provided the container is large enough. If container-grown plants fail, you may be working with too-small containers, although there are many other possible causes. New growers often underestimate the container size needed. Tomatoes, for example, are very large plants; they will grow in a 5-gallon container but indeterminate types won't come anywhere near their full potential in such a "small" container--they require more like 15-20 gallon pots to thrive. Other issues in container growing would be adequately feeding the plants, making sure they have enough moisture at all times, and guarding against erratic thermal extremes, since containers both gain and lose heat more rapidly than soil out in the garden would do. Here's a link to a very useful list.

What's the difference between landrace & "non-landrace heirloom" It seems both originate from certain growing regions, both are open-pollinated & both generally breed true to certain phenotypes yet both adapt well to environmental changes.

Hello, there's usually more variation in landrace types. Many of the historic types derive from native peoples, whose methods and intentions aren't the same as those of university breeding--uniformity being the most obvious trait. But the variation has great value--the increased diversity often means that SOMETHING will thrive in any given year. Often good, more-uniform varieties can be selected out of landraces.
In recent decades, "landrace gardening" is becoming a common practice. In landrace gardening, the gardener does just what was mentioned above--selecting especially good individuals from which to save seed for future plantings. In this style of gardening, gardeners sometimes even plant several varieties, all containing desired traits, then allow crossing, selecting over generations to create a new variety, uniquely adapted to their unique conditions. That is exactly the opposite of what we try to do when we are trying to maintain pure varieties in our gardens. But in fact, both systems have great merit and utility.

Would you please compare German Lunchbox tomato with Umberto Pear tomato with regards to the size of fruit and flavor—and anything else you think useful to know about them? Thanks! Susan

Umberto Pear is workable as a paste type, so it's higher in solids and therefore less juicy than German Lunchbox. Umberto has a more intense or complex tomato flavor while German Lunchbox is usually milder and sweeter. In size, they are about the same.

How can i find out if my indoor tomato plants are determinate? I have a Mr. Stripey and a Cherokee Purple, fruiting, ripening and the leaves are trying to die! All my cherry-types must be indeterminate, they just keep on keeping on! Carrie

In our listings, we say if they are determinate. Since the vast majority of our tomatoes are indeterminate, if the description doesn't say "determinate" you may assume the variety is indeterminate. Cherokee Purple is an indeterminate type. Out Tigerella is also indeterminate; it is often considered to be synonymous with MR. Stripey although some growers disagree with that.

This is more of harvest and eating question. I harvested a few of my spring radish early. Small fruit very good, but are the leaves of the baby radish edible? If so, in salads? Sautéed? How? Thank You for your help, have a great day!

Great question! Radish leaves are indeed edible and should never be wasted, the foliage has a lovely peppery and spicy zip. When harvested young, they are excellent raw in salads may be paired with a sweeter balance like apple slices or slivered almonds and beets to balance that spicy flavor.

I ordered my seeds early to benefit Puerto Rico and just received the shipping notification. I have never ordered this early before (Oct) and I am wondering how I should store these seeds during the winter. Also, how do you pronounce "Jere?" thanks

Thank you so much for your support in the seed drive! The best way to store seeds is to place them in a cool, dry dark place. If you can spare the space in your refrigerator, that is a great choice, just be sure to put the seed packets in a plastic sealed bag (like ziplock) to keep them dry. Many folks swear by the freezer, but be aware crops like sorghum and okra do not like to freeze. If you do not have space in the fridge or freezer, try a cardboard or Tupperware box in a basement, closet or garage-- cool, dry and dark. Jere rhymes with 'chair'.

Which of your tomato varieties work great in homemade salsa?

Most folks want a firm tomato for salsa, so that tomato chunks hold their shape and texture. Therefore, usually, people use a paste type, since these are drier-fleshed with more solids and less juice. Any tomato variety that is listed as good for paste or cooking will be a good choice for salsas. Additionally, oxheart types also offer those qualities, so any oxheart variety is also a good choice.

