In the News with Johnny's Selected Seeds

Johnny's in the News

Media Coverage of Johnny's Selected Seeds

October 2021
SeedWorld | Breeding Spooky Pumpkins for the Holidays: Breeding a Halloween mainstay and its food industry cousin takes a lot more than just buying it from the pumpkin patch.
…The most recent release from Johnny's Seeds is 'Igor' (pronounced Eye-gore), a tall pumpkin with dark orange skin, deep ribs and a pronounced shoulder that creates a truly foreboding look.

"We've gotten some great new colored jack-o-lanterns from our partners," adds Johnny's Pumpkin Breeder Lindsay Wyatt, "including our new release 'Shiver', a small white pumpkin bred by the late Brent Loy at the University of New Hampshire."

…Johnny's pumpkin breeding programs involve long-term relationships with universities (New Hampshire and Cornell) for sourcing new genetics.

"We have had a consistent focus on breeding jack-o-lanterns, with a smaller focus on pie pumpkins," says Wyatt. "The focus has not changed much over time — just working on continual improvement. The most important characteristics haven't changed much either — then and now, we've targeted great color, strong, green handles, attractive appearance, good yield, and disease resistance. Although these targets haven't changed, we've seen a great improvement in all these qualities over the years and are continuing to see improvements in our upcoming varieties, which is exciting."

The most challenging thing in breeding pumpkins, says Wyatt, is how much influence the growing environment has on pumpkins.

"One notable feature is how much the size of the pumpkin can change year to year and based on climate and latitude," she explains. "We address this challenge by trialing our new varieties for several years in as many environments as we can before we release them…"

August 2021
PureWow | How to Keep Plants Warm Long After Summer Ends
…"Some plants aren't suited for cooler weather," says Jen Goff, associate product manager of tools and supplies at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. "Warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant respond not only to temperatures, but to light. Once the days start to shorten, their growth and vigor also decrease."

That doesn't mean you can't try to eke out a few extra weeks from your garden anyhow.… Many of these tips aren't scientifically proven — and there's always risk when nature is involved — but it's certainly worth experimenting, which is how you keep learning, says Goff…

According to Goff: "We know that row covers are very effective and can raise the temperature from 2 to 8 degrees for the plants underneath them." That's not a ton, but it can be enough to prevent the plant from freezing, especially if you use a cover that's designed to protect within a certain temperature range. Some row covers, also called frost blankets, provide protection down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the label carefully before you check out.

This is a technique that farmers use, so we know it works. "It doesn't have to be fancy or a commercially bought item to be effective," says Goff. Simply create a hoop shape by sticking a thick gauge wire or bendable metal stake into the ground to create an arch. Then, drape the plastic or row covers over top, securing them with landscape pins or rocks. Note: Prefab PVC tunnels also are available.…

Portland Press Herald | Pick: Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are ripening now. They are tasty, plentiful and require almost no work in the kitchen. In fact, they're good as a snack just as they are should you walk by them in the garden and want to sample.

All cherry-sized tomatoes are indeterminate, which means the vines keep growing and producing new fruit as the season goes on. Typically they are staked, and gardeners use strips of cloth to tie them to poles. But while most indeterminate tomatoes do poorly in cages (which are designed for determinate varieties), the cherry-sized ones will do OK, especially if they are at least 3 feet tall.

If you didn't do so earlier this season, next year plant them at the end of May or in early June. Bury them deeper than the soil line of the seedlings, because tomatoes can form new roots anywhere along the stem, so deep planting will give them a stronger root system. Fertilize the tomatoes lightly — too much fertilizer promotes leaves rather than fruit — and water them regularly.

You probably want both gold and red varieties. 'Sun Gold' sets the standard for golden, although the fruits often split late in the season. 'Cherry Bomb', an introduction from Johnny's Selected Seeds, is one of my favorite red cherry tomatoes.
August 2021 (cont…)
MV Times. | Garden Notes: Summer winds down. Now is a good time to assess your garden.
…The Vineyard has an extended fall growing season; the only thing diminishing is light, weakening until the winter solstice. Even if your garden suffers with lower light levels, work in gardens can include soil improvement.

Cover crops mixes and green manures of various plants produce differing results in vegetable gardens, depending on conditions. Buckwheat is a great favorite, being easy-kill but also attracting pollinators, adding silica to soil, and germinating fast.

Winter rye, ryegrass, several different clovers and legumes, grains, and radish are others used as cover crops and green manures. Shop locally or check Johnny's Selected Seeds and Pinetree Garden Seeds for wide selections of New England adapted soil holders and improvers….

Pittsburgh Post Gazette | Cold frames give gardeners winter vegetables
…What grows best in the fall in a cold frame? Cool season vegetables. Choices include arugula, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, collards, kale, lamb's lettuce, lettuce, mizuna, parsley, peas, radishes, scallions and spinach. Successive plantings of most salad greens through September allow for a late fall harvest.

…There are hundreds of books, articles, videos, and websites devoted to cold frames. Below are some of the best:

…"Build a DIY Cold Frame Using an Old Window," by Niki Jabbour —

…Four Season Farm website by organic gardening expert Eliot Colman —

"Winter Growing Guide," by Johnny's Selected Seeds —…
July 2021
The Boston Globe | Sunflowers: Why some of these tall beauties are not the bee's knees • Pollenless varieties crowd markets, gardens, and seed catalogs, leaving some insects in the lurch.
In 1986, the global seed purveyor and plant breeder Sakata Seed, based in Yokohama, Japan, introduced 'Sunbright', the first pollenless ornamental sunflower. The innovation was part of a string of other industry modifications that would help make the ornamental sunflower more uniform and dependable, and thus less of a financial risk for commercial growers.

The 1990s were boom years for the sunflower, and in some places its ease and speed of growth made it more attractive than the rose.

In 1991, Takii Seed released 'Sunrich Lemon', a pollenless cultivar that flowered 10 days earlier than the rest of the market. In 1992, it debuted pollenless 'Sunrich Orange', which the company says is the world's most popular ornamental sunflower.

Back in 1976, California-based sunflower breeder Tom Heaton was working in oil-sunflower production, but bred ornamentals as a hobby. He recalled that with "oil seed sunflower … everything's the same color. It's kind of boring after a while."

In 1996, Heaton introduced a pollenless red sunflower called Chianti. He is also the originator of the popular, all-pollenless ProCut Series, available in white, plum, bicolor, and beyond.

…At Johnny's Selected Seeds — a Maine purveyor that caters primarily to small commercial growers and to a lesser extent to home gardeners — sunflowers are the top flower crop. They sell tens of millions of sunflower seeds yearly, and Heaton's 'ProCut Orange' is their No. 1.

In 1974, when Johnny's printed its first catalog, two sunflower types were offered: Arrowhead, for edible seed production, and Peredovik, a Russian cultivar best suited to oil manufacture; both produced pollen. The 2021 online catalog — which lists some 60 sunflowers — is different.

"It's mostly pollenless," explained Hillary Alger, product manager for herbs and flowers at Johnny's. "Gosh, I think there's like three or four varieties that do produce pollen."

As commercial breeding has focused on pollenless cultivars, pollen-full types have been left behind.

"The industry is breeding for pollenless," Alger explained, "so all the improvements and innovation [are in pollenless cultivars]. …Pollenless comes along with things like earliness and improved stems and novel colors."

But consumer tastes may be shifting. Perhaps breeding will follow suit.

"Over the last handful of years," Alger said, "we've had more and more inquiries about pollen-producing sunflowers as people become more aware of supporting native beneficials."
June 2021
The Pioneer Woman | How to Keep Pumpkins from Rotting on the Vine and on Your Porch • Grow beautiful pumpkins with these easy tips.
"…There are several reasons why pumpkins rot," says Nate Gorlin–Crenshaw, trial technician for pumpkins and winter squash with Johnny's Selected Seeds." Disease, environmental conditions, and pests that introduce damage to the fruit are the most common issues."

…One reason your pumpkin might start to rot is from powdery mildew. "This a fungus that looks like it sounds," says Gorlin–Crenshaw. "It's a whitish, powdery substance that appears on leaves first, then spreads to the vines and stem." If possible, select varieties that are disease-resistant, which will be listed on the seed label or plant tag. Older heirloom types, such as 'Howden', tend to be more susceptible. Newer types, such as 'Gumdrop' and 'Pipsqueak', are more resistant.

…But there are other preventative measures you can take. The disease generally appears in mid to late summer. A few weeks beforehand, start applying a preventive spray containing potassium bicarbonate, copper, or sulfur. Follow the label instructions exactly. Basically, by doing this you're stalling for time so the pumpkin produces fruit before the fungus kills the plant. "Prevention is way more effective than treating, because you won't stop it once it starts," says Gorlin–Crenshaw…

The yellow and black-striped cucumber beetle, which is about the size of half a lentil, is the culprit for introducing a common pumpkin disease known as bacterial wilt…

You can protect plants with floating row covers when they're newly transplanted. However, once flowers appear, you'll need to remove them so the flowers can be pollinated in order to set fruit, says Gorlin–Crenshaw. If you spot these bugs, the best control is a contact insecticide. Apply an organic insecticide early in the morning or late evening before or after pollinators are active for the day so you won't hurt them. Look for products containing neem oil, azadirachtin, or pyrethrin, and always follow the label instructions…

Sometimes you can prevent rot with environmental controls, such as gently lifting pumpkins off the soil when they're small and placing them on a clay pot, straw, mulch, or a piece of landscape fabric. "You're creating a barrier between the fruit and the soil to prevent disease or keep them from getting too wet," says Gorlin–Crenshaw…

If you wait too long to harvest, you might end up with a mushy pumpkin. Pick your pumpkin when you like its appearance, and it's nearly to the color for the specific variety. The plant should be starting to brown and die back. It's okay to pick when your pumpkin is a little green if it's an orange pumpkin as it usually keeps developing some color. But don't wait to pick until after a frost or its shelf life is reduced significantly, warns Gorlin–Crenshaw.
May 2021
National Garden Bureau | Garden Hangouts and Hideaways for Kids • Create a new kind of summer camp in your own backyard with flower forts, bean tunnels, vine-covered teepees, and other secret garden structures for kids.
Pry the kids away from their screens and create a special outdoor space just for them! Everyone needs a space of their own, a place to unwind and relax, especially as families have spent an extraordinary amount of time together at home in the past year. Kids may want to veg out in front of a computer game or TV, but instead give them the gift of their own garden space: a kid-friendly backyard retreat where they can hide out from grownups and let their imaginations run wild!

"Gardens are not just for adults; they can be magical places for kids to get away from it all, too!" says Brenna Chase, Vegetables Product Manager at Johnny's Select[ed] Seeds. "Whether you want to get creative with your trellising and create a squash tunnel or grow climbing plants over an existing backyard playhouse, the options are endless. Growing hideouts for kids is a great way to stimulate their senses with fun smells, various textures, bright colors, and delicious flavors."

Pole Bean Teepee
It's easy to create endless hours of creative play with this super-cute, vine-covered hideaway teepee. Best of all, it's simple to build — and the vertically-grown beans make it easy on your back at harvest time!

It's a perfect hideout for kids, and the pole bean teepee benefits you, too. Try fun varieties like… 'Red Noodle Bean' or 'Seychelles Pole Bean'

May 2021 (cont…)
Seattle Times | Flower lovers can create a summerlong bounty of blooms with annuals
…"Annuals are the most affordable way to have cut flowers all summer long," Prinzing says. "Savvy flower farmers succession-sow crops of cutting garden annuals every two weeks throughout summer to keep waves of blossoming stems coming on."

I remember that when I was new to gardening, I had a hard time mastering the difference between an annual, a perennial, a tender perennial or the inexplicable "perennial, often grown as an annual." So, allow me to simplify: The life cycle of a true annual — from seed to flower to seed — happens in the course of a single growing season. Yes, the plant dies, but before doing so, it blooms its head off in an effort to set seed and carry on its progeny. This is good for gardeners, flower lovers and, incidentally, pollinators.

This summer, Prinzing is trialing a series of easy annuals in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden for Johnny's Selected Seeds, including the following varieties that set me to sowing…

Pacific Daily News | What vegetables to grow and when to plant them on Guam
Those who are new to gardening often don't know what grows on Guam. It can be discouraging to plant vegetables that don't do well and die. This doesn't have to be the case. You don't have to learn from the school of hard knocks — with knowledge and perseverance you can grow all sorts of veggies. Just don't give up.…

On Guam, we can grow some cool-season vegetable crops if the right variety is planted. The varieties need to be heat tolerant varieties and ones that can handle Guam's humid environment. For example, lettuce is a cool-season crop that grows best at 55–65° F. High temperatures usually cause early flowering, known as bolting, and the leaves taste bitter.

There are heat tolerant varieties of lettuce however, such as 'Tropicana,' 'Cherokee,' and 'New Red Fire' that can be grown successfully year-round. These varieties can be purchased online from seed companies, such as Johnny's Selected Seeds…

April 2021
Country Living | How to Grow Eucalyptus Plants Like a Garden Pro • These pretty plants are easy to grow and preserve for arrangements.
Native to Australia… eucalyptus is an attractive ornamental plant which grows into tree form in the wild and reaches heights of 150 feet or more! It's also found in warm climates in the U.S., such as California and Texas. But in the rest of the country, it's grown as an annual. With its striking round or oval aromatic foliage, it also makes a great cut or dried flower for arrangements. "What's interesting about eucalyptus is that when grown as an annual, it looks very different in its first year of life than it does in tree form," says Hillary Alger, product manager of herbs and flowers at Johnny's Seeds. "It's generally easy to grow so it's a great addition to most gardens."

Here's what else you need to know about how to grow eucalyptus plants…

Lancaster Farming | A Fresh Take on Farming
…Customers have discovered that they can get just about anything they want from this young farm couple, including fresh greens such as spinach, several types of lettuce, kale, arugula and Swiss chard, all grown throughout the year in a non-heated high tunnel and hoop houses. Crops are protected from the cold with double row covers.

"We do quick seedings of radishes along edges of the beds to get a little extra crop in there before the deep freeze hits," Liebig said. "Early crops in spring are over-wintered onions. Those tend to do really well. We've got a certain variety from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine. They're a much earlier crop of onions. You don't have to worry about disease pressure. We also have strawberries under row cover now and put small hoops over them to get a little greenhouse effect. We can start picking in late May and early June, a couple weeks before other farms."

April 2021 (cont…)
A Way To Garden | how to grow brassicas (and which ones to try), with steve bellavia
They're among the most popular and good-for-you vegetables, but brassicas — broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like — can also be a little tricky to grow unless you start with the right variety, get the timing right, and have a preemptive action plan to outsmart pests.

I got advice on how to accomplish all that from Steve Bellavia, who joined Johnny's Selected Seeds in 1993, where today he's product manager in their research department for peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Chinese cabbage. Varieties you may not have tried, like flat cabbage, or mini-broccoli, or green-stemmed cauliflower… might be a better match and give you better results than the most familiar versions; we talked about those and more… | From Mélie's Garden
…We planted our pollinator garden two weeks ago and already little seedlings have emerged! The seed mixes we used were Bee Feed Mix and Beneficial Insect Attractant Mix from Johnny's Selected Seeds. These wildflowers will not only be beautiful but most importantly will help attract pollinators such as bees to our crops all season long. Our food ecosystem is dependent upon these noble creatures, after all, they are responsible for pollinating a third of the food we eat!

Bangor Daily News | How to make cut flowers last longer
…"Fresh water is the best thing you can do for your flowers," Turner said. "The cleaner your water the longer your flowers will last."

The small packets of flower food and hydration ingredients that come with store bought bouquets are also well worth using, according to both Sinclair and Turner. You can also purchase your own separately from places like Johnny's Selected Seeds, and there are home remedies that are effective as well.
March 2021
Martha: Up Close & Personal | Starting Vegetables and Flowers from Seed
March is always a busy month here at my Bedford, New York farm. Spring is officially one week away and everyone is getting ready for the growing season.

As part of the preparations, we start many vegetables and flowers from seed inside my greenhouse. We begin this process soon after the New Year and sow thousands of seeds — seeds we order from our favorite sources, and seeds I find during my travels. Many of this year's seeds and other supplies are from Johnny's Selected Seeds in central Maine. Starting from seed isn't difficult. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and then pulled apart easily when they're ready to move into larger pots or outdoors. Yesterday, Ryan started some peppers, violas, and foxglove

Markers are available at all garden supply stores. These wooden pot labels are from Johnny's. At just about four inches long, these wooden birch veneer labels are ideal for indoor seed starting trays or individual pots.

Seed-starting trays are available in all sizes and formations. Select the right kind of tray based on the size of the seeds. The containers should be at least two inches deep and have adequate drainage holes. These can be saved from year to year, so don't throw them away after the season. Our trays are also from Johnny's…

If you love gardening as much as I do, get a copy of Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogs. I discovered Johnny's years ago and have been using their seeds, plants, and tools ever since. Johnny's provides practical solutions for both the home gardener and the professional farmer and uses the expertise from great horticultural masters such as Eliot Coleman.

What seeds are you starting?…

March 2021 (cont…)
Cape Gazette | Mirepoix Garden planted for singular mix of herbs and vegetables • Go-to combo added into many soups, stews and sauces
One of the best things about gardening is recognizing how many things in our lives are the result of immigrants — immigrant plants as well as people…

…Which brings us to a garden specifically planted for a single combination of herbs and vegetables, the Mirepoix Garden. We can thank the Duke of Mirepoix for giving us his name for that sautéed mixture of diced carrots, celery, onions, and savory herbs, often with bacon or ham. This is the go-to mixture added into so many soups, stews, casseroles and sauces. Carrots and onions are easy to grow from sets, but celery is a tough plant to grow for many beginners. Since what we really want for the mirepoix is the flavor of celery, not necessarily the crunch, because it will be sauteed, you can instead grow cutting celery (Apium graveolens var. secalinum). These plants grow more like tall parsley, with lots of leaves and relatively thin 18-inch stalks. This is a classic cut-and-come-again vegetable that will keep growing after it is cut, so you will have an endless supply right up until frost.

Seed is available from companies such as Johnny's Seeds … Sow the seed directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Because the seeds need light to germinate, plant them very shallowly.

