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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Veseys Home » About Veseys » Website & Policies » FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
  1. When will my order be shipped?
  2. Why don't you ship (bulbs, potatoes, pelleted seed, etc.) to the US?
  3. Why are some items backordered?
  4. How do I grow...
  5. Why didn't my spring bulbs (fall planted bulbs) come up or bloom?
  6. Are prices in Canadian or US Dollars?
  7. Do you sell GMO's?
  8. Is your seed treated?
  9. What is your guarantee?
  10. Can I pay COD?
  11. Why do you discontinue varieties?
  12. Do you have heirloom seed?
  13. What is my hardiness zone?
  14. How do I know when I am 'frost free'?
  15. Do you ship outside of North America?
  16. How should I store leftover seed and how long will it last?
  17. What do I do with fall bulbs that did not get planted before winter?
  18. What do the zone numbers listed next to items in the Bulb and Perennial, Roses and Flowering Shrub Catalogue really mean?
  19. Will a Zone 8 plant grow in a Zone 5?
  20. How do I overwinter geraniums?
  21. How do I redeem my Veseys Gift Certificate?
  22. Seed Terms Defined
  23. How do I Harden Off a Plant?
  24. I want to start growing my own vegetables, how do I get started?
    1. When will my order be shipped?

      Because Veseys ships seasonal and perishable items, we work very hard to ensure that you receive your order at the proper time for planting in your area. We use your hardiness zone as well as weather information to decide when we can ship your order to you. If for example you live in a Northern area but own a greenhouse to extend your season, please let us know so that we can make adjustments where possible. Below you will find a detailed guideline as to when you can expect to receive your order. If we have your email address, we will be able to send you an email notification to let you know when your order has shipped.

      SEED ORDERS

      Seed is always in season at Veseys. Regardless of the time of year, all orders for seed and non-perishable goods like Tools and Supplies are usually shipped via Canada Post within 5 business days unless Express Post or Courier is requested; in which case we will make every attempt to ship within 24 hours. Any backordered seed items will be shipped as soon as they become available.

      ASPARAGUS ROOTS, POTATOES, ONION SETS , FRUITS, BERRIES AND SPRING GARLIC SETS

      We begin shipping these items in mid-late April, commencing with customers located in the higher (warmer) hardiness zones. If you have placed your order after it is already safe to plant in your region, your order will in most cases be shipped within 5 business days.

      STARTER PLANTS

      Starter Plants are very perishable and we ship them via Express Post so that you receive them very quickly. Normally we ship all Starter Plant orders during the first full week in May. If we have your e-mail address, you will be notified when the order is shipped so you can be sure to be ready to plant.

      SWEET POTATOES

      Sweet Potato Vines are sensitive to frost and cold, so we hold off shipping these plants until early June. They are perishable so we ship them via Express Post so that you receive them very quickly. Normally we ship all Sweet Potato orders during the first full week in June. If we have your e-mail address, you will be notified when the order is shipped so you can be sure to be ready to plant.

      SPRING BULBS AND PERENNIALS, ROSES, TREES AND SHRUBS

      We begin shipping Spring Planted Bulbs and Plants in mid-late April. We begin shipping with the warmest hardiness zones, attempting to have you receive your bulbs at the proper time for planting in your area. If you have placed your order after we have begun shipping by region, your order will be placed in a first come, first served sequence.

      FALL BULBS AND PERENNIALS

      We begin shipping Fall Planted Bulbs in late September to early October. We ship to the coldest hardiness zones first, attempting to have you receive your bulbs at the proper time for planting in your area. If you have placed your order after we have begun shipping by region, your order will be placed in a first come, first served sequence.

      FALL GARLIC

      We begin shipping Fall Garlic in early September. We ship to the coldest hardiness zones first, attempting to have you receive your bulbs at the proper time for planting in your area. If you have placed your order after we have begun shipping by region, your order will be placed in a first come, first served sequence.