Plants that will grow in SW. temperatures 115

Here is a list of the very best Southwest Crops:
Okra- Gold Coast and Egyptian
Corn- Hopi Pink Flour, Glass Gem, Chapalote, Painted Mountain
Radish-Singara Rat's Tail
Sorghum-Cana dulce
Squash- Chihuahua Landrace
Watermelon-Ali baba, ancient or Desert King
Tomato-Nineveh, Basrawya, Al Kuffa, and Abu Rawan, lucid gem
Melon- Afghan Honeydew and Bateek Samara
Peppers- Syrian Goat Horn and Tesuque Pueblo and Estaceno
Eggplant-Tadifi and Aswad
Beans- 1500-year-old cave bean or Zuni gold, Anasazi, Blue Speckled Tepary
White Sonora Wheat

Thornless blackberry assortment says it is hard to zone 3 where I live. What varieties are sent for this zone?

We cannot guarantee varieties, but last year we had Sweetie Pie, Von, and Triple Crown.

I must be missing this information, but are heirloom seeds 'organic' or merely GMO?

Hello, heirloom seeds are open-pollinated varieties that have been in existence for 50 years or longer. We sell mostly heirlooms but some of our varieties are newer (we try to make that clear in our descriptions). ALL our varieties are non-GMO, all are open-pollinated and all are untreated post-harvest.
"Organic" refers to the style of growing where no synthetic chemicals are used but only natural substances. Any plant can be grown organically, including a genetically-engineered plant. So the question of organic vs conventional growing has no direct bearing upon whether a variety is an heirloom, or not.

My first year growing Cushaw Squash. How can I know when they are ready to harvest? Thank You By the way they did great

You judge ripeness in all winter squash the same: look for the rind to get very hard and tough. I recommend the "thumbnail test." Without picking the fruit, grasp it in both hands and try to puncture the skin with your thumbnail. If this is easily accomplished, don't pick, as the fruit isn't fully ripe. The skin should be so tough that it is difficult to impossible to puncture it this way. The color change isn't a reliable indicator of squash ripeness because it isn't consistent, but can be affected by heat, humidity, nighttime temp range, etc. Once the fruit HAS reached that point, it's advisable to go ahead and pick, lest the fruit gets sun-scald or otherwise come to harm.

I purchased 2 of the Chicago Hardy figs this spring and they're doing great. I was looking for advice for preparing them for winter but they're not listed at all on the website.

They truly are hardy into Zone 5, but especially while young you are wise to baby them a bit. If in containers, simply bring indoors after leaf-drop and hold in very cool but frost-free conditions--34F is ideal. You should be able to hold them indefinitely in dormancy, although if for any reason they begin to grow, you have to move them into light and warmth and allow them. to do so.
If in the ground, applying some sort of insulation around the young stems is the main thing. That might be a ring of wire fencing filled with leaves or straw, protecting them with bales of straw (at least to block the coldest winter winds) and so on.

Will your dwarf moringas start inside in Jan. (north TX) in 6" pots & transplant well to large pots outside in April? How tall will they be in 3mos., if I do this? Love your seeds! Thank You.

Yes, that's a perfect way to grow them. Mine reached 19" in very small pots but, planted in properly-sized pots, I'm sure they would have got larger. The main thing is, they need real heat to sprout promptly.

I live in the Fort Worth area and it's so hot here sometimes it stays 107degrees for weeks. Last year we had no tomatoes and small peppers they were late to bloom. Only Okra and herbs did well. Any advice? we have raised beds

Sure. Think of your gardening year as running from September through April or so. During your hottest summer weather, only a few plants thrive--okra, watermelon, long-beans come to mind. In your area, tomatoes are best grown around the summer heat--an early planting for late spring harvest, and a midsummer planting for fall harvest. Pretty much the same with peppers although they'll tolerate more heat than tomatoes, especially if you can give them a little afternoon shade.

What material is best to use for starting seeds indoors?