Cutting celery is quite drought tolerant once it is established. The deep-green plants even stand up to cool fall temperatures. The plants have been known to winter over when covered with a deep mulch. Cutting celery repels cabbage white butterflies, so it is a good companion for broccoli, cabbage, and kale.…

March 2021 (cont…)
River Reporter | Seeds of something greater • Tips for the first-time gardener from Cornell Cooperative Extension
Planning your first garden this year? So are a lot of other people. And seeds are in high demand.

As lockdowns hit and people stayed home, Burpee had to pause new orders to allow staff to catch up. The surge in orders was "just unbelievable," Burpee's chairman, George Ball, told CBS News.

Johnny's Selected Seeds had to limit the days they could accept home gardeners' orders due to an extremely high volume of orders (mid-January into the beginning of March) in order to process seed orders from commercial growers. They made significant gains in their operations center, and are now accepting orders from home gardeners 24-7…

February 2021
Portland Press Herald | Last year's seed shortage may extend to this year, but not to worry • Leftover seeds from last year, and sometimes as much as a decade ago, may still be viable.
…[M]any people apparently still plan to garden as COVID protocols slow production and packaging of seeds, both locally and nationally…Johnny's Selected Seeds… instituted a pause on taking seed orders from home gardeners — but not commercial farmers — that ended on Feb. 18.

…In their catalogs, Johnny's and Fedco also offer seed viability estimates. They range from one year for onion seed; two years for many, including lettuce, carrots, peas and peppers; and as much as five to 10 years for melons, cucumbers and tomatoes…

Norwich Bulletin | Exploring the Last Green Valley: Garden thoughts and seed catalogs
…I contacted Laura to find out where she gets her seeds and was not surprised she uses two New England-based companies, Johnny's Selected Seeds from Maine and the Maine Potato Lady, and another interesting source called Seed Savers Exchange. Laura said:

"Lots of people have asked me where I get my seeds. I love Johnny's because their seeds are of the highest quality, and they are located in Maine, so I know they understand New England weather. Seed Savers Exchange is great because their focus is to find and preserve heirloom seeds, so when I buy from them I know I'm also supporting a good cause.…"

…I have also used Johnny's Selected Seeds in the past and decided to order their catalog after Laura reminded me of them. Take it from Wayne and choose the variety with the best taste…

February 2021 (cont…)
Greenfield Recorder | Carrot connoisseurs weigh in on flavor profiles at Red Fire Farm in Montague
"…Variety selection is one of the most important things we can do for flavor," Red Fire Farm owner Ryan Voiland said in a press release. "With winter storage carrots, the flavor profile changes after months in storage, and some varieties can even taste better than when they come out of the ground."

To determine how each variety in the growing trial has done, the farm is comparing tasting results from the fall immediately after harvest to the results of Thursday's tasting to see the changes over winter storage, according to the release. 'Bolero', the current favorite, was taste tested from two different fields to see how the land affects the flavor. The ones grown at Red Fire Farm's Granby location exhibit a stronger flavor.

Julie Fine of Johnny's Selected Seeds out of Maine was a guest taster, and arrived with her muck boots on as she and farm employees stood around in the mud and sun tasting the little colorful circles of root vegetables and rating them on a score card…

Sustainable Flowers Podcast | Understanding Seed Supply with Hillary of Johnny's Selected Seeds
All our burning questions about seed supply are answered this week, by the lovely Hillary Alger, Product Manager of Herbs and Flowers at Johnny's Selected Seeds. In addition, Hillary straightens out several of the misconceptions Clara had about back-orders and timing of seed ordering…

February 2021 (cont…)
Heifer USA | Seed Starting Advice: Catalog to Garden | Johnny's Selected Seeds GIVEAWAY!
Join Heifer USA horticulture specialist Sean Pessarra live from the greenhouse at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas for professional advice on how to plan and prepare for your next growing season! We will give advice on catalog ordering and variety selection, show off our germination chamber, demo several cool tools and equipment, and more!

Mother Earth News | Growing Early Spring Lettuce
…Each season has varieties that work well and others that do not. Our springs are short and quickly heat up, so we only have a small window for sowing lettuces that bolt as soon as the weather warms at all. Johnny's Selected Seeds has a head lettuce planting program with three seasons (early season, mid-season and late season) where they recommend some suitable varieties. Varieties for early spring are fast-growing. Mid-season varieties have some heat-tolerance (resistance to bolting). Late-season varieties are chosen for disease resistance and cold tolerance.…

January 2021
Bangor Daily News | Staff shortages have Maine seed companies struggling to fill orders
…D'Errico said that Johnny's Selected Seeds is also only accepting home garden orders "on an intermittent basis."

"We're doing this because of the high volume of orders we have been experiencing and the need to keep our employee-owners safe by following COVID safety precautions," D'Errico said. "Our goal is to process and ship the orders we currently have as quickly and safely as we can. We are doing our best to manage the significant growth in interest from new commercial farmers and home gardeners this year."

…For now, customers can take a few steps to ease the pressure off of their favorite seed companies while still having their orders fulfilled… First … be flexible about what seed varieties you order. You might need to branch out past your usual favorites if they are out of stock, or be prepared to make multiple orders. Certain varieties of seeds may not have been delivered to the seed companies yet, or they may not be available at all this year.

D'Errico … suggested that gardeners should browse Johnny's Selected Seeds by characteristics that are important to you as a gardener, like cold tolerance, or even the easiest-to-grow varieties.

D'Errico also said to consider limiting the amount of seeds that you order, focusing on only what you can use in the growing season. "Gardeners can use tools on Johnny's Selected Seeds website, like the Interactive Seed Quantity Calculator or our Vegetable Seed Quantity Charts, to estimate the amount of seed you will need"…
January 2021 (cont…)
Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut: Don't get too excited about early planting yet — remember 2019
Johnny's Selected Seeds. Rob Johnston Jr. started this now employee-owned enterprise in 1973. Over the years, the company's breeding program has become famous for developing award-winning vegetable varieties. Examples are 'Carmen', a sweet "bull's horn" (elongated) Italian pepper, and 'Butterscotch', a small, tasty butternut squash…

…Growers on some of the farms around where I live are big fans of Johnny's lettuces and lettuce blends, and of their fine selection of cut flowers. Another specialty is pumpkins. Among the catalogue's extensive pumpkin listings are several developed in the company's breeding program. One of them, 'Cinnamon Girl', is the most fragrant and flavourful pumpkin I've grown.
January 2021 (cont…)
Virginian–Pilot | Gardening Q&A: Surge of seed orders has begun — be flexible
…1. Catalogs are for study and are a wealth of information. You just can't have too many. The "library"… on the Johnny's Selected Seeds [website] is an excellent source of information. Just in time, my catalog arrived last week.…

…3. Adapt. Johnny's Selected Seeds reported that their top 12 crops were the same in both 2019 and 2020. The top four — zinnias, bush beans, heirloom tomatoes and hot peppers. Be adventurous and willing to change things up, try something difference. If one of your favorite varieties is unavailable, do the research, find something similar, and give it a try. By sticking your neck out a bit, you may find something better…
December 2020
New York Times | It May Feel Like Winter, but It's Time to Shop for Seeds • The 2021 garden season officially begins this month, with the arrival of seed catalogs. Here's what to expect after last year's chaotic spring.
…Resilience: It's a vegetable-seed industry buzzword, and a mission — to breed genetically resilient varieties that stand up to pests, diseases and the rigors of a shifting climate.

Each resilient variety becomes a tiny, critical ingredient in a resilient seed system that supports agriculture, the foundation of a resilient food system.

And in the tumultuous 2020 seed-catalog season, resilience proved a valuable human trait as well, for seed company staff and their customers. Insights gleaned from that chaotic year of record sales can smooth the ground for the 2021 garden season, which officially begins this month, as new catalogs start appearing in mailboxes and online.

"When many of us came back to the office Monday, we were astonished to see how many orders had come in," said Joshua D'Errico, marketing coordinator for Johnny's Selected Seeds, which has 47 years of sales history for comparison. "We thought it was a blip, but it wasn't…"

…Seed companies have worked overtime, skipping summer breaks, to refine and strengthen their systems. Now, before we start madly browsing their catalogs, it's our turn as home gardeners to fine-tune our processes. Here are some thoughts on how to shop smart, plus some favorite catalogs. Each one feels as welcome as a reunion with an old friend…

Central Maine | Maine Gardener: Keep up your fresh food supply by growing it inside
Microgreens are eaten in multiple ways: sandwiches, salads, stir fry, soups and tacos. Johnny's Selected Seeds offers more than 100 varieties of microgreen seeds — either as single species or mixes.
December 2020 (cont…)
Ag Week | The pandemic propelled gardening to new heights. Will the trend last? • In today's "Growing Together" column, Don Kinzler explains why gardening has served as a trusty friend during COVID-19.
Gardening made history this spring, evidenced by Burpee Seed Co. selling more seed in March than any time in their 144-year history. Johnny's Selected Seeds noted a 270% increase in normal spring sales. Stokes Seed Co. sold four times its normal quantity of gardening products.

The coronavirus set off a global gardening boom that's been compared to the Victory Gardens of World Wars I and II, in which American and British citizens grew food to support the war effort and to feed their families. As this year's pandemic caused localized shortages of food and fresh produce, even though temporary, more people desired to have greater control over their food supply through gardening•

Daily Bulldog | Webinar on new vegetable varieties for home gardens
…"Exciting New Vegetable Varieties for Home Gardeners" will feature Mark Hutton, UMaine Extension associate professor and state vegetable specialist; Becky Sideman, UNH Extension professor and sustainable horticulture state specialist; Heron Breen, area coordinator in charge of trials programs for Fedco Seeds; and Lauren Giroux, director of product selection and trialing at Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Late fall a mix of hard labour and rewards
Late last month I noticed a cluster of flowering Orange Button plants at a plot corner. This is an imposing calendula, with double layers of vibrant, deep orange petals surrounding broad purple-black centres. The imposing blooms are borne on 45-cm stems and, like so many of the flowers in the Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue, are excellent for cutting.
November 2020
New York Times | D.I.Y. Microgreens You Can Grow on Your Kitchen Counter • Think of the rewards of cultivating the tastes of summer all through the winter. You can do this.
Start With These Varieties
The diversity of organic microgreen seed offerings in catalogs like Johnny's Selected Seeds and High Mowing Organic Seeds can be intimidating. Start with something in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) that promises a quick payoff, Ms. Spring suggested, like radish, arugula, or mizuna (a mild-flavored mustard).

"Our favorites are basil, cilantro, 'Red Russian' kale, and the arugula and mizuna," Ms. Spring said.

Broccoli and chard are popular, too. Catalogs also offer mixes — like a spicy one of various mustards, selected to germinate and mature on a similar timeline…

Sonoma News | Kate Frey's favorite flower and vegetable varieties this season
…Another outstanding melon variety and very early to mature (71 days) was the hybrid Galia variety, 'Diplomat' (F1), from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Many of us think of cantaloupe melons as having thick orange flesh and a sweet flavor. The galia-type melons, very popular in Europe and the Middle East, resemble cantaloupe melons except they have green flesh and are highly aromatic, fragrant and sweet with an almost tropical flavor. The flavors of banana, lime and pineapple come to mind. The perfume is so pronounced you don't need to cut the melons to smell it.…

Bangor Daily News | How to choose artificial lights for your indoor plants
…You want to choose a grow light labeled as "full spectrum," but the range of color temperature that is best for your plants will depend on your goals, according to Johnny's Selected Seeds. The cool color range — 5000 to 7000K — will promote vegetative growth and choos[ing] a color temperature in the warm range between 3500 and 4500K will promote fruiting and flowering.

October 2020 | Worcester Living: Father and daughter continue family tradition at Harvey's in Westboro
…"We grow crops naturally in deep sandy loam, everything from asparagus to our Harrowsmith Select gourds," said Harvey, who developed the organic seed mix 'Harrowsmith Select' available in a packet of 30 seeds sold online by Johnny's Selected Seeds. The gourds are described as a blend of diverse shapes and bold fall colors.

Harvey has been giving it his all on the farm since he was a youngster. At 5 years old, he got interested in backyard gardening and by the time he was a teenager he sold corn at a small stand aside the farm property. After college and being drafted he returned to the farm.…

Growing Produce | What to Look for In Greenhouse Vegetable Varieties
Know Your Growing Habit Goals
…[F]or crops like tomatoes and cucumbers, you want varieties that grow and mature quickly, then produce at a steady rate for a long time.

"Many greenhouse tomato varieties are intended to be grown over a very long season, up to 10 months," says Pete Zuck, Product Manager at Johnny's Selected Seed. "So they can be very long-lived if maintained properly."

Having compact, uniform habits are a plus, Zuck says. That allows for higher plant density, which equals high yield per square foot.

"The leaves tend to be shorter, and the plants may produce fewer suckers than a typical tomato," Zuck says. "So they should take up less of the valuable real estate in a greenhouse, plus they should require less pruning and maintenance."…

Bangor Daily News | Everything you need to know about roasting pumpkin seeds
…There are several ways to remove the shell from a pumpkin seed prior to roasting, if you prefer. You can shell them one at a time by pressing on either side of the seed until it pops open, or you can boil a large batch of them, which will encourage the shells to slough off. You can also grow varieties of pumpkins and squashes that have hull-less seed within them, such as the 'Kakai' and 'Naked Bear' from Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Bangor Daily News | How to grow pumpkins to carve next year
…The first thing you will want to do is pick a pumpkin with a short growing season. Judy Florenz, volunteer with the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, chair of the program committee and one of the directors of the festival, recommended varieties like 'Howden', 'Cargo,' or 'Racer' from Johnny's Selected Seeds…
September 2020
Washington Post | This year's unsolicited seed scare highlights the work of legitimate seed growers
…"It's a small but wonderful group of people who know how to produce seed, because it's an art as well as a science," said Bonita Nicolas, quality assurance manager at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Albion, Maine. "It takes equipment and patience and a lot of expertise."

…Johnny's is known for selling superior strains of vegetables to home gardeners and to fresh-market farmers. Although it has fields for its stock plants and for testing varieties, the bulk of its seed production is contracted out to growers around the world. The company offers almost 1000 varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and cover crops…

Capital Press | Demand for winter vegetables takes root during pandemic
… Demand for winter vegetables is growing as more consumers seek to buy local food during the pandemic.

Consumer interest in winter vegetables — such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and winter squash — has typically been far outpaced by demand for imported warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes. But this year, experts say, the winter vegetable market is gaining traction.

"Winter vegetables are the fastest growing greens segment. The market for these crops, especially radicchio, chicory, spinach, and purple sprouting broccoli, is expanding faster than any of us can keep up with," John Navazio, a national plant breeder for Johnny's Selected Seeds, said in a statement…

Brattleboro Reformer | Henry Homeyer: Notes from the Garden • Getting ready for winter
…I grew about a dozen kale plants this year. The workhorse are those that end in "bor" — 'Winterbor', 'Redbor', 'Starbor' and others. I get seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds of Maine to start my own indoors in the spring, or find them at my local garden center growing in 6-packs. Most of the kale I grow is for winter use because it freezes so well. This week I put up 8 quart freezer bags of kale, and I still have more I may process later…
September 2020 (cont…)
Bob Vila| 11 Easy-to-Grow Vegetable Varieties for Fall • Just because the days are shortening and pumpkin-spiced drinks are appearing everywhere doesn't mean you have to close the gardening shed for the season. The tail end of summer is the perfect time to plant a fall vegetable garden…

Leaf Score | The Place for Green | The Best Seeders for Your Organic Farm or Garden…
…Exclusively offered by Johnny's Selected Seeds, this Four-Row Pinpoint Seeder is designed for dense plantings, specifically in raised beds or a greenhouse setup. Esteemed organic gardener Eliot Coleman influenced the design, and it boasts a simple construction that requires minimal configuration…

The Freckled Californian | Growing Peppers ~ My Tips for Zone 10 & My Favorite 2020 Peppers…
One of my favorite seed companies, Johnny's … has a great selection of sweet peppers … I was trying to find some sweet peppers that would grow well in Southern California. Johnny's was kind enough to send seeds my way for me to trial in the garden and the epic sweet pepper summer began! …

My 2020 Sweet Pepper Trial Results

I grew the following peppers using the tips and guidelines I've discussed above. You can find most of these peppers at Johnny's Selected Seeds …

Award for most prolific — 'Cornito Giallo'
Lots of wonderful, smaller sized sweet peppers that ripen to a golden yellow. Supposedly the smaller version of the 'Escamillo' pepper.…

Flavor Winners — 'Sweet Chocolate' Bell Pepper & 'Carmen'
… I left my 'Carmen' peppers on the plant until they were a bright red, and they were the sweetest of all the peppers I grew. They did happen to ripen around the same time as our intense heat, so that might have accounted for the extra sweetness…

August 2020
Mother Earth News | Seed Sales Surge • Updates on seed sales, online homesteading education, mutual aid networks, and more.
…Joshua D'Errico of Johnny's Selected Seeds says new gardeners are citing their fear about losing safe access to healthy food as a reason for securing seeds and for investing in local food options, such as community-supported agriculture (CSA) systems. D'Errico says, "Our direct-to-market farmers are reporting that their online CSAs are selling out, which helps, in part, to replace their lost sales to restaurants and at farmers markets." In an effort to bolster the success of new gardeners' efforts, Johnny's is offering growing advice and support to gardeners who started during the pandemic to help them get through their first growing season and to help growers of all kinds keep planting in the years to come…

The News & Advance |Don Davis: Time to plan your colorful fall garden
… Another colorful kale is 'Scarlet,' an heirloom with tightly curled frilly leaves and red veins. You will find it in the Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog along with the hybrid 'Redbor', which has ruffled dark reddish-purple leaves that curl downward.

Seeds for red-leaf or loose-head lettuces are widely available. You also can get various kinds of red butterhead, romaine, batavia and bibb lettuce seeds from cat alogs such as Johnny's.

Democrat & Chronicle | How to Grow Garlic in the Northeast Area: Garlic planting is around the corner: here's how to do it right
…Although we still have six weeks before planting, I'm writing this now because you'll want to find local varieties that will grow well in this area. The type you find in supermarkets was likely grown in China and may have been treated with a sprout inhibitor. Even if you can get it to grow, it will not do well here.