    2. Why don't you ship (bulbs, potatoes, pelleted seed, etc.) to the US?

      There are two main restrictions that prevent us from shipping these items into the United States. The first is the cost of shipping. These items weigh substantially more than most products in our seed catalogue, and compared to their dollar value, it is not economical for the consumer to order these types of items from a Canadian company. The second restriction is placed upon us by the USDA. There are strict regulations concerning products that may harbor soil and soil borne diseases. These restrictions are put in place to protect the American Agricultural Industry.

    3. Why are some items backordered?

      Items can be backordered for a number of reasons, and it means that you will receive these items at a later date. Perishable items such as onion sets, potato seed, garlic sets, etc. are held until it is warm enough to ship them without any danger of freezing. If you have ordered a seed variety that we are still in the process of testing, we will send the bulk of your order and backorder that seed until we can ship it.

    4. How do I grow...

      Veseys is proud to provide exceptional customer service and growing information. We have published an extensive Veseys Growing Guide, and in it you'll find cultural information on growing seeds and bulbs, fruits, berries and perennial roots. It also includes information on growing roses, flowering shrubs and vines and details pruning practices, planting information, winter care etc. This guide is also available on line here.

    5. Why didn't my spring bulbs (fall planted bulbs) come up or bloom?

      The overall cause of a bulb not producing a bloom, but lots of nice leaves, is either the flower bud was damaged or a flower bud wasn't formed. No bud equals no flower. Cultural conditions can also lead to diseases or conditions that cause the leaves to be deformed or the bulb to disappear. The following may lead to no flowers:

      • FERTILIZING AND WATERING: If bulbs have been fertilized or watered too much. Most bulbs prefer dry summers and a single application of bulb fertilizer in the fall. If your bulbs are planted near perennials, annuals or a lawn that you are constantly watering and fertilizing, they will not be happy.
      • SUN: If there wasn't enough sun last spring or they are planted in a very shady area. Most spring blooming bulbs prefer full sun for 6 hours per day.
      • COMPETITION: If they are in competition with other plants, such as shallow rooted trees and aggressive perennials they may be weakened.
      • POOR DRAINAGE: If water puddles there, they will get basal rot fungus, not grow properly and die out. Bulbs need excellent drainage.
      • LEAVES REMOVED: If the leaves were cut off last season before they withered on their own. The leaves produce and store energy for next year's flowers. If they were removed too soon, the bulb cannot flower.
      • NEED DIVIDING: If they have multiplied and are crowded you may just need to divide them. This is not normally a problem in a home garden setting, but if there are lots of crowded leaves you can try division.
      • SHALLOW PLANTING: They may be planted too shallow. Bulbs should be planted at a depth equal to three times the width of the bulb, with a minimum of 3 inches (8 cm) for small bulbs and a maximum of 10 inches (25 cm) for large bulbs.
      • PLANTED TOO EARLY: You may have planted them too early in the fall. Once the bulbs rooted into warm soil, they may have started to produce a flower bud. Once the flower bud emerges it will live or die depending on the current soil temperature. If it emerges when it is cold, it dies and then next spring, no flower. Plant most fall bulbs after the soil has cooled. This is usually September in Zones 2 and 3, October in Zones 4 and 5, November in Zones 6 and 7, and December in Zone 8. Plant your daffodils in the early part of the month (when leaves begin to fall from trees) to give them extra time to become established.
      • ANIMAL PESTS: Squirrels, mice, deer, rabbits or other pests have been known to selectively eat flower buds in the spring.
      • WINTER TEMPERATURES: If you had severe alternating temperatures during the winter, the bulbs may have been pushed out of the ground or started to grow during a mild spell and been damaged by subsequent very cold weather. A heavy winter mulch of straw or evergreen boughs helps to prevent this.
      • IMMATURE BULBS: In rare cases, if bulbs are immature or too small, they may not have a developed a flower bud and so cannot bloom.
      • SPRING TEMPERATURES: If temperatures fluctuate severely leading up to bloom time, flower buds may be aborted.
    6. Are prices in Canadian or US Dollars?

