Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company has been in the business of providing gardeners with top quality seeds and plants for nearly 150 years. The company provides customers with an assortment of:
- Vegetable Seeds & Plants – artichokes, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, onions, pumpkins, etc.
- Fruit & Nut Trees – apple, apricot, cherry, peach, pear, plum, almond, walnut, pecan, etc.
- Small Fruit & Berries – blueberry, goji Berry, strawberry, kiwi, grape, raspberry, etc.
- Perennials –daisies, mums, peonies, hostas, ferns, daylilies, poppies, etc.
- Rose Bushes – a variety of climbing roses and hybrid tea roses.
- Bulbs – crocus, daffodil, dahlia, gladiolus, iris, lily, tulip, etc.
- Ground Covers & Vines – clematis, angel trumpet, honeysuckle, lily-of-the-valley, phlox, etc.
- Shrubs & Hedges – lilac, hydrangea, rhododendron, hibiscus, etc.
- Ornamental Grasses – Northern Lights, Diamond, Pink Muhly, Pink Pampas, etc.
- Trees – flowering trees, shade trees, and windbreaks.
- Plants – dwarf trees, coffee plants, gardenia, etc.
- Flower & Grass Seed – marigold, sunflower, wildflower mixes, zinnia, buffalo grass, buckwheat, etc.
- Growing Supplies – pest & weed controls, greenhouses, harvesting supplies, plant food & fertilizers, etc.
- Sprouting Seeds & Supplies – alfalfa, bean, broccoli, lentil, etc.
- Heirloom Vegetables – pumpkins, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
In addition to the huge selection of seeds, bulbs, and plants, Gurney’s also offers gardening videos on its website, as well as planting & care advice.
Charles W. Gurney opened what would eventually become Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. in 1866 after returning from the Civil War. The original name of the company was Hesperian Nurseries and was located in Monticello, Iowa, but was eventually moved to Yankton, South Dakota in 1897. The company was renamed Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company in 1906 after C.W.’s sons and nephew incorporated. Gurney’s was family owned until 1942 and has since changed ownership several times. The company is currently owned by Scarlet Tanager Holdings, LLC and is located in Greendale, Indiana.
Reviews for Gurney’s are mixed. Many customers are absolutely thrilled with their experiences while others are quite dissatisfied. In situations where any seeds, plants, or bulbs fail to grow, Gurney’s policy is to replace or refund the orders. Most customer complaints seem to center on sometimes having to wait until the following growing season to receive their replacement plants, and complaints that items sometimes arrive in non-viable condition.
Reviews from ResellerRatings:
"I place at least one order with gurneys every year since we moved into our home four years ago and got a catalog from them. We've always had good luck with them, things always ship during the shipping frame they give. I've never had anything from them not grow yet.” – KayZc on April 25, 2012.
Reviews from DavesGarden:
“I have dealt with this company may times over the years and had only two problems. 1. They ran out of stock on an order and promptly issued a credit. 2. They recently shipped some grape vines close to the end of the shipping season. Unfortunately, probably due to the heat spell, they were not viable. After explaining what happened, they have put me on the shipping schedule for next spring season to complete the order. No muss, no fuss, no arguments. Just good customer service.” – JaGo on June 11, 2012
“Ordered from Gurneys and am glad I did! Placed order the first week of March and received trees less than two weeks later. The packaging was great, all the roots were still very moist. This was my first bare root purchase, I followed the directions from their website for planting and as of today all the trees are full of leaves and doing great.” – Scotty16 on May 24, 2012
“I spent about $245 with this company. I ordered countless seeds for immediate planting. Their website states that seeds ship immediately which is what I was counting on. After 6 days, nothing has shipped. Now I'm told that the "immediate" shipping on seeds is "if they're in stock". My gosh. How dishonest. At the time I placed my order I should have been told what was in stock or not. I will NEVER do business with Gurney's Again. I believe they are conducting shady and probably illegal business practices by charging my card and misrepresenting to me the "immediate" shipping claim. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. ANY COMPANY THAT OFFERS YOU $100 OF ON A $200 ORDER IS UP TO NO GOOD!” – Dogwood123 on February 20, 2012
Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company has a current Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of ‘B+’, on a scale of ‘A+’ to ‘F’. This rating is based on things such as the BBB’s inability to determine how long Gurney’s has been in business, and insufficient background information. The company has only had two customer complaints filed with the BBB in the past three years, both of which have been settled and closed.