Check with a grower at your local farmer's market to see what they're selling. If it grows well for them, buy a few bulbs and plant those. Johnny's Seeds in Maine is also a good source for varieties that grow well in the Northeast.…

Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Cold-hardy foods can be harvested throughout winter
…Another, smaller bed containing a second carrot planting and two varieties of daikon radish, all seeded at the beginning of July, will get the same treatment. Last winter, my friends and I enjoyed a daikon called 'Alpine', from Johnny's Selected Seeds (JSS), grated into green salads and combined with grated carrot and sometimes apple in a lemon juice and oil vinaigrette.

This year, I have a planting of Alpine again, joined by another from JSS. 'KN-Bravo' has grown even more vigorously than Alpine. This autumn I'm looking forward to savouring the purple and white flesh of this daikon.…

Boston Globe| Ask the Gardener: What to Plant Now in a Small Community Garden
Q. I have been allotted my first plot in a community garden, but it is only 4 by 4 feet. I hope to get a larger one next year, but what can I plant in the meantime?

A. I've heard of tiny houses, but you've got a tiny bed. Don't plant anything that spreads! Instead, try a late-season vegetable crop. Go to and its "winter harvest" seed selection, which offers cold-hardy varieties of lettuce, kale, radishes, carrots, komatsuna, bok choy, mustard greens, chard, cilantro, arugula, and spinach that are proven performers in their fall trial gardens in Maine. Don't worry about how big they have time to grow, because they will taste great even when immature. I also would plant a mix of early and late-blooming tulip bulbs in October for May bouquets. Tulips often bloom only once, so you won't be throwing much money away if you move on. But if you are still in the 4-by-4 bed in May, I would plant cherry tomatoes for eating and zinnias for cutting. Maybe not so-called giant zinnias.

July 2020
Civil Eats | Food Companies Step Up Funding for Organic Farming Research • Clif Bar, King Arthur Flour, Organic Valley, and others are providing university endowments to counter a system stacked in favor of conventional agriculture.
…USDA's organic funding comes out of its Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), which provides grants to university researchers ranging in size from about $50,000 to $2 million for multi-university collaborations.

Oregon State University (OSU), for example, is the lead on a large project called the Northern Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC). The collaborative is conducting long-term research into 10 organic vegetable crops across five states. Founded in 2009, NOVIC is now on its third four-year funding cycle, with each cycle bringing in $2 million in USDA grant funds.

Long-term funding is critical for breeding new plant varieties, but it "is really unheard of," said Lane Selman, professor of practice at OSU and a NOVIC researcher. Instead, she spends a lot of her time writing shorter-term grants.

What's more, the $2 million is split among six institutions, and the university takes half the funds earmarked for its researchers. That leaves Selman scrambling to find supplemental funds to help connect local farmers with the new varieties. Without that, adoption of organic agriculture is even slower.

Selman turns to a handful of companies, including Clif Bar, Organic Valley, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Vitalis, High Mowing Seeds, and Burgerville, to fund her outreach to farmers and chefs, through the Culinary Breeding Network.

"You have to be an out-of-the-box thinker in this university system," Selman told Civil Eats. "All of these amazing people are fighting for the same funds," she added. "There's not enough…"

Village Soup • Waldo | Innovative grower campaign helps the hungry
…[Waldo County Bounty] WCB campaign manager Sara Trunzo said, "The response from local people has been generous and impressive. Our initial momentum demonstrates that rural Mainers are independent yet interdependent, innovative, and compassionate — and that is no surprise."

To date, WCB has distributed more than 2,000 plants and 750 pounds of seed potatoes, donated by such local businesses as Johnny's Selected Seeds and Fedco, to six food pantries in Waldo County. Starting in July, WCB will buy $1,000 worth of food from local farms every week and distribute it to hunger relief programs countywide.

The Province | Looking for heat-tolerant lettuces? Try new varieties each year • Determine the most reliable in your conditions for summer growing.

Q. I need some advice on growing lettuce successfully in hot, dry summer weather. My lettuces tend to dry up in these conditions.

A. Fine lettuces can be grown through the summer. First, choose heat-tolerant varieties. Catalogue listings and seed packets indicate suitable varieties.

The Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue begins its vast lettuce listings with a charted guide to preferred varieties for early, mid, and late-season harvesting. The mid-season varieties are planted in late spring and early summer for hot weather (mid and late summer) harvesting.

'Red Cross,' one of the best red butterhead lettuces I've grown, is described as heat-tolerant in the catalogue. Johnny's beautiful, tasty Salanova lettuce blends "hold their flavour without growing bitter." I've found the Salanova Home Garden Mix to be very reliable for growing spring through early autumn…
June 2020
Sierra Club | The Overstory: Resistance Is Fertile • Season Two, Episode Three
On the latest installment of "The Overstory," we talk with some of the people who are coping with the pandemic by getting closer — much closer — to the earth. The co-CEO of Johnny's Selected Seeds discusses the skyrocketing demand for vegetable seeds sparked by "pandemic planting," while urban farmers Kanchan Dawn Hunter and Novella Carpenter answer listeners' gardening questions. Our advice columnist, Ms. Green, talks with her mom about how to grow "zombie" crops on the kitchen counter. Plus: A radio diary from Nicole Hill, a woman in Detroit who is organizing against water shut-offs.…

Portland Press Herald | Maine Gardener: These Maine-designed dresses give a whole new meaning to floral pattern • Just don't put these outfits in the laundry.
Botanical couture? It's a thing. And a Portland florist will be showing her dress, with matching flower-festooned high heels, during American Flowers Week, which begins today. Both dress and accessories were made from real, live actual flowers provided by Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Last year's event also featured a dress by a Maine "floral artist."

The online event, which ends on the Fourth of July, is sponsored by Slow Flowers, a group that promotes sustainably grown local flowers.…

SEE THE DRESSES See the Maine-made dresses for American Flowers Week — along with others from Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota and Washington — at or on the Slow Flowers pages on Instagram and Facebook.

Forbes | Gardening For Beginners: Essential Tools You Need To Get Started
…Barbara Damrosch, author of the Garden Primer and co-owner of Four Season Farm in Harborside, M[aine] says sunlight is the secret to garden success. "If you don't know where to plant, choose the sunniest spot," she says. "You can change the soil, but you can't change the fact that a building is blocking the sun you need for fruiting crops like melon, peppers and tomatoes. Leafy crops, like spinach and chard, are more forgiving and can withstand partial shade." Secondly, she says, you need good soil. "It's where your plants get their nutrients," she explains. "Your soil should look like chocolate cake mix. It should be fluffy and have air in it. You want it to hold moisture but also drain when there is too much moisture…

"People think dirt is dirt so they just buy whatever is cheapest," says Damrosch. "Then when their plants don't grow well they think they have a black thumb. It's not their fault." Damrosch says good quality soil will have the ingredients listed on the side of the bag. She is a fan of Johnny's 512 mix, a custom blend from Johnny's Selected Seeds. If you're unsure of your soil health or if your garden health declines, use a soil test kit to see what nutrient is missing…

Once your soil is loosened and tilled, you'll want to smooth and level the bed top before seeding. A bed preparation rake makes the task easy. Curved teeth grab stones and debris as you pull the rake up, then level and smooth the soil when you push. Damrosch suggests buying row markers, hard plastic tubes that slide onto selected teeth of the rake to mark rows or to create a grid pattern for transplanting. It's a perfectionist's dream tool for nicely spaced crops.
May 2020 | Eat with your eyes: A beginner's guide to adding edible flowers to your meals and cocktails • How to add color (and flavor!) to your dishes by growing your own edible flowers
…In addition to being beautiful, many edible flowers — like herbs — can elevate food and drinks with unexpected pops of flavor.

Before I got started, I reached out to Shannon McGaughey, the co-owner of Vivian in Asheville, N.C. Their menus, both kitchen and cocktail, are filled with edible flowers. Here's what I've learned so far.…

…[M]ost edible flowers are low-maintenance enough that even beginners can look forward to a fruitful harvest. There are plenty of online seed catalogues to inspire you … McGaughey recommends Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Eugene Weekly | Stay Home, Get Dirty • People in Eugene are gardening like crazy during quarantine, boosting business for local seed and plant sellers
For Frank and Karen Morton, the owners of Wild Garden Seed Company in Philomath, April and May are normally a time to rest. In a regular year, most people would have planted their seeds for the year by now, and business would have tapered off.

But this year, seed sales didn't slow down.

"Right now, we would not normally have a whole lot of business. But my wife, Karen, is up at five every morning filling orders," Frank Morton says. "And she doesn't stop until six or seven at night."

People are spending more time at home these days, and they're gardening a lot more. This has led to a boom for garden and seed businesses across the country.

Some big national seed companies, like Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, were so flooded with orders at the beginning of the federal shutdown that they temporarily closed to everybody except farmers…

Morton, whose company sells seeds to both Johnny's Selected Seeds and Territorial Seed Company, says he's selling three times more seed than he normally does this time of year…
May 2020 (cont…)
TriCorner News |Seeds, plants and vegetables: Many options for growing produce
…Seeds packaged for retail sales are somewhat less abundant this year (but there is no need to panic or to hoard).

Julie Fine, who is sales representative for the Northeast for Johnny's Selected Seeds, said in an email interview last week that "There has been a real run on home garden seeds. Many of our packet sizes are sold out, and we just don't have enough people to re-pack those fast enough to keep up."

Like many companies, Johnny's has had to deal with "the challenge of social distancing and labor shortages in the warehouses," Fine said. "Usually those warehouses are arranged tightly, to efficiently move people and packets through rows.

"Johnny's had to rearrange the rows, establish one-way traffic to prevent people walking toward each other and getting too close, and add disinfecting protocols."

The company also had to "suspend home garden orders for a month in order to keep up with farm orders … the people who are feeding our communities."

Like many of the farmers interviewed this week, Fine said that ultimately she hopes all this concern about the food supply chain will "contribute to a long-term valuing of local food production and the value of sustainably produced food…"

The Daily | The run-down on potting your plants
…I also recommend looking at biodegradable and compostable pot options… Johnny's Selected Seeds also has a large selection that can be purchased online…

Herald Mail Media | Need for seed: Gardeners flock to stores, overwhelm websites
…Johnny's Selected Seeds stopped taking orders from home gardeners a few weeks back and only was accepting commercial farm orders through the end of April.

"We had to prioritize to make sure they had their orders filled," co-CEO Gretchen Kruysman said.

Home garden orders "wiped out our shelf stock of packets of seeds," she said.

More seeds are readily available, but it takes time to assemble new packets. Social distancing forced the company to cut its labor productivity by about a third…
May 2020 (cont…)
Lancaster Farming | Gardens Seeded by Pandemic Concerns
…Johnny's Selected Seeds, in Winslow, Maine, reported that it experienced an unprecedented increase in orders on Friday, March 13, when the national emergency was declared for the pandemic.

"We had a 250% surge in visitors to the website, our phones were ringing constantly, and orders came flooding in," said marketing coordinator Joshua D'Errico.

Johnny's Selected Seeds was established in 1973, and grows thousands of varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers each year at a farm to trial how well the plants grow, look and taste, for its seed company customers.

Ninety percent of the increase in orders at Johnny's Selected Seeds came not from wholesale seed stores, but from home gardeners; and about half of those orders were first-time Johnny's customers. Overall, tomatoes, lettuce, greens, peppers and microgreens are some of the most requested items, according to D'Errico.

"The first-time customers seemed to be new to growing as well, with lots of questions about how to grow their vegetables and what to choose," D'Errico said. "We have also seen a significant increase in visits to the Growing Library on the Johnny's website."

The feed and seed stores they supply have placed second and third orders because of demand. Johnny's has also seen an increase in retail stores that want to start carrying seeds, ranging from boutiques to hardware stores.

The seed company's direct-to-market farmers also are reporting that their online CSAs are selling out this spring, which helps to replace lost sales to restaurants and at farmers markets.

"We also hope that new CSA members will continue to support their local farmers when the coronavirus crisis ends," D'Errico added.… | Pandemic Gardens Are Trending: Fears Over Food Shortages Lead First Timers to Get Growing
…Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow, Maine, usually ships orders the same day they are placed. Recently, they had to temporarily cut off amateur gardeners and only take commercial orders. They're now open to all again…

April 2020
Portland Press Herald | Seed sales soar as Mainers put down roots at home | Amid fears of food availability and looking for ways to feel useful, Mainers are taking to gardening in a big way.
…"We started doing this as a project for the kids, but we also want to be more self-reliant and avoid frequent trips to the store," said Josh Pahigian, 46, of Saco, who is growing bean sprouts and micro greens indoors with his two children. "When facing difficulty like this, it makes you feel better to do something proactive."

…Pahigian, an author and adjunct instructor at the University of New England, did some research online to see what he might grow quickly, indoors. He found information on the website of Johnny's Selected Seeds, a Winslow company, and bought one of their germinator sets online for about $30. In the germinator tray he's growing bean sprouts, which his kids like; he also got supplies from Johnny's to grow micro pea plants — the tiny stalks are edible.…

Poynter | Americans are buying seeds and learning how to grow vegetables at home amid grocery store woes • Plus, food banks are slammed at the same time farmers are destroying crops and dumping milk, and college students are paying for empty apartments
…Johnny's Seeds said it has a good supply but it is slower in packing orders than normal because of COVID-19 precautions, so it is only currently filling commercial orders…

Yahoo! Finance | Americans growing their own food during coronavirus pandemic
…Gardening guru Martha Stewart has been flexing her green thumb on Instagram as of late showing off her Salanova lettuce leaves harvested from seeds she got from Johnny's Selected Seeds, which halted individual orders until April, 28, according to its website.…

April 2020 (cont…)
New York Post | Seed sellers say demand growing out of control
…Johnny's Selected Seeds stopped taking orders from home gardeners a few weeks back and is only accepting commercial farm orders through April 28.

"We had to prioritize to make sure they had their orders filled," co-CEO Gretchen Kruysman said.

Home garden orders "wiped out our shelf stock of packets of seeds," she said. More seeds are readily available, but it takes time to assemble new packets. Social distancing forced the company to cut its labor productivity by about a third.…

marthastewart on instagram | Homeschool with Martha: Tips and Tricks to Making a Delicious Salad at Home
So, during this crisis that we are living through, I'm very, very lucky because we are growing salads that look like this. These are Salanova the seeds come from Johnny's; and they look like flowers, don't they? I could put that in the vase and someone would say, "Oh, my gosh, what is that unusual green flower?" But these are beautiful… this is a variegated reddish-greenish Salanova, and this is the green-colored Salanova. And they have many, many leaves on them…

Montana Standard | Finding your own food network in the time of coronavirus
…Many people finally have the time to dig that garden or build that chicken coop. But the only hitch is if you want an actual chicken for that coop, or seeds for that garden, you'll have to wait. Chicken hatcheries are about a month behind the backlog of orders, and seed companies are behind as well. Some have stopped taking new orders until they catch up. Johnny's Seeds, the lion in the family farm seed space, has suspended sales to non-commercial growers.…

Hoboken Girl | 10 Vegetables You Can Grow Indoors {+ Where to Get Them} in Hoboken + Jersey City
…If you're ready to start growing your own vegetables now, in the midst of social distancing, consider shopping online and staying home. You can order any of the seeds to make the veggies in this list from … Johnny's Selected Seeds…

April 2020 (cont…)
News Center Maine | Business is blooming for some farmers amid coronavirus • As many businesses are cutting back or closing during COVID-19, local farmers and seed suppliers are more than busy.
Local farmers and seed suppliers tell NEWS CENTER Maine that many people are growing their own vegetables, so they have fresh food at home.

"You know people have some anxieties about the food supply… they're not going out to eat," Nathan Drummond of Six River Farm said.

David Mehlhorn, co-CEO of Johnny's Selected Seeds echoed that, and said he sees a demand from home gardeners.

"For the last month the demand from home gardeners has doubled and sometimes tripled," Mehlhorn said.

Drummond gets vegetable seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Both Maine businesses are doing well during the coronavirus pandemic.

About three-quarters of Johnny's business comes from commercial farmers like Drummond, and the rest of its business is to home gardeners.

Recently, Johnny's had to temporarily stop selling to home gardeners to focus on commercial farmers, but the hope is to be able to sell to everyone again soon.

With the current demand for seeds, additional shifts at the company's fulfillment center. Mehlhorn said that's been helpful.

"Our process has slowed down a little bit there because we can't have people let's say in the same aisle-ways at the same time," he said.

For local farmers, the real challenge is in planning and predicting.

"Trying to read the tea leaves of well will this restaurant be buying again because they used to buy a lot of cherry tomatoes," Drummond said.

You don't need tea leaves to know, Mainers are still happy to be supporting local farmers.

April 2020 (cont…)
Inhabitat | Where to order vegetable seeds online
…Rose recommended a few vendors she's ordered from herself. "I have nothing but good things to say about them," she said. "I think all of these companies are having a good sales year… Johnny's Seeds, which is 100% employee-owned, began in the attic of a New Hampshire farmhouse in 1973…"

Salt Lake Magazine | Grow Your Own Microgreens in Less than 2 Weeks • Find out how to grow your own microgreens
Microgreens are all the rage for urban gardeners, and for smart reasons. They are quick (less than 2 weeks) and easy to grow if you have limited space, and provide a delicious and fresh veggie option to your diet. In essence, growing your own microgreens provides almost instant garden gratification.

…I grew this "microplot" of pea shoots using a planting tray from Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Lincoln Journal Star | Nebraska Horticulture | Sarah Browning: Veggie winners bring color, flavor to garden
…Tomato 'Galahad': A new variety with a high level of late blight resistance, bred from parent plants that are both resistant. Galahad is a high-yielding, great-tasting tomato that grows on a strong sturdy plant. Judges agreed that the sweet, meaty flavor is better than that of the comparison varieties and boasts of being crack resistant. Broad shoulders (just like Sir Galahad?) and large, clean fruits grow on a highly productive, disease-resistant plant. Certainly, a variety you'll want to use in your battle for tomato greatness.

Missoula Current | Sustainable Missoula: First-time gardener learns more than growing beans
…Nationally and locally we've seen this as the pandemic unfolds: people are turning to gardening and local farms to take control of their food security. Garden City Harvest has certainly seen an increased interest in our community garden plots and CSA farm shares (a subscription to a local farm, picking up veggies each week) — and we've heard similar things from farmer friends and those selling seeds. Johnny's Seeds sales were up by 300% in March!…

Maine Public | Maine Calling • Gardening: The Pandemic Drives New Interest in Gardening for Relaxation and for Food
People are eager to work on their gardens, given that it's among the outdoor activities you can do safely while staying at home, and it has soothing effects in these uncertain times. Some are also looking for items to grow to augment their grocery supply. We'll learn about what you can do now to get your vegetables, flowers and yard off to a good start, and what to plant during this crisis.