A seed starting mix needs to be moisture-retentive yet free-draining (which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but isn't, really) of near-neutral pH, and fine texture to make things easy on tiny new roots. Most mixes utilize peat moss as a base. You can mix a nice one from two parts peat moss, one part mushroom compost (or other quality compost). Beware of timed-release fertilizers in your purchased blends--you want direct control over the feeding of your seedlings. I use Promix, which is available at my local Lowe's store.

Seed Store

What days are you open?

We are open Sunday through Friday.  Hours Monday through Friday are 8 am until 4 pm.  Hours on Sunday are 9 am until 5 pm during the rest of the year, and 8 am until 4 pm during the winter.  We are closed on Saturday

What holidays are you closed on?

We are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

Why are you closed on Saturday?

The owners keep the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week, which is Saturday.

Will you get that item back in stock?

Some items we have an available supply all season, while others are limited.  If we are not planning on getting something back in.  You can email us at seeds@rareseeds.com and we can let you know if we are expecting any more seed stock for any variety.

You carried something last year but I don't see it now?

If we are not able to secure a source for a particular seed, we will not have it listed in the catalog.  

I received a $20 gift certificate but could not figure out how to use it with my order. Can you please assist

You can enter the gift certificate information on the checkout page, directly below the shipping information area and above the payment area.  Be sure to enter the certificate number and the verification number, and click the 'add gift certificate' button.  It will show in the same box that the gift certificate has been applied, but will not show on the totals at the bottom of the checkout page.  If there is a balance due, you can add your credit card information to complete the order.  If there is a balance remaining on the gift certificate, it will also state that in the gift certificate box.  There are no expiration dates on gift certificates.

Are your seeds organic?

We get our seeds from many different sources, but since we do not have our organic certification, we cannot sell any seed as organic.  All of our seeds are untreated, open-pollinated seeds.

We have 4 acres in eastern Ok. Can we grow seed for you?

We are always looking for growers!  Just email us at seeds@rareseeds.com and someone will get back with you.

How many tomato seeds are in the 1/8 oz packs?

Typically, there are about 10,000 tomato seeds in an ounce of tomato seed.  That means there are about 1,250 seeds in 1/8 oz.

How can we find out if employment opportunities arise with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds? Thank you! :)

You can email managers@rareseeds.com or come by and fill out an application.

Just wondering if you keep a list of people or stores that sell your seed. I check with the nurseries in my area but have not seen yours yet. I live in southern California. Thank you.

You can send an email to seeds@rareseeds.com with your city and state, and we can tell you if we have someone in your area.

I work for a non-profit that services refugees. Each year we have a community garden for our clients. This is a very important program as many of them are displaced farmers. I was wondering if you do seed donations for such programs? Thank you.

We do have a donation program! Please submit a letter of inquiry (a copy-and-paste of the text you submitted here would be sufficient). Send it to seeds@rareseeds.com. Write "ATTN DONATION" in the subject line.

If I buy 2 cans) of the large heirloom packages will they be identical seeds?

We cannot guarantee that, as our collections are picked ahead of time, and what goes in them depends on what is available at the time they were picked, and you might receive packages that were picked on different days, but most of the seeds would likely be the same.

Hello, I am planning to order the 'Southern Large Package' collection, as well as some other seeds. Is there a current list of what is contained in this collection? I live in South-Eastern Oklahoma currently and would love your recommendations. Thanks!


Home Gardener's collection
This collection is perfect for the home gardener or container gardener. It contains 20 full-sized packets of seeds and a Clyde's Garden Planner—all packaged in an attractive burlap bag with a drawstring closure. Varieties in this package are chosen to be productive in both Northern and Southern climates. This collection may include 1-melon, 1-bean, 1-beet, 1-carrot, 1-cucumber, 1-eggplant, 1-green pea, 2-herbs, 1-hot pepper, 1-kale, 1-lettuce, 1-onion, 1-sweet pepper, 1-radish, 1-salad blend, 1-snow or snap pea, 1-spinach, 1-summer squash, 2-tomatoes.

