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Who Owns Johnny’s Seeds and Territorial?

Who Owns Johnny’s Seeds?

Who owns Johnny’s Selected Seeds? And Territorial? It’s one of my pet peeves. The irresponsible, potentially damaging rumors circulated by blogs, forums and emails listing the seed companies owned by Monsanto drive me nuts. They list Johnny’s Seeds, an employee-owned Maine business as being owned by Monsanto. Ouch. Territorial Seed Company is always on the list.

The truth – Johnny’s and Territorial are privately owned. Johnny’s employees are also the owners. They purchased the company from Rob Johnson. Territorial is owned by Tom and Julie Johns. They purchased the company from Steve Solomon, its founder.

Erica at Northwest Edible Life (just started reading her blog, love it) explains how these rumors started and who owns what.

Facts matter. Please don’t help well-meaning but uninformed folks cause damage.

Who owns Johnny's, pelleted seed
I buy pelleted seed from Johnny’s

My order for Johnny’s and Fedco are in the works. I’ve done the reading and circling in Johnny’s. l’ll write about it soon. I’ll talk about what I’m ordering and what I’ll do with each item and why I chose the variety. The photo above is of pelleted seeds. They’re much easier to plant because they’re considerably larger. They’re easier to handle, don’t stick to my fingers, and are easier to accurately space. They are more expensive but they save money in labor costs if you’re a market farmer, and they save a lot of time. I spend a lot less time planting and thinning lettuce, carrots and other vegetables with tiny seeds. Adequate spacing is important to plants. They need enough room to reach their full size. You can plant fewer seeds and harvest more food.

Fedco offered pelleted seeds for a couple of years but didn’t have enough sales to make it work. I’m grateful to Johnny’s for offering these seeds. It’s not just seed to me, this is a service this small business provides. The people who own this company deserve better than rumors, don’t you think?

Published inGarden


  1. I haven’t kept a vegetable garden for a couple of years, but I’ve always ordered from Johnny’s Selected Seeds for that very reason: they are a small, locally-owned company. Their products have always been top-notch!

    • Their customer service is excellent. If I have a problem and call before the mail goes out, they mail a replacement so that I have it the next day.

  2. Ken

    Just left a comment on the northwest blog you mention.
    Re Johnny’s and the whole Monsanto turning the screws on Seminis thing.
    Johnny’s has been selling OPs for going on 40 YEARS, now employee owned.
    They have impressed me with innovative, and delightful offerings, like the year they first offered heirloom Russian tomatoes! Maine gardeners & growers rejoice! These gals n guys have earned the love, original signers of Safe seed pledge. Give em a call, you’ll be glad you did. (signed, just a grower)

  3. m

    Johnny’s isn’t owned by Monsanto, but sells seed from Monsanto subsidiaries.

      • Are there others? I haven’t looked at the lists lately. In order to not take chances I do business with Fedco. They inconvenienced a lot of us by dropping Monsanto seeds but it was worth it. I’m growing better varieties now. And you know what? Nobody suffers because they don’t have Monsanto seeds.

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