Pamela Hargest, Horticulture Professional, Cumberland County Cooperative Extension

Gary Fish, State Horticulturalist, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry

Lauren Giroux, Director of Product Selection & Trialing Research, Johnny's Selected Seeds

Los Angeles Times | In turbulent times, a magical art-filled garden offers solace
…10. Plan
This is a perfect time to research plants for the garden. Two great growers with accurate information are San Marcos Growers and Monrovia Nursery. For ordering plants/retail therapy, try… Johnny's Selected Seeds…

April 2020 (cont…)
Talk Farm to Me | Episode 7: Narrowing the Gap • COVID Brings Farmers & Consumers Closer
…Food insecurity as a result of COVID has spurred folks to hoard supplies and food. But it's also had another effect. Consumers are scrambling to get into a local farm share. They are planting gardens of their own, raising chickens and even homesteading. The result is a closer connection to farmers and fortified communities…

Seeds are an interesting part of the COVID response equation…
Guest: Gretchen Kruysman, Co-CEO, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine…

Houston Chronicle | Powered by flowers, a Houston caterer blossoms
…A strict vegan, Holleran also goes a few steps further. She grows most of her plants from organic seed, propagating them herself when she can, participating in online seed exchanges and buying heritage varieties from organic suppliers such as Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Daily Times | Gardening: Try your hand at a 'Victory Over Virus' garden
…6: Follow suggested sowing and planting dates.
It's important to wait until all chance of frost has passed before setting out plants. In the Philadelphia suburbs, our average last frost date is between April 15 and April 30. Johnny's Seeds has a handy seed-sowing and transplanting guide on their website…

Mother Earth News | 9 First Crops for your Coronavirus Victory Garden
…Protect your lettuce patch from bunnies and deer by laying floating row cover over the patch (very lightweight but allows in light and rain). You might be able to find row cover locally, but Johnny's Seeds is a good source otherwise. The photo shows white row cover, which I highly recommend for pest prevention, and an optional resource of black shade cloth, which can help protect spring crops from the hot sun…

Maine Public | As More Mainers Look into Growing Their Own Food, Seed Suppliers Struggle to Meet Demand
…Maine Public's Jennifer Mitchell spoke with Gretchen Kruysman co-chief executive of Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow:

Kruysman: We saw a tremendous surge, really starting the Friday, March 13 when the national emergency was announced. Our phone started ringing, our website traffic went crazy. So we've seen a tremendous spike, almost a tripling of orders that started coming in

Vineyard Gazette | The New Victory Gardens: Vineyarders Turn to the Soil
…Polly Hill Arboretum executive director Tim Boland, who's also an avid home gardener… offered another idea for space-conscious gardeners: growing microgreens. He buys different mixes from Johnny's Seeds (mild to spicy) and grows them in terracotta pots all season long…

WCHS New Center Maine | Growing your own vegetables during the coronavirus pandemic Seed sales are going through the roof in Maine • What you can do with them right now during the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic
…Seed supply companies like Johnny's Selected Seeds say sales of seeds are through the roof. Online orders are up 300 percent… and half of those orders, the company says, are from new customers. Gretchen Kruysman with Johnny's Selected Seeds says she's never seen anything like this.…

April 2020 (cont…)
Fine Gardening | If You Like Heirloom Vegetables, You'll Love These New Varieties • If you are ready to move on from tried-and-true varieties, we have some options for you
Many gardeners, including myself, grow older, classic, or heirloom varieties of vegetables. We have many reasons for doing so. Some may be sentimental reasons, such as we obtained the seeds from a relative or have grown these varieties since childhood and they bring back fond memories. And, of course, flavor and eating quality come into play, as heirlooms are rightfully known for having superior eating quality.

But we have found there are some newer varieties that perform better and are easier to grow than their older counterparts, while maintaining excellent flavor and unique appearance. Here are a few options if you want to try something different this year…

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens | Dig It! Garden Blog | Starting Your Own Cut Flower Garden • Flower Selection
…My single favorite place to order seeds from is Johnny's Selected Seeds. Not only are they an employee-owned, local Maine company that I love to support, they are also a wonderful resource — from tons of great varieties to a wealth of helpful information and useful supplies. You can't go wrong with this company…

Penn Live Patriot News | Virtual garden tours, talks and videos to get you through the coronavirus shutdown
…Johnny's Selected Seeds, the employee-owned Maine seed company, has more than 100 free videos that include how to grow assorted crops and use various tools as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how Johnny's trials and breeds new flower and vegetable varieties…

East End Beacon | Plant a Seed of Resilience
…This spring's panic has [led] many people to nurture a natural instinct to plant some vegetable seeds, as a hedge against anxiety, economic uncertainty, and worry about food shortages.

Mail-order seed companies have gotten the message, loud and clear.

"We're here for you. Stock up on staples," says the home page of Johnny's Selected Seeds' website…

Where should you find seeds? The sky is the limit. We're partial to the small home gardener friendliness of Pinetree Garden Seeds up in Maine, and Johnny's Selected Seeds' new selection of staple crops makes decision-making easy…

Cape Gazette | Grow Indoor Gems while isolating at home
While regular marigolds can be eaten, they have a strong, unpleasant taste. The so-called citrus marigolds are truly delicious, with a fruity citrus flavor.

These are the Gem marigolds, also called Signet marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia), which grow in several colors: Lemon Gem, Tangerine Gem and Red Gem. They all sport lacy leaves and delicate single flowers. Both the leaves and blossoms have a subtle citrus smell…

Seeds are widely available from nurseries or garden centers, or by mail from seed-houses such as Johnny's Seeds…

Savvy Gardening | Niki Jabbour | How to plant lettuce: A guide to planting, growing & harvesting lettuce
…When transplanting lettuce into my garden beds or containers, I typically plant in a grid pattern, spacing each seedling about ten inches apart. This is where you can have a bit of fun if you're growing multicolored varieties like Salanova Home & Garden Mix. You can stagger the colors to create a checkerboard pattern…

March 2020
New York Times | Panic Buying Comes for the Seeds • I'm clearly not the only one who is desperate to garden.
Gretchen Krusyman, the co-chief executive of Johnny's Selected Seeds, a large seller of organic seeds for home gardeners and farmers alike, said of the demand for seeds: "Every day it just increases. We think it's going to slow down, and there's no sign of it slowing down."

The company prides itself on getting all orders placed by 1:30 p.m. out the door on that same day. But now, "we just can't keep up," Ms. Krusyman said…

According to Ms. Kruysman, "it really started going up on Friday the 13th," she said. That week, Johnny's Selected Seeds sold twice as many seeds to home growers as they had during the same week last year.

March 13, by the way, is the date that President Trump declared a national emergency because of the new coronavirus…

This isn't the first time in recent years that there has been a run on seeds.

"When the market crashed in 2008, there was a big increase in people starting to grow their own food," Ms. Kruysman, of Johnny's Selected Seeds, said. But that uptick was more gradual…

Brattleboro Reformer | Henry Homeyer: Notes from the Garden | Pushing the envelope: Bring on spring!
…If you use a cold frame, I recommend planting cold tolerant plants. A cold frame will not protect tomatoes, peppers, or other frost-sensitive, heat-loving plants in early spring. Spinach, lettuce, mâche (also called miner's lettuce), cabbage and kale are good choices.

When selecting lettuce seeds for planting, look for ones that are recommended for early season planting. Johnny's Selected Seeds lists seven named varieties of lettuce for early season use including 'Vulcan' (a red leaf) and 'Sparx' (a Romaine)… Read your seed catalog carefully when selecting early season varieties…
March 2020 (cont…)
Bangor Daily News | Maine ag operations see unprecedented demand amid coronavirus concerns
…But in a world reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, the unexpected is quickly becoming the norm. Along with farms such as the Bahner Farm, local businesses Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow and Fedco Seeds in Clinton have been overwhelmed by sudden demand. Customers around Maine and the nation — stuck inside and uncertain of the future — have turned some attention toward seed catalogs.

At Johnny's Selected Seeds, Dave Mehlhorn, the co-CEO, said he believes that the uncertainty with the food supply is making people who once grew something in their backyard want to do that again.

"We've seen a significant increase in the home garden business," he said.

Johnny's was seeking to hire a few more employees, mostly in the warehouse, to pack and ship orders. Because the company is trying to follow all the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about social distancing, officials created a second shift in order to reduce employee density. But when the workers are in the warehouse, they are busy right now, he said, packing seed orders that have come in from all over the place. And shoppers are not seeking unusual varieties of produce right now.

"It is the traditional crops that a home gardener is comfortable with, like tomatoes and peppers and lettuces and fruiting crops," Mehlhorn said, adding that the demand hit the seed company quickly. "It came on kind of in the same way that the rush on grocery stores came on."

It's not hard to understand, he said. Growing more food at home is a boon for people who may be feeling worried about leaving the safety of their houses in a time of crisis. As well, it eases the minds of folks who may have seen some shelves emptied at their local grocery store.

"Our little mission is to help friends, families and communities feed one another," Mehlhorn said. "It seems like people are really happy we're here serving that mission right now…"
March 2020 (cont…)
Better Homes & Gardens | 19 of the Earliest Flowers You'll See Blooming in Spring
Not only does claytonia produce small, beautiful flowers in spring, but it's edible, too. Also called miner's lettuce, both the leaves and , and can be eaten like salad greens… Buy It: Claytonia Seeds… New Jersey Herald | Sowing lettuce calms the soul
…Once upon a time, you could purchase one — maybe two — types of arugula to grow at home. Johnny's Selected Seeds now features nine named arugula varieties! A member of the mustard family, the so-called "wild arugula" has a smaller, thicker, very deeply lobed leaf and is even more pungent that the softer "salad arugula." For those of us who like spicy foods, wild arugula provides a very pleasant "kick" to a salad.

'Sylvetta' was introduced from Italy decades ago…

Philadelphia Inquirer | Gardening self-care: Vegetables you can plant right now (indoors and out) during the coronavirus pandemic
…If you don't have access to green space
"Even if you live in an apartment with no balcony, at the very least you can be growing sprouts," says McCabe.

And you don't need to go out and buy alfalfa seeds to do it…

Seed companies like Johnny's sell special microgreen mixes, but almost any vegetable seed will work. If available, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage seeds are a great place to start. Plant the seeds in a soil-filled tray (or improvise with a baking dish), and from there, all you need is light and water.…

Salt Lake Magazine | Plant Your Own Peas (and Pea Shoots)
Peas. It just so happens that now (mid-to-late March) is the optimum time to plant peas in your garden. I've gone about planting peas over the years with great success. You have choices galore, some shells are softer, some varieties sweeter, different colors — knock yourself out. This year I'll be direct-planting an organic tendril-climbing variety of 'Sugar Snap' peas from Johnny's Selected Seeds. And, if you play your peas right, you should expect a few weeks of harvesting bucketfuls in June…"
March 2020 (cont…)
Seattle Times | Want to eliminate all that plastic in your garden? Learn how to create soil blocks
…What if we did away with pots altogether? Several gardeners I know swear by soil-blocking tools and techniques that do just that. I reached out to Jen Goff, a tool technician with Johnny's Selected Seeds, and asked her to walk me through the perks of using a soil blocker, a sturdy metal tool that is used to form cubes of soil that you can seed directly into.

I confess, it looks a bit unnatural — I mean really, a free-standing cube of soil?

"They hold up better than you might think," Goff assures me. "But there are some tricks to making quality soil blocks…"

Better Homes & Gardens | 6 Online Shops Where You Can Buy Plenty of Veggie, Herb, and Flower Seeds • It's time to get your garden started!
…Numerous companies are still shipping seeds to gardeners, often offering even more selection than you'd find at the store. The six we outline below are our favorites, but keep in mind that your order could be delayed by up to 10 days, as many of these sites are processing more orders than usual…

1. A Wide Variety of Vegetable Seeds
A trusted source for more than 45 years, Johnny's Selected Seeds has a large selection of veggies, fruits, flowers, and herbs online, including organic options. It's one of the best places to order vegetable seeds right now because of their huge and varied selection — you'll be able to score seeds for uncommon varieties like scorzonera and salsify. If you need any last-minute tools or supplies, you can add those to your order too; Johnny's stocks common garden supplies like mulch, compost bins, and fertilizers too…

March 2020 (cont…)
Garden Gate | Niki Jabbour: How to avoid basil downy mildew
…According to Rachel Katz, a Research Team Product Technician at Johnny's Selected Seeds, there are three things necessary for a disease like downy mildew to spread:

• The pathogen needs to be present
• There needs to be a susceptible host
• Conditions need to be just right

Knowing this can help you reduce the spread in your garden by eliminating a factor, like foliage moisture. Katz suggests watering with drip tape or a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler or watering wand to reduce water on the leaves. It's also a good idea to water early in the day so the foliage has a chance to dry off before night…

Basil varieties resistant to downy mildew
In my garden, I've put smart watering to work but I've also combined it with variety selection. Katz says the best way to grow a crop of downy mildew-resistant basil is to start with resistant varieties.

Prospera® basil
Recent breeding has resulted in new cultivars, like Prospera, that offer resistance to downy mildew. "Prospera is the first certified organic basil variety with real genetic resistance to downy mildew," says Katz. "Additionally, it has beautiful, dark green, cupped leaves, and traditional Genovese Italian basil flavor…"

Ellsworth American | Barbara Damrosch: It pays to grow some herbs from seed
…Rosemary can germinate poorly, but Johnny's Selected Seeds sells "primed" rosemary seed that is more reliable — if you use it within six months of purchase…

February 2020
New York | the Strategist | What Artist Dan Colen Can't Live Without
…We asked artist and Sky High Farm founder Dan Colen … about the hoe, cucumber seeds, and ceramic plates he can't live without…

Johnny's Selected Seeds 5-Inch Stirrup Hoe
I have Sky High Farm because of my art practice; the studio really allows the farm to exist. There'd be no harvest without this thing … It's just a kind of classic farming tool. The blade is sharp; the grip is comfortable. … This one, when you're holding it, is ergonomic — it allows you to use your knees and your back…

'Marketmore 76' Organic Cucumber Seed
This is a specific strain from a company that's really reliable. The thing with farming is there are so many factors essentially out of your control — you can lose a whole harvest to one storm that floods your garden, or to cows breaking through your fence. So you at least want to make sure you're working with reliable seeds. We've gone through a lot of different seeds, and these yield a great, really tasty cucumber. They'd be great for a New Yorker to grow a little cucumber bush on their fire escape; really, you need nothing else but the seeds and a nice pot of soil. Care for them, love them, check in on them, water them. These go from seed to vegetable in six to eight weeks…

Times Colonist | Longing for lettuces of spring
…I like beauty in lettuces. There are many that can light up a vegetable plot and fit well into spaces in ornamental beds. Glistening red butterheads are gorgeous. The unusual Salanovas from Johnny's Selected Seeds look like big double roses…
February 2020 (cont…)
Brattleboro Reformer | Notes from the Garden | Starting seedlings now is one antidote to winter blues
…The other way to avoid plastic is to plant in soil blocks. I have a little hand tool that will compact and squeeze out 2-inch cubes of a special planting mix I make. These cubes sit in a plastic flat, but I have plenty of those, and reuse them every year. The tool is sold by Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Portland Press Herald | Maine Gardener: Here's a gardening project while you wait for tomato season • You can grow tiny, tasty (and trendy) microgreens inside under a grow light
…Many Maine seed companies sell the seeds, but Johnny's Selected Seeds has the largest selection, according to Hargest…

Cape Gazette | Bupleurum will bloom from summer until killed by hard frost in the fall
…This is one hardy annual that can actually be sown directly in the garden as soon as you can dig the soil. In fact it is best to direct seed Bupleurum rather than start it indoors and transplant.

These are easy-to-grow plants that do best in average, well-drained soil. Choose a spot in full sun or partial shade.

Seeds are often available at local nurseries and garden centers or from mail order seed houses such as Johnny's Seeds…

February 2020 (cont…)
Lancaster Farming | A Foundation of Flowers: Back Mountain's Dahlias
…Katie Aurand is embarking on her fourth year operating Back Mountain Farm…

"Ordering is very intensive," she said. It often takes an entire day or weekend in late January through mid-February to get her order finalized.

Her first step is to make a wish list. That list is based on whether the flowers are cool season or warm season, and when they need to be planted.

Aurand has seed catalogues that she studies…

Johnny's Selected Seeds … has many helpful tools that include specific growing information.

"In 2015, I printed off Johnny's flower list and took notes," Aurand said.

By early March, the process of planting seeds begins as the germinating process starts. Aurand keeps track by writing which seeds are direct-seeded versus transplanted.

"I do soil-blocking," Aurand said, which involves forming starter soil in blocks that are kept in small spaces and easily managed. Within three to four weeks of prepping the soil blocks, it is time to plant.

"I don't do plugs in plastic containers," she said, and she uses a tuber system.
January 2020
Southeast Missourian | Peppers
…Johnny's Seeds Catalog has an excellent list of different diseases and resistance codes on peppers. Some peppers might be resistant to TMV or Tobacco Mosaic Virus, while another will be resistant to PVY or Potato Virus Y. Many of the different varieties of peppers will be resistant to some of these diseases. As you grow your peppers you might see spots on the leaves of the pepper. This could indicate Bacterial Leaf Spot. By knowing the diseases you have in your garden, you can choose a variety that is resistant to your particular culprit…

The Post & Courier | Gardening: In the Charleston area, try growing vegetables. It doesn't get any more local.
We start with quality seeds from online sources like Johnny's Selected Seeds … not an inexpensive source but there are numerous cultivar choices and the seeds reliably germinate…

New Castle News | Leek cause of news alert
Carlee's question to me was, "Which seed company would I suggest to purchase seeds from?" I told her, Johnny's Selected Seeds, which were offering the most varieties as well as transplants…

Johnny's offers several varieties of leeks that mature at different times.