Large Northern collection
The perfect way to a secure food supply. Most of the seeds in this package will last 4-10 years if kept cool and dry. This is a great way to try many of our best varieties. Selections based on availability. This collection may include: 1 asparagus, 2 beans, 1 broccoli, 1 beet, 1 cauliflower, 1 cabbage, 1 celery, 1 carrot, 1 corn, 1 cucumber, 1 oriental green, 1 other green, 1 kale, 1 lettuce, 1 European melon, 1 American Melon, 1 okra, 2 onion, 1 garden pea, 1 sweet or snap pea, 1 hot pepper, 1 sweet pepper, 1 parsnip, 2 radish, 1 rutabaga, 1 spinach, 2 summer squash, 2 winter squash, 1 swiss chard, 1 pink tomato, 2 red tomato, 1 green tomato, 1 yellow tomato, 1 purple tomato, 2 watermelon, 1 turnip, 1 herb, 1 flower, 1 eggplant, 1 endive, and 1 leek! We will also include a "Clyde's Garden Planner" which will help in deciding when to plant your seeds.

Large Southern collection
The perfect way to a secure food supply. Most of the seeds in this package will last 4-10 years if kept cool and dry. This is a great way to try many of our best varieties. Selections based on availability. This collection may include: 2 beans, 1 beet, 1 brussels sprouts, 1 broccoli, 1 cabbage, 1 carrot, 1 corn, 1 cowpea, 1 cucumber, 1 eggplant, 1 endive, 1 kohlrabi, 1 lima bean, 1 leek, 1 grain, 2 oriental greens, 1 lettuce, 1 American melon, 1 okra, 1 onion, 1 garden pea, 1 snap pea, 1 hot pepper, 1 sweet pepper, 1 radish, 1 rutabaga, 1 spinach, 1 summer squash, 1 winter squash, 1 swiss chard, 1 sorghum, 1 parsnip, 1 red tomato, 1 pink tomato, 1 purple tomato, 1 tomatillo, 1 green tomato, 1 orange tomato, 1 striped tomato, 1 turnip, 1 watermelon, 1 herb, 1 flower, and 2 additional packets... to round it up to 50 packets total. It also contains a "Clyde's Garden Planner" which is used to evaluate the best time to plant each of these in your area.

Jumbo Northern collection
The perfect way to a secure food supply. Most of the seeds in this package will last 4-10 years if kept cool and dry. This is a great way to try many of our best varieties. Included are most of the following types of seeds: corn, beans, peas, cowpeas, carrots, beets, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, watermelons, cucumbers, lettuce, greens, okra, winter squash, summer squash, radishes, turnips, huckleberries, sunflowers, leeks, amaranth, broccoli, ground cherries & kohlrabi, etc. Selections based on availability.

Jumbo Southern collection
The perfect way to a secure food supply. Most of the seeds in this package will last 4-10 years if kept cool and dry. This is a great way to try many of our best varieties. Included are most of the following types of seeds: corn, beans, peas, cowpeas, carrots, beets, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, watermelons, cucumbers, lettuce, greens, okra, winter squash, summer squash, radishes, turnips, huckleberries, sunflowers, leeks, amaranth, broccoli, ground cherries & kohlrabi, etc. Selections based on availability.

Hi, can you prove that Monsanto does not own your seed's? are you with "safe seeds"? thanks.

We have been a signer to the Safe Seed Pledge since before I began with the company in 2005. I'm not sure how we'd go about "proving" that our seeds don't belong to Monsanto. But we don't buy seeds from them, or their subsidiaries, so far as we know, and none of our seeds are subject to any royalties or licenses. I'm not sure if that answers your question but feel free to write me directly at seeds@rareseeds.com if you wish to ask follow-up questions. Thanks!--Randel

How is the Jere Gettle collection packaged?