Alexa ranks Gurney’s global traffic at 35,561 while the US ranking stands at 15,227, currently. This information is based on a three-month tracking. These rankings are determined by the number of visits to Gurney’s website by unique visitors and the number of page views while on the website. The most popular website will have a ranking of #1.
Compete’s Site Analytics website shows 577,954 unique visitors in one month, giving the site a ranking of 3,591 in the United States. Competitively speaking, Gurney’s comes in at #2, with Burpee in the #1 spot in the gardening website category.
Google’s PR Checker ranks the Gurney’s Seed website at 4 out of 10 possible points.
Gurney’s maintains a presence on the social media website Facebook. There are currently 9,958 fans of their page and they appear to communicate with their fans regularly.
In addition to Facebook, Gurney’s also has a Twitter following of 1,672 and follows 1,888 Twitter members. Their tweets range from current promotions to gardening advice and tips.
Gurney’s offers an official blog website that appears to be updated once or more per month. The blog posts offer followers advice and tips for growing and there is a link for current promotions as well, which takes you directly to the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Company website. Additionally, previous blog posts are easily accessed via the ‘Archives’ listed on the left side of the page.
A huge bonus for customers is that Gurney’s offers several ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, as well. Topics range from planting and pruning to applying tree nets and thinning fruit.
Transactions on the Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. website are encrypted and secured via 128-bit encryption. The website carries a verification certificate issued by VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA-G3 and is valid until February 12, 2013. There appears to be no other security features on the website at this time.
Google’s Safe Browsing diagnostic page for Gurneys.com indicates that there have been no occurrences of malicious activity or suspicious content on the website within the past 90 days.
Gurney’s offers very competitive pricing. In comparing Gurney’s with two of the other top gardening supply sources, Harris Seeds and Burpee, Gurney’s usually has the better price. Some examples:
One packet of Scarlet Nantes Carrot seeds
- Gurney’s contains approximately 1500 seeds and costs $1.99.
- Harris Seeds are $2.60 per packet (seed count not available).
- Burpee offers a packet of 800 for $3.95. It is worth noting however, that Burpee’s price is for certified organic seeds. For those who prefer to only plant organic seeds, the price difference may not be a deal breaker.
One packet of Miniature Pumpkin seeds
- Gurney’s offers a packet of 25 for $2.99,
- A packet of 25 seeds from Burpee costs $3.95,
- Harris Seeds’ price for a packet of miniature pumpkin seeds is $3.40 (seed count not listed).
Gurney’s ships only to the lower 48 states and usually ships most in-stock seeds and merchandise within 5 business days, via USPS or UPS. Shipping and handling rates begin at $6.95 for an order up to $20.00 and increases $1-$2 for every $15-$20 increase in order total, with a maximum charge of $15.95.
Plants and trees are shipped according to the proper planting time for the planting zone to which they are shipped. Gurney’s generally does not ship most plant items during the months of July and August due to the risk of heat damage to the plants.
While some customers have complained about not receiving their orders quickly, it is Gurney’s policy to only ship so that the items will arrive at the proper planting time for the customer’s area.
Whether ordering online, by phone, or by mail, Gurney’s offers several payment options. They currently accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit or debit cards. The company will also accept personal checks and money orders from those wishing to mail in their orders. At this time, Gurney’s does not accept PayPal, BillMeLater, e-check, EFT, QPass, or eBillme.
Gurney’s has an excellent return/refund policy. If customers are not happy with their purchases, Gurney’s will replace the item, issue a credit, or refund the purchase price. Plants, trees, and other nursery stock are guaranteed to live for as long as you garden or they will be replaced free of charge or refunded. All other products come with a one-year guarantee.
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