In the News with Johnny's Selected Seeds

Johnny's in the News

Media Coverage of Johnny's Selected Seeds

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…

September 2019
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: 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.…

Washington Post | Whether or not Roundup is safe, the gardener has better options
…Johnny's Selected Seeds sells a range of sharp-edged hoes

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.…
August 2019
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…

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.…

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…

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…"
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 (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 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…

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...)
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...)
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…"

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…
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…

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 sort of 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 kind of 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…
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…
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.…
January (cont...)
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.

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
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...)
Portland Press Herald | Maine Gardener: Catalogs seed desire for new flowers & vegetables Potates 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 manager of 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
June 2013
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 Portlan (ME) Press Herald gardening columnist Tom Atwell

A Spring Seed & Planting Primer, in Mother Earth Living, by William Woys Weaver


Joshua D'Errico

Johnny's Selected Seeds
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