I would suggest 'King Richard' leeks … for the beginner, because it matures in 75 days. If you grow them right, the shanks should be about a foot long. You can even have baby leeks, if you plant them close, and harvest at finger size…
January 2020 (cont…)
Connecticut Public Radio | Connecticut Garden Journal: Expand Your Vegetable Horizons
…Each year there are more colorful tomato varieties available. 'Bronze Torch' from Johnny's Selected Seeds is a small, saladette-sized, tomato that's about the size of a Roma. It features a red with golden streaked skin and crack resistant fruits that are early and tasty.

Also from Johnny's comes a broccoli adapted to New England. 'Eastern Magic' is a hybrid broccoli producing medium-sized, green heads. The plants are more stress resistant often growing and producing in adverse weather.…

Detroit News | Gardening: Turn to turnips for early vegetables
…Johnny's Selected Seeds… also carries salad turnips and their white variety 'Hakurei' is said to be sweet, without a bite and is best harvested when young — up to 2 inches in diameter.

These are a quick turnaround vegetable, and if you harvest them at radish-size they may be ready to pick in as little as a month. Full size may take 40 to 50 days, depending on the weather…
January 2020 (cont…)
Press Herald | Maine Gardener: Read catalogs to preview the coming gardening season
…Johnny's Selected Seeds is the largest and slickest of the Maine catalogs, and it understandably gives prominence to the many varieties it breeds itself — including three new varieties for this coming year.

The one that grabbed my interest is the 'Starry Night PMR' acorn squash, and not just because I am awed by the Van Gogh painting of that name. It has a pixelated color pattern, from which it gets its name, and, says the catalog, extra flavor and a longer shelf life. PMR, by the way, stands for powdery-mildew resistant.

The 'Citrine,' a crack-resistant orange cherry tomato, also should do well, mostly because 'Sun Gold,' the most popular orange cherry tomato on the market, is delicious but tends to crack as the season progresses. The 'Citrine' sounds like a great improvement.

… [O]n the inside back cover is a page of recommendations for proven performers from last year's new releases. Yes, the new releases are always exciting. But this page shows the ones that succeeded in the field.

Another note: Last year, Johnny's did not sell 'Sugar Snap' pea seeds because the seed had been producing a lot of off-types. The've been working with the son of the original breeder to re-introduce the original 'Sugar Snap' pea. It is offered this year solely by Johnny's…

January 2020 (cont…)
Wicked Local Sharon | The Addicted Gardener: The sal[a]cious and bodacioius … seed catalogs
Johnny's descriptions … provide basic facts and eschew marketing hype. I will order their 'Jedi' hybrid jalapeño pepper seed. The description in their catalog reads: "Our largest jalapeño offering, Jedi's fruits average 4–4½ inches and are slow to check (show small cracks in skin). The large plant is of the 'continuous set' type that produces over a long harvest window, especially in regions with a long growing season. Our variety with the highest potential yield. High resistance to bacterial leaf spot races 1–3."

I will also order organic hybrid tomato seed 'Galahad' … described as "Delicious early determinate beefsteak. Excellent late blight resistance and early maturity. The round, 7–12-oz. fruits can be harvested with green shoulders and ripened red in storage, or ripened on the vine. Vigorous plants. High resistance to Fusarium wilt (races 1, 2, and 3), gray leaf spot, late blight, nematodes, tomato spotted wilt virus, and Verticillium wilt. Determinate. Organically grown." And I will order their 'Rutgers Devotion DMR' basil seed, new from the Rutgers breeding program. It is a Genovese type basil with a "compact (but highly productive) plant habit and … strong downy mildew resistance…"
January 2020 (cont…)
Detroit News | Gardening: Sprouting seeds a fast way to grow fresh veggies
Sprouts are high in fiber, low in calories, easy to digest and fat free. They contain protein, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and a variety of vitamins and can be used in salads, sandwiches, stir-fries and a passel of other ways including smoothies…

Although alfalfa and mung beans are the most popular seeds for sprouting, there's a large array of vegetables to choose from, including broccoli, radishes, and lentils. And there's no comparison between those you grow yourself and store bought…

If you really get into sprouting, Johnny's Selected Seeds also carries certified organic seed in larger quantities…

[Chesapeake]Bay Weekly | Plan Your Plantings with Seed Catalogs
…One of my favorite catalogs is Johnny's Selected Seeds… For some of the best vegetables, herbs and cutting flowers, they can't be beat. They offer organic and non-organic seeds and cater to small commercial growers and home gardeners. They have their own breeding program to produce seed varieties with special qualities that perform well in diverse growing conditions.

In Johnny's selection, you'll find some 16 pages of lettuces and specialty greens. There are also great selections of tools and specialized equipment for small growers. Eliot Coleman, author of many vegetable gardening books, has designed many of the tools they offer…

December 2019
Mansfield News J. | In the Garden | Trees that survived the odds
"…Each seed you plant and each square foot that you tend make the whole world better." — Robert Johnston Jr., founder of Johnny's Seeds.

Groenten Nieuws [Vegetable Growers' News (Dutch) ] • You can also grow lettuce with a handicap
…In terms of seeds, Johnny's Seeds is the preferred supplier for TAC Farms. They are currently cultivating the following varieties: 'Adriana' butter lettuce (2358JP), 'Monte Carlo' romaine lettuce (3207JP), 'Muir' batavian lettuce (3881GP), 'Allstar Gourmet' lettuce mix (2301), 'Red Russian' kale (363), 'Ruby Red' orach (3999G), 'Calypso' coriander (3803), and 'Red Malabar Spinach' (2437)
November 2019
Washington Post | The greens of autumn require extra care when frost threatens
…I bought the row cover several years ago from Johnny's Selected Seeds, whose catalogue carries four grades of insulating cover, varying in weight, price and frost protection. The lightest adds two to four degrees of frost protection, the heaviest more than eight degrees, said Jen Goff, product technician for tools and supplies.

The thicker the cover, the more light it blocks, which is an issue as we approach the darkest weeks of the year. "One common practice is to uncover crops on nice days," she says. This will also help with air circulation against fungal diseases.

I have been using clothespins to secure the fleece to the hoops, but a more common approach is to anchor the cloth along the sides of the tunnels. You can use pieces of wood, but they must be secure against stiff winds. Goff uses sandbags and knows of growers who rely on heavy chains.

Weeds continue to grow in these tunnels, but there is nothing more satisfying on an autumn afternoon than peeling back the covers and rendering the growing beds fluffy and weed free.…

Times Colonist | Experimenting with new crops a useful exercise
This year, I hit the daikon jackpot with a variety called 'Alpine' in the Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue, which has two pages of radishes. One page lists only specialty and daikon radishes.

Most daikons are long, white Asian radishes best suited for summer sowing and harvesting in fall and winter. The name is derived from the Japanese for "big root."

In July, I seeded 'Alpine' into a plot with bok choy and carrots. The 'Alpine' seeds germinated amazingly well and by early autumn had produced thick, 15-cm long roots, white with green shoulders. The roots are shorter than most daikons, which makes 'Alpine' a good choice for shallow and rocky soils.

Encouraged by the easy success with this radish, I plan to try another Johnny's variety called 'KN-Bravo,' a daikon the same length as 'Alpine' but with a flesh colour ranging from pale purple to white with purple streaks.
November 2019 (cont…)
Morning Sentinel | Johnny's Selected Seeds to expand, following purchase of Winslow facility: The Maine-grown seed company closed on a $1.65 million purchase from the town of Winslow on Tuesday.
Johnny's Selected Seeds will use the extra space it acquired in a purchase of its Winslow fulfillment center to meet added demand for its products, officials said…

"Over the last few years, Johnny's has needed additional warehouse space to better support customers and business growth," wrote Mehlhorn in an email. "It is critical to our customers that we have our seeds, tools, and supplies in stock and that we ship them out quickly…"

"The building is a bit older and needs some improvements, but we now know that any additional improvements we make will benefit our employee-owners, and will be our own going forward," responded Mehlhorn, adding that the employee-owned company is excited to build equity in a hard asset…

Greenhouse Grower | Production Tips for a New Greenhouse Cucumber
'Quirk' has really stood out at variety trials, says Nate Gorlin–Crenshaw, Product Technician at Johnny's Selected Seeds. Performing well in the greenhouse, its remarkably compact plant habit, with short vines producing heavy yields, makes it ideal for container planting. Plants have all female flowers (gynoecious) and can set fruit without pollination (parthenocarpic). This cucumber has great utility in greenhouse and field production.

Vancouver Sun | What is "Bibb" lettuce? Is it the same as butter and Boston lettuce?
Butter, or butterhead, lettuce, also called Boston lettuce, is named for its buttery, "melt-in-the-mouth" texture. Butter lettuces have rounded heads, with soft, crumpled leaves.

Bibb lettuces are smaller, darker butterheads. They form loose rosettes that resemble an open rose. They are believed to have originated with a 19th century grower in Kentucky, Major John (Jack) Bibb, who developed the variation from Boston lettuces.

The Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue has separate listings for butterhead and Bibb lettuce varieties. They describe the Bibb lettuces as being of the "highest eating quality."
October 2019
Washington Post | To keep enjoying your garden's flowers, consider drying them
…Flowers that are cut for drying should be almost fully bloomed, according to horticulturists with Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow, Maine. "In the weeks when they are drying, the flowers will continue to open…"

For more about drying cut flowers, see this from the Johnny's Selected Seeds Growers Library…

All America Selections Flowers & Vegetables | YouTube Channel | Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights' : A Stunning 3-Season Leafy Crop
... that is perfect for your garden and containers. The 1998 All America Selections Winner 'Bright Lights' Swiss chard produces loads of large leafy greens and edible stems. You will find the stems and leaves in 6 different colors or variations. This is a must-add to your leafy greens gardens as it will produce 3 seasons long!

The 'Proof is in the Plant' series is all about All America Selections Winners and what they bring to your gardens. We will be profiling mature AAS Winners all through 2019, along with information about how you can have a better garden.
September 2019
Washington Post | Whether or not Roundup is safe, the gardener has better options
…Johnny's Selected Seeds sells a range of sharp-edged hoes

Wicked Local Medfield | The Addicted Gardener: Start prepping your plants for indoors
… Last week, there were temperatures dipping into the 40s… it's definitely time to consider bringing plants in for the winter… I love this time of year, but… usually end up with many potted plants at the end of the season and not enough places to store them… This is also the time the veggies are ripening and I'm deep in the throes of preserving the harvest… The to-do list requires serious prioritization.

When frost is threatened this early in the season, I suggest covering tender container plants and garden crops that would suffer if nipped. Floating fabric row covering — sold under the names of Reemay and Agribon, among others — is now widely available from online vendors such as Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Fall, winter veggie plot worth the effort
…Next to the carrots I seeded bok choy, and then made small seedings each of two winter radishes — the dark pink-fleshed Watermelon, also called 'Red Meat' by some seed companies, and a daikon radish called 'Alpine', from Johnny's Selected Seeds. The catalogue describes this radish as a half-long daikon, sweeter than the more commonly grown long Japanese types.…

Ellsworth American | Rascally raccoons twice raid corn patch
My corn patch was truly a work of art this summer. Regal, tall stalks almost 7 feet high in a neat 10-by-12-foot patch. Five rows of 12 plants.

The variety, 'Natural Sweet' (F1), sold by Johnny's Selected Seeds, bore at least two and sometimes three 8-inch-long, plump ears per stalk.…
September 2019 (cont…)
Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Let the seed catalog fun begin
… Sometimes, I'll notice that a catalogue has replaced a longtime favourite variety with another consider to be an improvement. Whenever that happens, I'm impelled to try the new along with the old to see whether, in my garden, the new variety proves to be superior.

An example this year was among the curly (frisée) endive varieties. I always grow this green vegetable. It's pretty in the garden and in salads, I like the tart flavour, and it's not easy to find in grocery stores.

When I first saw 'Rhodos' listed among the frilly endives in the William Dam Seeds catalogue, I had to try it. I'd lived for a year on Rhodes, in the village on Lindos, in my mid-20s. 'Rhodos' turned out to be a reliable, long-season producer of abundant, attractive and tasty green salad material. I've grown it ever since.

In the years since 'Rhodos' first appeared in the Dam catalogue, a few other companies began listing it. One was Johnny's Selected Seeds, whose catalogue lists a stunning selection of lettuces, lettuce blends, and other leafy greens.

In its 2019 catalogue JSS replaced 'Rhodos' with a variety called 'Benefine', described as a "beautiful, ruffled head of [thin], light-green leaves that are deeply cut and toothed." The inside, "heart" of the head "blanches to reveal creamy, tender-sweet leaves ideal for gourmet salads."

I was skeptical, but as I observed both Rhodos and Benefine in the garden I did find that the replacement variety did produce a more substantial head that also lasted longer in good useable condition than 'Rhodos'. A worthwhile experiment.…
August 2019
The Escamillo Pepper (AAS Winner) Profile: Taste & Container Perfect — 'The Proof is in the Plant'
... The 'Escamillo' pepper, a 2016 AAS Winner, is perfect for containers as its compact and productive. Large sweet yellow bull horn type peppers that are delicious stuffed, stir-fried and in salads.

Detroit News | Gardening: Start thinking about garlic
…Johnny's … sells 'German Extra Hardy', recommended for hardiness and flavor and 'Music', Michigan State University's pick of the litter.

If you buy online, don't wait until the last minute to place your order as they sell out of garlic surprisingly early. Order now and they will ship in October.…

Post & Courier | Gardening: Basics about growing vegetables in Charleston and the Lowcountry
Horticulture is a broad industry, and you don't need to know it all if you know smart people…

…If you're ready to plant, transplants can be purchased at local nurseries and quality seeds can be acquired from places like Johnny's Seeds…
August 2019 (cont…)
Leader Telegram | Harvests bring questions about next garden
Q: Is it time to plant spinach outside so I can overwinter it and have a crop in the spring? I have never done that before and am eager to try.
… Johnny's Seeds has some recommendations for seeds that overwinter well

Johnny's Selected Seeds [also] has a rather intriguing formula about dating your winter plantings a certain number of weeks before the beginning of the Persephone Period, i.e., the last 10-hour day. You can read about it here….

Garden Design | August Gardening Checklists
• Midwest
• Southern California
• Rocky Mountains
• Northern California
• Pacific Northwest

Windsor Star | Edible plants not short on beauty
Q: What edible plants would be ornamental enough for inclusion in perennial beds?

…Swiss chard plants with multicoloured stems are very ornamental. Frilly endive is beautiful. Some lettuces are gorgeous. The prettiest I've grown are the lettuces in Johnny's Selected Seeds Salanova Home Garden Mix, a blend of green and red butterhead and oakleaf lettuces. The plants are compact, easy to grow, and as ornamental as flowers…

July 2019
Berkshire Edge | NATURE'S TURN: August turnover: garden digest
…When July turns to August, my garlic and beet beds will be sown to frost-hardy fall crops or cover crops. Refer to Johnny's Selected Seeds for a comprehensive guide to succession planting

Ellsworth American | A feast of winter greens awaits gardeners, by Barbara Damrosch
…Perhaps you've been growing mixed salad greens, or "mesclun mixes," all summer, cutting them at 3 or 4 inches tall and letting them re-grow for subsequent harvests. This works even better as the days start to cool, and Johnny's Selected Seeds has several such mixes to choose from. …

Boston Globe | The sugar snap pea turns 50
…Built up from nothing only 50 years ago, sugar snap peas are now an international, multi-million-dollar industry. The total fresh sugar-snap market in the United States is currently valued at $153 million, according to Mann Packing Company (a division of Del Monte Produce), which controls 51 percent of the market. Maine-based seed purveyor Johnny's Selected Seeds, whose customers include small-scale commercial farmers as well as home gardeners, now sells more sugar snap seed than any other type of pea.…

July 2019 (cont…)
Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Choose varieties wisely to grow lettuce in summer
Dear Helen: My lettuces dried up in the heat and dry conditions of June. Can lettuce not be grown successfully in hot weather?

Fine lettuces can be grown through the summer, given certain parameters… The Johnny's Selected Seeds catalogue begins its vast lettuce listings with a charted guide to preferred varieties for early, mid, and late season harvesting. The mid season varieties are planted in late spring and early summer for hot weather (mid and late summer) harvesting. Among them are Skyphos and Red Cross (red butterheads), Coastal Star (romaine) and New Red Fire (red leaf lettuce).

Johnny's beautiful, tasty Salanova lettuce blends "hold their flavour without growing bitter." I've found the Salanova Home Garden Mix to be very reliable for growing spring through early autumn…

Bangor Daily News | How to Grow Microgreens
…Some seed companies provide information about specific plants and their characteristics as microgreens…  Johnny's Selected Seeds provides an online microgreens comparison chart that includes average days until harvest, as well as brief descriptions of the appearance and flavor of each type of microgreen.

For example, the chart states that carrots are ready to harvest in 16–24 days; have feathery leaves; and have a "mild carrot" flavor. Red giant mustard, on the other hand, is usually ready to harvest in 10–15 days, produces green leaves with red veins and tastes spicy…"

The Country Today | Garden 911: Help is out there when you need it
…Is your plant drooping, turning yellow, or simply looking sick? Cornell University provides a brilliant diagnostic service, complete with photos… Sorted by disease or by crop, this site is one I turn to for identification of ailing plants. Sometimes you need more general advice about the proper growing conditions in order to determine what might be wrong. Check out this extensive library of fact sheets on individual plants at…
June 2019
Longfield Gardens | American Flowers Week: Celebrate Locally-Grown Cut Flowers
...The first American Flowers Week featured a virtual fashion show of "botanical couture." It was an instant hit and has become the centerpiece of this annual event. Members of the Slow Flowers community are invited to produce wearable art made from locally-grown flowers and foliage. Their creations are revealed and are showcased during American Flowers Week.…

The Packer | Enza Zaden Hosts Field Tours, Notes Success in New Varieties
...Lettuce: Buyers like "one-cut" and mini-head lettuces, according to John Bauer, of Johnny's Selected Seeds, who participated in the tour. "We are seeing a trend toward more little gems, mini-romaines and growers wanting to match red and green varieties for head size, speed of growth, leaf-shape and the overall need for more disease resistance for organic," he said in the release.…

North Coast Journal | A World of Peas: And a plate of sugar snap peas with pancetta and almonds
...Wondering about the origin of sugar snap peas, I read the following on the Johnny's Selected Seeds website: "Though there were commercial varieties as far back as the 1880s, [snap peas] disappeared from the seed trade, and by the 1970s, there were no snap peas being sold commercially." Enter pea breeders Calvin Lamborn and MC Parker of Twin Falls, Idaho, "who brought us the new variety 'Sugar Snap.' Upon introduction in 1979, this cross between a snow pea and a mutant shell pea ... earned immediate recognition as an All-America Selections winner."…

The Oregonian | American-grown fashionable flowers on display: See Oregon's floral portrait
There's so much we don't know about florists. People who handle flowers for a living — which also includes seed and bulb producers, growers, designers and sellers — have a blooming sense of humor.

