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  1. #17
    nick the grief's Avatar
    nick the grief is offline Gardening Guru
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    I think part of the problem is that they have seen some gaps in the market & tried to fill them and been cought out with the "sucess" and have stretched themselves possibly.

    It's a hard lesson learned Andrew and I'm sure your experience will travel a lot further than any good publicity they may hope for.

    On a similar vain I ordered some plug plants from Gardening direct 3 weeks ago, 1 lot that I wasn't expecting till early April arrive last week & then I got the confirmation of my order yesterday, still better this way round than what you've had. I guess you'll be going to marshals again.
    ntg
    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic


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  2. #18
    pigletwillie's Avatar
    pigletwillie is offline Ohhh Shiny
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    If you live in Leicestershir try James Coles & Son in Scraptoft. They have 180 acres in Leicestershire devoted to growing trees and they actually supply a lot of the other garden centres etc.

    I ordered a Victoria plum and it was dug up, root pruned and bagged up ready for collection in 4 days. It is a beauty, 5 years old and very nearly 10 ft high and a fabulous shape.

    It has been in the ground for a few weeks now and is just showing buds forming.

  3. #19
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    I think that everybody will have bad experiences with seed and plant companies at some time or other. I wouldn't touch Marshalls or Dobbies with a barge pole after what happened last year.
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  4. #20
    Jaxom's Avatar
    Jaxom is offline Cropper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley Jay
    I think that everybody will have bad experiences with seed and plant companies at some time or other. I wouldn't touch Marshalls or Dobbies with a barge pole after what happened last year.
    Lesley I think you are right.
    Dobbies have been my best supplier this year, with Garden Warehouse and Bakkers in joint second place. Can't compare from previously as this is my fist year for buying mail-order.
    What happened with Marshalls and Dobbies?
    Jax

  5. #21
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    We tried Dobbies last year for the first and last time. Out of three packets of tomato seeds not one single plant germinated. All my other tomato seeds from Thompson & Morgan germinated, every single one. The cabbage seed was dated 2003, the beetroot seed didn't germinate but to prove it wasn't the ground at fault I sowed a full row of OLD beetroot seed from T&M right in front of the Dobbies row and got a full row of beetroot. When we complained about the tomato seed they replied that they expect 75% germination but I expect 100% germination from seeds. After all the seed bill is not cheap. It wasn't just us. Someone else got the same tomato seeds and they didn't germinate. It's not good enough.
    With Marshalls I ordered onion seedlings (expensive) and they arrived nearly two months too late for planting out and instead of being in special root trainers "for a good healthy plant" they arrived stuffed in a bag all the roots jumbled up and pretty poor plants. Again with their seeds poor germination. I got just 3 plants out of half a row of spinach seed. Only half a dozen fennel out of half a row of seed. The celeriac was poor and the spring onions were poor germination. I expect better. It is too late to re order from someone else and re sow in the middle of the season. I don't care how cheap their seeds are they should germinate.
    Last edited by Lesley Jay; 19-03-2006 at 04:18 PM.
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  6. #22
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    I must admit I love the organic garden catalogue - will stick with them for my seeds in future - never had any problems. I am surprised at Dobies and have had no trouble with Marshalls. I don't think you are too late to plant spring onions - you'll just get them in summer instead!
    Best wishes
    Andrewo
    Harbinger of Rhubarb tales

  7. #23
    Geordie's Avatar
    Geordie is offline Tuber
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    Lesley,

    I am pretty sure that a type of seed (eg tomato) has to have a certain % germination for it to become listed in these catalogues. The % does differ with the type of seed you are germinating. I am sure some independent body will over see this as well.

    Just my personal point of view but I gave up buying from 'mainstream' catalogues years ago.....i get all my plants & seeds from local sources, smaller catalogues and/or websites, using a mix of heritage and newer varieties.
    Geordie

    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure



  8. #24
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    Geordie from now on I am just sticking with the seed suppliers that I like and trust.
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