Hello, it is just packed into a shipping carton. If the customer plans on very long-term storage (say, more than 3 years) it may be advisable to re-package the seeds in some form of long-term seed bank arrangement.

My state food benefits allow me to purchase seeds with my card (Oregon). Is that an acceptable form of payment for the website? Thank you

We regret that we are not presently set up to accept EBT/SNAP payments. We apologize for any inconvenience.

I have 25 items in my cart.but each item only about 25 seeds, I want to buy more, about 100 to 200 seeds on each item. Do you have Large package price?

We have some varieties that are available in bulk packages.  You'll find them listed in the bulk section of each category (Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs)

Website

I was registered with your site, but now it doesn't recognize my username and password

If your information is not recognized, please notify us at seeds@rareseeds.com. We can reset your password to doublecheck to be sure you have an online account with your email address.

Hi there I was trying to place an order and when I submit my billing info by clicking continue the screen turns blank. Is there something I'm doing wrong or is it the page itself? Thank you.

When you go to the checkout page, the first area to be completed is the shipping information.  There is a box you can check/uncheck above the shipping address area that says "billing same as shipping".  If that box remains checked, the billing information will be the same as the shipping information.  If you uncheck the box, the billing area will appear below the shipping area and you can complete the billing information differently than the shipping information.

I just tried to place an order...I put in all my info and clicked submit an order and an error screen popped up. Said it couldn't process my order... but my shopping cart is empty now. I'm not sure if it worked or not, I don't want a duplicate order.

If this happens, please send an email to seeds@rareseeds.com and include the name the order was placed under, and we can check to see if the order came through.

I am trying to place an order online. After I fill out my info and click continue I get an error message saying the undefined, select state. The state is selected but I still get this message.

We apologize for the trouble you are having with our system!  Several of the popular browsers have recently updated, and the new versions are not working well with our system.  We are waiting for a patch from them, but in the meantime, if you will switch to compatibility mode on your browser, you should be able to edit your cart and check out.  If this does not work, please let us know.

How do I save my shopping cart to come back to later?

To save your shopping cart in our system, go to the shopping cart, and in the upper left corner of the cart, click the "save your order" link.  If you are registered and logged in, it will automatically take you to the saved orders page of your account.  If you are not registered, or not logged in, it will ask you for your email address, and then take you to the saved orders page.  To continue shopping with a saved cart, in the shopping cart, click the "view saved order" link, enter your email address if requested, and click the "view" link next to the cart you want to continue with.  A new page will pop up with your saved cart.  To continue shopping with that cart, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "continue shopping".  A warning will pop up telling you that to continue, it will delete your cart.  This means it will replace anything you have in your local browser cart with the items in your saved cart.  If you are wanting to add to your saved cart, pull up the cart first, and then add items to it.

What is a SKU#

That is the item code we have listed for each item.  Example: TP106 is the SKU for Black Cherry Tomato.

Hello, Is it possible to change/add items to a recently placed order? I just ordered some seeds online yesterday but thought of a couple of more seeds I would like to order. Thank you!

We can remove items from an order if it has not run through our system and been picked yet.  We are not able to add to an order once it has been placed.

Why don't you have potatoes? I find it odd that you only have sweet potatoes but not any reds, whites, blues, russets or any other types. I was just wondering why.

At Baker Creek, we are committed to quality and affordability. We have not been able to offer "regular" potatoes as of yet because we have not found an option that suits our needs as well as the customers' needs. We do recommend Wood Prairie Farms, they are a family farm based out of Maine, they have great, high-quality products. Here is a link to their site.

Can't find what you are looking for?

Please let us know what you need and we'll quickly and happily get back to you soon.

Just FYI our folks that provide help are here Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm CDT.

You can call us: (417) 924-8917

Write or Visit us: 2278 Baker Creek Road Mansfield, MO 65704

Our Village hours are Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Closed Saturdays.
Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
*We have a fun festival that you are welcome to join! It's on the first Sunday of March through October. The Seed Store hours on these days are 10 am to 5 pm.
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