      Our web site is available to both Canadian and US customers. If you are in the Canadian Site, prices will appear in Canadian dollars. To make sure, check in the top left-hand corner of the web page. You'll see either:

      • Canada (Switch to US)
      • US (Switch to Canada)
    7. Do you sell GMO's?

      To the best of our knowledge, Veseys Seeds Ltd. does not sell any flower or vegetable varieties which are genetically modified and we continue to encourage healthy gardening practices for all of our customers.

    8. Is your seed treated?

      Most of our vegetable seed is untreated. However some varieties of peas, beans and corn are available treated or untreated. If a variety is ONLY available treated, it will clearly state this in the description (for example, Eastern Butterwax Bean is only available treated). The 'treatment' is either a fungicide, or systemic insecticide, and sometimes both. Seeds are susceptible to a variety of insects and diseases before they germinate and become established as plants. Most commonly, seeds are treated with a fungicide that prevents common seedling ailments such as 'damping off' and rot. For other seeds that are planted early, an insecticide is used to ward off root maggots. Basically, seeds are treated against what most commonly ails them. Avoid planting untreated seeds in cold wet soils.

    9. What is your guarantee?

      Our Guarantee of Seed Quality

      As specialists in the mail order gardening business since 1939, we pride ourselves in customer satisfaction. In fact, we guarantee customer satisfaction as well as the vitality and purity of our seed.

      "We guarantee your satisfaction with our seed or we will promptly replace it free of charge."

      Your acceptance of our guarantee acknowledges that growing results depend on weather, soil, and cultivation; therefore we must limit our liability to the purchase price of seed.

      Veseys Bulb Guarantee

      We select and ship only the finest quality Holland Bulbs and commercially cultivated root stock. We carefully pack and ship the bulbs to you at the proper planting time. If you're not happy with your bulbs when you receive them, we will replace them free of charge. Your total satisfaction is important to us.

      Veseys Rose & Shrub Guarantee

      We guarantee that we will deliver rose bushes and shrubs in the size, variety and grade as specified within our catalogue. We further guarantee that your plants will grow and flourish the first season providing our planting instructions are carefully followed and the loss of plants is not due to weather or other conditions beyond our control. If you are not completely satisfied with the condition of a rose or shrub when it arrives, please contact our Customer Service Department immediately. All warranty claims must be received no later than August 31 of the year of your purchase. You may be requested to return unsatisfactory product.

      Veseys Mantis Guarantee

      Try any Mantis product that you buy direct from Veseys with No Risk. If you’re not completely satisfied, send it back to us within one year for a complete no-hassle refund. Mantis Patented serpentine tines have a lifetime guarantee against breakage. All Mantis products are warranted to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for 5 full years from date of purchase. During this time, we will repair or replace any defective part at no cost to you. This assumes the Mantis product was used and maintained according to directions. Mantis Parts - 90-day warranty on all Mantis parts that we sell.

      Our Safe Shopping Assurance

      Our Safe Shopping Assurance protects you while you shop at Veseys Seeds, so that you never have to worry about credit card safety. Ever.

      We want to ensure that every transaction you make at Veseys Seeds will be 100% safe, and you won't have to worry about unauthorized charges being made to your account as a result of shopping with us.

    10. Can I pay COD?

      Unfortunately, we can no longer accept 'Cash On Delivery' as a form of payment. Acceptable methods of payment for mail orders are cheque, money order, Visa and MasterCard. For orders placed on-line or by phone, we can only accept Visa and MasterCard.

    11. Why do you discontinue varieties?

      There are several reasons why we may drop a variety from our catalogue. Often it is discontinued because we are replacing it with an improved variety. At other times an item may simply be no longer available. If a variety is discontinued from our catalogue, but passes germination and viability testing, we will sometimes offer our remaining stock at a reduced price here.