How else to describe botanical bras and other fashion pieces woven with fronds, berries and buds grown in the U.S.?

For the fifth year, the petal promoters who organize American Flowers Week in the days leading up to America's Independence Day have revealed a field-fresh and runway-ready couture collection.…
June (cont…)
Livingston County News | Master Gardener: Succession planting keeps garden bounty coming
Garden Blogger extraordinaire Margaret Roach recently interviewed Niki Jabbour, who writes online regarding primarily vegetable gardening. Their conversation focused on succession planting, the practice of enabling an ongoing harvest instead of planting and then harvesting everything at once.…

…On her property in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Niki uses protective structures including cold frames and a row tunnel to extend her harvest through four seasons. These structures do enable a maximum harvest, but planting at intervals will enable an ample harvest without their use.

Johnny's Selected Seeds' website includes a chart for succession planting…

Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: How to distinguish endive, chicory, and escarole
Dear Helen: What distinguishes endive from escarole, and chicory from endive? I'm confused.

You're confused because the names are often used interchangeably. The catalogues from William Dam Seeds and Johnny's Selected Seeds separate them clearly enough to help reduce confusion…

Basic endive comes in two forms, the more familiar fine-leaved, frilly or "frisee" types and the broadleaf "Batavian" kinds, also called escarole, that form substantial heads of broad leaves with creamy hearts.

Among the chicories, there are "Italian dandelion" types popular in Italian cooking and "Sugarloaf" varieties that make slim, pale green heads for use in the fall. They are popular in Holland, where they are called "greenlof" chicory. That's in comparison with "witloof" chicory, which we call Belgian endive.…

May 2019
Fine Gardening | 15 Tips to Make Seed-Starting Easier
A good seed-starting setup doesn't have to be expensive or extensive, although there are plenty of items on the market that are specifically designed to help you start seeds. Johnny's Selected Seeds and other seed catalogs or online providers have a number of seed varieties that you won't find in the store, as well as equipment to make the job easier. Be sure you have on hand the following essentials:
  • Seed-starting soil — Soil made especially for starting seeds tends to be lighter and easier for seeds to push through.
  • A flat and somewhat shallow container — Use either purchased seed-starting plug trays or a reasonable substitute, such as a foil casserole pan with drainage holes cut into it.
  • A system by which to water — Watering trays are easiest, but using a watering can works fine if you're careful.
  • A way to keep your seeds warm — Use a space heater or a heat mat.
  • A light system…
Washington Post | These Asian veggies might be better for our volatile growing season than European staples
There was a time when growing Asian vegetables amounted to sowing a few Daikon radishes and cultivating some yard-long beans, and then as novelties.

But in recent decades, as gardeners — and seed catalogues — have discovered the richness of vegetable varieties from other lands and cultures, the world of East Asian edibles in particular has opened up to the broader gardening world.

Using unusual varieties gets to one of the key aspects of growing your own food: You discover new varieties that are either unavailable at the store or will lack the freshness of the homegrown article, even at the farmers markets…

Maine Public | Assignment: Spring Seeds
Maine gardener Tammy Neilson is ready for spring! She shares her favorite seed catalogs and shows us step-by-step how to start seeds indoors. We get a tour of her home garden with a few gardening tips along the way…

April 2019
Leader Telegram | Room to Grow • DragSmith Farms owners cultivate well-established business for future success
…DragSmith Farms now grows about 30 different varieties year-round. Seeds can be costly, and they purchase most of theirs, tested for germination and performance as a microgreen, from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Aided by the additional heat and sunlight, it's only one to three weeks from planting to microgreen harvest in summer; that period extends to two to five weeks in the winter months.

"The whole atmosphere is different in winter," Gail said.

Cut by hand and packaged in a clam shell, nutritious microgreens sell for $4.50 to $5.50 per ounce. One tray might yield about 3 to 4 ounces. Gail estimates that she processes 100 to 150 pounds of microgreens and salad mix each week.

"It's what keeps the farm running," she said. "You can have this small but delightful salad that's very nutrient-dense…"

Denver Post | 10 pieces of advice for vegetable gardening from the guy who wrote the book on it — literally • Matt Mattus' Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening is both a coffee table book and an indispensable gardening guide
While writing Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening (Cool Springs Press, 2019), Mattus made a number of valuable discoveries. Here are his top 10 ideas to help gardeners of all levels get more from their vegetable growing experience:

…Shop for quality and buy the best seed you can. Be it heirloom, open-pollinated or new hybrid seed, quality usually means the seed costs a bit more. The new, disease-resistant hybrids have been bred for improved characteristics and can be the best seed to grow…

…Look for flavor in new hybrid crosses and improved variations in plant cultivars. While it's true heirloom tomatoes are more flavorful, it's also true they can be more susceptible to pathogens and disease. Look for new tomato offerings from seed companies (like Johnny's Selected Seeds) where old heirlooms have been improved through breeding, but retain their flavorful genes…
April 2019 (cont…)
Vegetable Growers News | UNH breeding releases new cucurbits available for 2019
Brent Loy, emeritus professor of plant genetics, continues his ground-breaking plant breeding work as an experiment station researcher. His most recent work has resulted in the commercial release of several new cucurbit varieties. The new varieties are well suited to state and regional growing conditions, have improved marketing qualities, and exhibit intermediate resistance to powdery mildew disease.

"Development of new varieties is a key underpinning for production of abundant and nutritious vegetables. Improved variety performance in terms of yield, quality and ease of culture is paramount. Better appearance and improved nutrition and eating quality increase consumer acceptance and demand for locally produced vegetables, thereby providing more income to growers, and for regional seed companies marketing locally adapted varieties, helps maintain their profitability," Loy said.

Three new pumpkins, a summer squash, a butternut squash, and a melon have been released and are available in 2019 seed catalogs.

Johnny's Selected Seeds has released 'Renegade' pumpkin with powdery mildew resistance, both treated and untreated seeds. According to Johnny's Selected Seeds, 'Renegade' is a reliable producer in the medium to large class size with a striking, rich orange color. It is thick-walled and blocky round. Pumpkins average 14 to 18 pounds and have a strong handle and medium vine.

"Working with Dr. Brent Loy has been a huge help to me in the early stages of my professional plant breeding career at Johnny's. Brent is an extremely talented breeder with great attention to detail and a deep understanding of squash and pumpkin genetics. Each year, he generously hosts us for a tour of his research plots, and I'm fascinated by all of his projects and always learn a great deal. Brent's breeding work has also strengthened the squash and pumpkin breeding program at Johnny's for many years, providing many high-quality parent lines of diverse types of squash and pumpkins for us to use in our breeding work. We've also been proud to release varieties developed at UNH, such as our recently released 'Renegade' pumpkin and our 'Honey Bear' acorn squash. We are very appreciative of Brent's many contributions to the squash and pumpkin community," [said] Lindsay Wyatt, squash and pumpkin breeder at Johnny's Selected Seeds…
April 2019 (cont…)
Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut's Garden Notes: Dry soil means gardeners keen for lots of rain
…The blend Elsa seeded last year is the Five Star Greenhouse Lettuce Mix of red and green romaine and leaf lettuces from Johnny's Selected Seeds (JSS). Elsa says: "I've grown all their blends. They're all really good."

The JSS catalogue is a deliriously alluring draw for salad lovers. It has page upon page of specialty lettuces of all kinds, and enticing blends. My favourite so far is their Home Garden Salanova Mix, a gorgeous and flavourful blend of red and green butter and oakleaf lettuces, pretty enough for a flower garden.

Elsa's cut flower bouquets are a big summer attraction at the market. Most of her stunning flowers are grown from Johnny's seeds. Cut flowers is another of their specialties. I've found their Costa snapdragons to be unfailingly easy-growing, robust and beautiful.

Inside Ottawa Valley | Gardeners waiting patiently for warmer spring weather to arrive
…Not only do seed companies offer dozens more varieties than local stores can carry, the catalogues contain germination guides, excellent photos, culture tips, diseases and pests to watch for, and nifty gadgets and tools to make your gardening easier.

Here, I pass along some of the good growing tips that I have gleaned from Johnny's Selected Seeds…

Press Democrat | Color your world with cut flowers
…Plants grown for cutting are often planted closely to get a lot of cutting material in a small area, or to force plants to grow upright for long stems. Tall, narrow plants like larkspur or the taller clarkias can be planted at about a 6-inch space between plants. Larger plants like Shirley poppies or white lace flower (orlaya) can be spaced about 10 inches apart. Each species is different, so it's worth doing some research. Helpful recommendations can be found in the Johnny's Selected Seeds Catalog…
March 2019
Bangor Daily News • Business | How this Maine seed company adapts to its customers' desires and the changing climate
Just like fashion designers await the hottest trends for spring, this is the time of year gardeners and farmers eagerly peruse the famous Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog, looking for novel items like purple carrots and the latest microgreens.

And just like last year's fashion gives way to the new, Johnny's added 150 items in 2019, mostly seeds, as it does sell garden tools, manures and other products.

The company still is in its most active business season, which started at the beginning of the year. Just a couple weeks ago, workers were spending 11 hours a day, three days in a row, filling orders for a special offer of free shipping on orders topping $50.

"Our growth is concentrated in January, February and March, when people buy seeds in bulk," said Gretchen Kruysman, co-CEO of the company, which has administrative offices in Fairfield and research, packaging and warehouse operations in Albion.

"Our primary customer is the small farmer who sells at a farmers' market or brings their products to a community supported agriculture location," she said, although the ranks of home gardeners are growing quickly.

Every year the company has introduced new products, a handful of which it develops itself and the rest from other companies or growers.

"The breeding process takes about 10 years, similar to [development of]a new drug," Kruysman said.

That means only two to four new seed varieties will be ready for sale each year. Johnny's breeding team develops new seed varieties that could potentially grow into tastier tomatoes or purple or red carrots.

Founded in 1973, the company is owned by its employees, who continue to grow in number as farms diversify their products and new home gardeners join the ranks of people thumbing through Johnny's 244-page catalog.…
March (cont...)
eGro Edible Alert | Managing Basil Downy Mildew in the Greenhouse, by Meg McGrath, Cornell
Downy mildew continues to be the most important disease of basil throughout most of the USA, affecting plants grown outdoors at farms and in gardens as well as in greenhouses every year… Below are some tips for management, an integrated approach using multiple strategies listed below is recommended…

…Select resistant varieties. Good suppression of downy mildew can be obtained with new resistant varieties that started to be marketed in 2018. They are the fruition of several years of conventional breeding by breeders working separately on this goal. It can take many crosses to obtain a plant with resistance plus all the desired horticultural traits that are in a susceptible variety, which include for sweet basil large, smooth, dark green, downward cupped leaves with good classic sweet basil flavor.

'Devotion', 'Obsession,' 'Passion,' and 'Thunderstruck' are the first resistant varieties released from the Rutgers University basil breeding program. They are marketed by VDF Specialty Seeds. Organically produced seed is available. 'Prospera' is being marketed as organic seed by Johnny's Selected Seeds. 'Amazel' is a Proven Winners variety, its seed is sterile and thus sold as cuttings. Limited suppression is typical with 'Eleonora.' the first commercially available resistant variety. 'Emma' and 'Everleaf' (aka 'Basil Pesto Party' and 'M4828Z') also have moderate resistance…

State-by-State Gardening • Wisconsin Gardening | New Seed Varieties for 2019
I spoke with representatives from Johnny's Selected Seeds (, High Mowing Seeds (, and Seed Savers Exchange ( to compile this list of some new and very promising varieties for the upcoming year…
March (cont...)
martha • up close & personal | Starting Eggplants from Seed
[W]e've started many vegetable seeds inside my greenhouse — among them, eggplant. Eggplant, Solanum melongena, is fairly easy to grow and can be extremely productive. I love eggplant and plant several varieties every summer from small green Asian types to beautifully striped large Italian cultivars. Many of our vegetable seeds come from Johnny's Selected Seeds in central Maine…

Bangor Daily News | Here's what you can plant before the last frost
…When exactly you will plant or transplant your crops before the last frost will depend on where and what you plant. For example, broccoli can usually be planted two weeks before the last frost date, while cabbage and collards can go out about four weeks before.

To ensure proper timing, you can use a handy planting calculator like this one from Johnny's Selected Seeds, or contact your local cooperative extension for more resources…
February 2019
Detroit News | Organic Gardening: Johnny's catalog a handy reference guide
With a diverse assortment of organic and conventional seeds as well as tools, the Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog is one of the more popular sources for home gardeners…

For the amateur or professional grower of vegetables, herbs or flowers, Johnny's serves as a handy reference on things like optimal germination temperatures — there is often a "germination guide" that gives a graph of what temperature-range seeds do best at — seeding rates and time to harvest. This information can prove critical. Peppers, for example, germinate best in the eighty to ninety-degree range and as the catalog tells us "germinate very slowly in cooler soil." In Michigan's cooler climate, knowing this can make the difference between having a harvest and not having one…
February (cont...)
A Way to Garden | How to Grow Root Crops, with Daniel Yoder of Johnny's Seeds
DO YOU KNOW what it takes to grow a perfect root vegetable? When I recently asked readers and listeners what their most common seed-related issues were, one recurring theme surprised me: troubles with root crops, from poor germination of carrots, to radishes and beets and others that never sized up.

If you want to learn to grow any crop to perfection, call a person who grows them for a living, I figure, and better yet someone who does that in formal trials, where every last detail is recorded and evaluated.

Daniel Yoder, a research product technician at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, has a specialty in the world of root vegetables, and we talked about prepping the bed to reduce weeds before sowing roots crops; how to space and when to thin the seedlings; keeping them well-watered so they can bulk up; which are the easiest of each type, and more…

A Way to Garden | 10 Top Tips for Growing Root Vegetables, from Daniel Yoder, Research Product Technician, Johnny's Selected Seeds

What's the secret to growing root crops, whether the most familiar kinds, or even a turnip or parsnip?…
February (cont...)
martha • up close & personal | Starting Onions from Seed for the Next Generation
Starting onions from seed isn't difficult. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and because they are shallow-rooted, they can be pulled apart easily when ready for transplanting outdoors. Many of our seed trays and supplies are from Johnny's Selected Seeds — we've been using Johnny's for years. Once planted, the onion seeds remain in the greenhouse until they're moved to my vegetable garden. And by mid-summer, we will have lots and lots of beautiful, fat bulbs to harvest…

Ellsworth American | As American as They Come, by Barbara Damrosch
…Most people think of sunflowers as ornamental plants, especially now that they are so gorgeously varied. Colors include orange, pale yellow, cream, rusty red and a maroon so deep it's almost black. There are singles, doubles, round ones like fuzzy balls. The centers might be small and greenish; they might be so large and black they look like a total solar eclipse, rimmed with flickering gold rays. Some are pollen-less, and hence longer-lasting.

Some are branched, such as my favorite, 'Soraya'; others are more single-stemmed, such as my other favorite, 'Vincent's Choice' (both from Johnny's Selected Seeds).

Heights range from short to a record-breaking 25 feet, flower size from a few inches across to over a foot (that record, for the seedhead alone, is 32 inches)…
February (cont...)
Seed World | Q&A with Anthony Stevenson, International Wholesale Sales Representative : Friending Your Customers
…SW: How did you become fluent in Spanish?

AS: "I learned English and Spanish at the same time. My Central American family prefers to speak Spanish in their day-to-day lives, so it was easy to stay proficient in both languages as I got older. It's an invaluable skill. So many farmers' and workers' first language is Spanish, and communicating with them in their preferred language ensures that we can supply them and help them have the most successful farm possible…"

…SW: What problems do you face in shipping products worldwide?

AS: "Various import regulations can complicate the process. Many countries require specialized testing, inspections and/or treatments that are costly. Some countries restrict or prohibit the importation of certain species — nightshades, for example, which are a tremendously popular family of plants. Shipping rates and time to delivery can be challenging, but dedicated growers worldwide continue to come back and work with us…"
January 2019
All America Selections Blog | Favorite AAS Winners from Last Year's Garden
This past summer, I grew more than a dozen varieties of tomatoes, from giant beefsteak to medium sized saladettes, pop-in-your-mouth cherries to thick-walled Romas, to fleshy grape tomatoes. Of all those different tomatoes, two made it onto my 'always plant this' list, one of which was Valentine.'  My mouth waters just writing about this gorgeous little tomato; bright red, grape-shaped (my favorite for their dense flesh and versatility) and absolutely delicious. ‘Valentine' was one of the first tomatoes to ripen in my California coastal garden, and it kept ripening right through Thanksgiving. It was so prolific that one week after I harvested yet another huge colander of Valentines, I decided to make tomato raisins. I washed and dried the tomatoes, tossed them with avocado oil, kosher salt, pressed garlic, and basil flowers. They went into the convection oven at 250 degrees overnight. The next morning, I was met with the most aromatic, garlicky, sweet, salty little delicious nuggets. I foolishly shared them with my husband and daughter — foolish in that they ended up eating most of them instead of me! Ummm… I can't wait till spring!
— Nan Sterman • Waterwise Gardener • A Growing Passion
January (cont...)
Popular Mechanics| How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin • Or cabbage, carrot, or something called a mangel-wurtzel. If you've ever wanted to try raising big (really big! like a one-ton pumpkin!) fruits and vegetables, now is the time to plan your garden and order some seeds.
…An heirloom sweet onion, it grows from "jumbo to colossal" — up to three pounds, which is a big onion. Try this 'Ailsa Craig Exhibition,' from Johnny's Selected Seeds.…

…Johnny's Selected Seeds has been around since the 1970s and was one of nine original signers of the Safe Seed Pledge to not sell genetically engineered seeds. The website's Growing Library is a storehouse of videos and gardening information, including tips on maintaining high tunnels and calculators for seed amounts and scheduling…
January (cont...)
Slow Flowers Podcast • Episode 383 | The Joy of Seeds with Hillary Alger, Flowers Product Manager of Johnny's Selected Seeds
Hillary is here today to discuss that process — how does an established seed company like Johnny's, which was founded in 1973, select, trial, evaluate and bring to market thousands of varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds each year?…

…Even if you're just a bit of a flower geek, this conversation will engage and inspire you. Hillary also discusses some of the more than 25 new annual seed varieties coming online in Johnny's 2019 catalog, as well as the decision to reintroduce bulbs for cut flower growers. After more than a decade hiatus, the pages of Johnny's catalog include more than 35 narcissus and tulip varieties. Click here to download a 4-pp PDF of all new 2019 flowers
December 2018
The Spokesman-Review | Gardening: Weed out overly generalized seed catalogs
So, who are a few of my favorite seed catalogs? Here is a partial list.

