Seed Counts Per Packet
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Coralee Beal
Posted on: April 25, 1998

I have been at some of your seed areas and found packet sales and bulk, but I found nowhere to tell me an approximate figure on the seed count for each order. Is your catalog more detailed?

I am interested in your St. Johnswort seeds. If you have any information regarding the seed amounts please let me know.

Generally, our packets contain enough seeds for 50 to 100 plants. In many cases it is much more, over 1000 plants. Sweet basil, for instance, contains over 1000 seeds. The vast majority of our seed packets contain 100 seeds or more. St Johnswort packets contain well over 100 seeds per packet.

For the more expensive varieties, we pack fewer seeds, as few as 20, and in very instances as few as five seeds. Generally, packets priced at $3.75 Canadian (US$3) or higher contain fewer than 100 seeds per packet.

We have resisted the trend to give seed counts per packets because we find that limiting. If, for example, we manage to get a certain seed at a lower price than previously, we will put more seeds in the packets. If a lower cost source of seeds runs out and we have to resort to a more expensive source, we will adjust the seed count so that we can continue to offer seeds to our customers. Companies that publish seed counts would have to stop selling varieties when prices rise, until they can revise the packet prices in the next catalogue.

Another thought about seed counts: we find that companies that publish seed counts tend to be very expensive. The seed count numbers can give the impression that there are a lot of seeds in each packet. In reality the cost per seed is often very high. Compare one company’s price of US$1.95 per packet of 25 seeds with Richters price of US$1.00 per packet containing 200 seeds. This situation is surprisingly common, we are finding.

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