    12. Do you have heirloom seed?

      Though it is not our specialty, we are proud to offer heirloom seed whenever we can. These items will be marked with a special 'Heirloom ' symbol.

    13. What is my hardiness zone?

      If you receive our catalogues, you'll notice that your hardiness zone is noted on the back of the catalogue along with your address. Or, you can find your Hardiness zone here.

      We always like to remind people that zones are not an exact science, and they can vary between your front yard and your back yard. The best way to get the most accurate notion of your zone is always to contact your nearest garden center or gardening club.

    14. How do I know when I am 'frost free'?

      The average frost date for specific areas can be found on this page of our web site.

    15. Do you ship outside of North America?

      Sorry, we do not ship outside of North America.

    16. How should I store leftover seed and how long will it last?

      Leftover seed should be stored in a closed container in a cool location. The seeds need to stay dry and cool, so should be kept away from humidity, sunlight, registers, and areas where temperatures fluctuate. Keep from freezing.

      The shelf life of seed varies from vegetable to vegetable and from seed lot to seed lot. Here are some basic rules of thumb that you can use: Store for 1 year: Parsnips, Onions, Petunias, Impatiens, and Geraniums. Store for 1 - 2 Years: Sweet corn, Beans, peas, leeks, Chives, anything that has been pelleted and most other flowers and herbs. Store for 3 to 4 Years: Carrots, Asparagus, Turnips, Rutabagas; Peppers, Chard, Pumpkins, Squash, Watermelons, Basil, Artichokes, Lettuce. Store for more than 4 years: Brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Brussels Sprouts), Beets, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Muskmelons, Celery, Celeriac.

      Seeds are a live product and their lifespan is affected by many factors. There is no guarantee that seeds will live as long as the times listed above. They can often surprise you by living much less or more than the rules of thumb. The most important factor is storage conditions. Cool (Under 15C or 60 F), dry (less than 50% relative humidity) conditions will get the most out of seeds. Warm, humid conditions will shorten seed life very quickly. There are many other factors out of our control though. How strong the particular seed lot is varies based on the variety, growing and harvesting conditions, age of the lot at time of purchase, storage conditions through its life and will vary from lot to lot. As a result if you are saving seed from one year to the next you really need to test it before planting it out in the garden. To test the seed, take a few out, place them on a moist (but not soaking wet) paper towel, fold the towel over and put it in a plastic bag in a warm (but not hot) area. Check every couple of days to keep moist and see if the seeds germinate.

    17. What do I do with fall bulbs that did not get planted before winter?

      We recommend fall bulbs be planted immediately after you receive them. You may be able to save them if they are kept dry and cool. Consider forcing the bulbs for indoor enjoyment. Here is a link to information on how to force bulbs.

    18. What do the zone numbers listed next to items in the Bulb and Perennial and Rose and Flowering Shrub Catalogs really mean?

      There are zone numbers listed next to all items in the Bulb & Perennial Catalogue, all items in the Rose and Flowering Shrub Catalogue, as well as perennials in the Seed Catalogue. These zone ratings will give you an indication of how hardy a plant is. For instance, if a plant is listed as Zone 4-7, this means it may not overwinter (it is not hardy) in zone 3,2 or 1. Zones 8 and above may be too mild a climate for it to thrive.

      You won't see a zone listed beside annual items, or vegetables in the seed catalogue, because they can be grown just about anywhere. You won't be trying to overwinter them, so it doesn't matter what the winters are like.

      Learn more about tender bulbs and hardy bulbs.

    19. Will a Zone 8 plant grow in a Zone 5?

      Yes, an item listed for zone 8 will grow even in zone 2. It just won't overwinter. Gladiolus for instance, are only hardy to zone 8, but we grow them all over Canada. In the description, we say 'Hardy in Zones 8-11; elsewhere treat as an annual, or dig in fall and store over winter.' Learn how to store bulbs overwinter.