Tops is Johnny's Selected Seeds out of Maine. This catalog features dozens of varieties of vegetable, flower and cover crop seed. It is the go-to catalog for many small-scale vegetable farmers in our area. Johnny's tests all its seed in its short-season Maine trial gardens before the seeds are released. At the beginning of each vegetable section, it offers in-depth growing information for that type, including charts of preferred germination temperatures. My favorite thing about this catalog is the pelleted seed offerings for small seeds like lettuce, carrot and onion. Pelleted seed is seed that has been coated with clay to make it larger and thus easier to plant.
November 2018
Grand Rapids Business Journal | Caledonia farm debuts year-round lettuce • Revolution Farms harvests first batch of aquaponics crops grown without soil
Tripp Frey, founder and CEO of Revolution Farms, said the farm will be harvesting lettuce three times per week, which will result in 4,000 pounds per week. He said there are plans to grow more in the future; the farm has the capacity to produce more than 350,000 pounds of lettuce per year. Revolution Farms currently has between 12 and 15 full-time employees, according to Frey.

He said the farm purchases a variety of seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds, a national seed supplier, to grow its lettuce aquaponically, without soil, in a 55,000-square-foot glass greenhouse.

"We have about 15,000 fishes, and we are basically composting,"
Frey said. "We break down the fish waste using a mechanical and biological infiltration, and we turn that ammonia into nitrogen for the plant. By growing it this way and in a greenhouse, we can grow the produce year-round and offer really healthy products to people. Consumers want fresh, locally grown food, and they care where their food comes from."

In addition to growing year-round salad mix, which includes green butter, red oak, sweet crisp and romaine lettuce, Frey said the farm will be using fewer resources than traditional farmers, such as 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent fewer miles traveled. About 95 percent of lettuce in Michigan comes from outside the state, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

"This method of farming is sustainable; you use significantly less water," he said. "There is no agricultural runoff, and we are not trucking products across the country from California. So, there are really no negatives, in terms of the product. It is really great for us."
October 2018
Seattle Times | In defense of the dandelion
As a weed, dandelions get plenty of attention. As a crop, they barely rate recognition. The USDA doesn't track data on farmed dandelions. (Generally, one analyst told me, he'd refer questions for such obscure vegetables to a growers association, but in this case, he doesn't know of any.)

"It's a minor crop," says Lainie Kertesz, Pacific Northwest sales representative for Johnny's Selected Seeds, a Maine-based company that typically sells both varieties of dandelions. It tends to be more in demand in areas with a large Italian population, and most varieties originate in Italy.

But that under-the-radar status could change. "There's a real growing interest in eating these chicories throughout the winter, because they grow and overwinter in the Pacific Northwest quite successfully," Kertesz says.

The Woodland Gardener | how to: fall garlic planting
…It starts with having a high quality supply of garlic bulbs to plant. I order mine online from a reputable seed company, such as Baker Creek or Johnny's Selected Seeds …

Truth be told this is only my second time to plant garlic. The first year was successful, so I am doing the same thing this year. Fall is the time to plant garlic if you want a good summer harvest the following year. It needs the cold period to enable the seed to develop into a bulb with separate cloves. I have read that spring planting can be done, but the results may not be what one is looking for. According to Johnny's Selected Seeds, where I got my garlic this year, planting should be done from the first frost date until as late as November… 
October (cont…)
A Way to Garden | What garden 'pests' are trying to tell us, from Eliot Coleman's The New Organic Grower
Q. Right. I mentioned soil blocking, and I loved that section because every year I swear that I'm going to move past either open flats or cellpacks in a flat and I'm going to block soil. Tell us just a little bit … is that what you do at Four Season Farm — is that one of your primary tactics?

A. Yes, well years ago when I started like everybody else, before any of these new ideas were common, we just used regular open flats with soil in them and spaced the seedlings. And then when they were ready to go to the garden or to the field we would cut them out in cubes, the same way if we were cutting brownies out of a tray in the kitchen. And the nice thing about soil blocks is if you get the potting soil to the proper moisture level, you're pressing the potting soil into little cubes with a hole in the top and a depression in which you can drop a seed.

The nice thing about it is that there's a slight division between the blocks because of the edges of the block form. And when the plant's roots grow to the edge of the block they pause there so they don't go out into that slight air opening. And boy, when you put these in the ground all of a sudden they have soil on all sides and they take off much faster than some plant that was in some little container and its roots began to circle around.

[The soil recipe and how-to for Eliot's soil block process, on the Johnny's Selected Seeds website.]
August 2018
Desert Sun | Well begun is half done: Shopping for your desert garden seed in winter
Seed Shopping in August here is equivalent to seed shopping in January back home. We just sit in front of the air conditioner while they sit by the fire.…

Dedicated to organic market gardeners, [Johnny's Selected Seeds] offer[s] an incredibly vast selection of greens, microgreens, sprouts and those snappy new veggies that are so in demand by organic gourmet restaurants. In terms of the standard crops, Johnny's tends to offer fewer choices, but those they carry are popular and reliable for large-scale cultivation over a wide range of climatic limitations.

For example, most broccoli are varieties of Brassica oleracea, but Johnny's offerings of seeds for mini broccoli is from Brassica rapa, called Spring Raab. This may prove an ideal winter crop for the desert as it's long-lived — overwinters if it's mild enough — and provide continuous new flowering stems in lieu of traditional broccoli…

Long Island Business News | Hometown Hero: Forest for healing
John Sferazo and his fellow ironworkers spent several weeks at Ground Zero clearing steel beams, chunks of concrete, office furniture and dozens of crushed fire trucks and police cars in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.…The result is the 700-acre Memorial Forest, designed as a healing retreat for military veterans and first responders suffering from stress disorders…

Modern Farmer | Five Field-Tested Tools Recommended By Modern Farmer Readers
Hand-Held Soil Blocker: "Even biodegradable pots made from peat or newspaper can cause seedlings to become root-bound. Not so the self-contained blocks this machine turns out. All you need to do is add soil-starting mix and water."
—Monica Conyers, Wichita, KS

The Forecaster | Harpswell Community Garden grows on solar-powered irrigation
The fruits of a new solar-powered watering system in the Harpswell Community Garden will soon be more widely realized.…Another piece of improving the water flow involved installing an irrigation system. The system was purchased last year with grant funding from Winslow-based company Johnny's Selected Seeds…
August (cont...)
Farmer to Farmer Podcast | Jack Algiere of Stone Barns Center on a Diversified Farm, a Close Partnership with a Restaurant, and Innovative Production
Jack Algiere, who is currently serving his second term on Johnny's Board of Directors, is the farm director for Stone Barns Center in the New York's lower Hudson Valley. Actively farming since the early 1990s, Jack has been the director at Stone Barns since its inception 15 years ago. Jack oversees the extensive and diversified farm operations, including indoor and outdoor vegetable production, small grains, and a diverse array of livestock.…

Garden Center Magazine | Bulbs & Seeds: Move Beyond the Basics
Following leading trends in bulbs and capitalizing on the foodie influence when selecting seeds to sell can help your garden center stand out… With collaborations between breeders, growers and chefs fueling the seed industry, Zuck expects obscure vegetables to jump to the forefront of seed sales."For seed companies, our big thing is trying to figure out what's the next kale," he says.

So, what'll it be?"Chicory is … on the cusp of being a breakout thing," Zuck says. "It has this interesting flavor profile, the bitterness." The popularity of Negroni, an Italian cocktail with a bitter complexity, and other signs show bitterness catching on. "Our chicory breeder, John Navazio, has this expression, 'Bitter is the new sour,' " he says, with a laugh. "Chicory is … satisfying that new flavor niche and the grower niche as well…"

Slow Flowers Journal | #BloomWithJohnnys: Cutting Garden Inspiration & Resources from Johnny's Selected Seeds
Hillary Alger is Johnny's Flower Product Manager, and she spends 365 days a year immersed in cut flowers and herb evaluations, as well as planning for the coming season and interacting with an ever-expanding community of Slow Flowers members, flower farmers, farmer-florists, DIY flower growers like me, and gardening enthusiasts… Here, you'll learn more about her suggested 11 easy-to-grow annual varieties for the residential cutting garden. This "set" will produce attractive blooms on long stems throughout your growing season… All the varieties have been rigorously trialed at Johnny's research farm and selected for their high-quality stems and blooms…
July 2018
All America Selections Flowers & Vegetables | YouTube Channel | AAS Tomato Profile: 'Jasper' Small Cherry Type — A 2013 All America Selections Winner
This video profiles the 2013 All America Selections Winner 'Jasper.' A very prolific sweet tasting small cherry tomato. It is an indeterminate plant with very good disease resistance, production and flavor.
May 2018
WGME | Maine company makes unique vegetables using seed breeding
"Plant breeding is the art and science of developing new plant varieties," Dr. Lindsay Wyatt, Johnny's Selected Seeds plant breeder, said… They take the best characteristics of each plant and bring them to life. "We have about 6½ acres of squash and pumpkins. Over 900 different plots of each one, unique, that we keep track of and get data on individually…" Dr. Wyatt said. To create "better-tasting," easy-growing and adaptable varieties all starts with the breeding program where they are looking at each plant's distinct qualities. "There [are] always changing environmental pressures, new pest and disease, different climate issues that we want to have new varieties that can do better in those conditions…" Breeders then weed out the plants that aren't effective, and keep growing those that are… To help perfect varieties, researchers get feedback from other farmers, gardeners, and even chefs. It is a long process. It can take up to a decade to get a new seed ready for customers, but breeders say it's worth it.…
May (cont…)
University of New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station | Just in Time for Planting Season: New Squash, Melon, and Pumpkin Seeds Developed at UNH Now Available
…Organic seed of Racer, an earlier introduction, is now available and is Johnny's first organic hybrid jack. Speedy ripening helps Racer avoid disease pressure. It offers highly uniform, 12 to 16-pound, round fruit with attractive color and ribbing, and strong dark-green handles. It combines parentage from Loy's and Johnny's breeding work.

Loy considers Naked Bear, a semi-bush, hull-less seeded pumpkin with tolerance to powdery mildew and some fruit rot diseases, to be one of his most prominent breeding accomplishments. Naked Bear gives extremely high seed yields, and the seeds are excellent for roasting and snacking, and can be pressed for oil. Uniform and averaging 2 to 3 pounds, its light-orange fruits with gold flecking also make attractive ornamentals…
April 2018
martha • up close & personal | Starting Tomatoes from Seed
There are hundreds of tomato varieties available as seed, and choosing them for the garden may seem daunting. When selecting our seeds every year, Ryan and I consider type, size, disease resistance and general growth success in our region…

martha • up close & personal | Preparing and Planting the Season's First Crop of Peas
Peas thrive in cool weather, and young plants can even tolerate light frosts. It's important to plant peas as soon as possible in spring in order to get a full harvest before hot summer temperatures arrive…
March 2018
Penn State News | Coming to a garden near you: An award-winning, Penn State-bred tomato variety
'Valentine,' a grape tomato developed by Penn State plant geneticist Majid Foolad in collaboration with breeders at Johnny's Selected Seeds, was named an All-America Selections winner for 2018…

Idaho Statesman | Double-duty: Grow corn to support bean stalks too
… The really complex part of this is the various hybrid sweet corns, whether it's se, su, sh2, syn, sh2 or ssw, identified on the seed packet after the species name. Cross-pollination between any of these results in tough, inferior sweet corn. Johnny's Selected Seeds' catalog, online, gives the best definitions of these types I've seen…

Growing Produce | Beyond Bell Peppers: 15 Peppers to Check Out
Want to grow peppers beyond bell peppers? Then take a look at these 15 varieties, which range from jalapenos to Hungarian to poblanos.…
March (cont…)
Portland Press Herald | In winter, Johnny's Selected Seeds just blossoms
On the day before the big nor'easter last week, workers at Johnny's Selected Seeds were scurrying about inside a huge shipping warehouse, filling seed orders that will go to gardeners — and thawed soil — around the world.…

Slow Flowers Journal | Spring in the Cutting Garden: What to plan & plant now!
During each month of the year, I want my garden to supply botanical bounty for my floral designs. Harvesting from my own backyard is very important to me because it keeps me grounded in the seasons.…

Modern Farmer | 15 Ag & Culinary Pros Share Their Favorite Heirloom Tomatoes
'Cherokee Purple' and 'Brandywine' will always be among the best heirloom tomato varieties, but what else is out there? Michael Pollan + more experts share their favorite heirloom tomatoes.…
February 2018
A Way to Garden | seed shopping, plus growing eggplants and peppers, with craig lehoullier
There's actually a whole lot of activity in the greens category in general. And if I pick… a Johnny's catalog up, it's got pages and pages on all of these different things you can grow as micro-greens and ones you can sprout. And things that they call 'Kalettes' that are like little Brussels sprouts–kale things growing on a stalk, so…

Lancaster Farming | Wholesale Market Can Profit Seed Growers
Selling commercial seed wholesale can bring profits to farms growing plants for seed. But, according to Pete Zuck, of Johnny's Selected Seeds, growers need to plan ahead to profit. Recently, he and another seed company representative gave advice from the buyer's perspective to farmers interested in growing seeds for the wholesale market…
January 2018
melinda myers | Melinda's Garden Moment Audio Tips
Valentine is one of the two 2018 AAS tomato winners. You'll enjoy the deep red fruit and sweet flavor of this grape tomato in as few as 55 days from transplant. The meaty fruit resists cracking and maintains its flavor longer on the vine than most. …

Press Herald | Two more plants from Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow earn accolades • All-America Selections and the Perennial Plant Association announce this year's award-winning plants
Gardeners who want to spice up and/or increase the health benefits of the crops from their vegetable gardens this summer have two good choices from Johnny's. … All-America Selections is a nonprofit that tests new seeds around the United States and Canada for their performance in the garden; winners have a kind of stamp of approval.

"Its nice," Johnny's Chairman Rob Johnston said in what I consider an understatement. He then added more.

"Normally, when we start a breeding project it is sort of like getting married and planning a family," he said. "When someone says 'What do you think is going to come of this project?' you say 'Ask me again in 15 years, and I'll give you some more information.' "

That time is up, and the results are positive…

Tri-City Herald | Garden Tips: Here are the best places to go to get your seeds
… [M]ore and more gardeners… shop online for vegetable and flower seeds. However, this just is not the same as browsing through a gardening catalog and dreaming about the coming season's garden … Johnny's catalog is … packed with … growing information and charts that compare different varieties… and gardening supplies.
January (cont...)
martha • up close & personal | A Winter Harvest & Our New Dynamic Salad Spinner from Johnny's Selected Seeds
Another wonderful bounty of fresh vegetables from my greenhouse … where I grow organic vegetables in the ground, using very little heat, all winter long … Recently, we received a large Dynamic Salad Spinner from Johnny's … big enough to hold eight heads of lettuce at one time. After our latest harvest, we were eager to give it a try…

Portland Press Herald | Garden Catalog Dreamin' on such a winter's day • This year's Maine seed catalogs offer gentle breezes and freakish herbs.
…If you're the sort of gardener who wants the very best, pick up a copy of Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog. The company, which is employee-owned and based in Winslow, hybridizes award-winning plants and sells the best plants created by others. It's also a go-to source for heirloom varieties. The catalog features wonderful color photos of the plants and top-quality tools for sale.…

martha • up close & personal | Starting Onions from Seed at My Farm
Onions started from seed generally grow larger and store longer. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and because they are shallow-rooted, they can be pulled apart easily when ready for transplanting outdoors. Many of our seed trays and supplies are from Johnny's … by mid-summer, we will have lots and lots of beautiful, fat bulbs to harvest…
December 2017
SeedWorld | Johnny's Selected Seeds Announces New Summer Squash
The classical plant breeding team at Johnny's Selected Seeds announces the release of its third Johnny's-Bred summer squash. The yellow crookneck squash, called 'Tempest,' was bred by Janika Eckert specifically for organic growers. Now retired, Eckert transitioned her summer squash breeding program to Johnny's Plant Breeder Dr. Lindsay Wyatt, who has cooperated with growers, university partners, and culinary experts throughout the US to get feedback on the variety's flavor and performance under organic conditions.

"Tempest is special because it's both beautiful and tastes great, making it an excellent example of the type of variety we strive to breed here at Johnny's," says Wyatt…
November 2017
The Packer | Johnny's Selected Seeds Wins Two Awards
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine, has been honored with two All-America Selections Committee awards for its vegetables. The company's Red Ember cayenne pepper and Valentine grape tomatoes were selected as 2018 winners, according to a news release. Red Ember, bred by Janika Eckert, is a cross between a cayenne and sweet pepper. The company has been breeding the pepper since 2010, the release said.

"Red Ember is truly a unique pepper unlike other cayennes," Emily Rose Haga, who took over the pepper breeding program from Eckert, said in the release. "The flavor is sweet and fruity but not overly hot, and the wall thickness gives it a lot of versatility compared to traditional cayenne types…"

Vegetable Growers News | First commercial tomato variety released by Penn State
The first commercially released variety resulting from Majid Foolad's tomato breeding program at Penn State University is being released by Johnny's Selected Seeds. It has been chosen as an All-American Selection winner for 2018.…
October 2017
Big Green • Real Food Grows Here | Donor Spotlight: Johnny's Selected Seeds
If you visited your local Big Green office late this summer, you might have encountered stacks of plastic buckets, waiting to be delivered to lucky schools waiting to sow their first seeds of the season.

