A Message from Johnny's Employee-Owners

Update from Johnny's Employee-Owners

Updated: February 26, 2021

We are only accepting orders from commercial growers and farmers at this time. We will reopen for home garden orders Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4.

Dear Growers and Friends,

Seed ordering season is upon us, and Johnny's employee-owners have been anticipating and preparing for many months for another extraordinarily busy growing season.  While the world was monitoring the spread of COVID-19, the seed production season throughout most major regions was excellent, allowing Johnny's to source and produce additional seed. Along with securing a robust inventory, we've created new jobs by building night and weekend shifts into our fulfilment process while maintaining a safe, physically distanced working environment.

Despite these efforts, the order volume we are experiencing this season from home gardeners has stretched the resources that allow us to pack seed and ship orders quickly. To focus our efforts and provide the customer support you expect from Johnny's, we've had to make some tough decisions, including suspending new orders from home gardeners on an intermittent basis.

At this time, we are unable to accept new orders from home gardeners. This is a temporary change that allows us time to safely fulfill the orders that have already been submitted. We will continue to accept orders from local farmers and commercial growers, to support the vital work of feeding their local communities, as long as we are able to uphold our current commercial order processing time of 5–8 days. We will reopen for home garden orders on March 3 and 4.

We respect and value all of our customers and, as growers ourselves, understand the importance of growing food and shipping on time to meet customers' planting dates. We apologize for any inconvenience these changes have caused, and we are grateful for the patience and support you have shown us.

— Johnny's Selected Seeds

Placing Orders & Temporary Business Operation Changes

  • We are only accepting orders from commercial growers and farmers at this time. We will reopen to accept new orders from all customers on Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4.

    For more information regarding commercial growers and farmers and related concerns, see our 2021 Ordering FAQs, below.

  • We are well stocked with seeds, tools, and supplies. In anticipation of high demand this season, we brought in significantly larger quantities of seed than in prior years. We update our website throughout the day to reflect current inventory of packed seed, as well as new items and sizes as they become available. Some items currently marked out-of-stock will become available in the upcoming weeks as new seed is received and packed up at our warehouse. We are also updating our website to provide more specific information on when you can expect items to be back in stock and available for purchase.

  • Curbside pick-up at our retail store is temporarily closed. We remain committed to offering this service to local customers from our Winslow, Maine location, and will reopen as soon as possible.

  • Customer service response times may be longer than you've come to expect from Johnny's. Due to an unprecedented number of phone calls and emails, we are experiencing longer hold times in our contact center and a 7-business-day response time for emails inquiries. We answer phone calls and emails in the order in which they are received.

Order Processing Times & Shipping

Commercial Growers and Farmers

Orders of in-stock items shipping via our standard method are currently taking 5–8 days to process. Orders of in-stock items shipping via our 2nd-Day and Next-Day methods may take 2 business days to process.

Home Gardeners

Home garden orders are temporarily suspended, until Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4, at which time there will be an estimated14–16-day order processing time for home garden orders.

Delays from Delivery Service Providers

At this time all of the major delivery service providers, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Canada Post, are operating with longer delivery times than usual, due to record high volume of ecommerce orders, COVID-19 limitations, and weather events.

We are doing our very best to ensure you receive your order as quickly as possible.

2021 Ordering FAQs

Is Johnny's restricting orders this season?

Orders from farmers and commercial growers can be placed at any time. Given the volume of new orders coupled with COVID-19 safety protocols in our warehouse, however, Johnny's will be intermittently suspending home garden orders. Our goal is to limit the use of these order restrictions and to provide advance notice whenever possible. When home garden orders are being restricted, a notice will be placed at the top of our website and within the shopping cart.

This decision allows us time to safely work through the significant number of orders submitted and to fulfill orders in the timeframe communicated during checkout. Currently, we are only accepting orders from commercial growers and farmers but will reopen for home garden orders as well on Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4.

Who is considered a commercial grower or farmer?

We consider commercial growers and farmers to be any person or business with the primary purpose of growing produce to sell. Many of Johnny's commercial customers are diversified farmers who use distribution channels such as farmer's market, CSAs, local wholesale distributors, or other similar locations to feed their communities. Commercial customers also include seed and supply wholesale companies as well as seed purchasers from government agencies and schools/university systems.

Why is Johnny's taking orders from commercial growers and farmers but intermittently restricting orders from home gardeners?

In order to support local farms and the communities they feed, we have made the difficult decision to intermittently restrict new orders from home gardeners. This decision allows us time to quickly and safely work through the significant number of orders submitted. Commercial growers and local farms rely on our quality seeds to not only support their livelihoods but also their roles as essential businesses that grow sustainable food for all our communities.

Supporting the needs of all of our growers and gardeners is important to us, and we are working as quickly as possible to resume normal business operations. We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Do you anticipate seed shortages this year?

Our team has been working hard to stock up on the high-quality seeds you depend on. We anticipated high demand this season and have been regularly bringing in new seed inventory from our suppliers to meet your needs this season.

In any given year, we experience seed shortages and seed crop failures, limiting the availability of some varieties. We do not expect any seed shortages outside of what can occur in an average year, and have ample bulk inventory on hand.

When can I expect to receive my order?

Due to high demand, farmer and commercial customer orders of in-stock items shipping via our standard method are currently taking 5–8 days to process. Home garden orders are temporarily suspended, until Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4, at which time we estimate there will be a 14–16-day order processing time for home garden orders.

Our team is committed to ensuring that you receive your order as safely and as quickly as possible. Many orders are shipped more quickly than the processing time quoted. While standard shipping typically takes 5–7 days, COVID-19 impacts have caused all delivery services, including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Canada Post, to experience longer delivery times, and delivery dates cannot be guaranteed by Johnny's.

Orders shipping via our expedited methods are processed within 2 business days, provided the order is placed by 1:30 pm ET. Orders shipping Next-Day or 2nd-Day Air are typically arriving as expected, but may be subject to shipping delays from delivery services due to COVID-19 impacts. (Again, delivery dates are not guaranteed.)

Our order-processing time may change based on the number of orders we are currently receiving. We will communicate the processing time to you during the website checkout process, when you select a shipping method. Processing times will also be shared for orders placed via phone.

Do you have any tips for ordering this year?

  • Plan ahead for the seed quantities you'll need, but please only order what you can use. Try our helpful Interactive Seed Quantity Calculator or our Vegetable Seed Quantity Charts to estimate the amount of seed you will need.

  • We encourage you to be flexible by trying something new or turning to a substitute suggested for an out-of-stock item. All our varieties are trialed by our product experts and carefully selected for your success. Tip: Browse through the Featured menu at the top of our website to shop by variety characteristics that are most important to you. Options include heat or cold tolerance, Greenhouse Performers, or even our easiest-to-grow varieties, Easy Choice.

  • For new growers, buy early but don't start seeds too early. Plan your seed-starting dates using our seed-starting calculator.

For additional information on ordering at Johnny's see our Customer Support FAQs.