    20. How do I overwinter geraniums?

      There are three ways to save your zonal geraniums from year to year:

      1. The House Plant Method: Prune the geraniums back to ½ to 1/3 of their original height. Then carefully dig each plant and place in a 6-8" pot (cut back roots to fit). After potting, water thoroughly and place the plants in a bright, sunny window. Geraniums prefer a cool indoor temperature. Geraniums will become spindly when grown in poor light and warm temperatures. During their stay indoors, water the plants thoroughly only when the soil is dry to the touch. Occasionally pinch or prune the geraniums to maintain stocky, well-branched plants.
      2. The Cutting Method: Using a sharp knife, take 3-4" cuttings from terminal shoots. Strip the stem of all but the terminal bud and one leaf. Dip the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone. Stick the cuttings in a seed medium (sandy) in small pots with drainage holes. Place cuttings just deep enough to be self-supporting. Water thoroughly. Place a clear plastic bag or plastic dome over the cuttings. Place the cuttings in bright light, but not direct sunlight. Rooting should occur in 6-8 weeks. Plant the rooted cuttings in 3-4" pots in well-drained (sandy) potting soil. Fertilize new cuttings every 2 weeks with 10-52-10 at half strength. Care for the rooted cutting the same as for the potted plant. (You may also take cuttings in February by following the “Dormant Method”)
      3. The Dormant Method: Cut away half of the growth with sharp scissors. Dig up the entire geranium and plant in a 6-8" pot. Store in a cool, dark spot at 7-10°C(45-50°F). Unfinished basements, unheated garages are ideal. Water only enough to keep the soil from becoming completely dry. All of the leaves will fall off, and the stems will become woody. In February, when light levels are increasing, trim the stems by one third and bring into a location with lots of direct sunlight, and very warm temperatures (your warmest window). Water just enough to moisten the soil. Allow the top 2/3 of the soil to dry out between waterings. When the new growth appears, remove the plant from its pot and shake off the old soil. Repot using new soil. Fertilize every 2 weeks with 20-20-20. This newly awakened plant can now become your stock plant, take cuttings once shoots are at least 4 inches long.
    21. How do I redeem my Veseys Gift Certificate?

      Unfortunately Veseys Gift Certificates cannot be used when ordering on-line, we must receive the physical copy. Veseys Gift Certificates can be mailed to us for redemption at:

      Vesey's Seeds Ltd.
      PO Box 9000
      Charlottetown, PE
      C1A 8K6

      If you still have questions, please email us or call 1-800-363-7333

    22. Seed Terms Defined

      Find definitions for seed terms used throughout the website and catalogue.

    23. How do I Harden Off a Plant?

      Seedlings that will be transplanted outdoors need to be "Hardened Off". This means acclimating plants that have been started indoors, to the harsher conditions of the outdoors, gradually.

      It is best to start hardening off plants around the time of your areas predicted last frost. This will ensure that by the time your plants are ready to be transplanted, all danger of frost will have passed.

      To harden off plants, start by placing seedlings outdoors for 2-3 hours at a time during the day and gradually increase the time they are left out every few days. It is best to harden off your seedlings in a shady, sheltered spot, away from high winds and bright sun.

      After approximately two weeks of this process, your plants can be transplanted into the ground. Remember that this should only be done after the danger of frost has passed. If there is a threat of a frost after transplanting, cover plants that are in the ground with some kind of dome/container, like a flower pot or plastic bowl, to give it protection.

    24. I want to start growing my own vegetables. How do I get started?

      Sometimes beginners get discouraged because they set out trying to grow too many varieties, and very tricky ones at that. We've compiled an excellent list of Ten Vegetable Varieties that are pretty much fool proof. We suggest you start with this, a manageable project.

    25. Still have a question?

      Please have a look at our Gardener's Forum. Use the search engine to find horticultural topics. Or you can email Customer Service.