Thanks to the generosity of Johnny's Selected Seeds, Learning Garden schools across the country received pails containing a full year's supply of seeds — enough to grow a productive garden from fall to summer and beyond. And since the growing season in a Memphis Learning Garden looks a little different from that of a Chicago garden, each seed pail contains a unique set of seeds that corresponds with Big Green's regional growing plans. So, while Colorado students are pulling up spinach, LA students can be putting down carrots…
September 2017
Vegetable Growers News | Funding supports marketing of Northeast-friendly tomatoes
A Penn State research working on new tomato varieties bred for Pennsylvania conditions has won a $75,000 Research Applications for Innovation (RAIN), grant to bring its discovery to market…

The College of Agricultural Sciences awards the grants through its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.

"We have invested a lot already in the program to develop new tomato varieties," said Majid Foolad, professor of plant genetics in the college.

Foolad has successfully bred and commercialized tomatoes with disease resistance that are rich in lycopene, which may reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related disorders. He has collaborated with plant breeders at Johnny's Selected Seeds on a new, high-lycopene tomato variety to be released this fall.

Foolad developed hundreds of new tomato breeding lines that are suited to the climate in Pennsylvania and the Northeast and that resist the blight diseases that can wipe out a tomato crop in five to seven days.

"The final and most important step in a breeding program is to market the new varieties," he said. "It's a great help to get funding from the college to expand upon that and commercialize our tomato varieties…"

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel | Second annual Seed-to-Table Variety Tasting in Unity draws plant breeders, local growers, chefs
Food enthusiasts Sunday got to taste new varieties bred by Johnny's Selected Seeds, grown locally and cooked by Maine chefs…

The jam, made with a new variety of grape tomato offered by Johnny's Selected Seeds, was on display and available for tasting Sunday at the second annual Seed-to-Table Variety Tasting at The Unity Schoolhouse, the site of the Unity Food Hub on Route 139. Plant breeders, growers, chefs and local food enthusiasts took part in the event, hosted by Johnny's and the Food Hub.
August 2017
SeedWorld | Lindsay Wyatt (Johnny's Selected Seeds) Transitioning from Grad School; Business Side of Plant Breeding
Lindsay Wyatt (Johnny's Selected Seeds) talks with Shawn Brook at the 2017 NAPB Annual Conference from August 7–10, 2017 at the University of California, Davis.
July 2017
martha • up close & personal | A Visit from Johnny's Selected Seeds
As many of you know, I am an avid gardener and am always on the lookout for innovative, sensible and easy-to-use tools and supplies. One of my favorite sources is Johnny's Selected Seeds… Not long ago, a team from Johnny's Selected Seeds came to visit my Bedford, New York farm. My gardeners, Ryan and Wilmer, guided them through the vegetable and flower beds and talked about how well our crops have done over the years. Our visitors also brought some of Johnny's newest tools and supplies for us to try — it was a very informative and enjoyable visit…
June 2017
Modern Farmer | 18 Incredible Edibles to Plant Now • Plant Outside Your Comfort Zone
Peter Zuck, vegetable product manager at Johnny's Selected Seeds, Winslow, ME: What's hot now?
"Generally the first to ripen in the field, our cocktail-sized 'Glacier' tomato has a rich flavor with hints of vanilla. It's pretty remarkable for something that early to taste that good…"

June (cont…)
Live & Work in Maine | MaineLife Episode 9: Johnny's Selected Seeds
This great Maine-based company is 100% Employee Owned! Johnny's Selected Seeds mission is helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information, and service.…

June (cont…)
martha • up close & personal | Planting in the Pumpkin Patch
…Pumpkins grow on vines, which means they take up a lot of space. I always plant my pumpkin patch in a roomy bed that can accommodate a large crop of big, colorful fruits. … This year, the majority of our seeds are from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Whenever I can, I also like to use seeds I've saved from interesting or tasty pumpkins I've enjoyed…

Lubbock Avalanche–Journal | Peffley: Chard will withstand Lubbock's summer heat
The leafy greens of Swiss Chard variety 'Bright Lights' are a nutritional powerhouse and the multi-colored petioles make for an attractive ornamental in the garden…
September 2016
Bangor Daily News • Homestead | Tasting Event in Unity Showcases 'New and Improved Vegetables'
…Pastry chef Kim Rodgers, who works at Portland restaurants Hugo's, Honeypaw and Eventide, said that when she was asked to create a dish from the 'Clementine' and 'Cherry Bomb' tomatoes, she wanted something that would be easy to transport and she settled on the sodas — one for each hybrid. She'd made unusual sodas before, she said, but discovered something in the process of making them for the seed-to-table tasting event.

"You think a tomato's a tomato, but they're actually drastically different," she said. "It was really fun to find that out."
August 2016
Seed World | AAS Salutes Industry Achievers
At its annual awards banquet in Janesville, Wisconsin, All-America Selections (AAS) recognized Jim Nau of Ball Horticultural Company and Janika Eckert of Johnny's Selected Seeds, two "horticulture luminaries"…

HortiDaily | Janika Eckert receives 2016 All-America Selections Breeder's Cup
Johnny's Plant Breeder Janika Eckert was awarded the All-American Selections (AAS) Breeder's Cup at the annual summit held in Madison. Eckert has produced four AAS-winning varieties: 'Diva' spineless sweet cucumber, in 2002; 'Carmen,' an early sweet red Italian pepper, in 2006; 'Escamillo,' an early sweet golden Italian pepper, in 2016; and 'Cornito Giallo,' a half-size sweet golden Italian pepper, in 2016 …

"One has to be both an artist and a scientist. First of all, you have to dream up something — a new vegetable variety. The fun then starts, in figuring out how to create the variety that you have envisioned — you could think of that part as the science…"
July 2016
CivilEats | Could CRISPR Gene Editing Change the Future of Ag? | We talked to traditional plant breeders about the new technology
Despite its somewhat vague status within the USDA, gene editing is currently not allowed in organic seed production, though it's being hotly debated. Many breeders see it as a potentially valuable tool for developing completely novel plants for the organic farmer. Others maintain that it is more or less unnecessary.

Lindsay Wyatt, squash breeder at Johnny's Selected Seeds, agrees. "Vegetables are really great in that we can make a lot of gains using traditional plant breeding out in the field just looking at the plants and making selections…"

Modern Farmer | Cropped: How to Grow Microgreens
You'll find a good selection of organic microgreen seeds in bulk at… Pick a single crop or a spicy or mild mix…

UPS • Longitudes | How Education Builds Customer Loyalty
A Maine-based seed producer bet big on customer service as a consultancy. The result? A crop of lifelong customers. Here's what you can learn from their strategy…
May 2016
Washington Post | Broccoli's big, flowering family of nutritious greens
Years later, searching for a sweeter version, I discovered broccolini, a trademarked green sold in produce markets that is a cross between broccoli and a leafier Asian vegetable called gai-lan or kai-lan. So I grew a variety called Happy Rich, another gai-lan/broccoli cross but one for which I could purchase seeds (from The plants were stately candelabras, somewhat blue-green and covered with small, tasty shoots. These bore white flowers, which, unlike those of American broccoli, didn't turn brownish when cooked.…

Maine Biz | Plants aren't the only thing growing at Johnny's Selected Seeds
Walking around Johnny's… research farm, one expects to see rows and acres of commercial seed-producing plants. But most of the seeds sold by Johnny's are produced in the parts of the world where they grow best, and then are harvested by Johnny's… Yet, in Maine, Johnny's is a beehive of activity…

Bangor Daily News | Pingree, chefs, business pros head to Cuba on an organic mission
Pingree's office came up with the idea for the four-day trip, organized by the Washington nonprofit Center for Democracy in the Americas. The group of leaders in organics, such as Luke Donahue of Johnny's Selected Seeds from Maine, left for Cuba April 30 to see what can be shared, gleaned and put into place. With commercial pressure from U.S. pesticide and fertilizer companies looming, Pingree feels the window is closing for healthy agricultural practices…
April 2016
Houston Herald | Radicchio: A cool season veggie
…Johnny's Selected Seeds has several types of radicchio seed, Chioggia and Trevisio, and they recommend trying different types of radicchio and succession planting to see what works best in your climate.

Garden Inspirations • National Garden Bureau | AAS Winner 'Carmen' Pepper in Caponata Quinoa Salad
March 2016
martha • up close & personal | Starting from Seed
We start sowing seeds indoors a couple of months before the last frost in this area… thousands of seeds… Starting from seed isn't difficult. They can be planted closely together in seed starting trays, and then pulled apart easily when ready for transplanting outdoors. Many of our seeds, seed trays and other supplies are from Johnny's Selected Seeds. Here are some photos, enjoy…
February 2016
Down East Magazine | All Grown Up • Rooted in the counterculture of the 1970s, Johnny's Selected Seeds is flourishing with the locavore movement, by Edgar Allen Beem
"The most important secret of success is to just keep doing it. It's continuity," says [Rob] Johnston."Every year, we hope we improve on what we do. Selling beans is how we make money to develop more beans."
January 2016
Mother Earth News • Organic Gardening | The Vegetable Seeds Have Arrived
Johnny's Selected Seeds is an employee-owned seed company and one of the original signers of the "Safe Seed Pledge."

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | 9 Watermelon Varieties You Need to Know for 2016

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | The Next Big Developments In Vegetable Seed : Rob Johnston & Lindsay Wyatt, Curcurbit Breeders

Portland Press Herald | Eero Ruuttila's years of growing lead to seed company gig Influences on the new research station manager at Johnny's Selected Seeds have included the poet Allen Ginsberg
"Every field is blocked out on a row-by-row basis. It's a big blank slate." Using GPS imagery, they create the map, then plug in information like soil formulation, any past disease issues and recent crops (for rotation issues). "We are starting to plug in the blanks…"

January (cont...)
HGTV | 10 Flowers That Give You Bang for Your Buck • Want a showy garden but on a budget? Check out these impressive and inexpensive blooms.
Amaranth/Love Lies Bleeding
Amaranth tops the list of ten beauties selected by Hillary Alger of Johnny's Selected Seeds that provide major returns for minor investment…

Portland Press Herald | Maine Gardener: Catalogs seed desire for new flowers & vegetables •Potatoes developed at the University of Maine should catch the eyes of garden catalog browsers
…While spending the winter's first snowy day perusing our 6-inch stack of gardening catalogs, I noticed Caribou Russet first in the Pinetree Garden Seeds catalog. Johnny's Selected Seeds had both Caribou Russet and Pinto Gold…

Times Colonist | Helen Chesnut: Seed catalogue's lettuces irresistable
… Lettuces and lettuce blends are something of a specialty … I find the JSS pages — and pages — of lettuces irresistible.

A Way to Garden | Power-shopping the seed catalogs, with Joseph Tychonievich
… And I love Johnny's, because they don't have the biggest list, but it's like it's curated — you know they've done the testing. They have such a research department, and I feel like the varieties they've listed are consistently really good choices.
December 2015
Floret Flower Farm Journal | Behind the Scenes at Johnny's Selected Seeds
…I've been a big fan and loyal customer of Johnny's since the very beginning of my flower farming journey and was excited to finally see their operation — and particularly their famed trial gardens and plant breeding programs — firsthand…

Bangor Daily News | 'Armchair gardening': Seed catalog season tantalizes gardeners
November 2015
CNN | Gourds saved by ancient ancestors
Probing ancient mastodon dung, scientists discover early humans had a lot to do with saving Thanksgiving dinner.

Perishable News | Kalettes Receives 2015 Innovator Award
Tozer Seeds has exclusive marketing agreements with select companies to grow and market Kalettes … Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny's Selected Seeds to small farmers and home growers

Growing Produce • American Vegetable Grower | The Quest for the Perfect Vegetable Variety
Rob Johnston & Lindsay Wyatt, Curcurbit Breeders
August 2015
NPR | One Small Bite For Man: NASA Astronauts Eat Space-Grown Food
Update on the Johnny's-supplied 'Outredgeous' lettuce being cultivated in space … (See also article published February 2014.)

Growing Produce | The Latest Vegetable Varieties for Covered Production
'Margold' from Johnny's Selected Seeds has a more regular plant habit and higher vigor than heirlooms, plus disease resistances for protected culture including leaf mold. This variety does not compromise on the excellent flavor and soft texture that customers have come to expect. 'Margold' is said to be the first hybrid Striped German type for the greenhouse.
August (cont…)
NPR's The Salt | Cherokee Purple: The Story Behind One of Our Favorite Tomatoes
…Rob Johnston is the founder and CEO of Johnny's Selected Seeds, another company that got the Cherokee Purple from LeHoullier and now does good business from the seed. Johnston says it's rare that an amateur seed saver discovers a variety that becomes commercially popular, but it's more likely for tomatoes than, say, carrots.

"Tomatoes are always a favorite of seed savers because they're easy to save," says Johnston. "And tomato seeds have long viability, so they might sit in a glass jar in somebody's pantry for many years before someone discovers it and decides to keep growing it." But those purple carrots you might spy at the market? That's the work of professional breeders, says Johnston…
July 2015
One Hundred Dollars a Month | Tour of Johnny's Seeds in Albion, Maine
Imagine the ultimate garden. Big, straight rows of multicolored vegetable and flowers… The grass between the plots is thick, lush and mowed perfectly…
May 2015
Portland Press Herald | Wish vegetable-growing season in Maine were longer? Extend it with a backyard tunnel or greenhouse
Johnny's Selected Seeds … sells some of the material a gardener would need to build high tunnels, also called hoop houses. The key piece of equipment is one of several Quick Hoops benders. As the name suggests, a bender can bend the top rail piece for chain-link fences — available at hardware stores — to create a curved support for the clear plastic greenhouse film that will keep the plants warm and cozy…
April 2015
Produce Grower | Making Green with Microgreens
Lettuce is a valuable crop in the US, and more growers are turning to hydroponic ways of producing it. Here are some consumer preferences and potential challenges to growing these leafy veggies…
March 2015
Christian Science Monitor | Impatient to Garden? Start Some Seeds
Buying plants is pricey, and variety varies. Seeds are cheap, if you plan well…

House Speaker Mark Eves | Agriculture in the Spotlight on Central Maine Jobs Tours
Lawmakers visit Johnny's Selected Seeds on first stop of day's tour…
January 2015
Kennebec Journal | Unity Food Hub on Track to Open in Spring
A pilot program that delivers farm produce to employees at their workplaces and plans to help farmers sell more wholesale products, are part of the work already being done at the new food hub.
December 2014
Vegetable Growers News | Kalettes Hit Market for Vegetable Growers
It's a newer vegetable that's making early inroads into commercial production… Johnny's Selected Seeds introduced the new Kalettes seed in the fall to direct-to-market commercial growers and avid home gardeners across the United States and Canada, under an exclusive partnership with Tozer Seeds…

October 2014
The Packer | Veteran breeder joins Johnny's Selected Seeds
John Navazio has left the Organic Seed Alliance after a decade as its senior scientist to take over management of the plant breeding program at Johnny's Selected Seeds, Albion, Maine. Company founder and CEO Rob Johnston has worked with Navazio in the industry for 30 years and described him in a news release as having "always been avidly interested in what the very most progressive, most innovative direct-market growers are striving for." Navazio has a doctorate in plant breeding from the University of Wisconsin, where he has served as an extension specialist in organic seeds…

October (cont…)
PPH | Kalettes May Be Coming Soon to a Garden — & Dinner Plate — Near You
Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow has been selected to sell this new hybrid cross between Brussels sprouts and kale.
June 2014
Delicate microgreens pack a punch of flavor
"Some prefer the tiny cotyledon, or seed leaves, which are first to come," says Steven Rodrigue, the research technician at Johnny's Selected Seeds, a catalog and online seed shop. "Others, like chefs, often prefer the 'true leaves,' the next few leaves to grow."

The latter generally have more color, texture and intrigue, although both sets are considered microgreens (as opposed to the next growth of "baby" greens).
February 2014
Mother Earth News | Prevent Tomato Blight With These Resistant Varieties
…But the end of the late-blight nightmare is nigh. Thanks to breeding work done by Johnny's Selected Seeds, Cornell University and North Carolina State University, gardeners can now fend off tomato blight by choosing from several good-tasting, blight-resistant varieties. Some are even "double-resistant," meaning they have resistance to early blight, too, which affects tomatoes almost everywhere.

After trialing in North American gardens, Johnny's double-resistant 'Jasper' cherry tomato was named a 2013 All-America Selections (AAS) winner. An early, widely adapted, indeterminate red cherry tomato, 'Jasper' received high ratings from AAS judges for its sweet flavor.…
February (cont…)
THIS OLD HOUSE | How to Start Plant and Vegetable Seeds • From tiny sprouts a glorious garden grows. Here's how to cultivate your own — from seed
Prep Indoor Pots: If you're starting seeds indoors, avoid exposing seedlings to pathogens by cleaning used containers with hot, soapy water and opting for a sterile soilless mix. Seeds will germinate in any container with drainage, from peat pots to plastic cell packs or even yogurt cups with holes punched in the bottoms. You might also try soil blocks, a potless option that involves cutting out brownie-like cubes of damp starter mix…
December 2013
A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach • Seed Series Kickoff with John Navazio
Ever grow an open-pollinated or heirloom variety from seed, only to have it not look or taste like the photo on the packet — or even like the "same" variety when you grew it before? Maybe not your fault. Seeds aren't like widgets; someone has to take care of the living genetics to make sure subsequent generations remain true to type, and even continue to evolve. But who's doing that critical, demanding work? I interviewed geneticist and longtime plant breeder Dr. John Navazio — former senior scientist with the Organic Seed Alliance and now … plant breeding at Johnny's Selected Seeds — to answer those seedy questions and more…
August 11, 2013
Hardy Vegetables Weather Outdoors Come Frost or Freeze, by Diana Lockwood for The Columbus Dispatch
May 29, 2013
In Defense of Grafting, by Anne Raver for The New York Times
January 2013
Tool Review: The Quick-Cut Greens Harvester, by Jean–Martin Fortier for Growing for Market

Maine Gardener: Invest seed money in startups like these, by Portland (ME) Press Herald gardening columnist Tom Atwell

A Spring Seed & Planting Primer, in Mother Earth Living, by William Woys Weaver
New York Times | In the Garden: The Cult of the Cloves
…This fall, she plans to plant 24 rows of garlic — 5,000 plants — starting the second week of October. (She often orders extra bulb stock from Johnny's Selected Seeds…)