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Ferry-Morse Gardener's Helpline® FAQ

Welcome to our Gardener's Helpline® Frequently Asked Questions! This entire page is dedicated to assisting you with some of our most common inquiries. These questions can rage anywhere from what our online Shipping Policy is all the way to what the process of hardening off plants means.

To make things easier, we've taken these questions and added them to five generalized categories below. Simply click on the text that is relevant to your inquiry and you will be automatically taken to the section of this page that covers it.

If we haven't answered your question below then please visit our Contact Us page for further assistance.

ARE FERRY-MORSE SEEDS NON-GMO?

All of our seeds are non-GMO and have been since our inception in 1856. For more information on our philosophy please see our Safe Seed Pledge.

WHAT DOES "GMO" MEAN?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. In agriculture, this label refers to crops whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering methods in a laboratory. This modification is done most often to alter the traits of a plant or to introduce new traits that it would not have naturally. Ferry-Morse does not carry GMO seeds.

DOES HYBRID MEAN THAT THE SEEDS ARE GMO?

No. Hybrids are the result of cross-pollination between two different plant varieties to produce a hybrid offspring. The result is a hybrid that contains the traits of each of the parents. Cross-pollination is a natural process that occurs within members of the same plant species. As an Animal Kingdom example, when a Labrador breed mates with a Poodle the offspring is a cross-breed Labradoodle.

DOES FERRY-MORSE USE NEONICOTINOIDS?

Ferry-Morse Seeds does not sell, nor have we ever sold any seed treated with neonicotinoids, or neonics for short. The impact of this class of chemical on pollinating insects such as honey bees and native bees is a cause of environmental concern. This is why Ferry-Morse Seeds has not and will not use neonicotinoid chemicals at any time.

WHAT ARE ORGANIC SEEDS?

100% certified Organic seeds are harvested from plants grown without synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. They harbor no residues from these chemicals. Organically grown seed produces hearty, robust plants already adapted to Organic growing conditions.

WHAT IS AN OPEN-POLLINATED VARIETY?

An open-pollinated variety relies on natural pollination from wind and insects, and holds on to the parent’s characteristics generation after generation. This is important as it allows saved seed to produce identically if used again. Seed from an open-pollinated plant can be saved to be used again, while seed from a hybrid variety should not be saved.

WHAT IS AN HEIRLOOM VARIETY?

Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated seeds that have been saved from generation to generation. Usually varieties referred to as heirloom have been around for more than 50 years and offer a wonderful history in the names and flavors that continually provide dependable quality season after season. The seed from heirloom plants can be saved at the end of the season to be used again the next year.

WHAT IS CROP ROTATION?

Crop rotation is one of the oldest and most effective strategies of controlling potential gardening problems. It is as simple as planning to plant a selected crop in the east end of the garden one year, and then the next season plant it in the west side of the garden. Plants that follow should be from a different family than the previous one. It is ideal for most crops to wait 3 years before planting in the original area. Moving crops to different areas of the garden each year provides many advantages such as maintaining soil fertility, reducing soil erosion, prevents diseases and pests, helps to control weeds and reduces reliance of synthetic chemicals.

WHAT IS HARDENING OFF?

Hardening off is the process of gradually transplanting a plant from a warm, comfortable indoor environment to the cool, windy outdoors. This process generally takes about 7-10 days. Place plants in the sun for an hour the first day, gradually increasing the exposure for about a week until plants can accept a full day of direct sunlight. After a couple of full days outside, the plants should be left out overnight, unless there is a danger of frost. Make sure the transplants are well watered during the process.

WHAT IS DEADHEADING?

Deadheading is the process of extending the flowering period of a plant by removing dead flowers once they have finished blooming. Check your plants while watering to see what ‘maintenance’ is required – usually taking a few minutes before or after watering to remove faded flowers or seed pods can help keep plants looking beautiful!

HOW DO I START MY SEEDS INDOORS?

Starting seeds indoors is a method of seed-germination that helps to develop seedlings indoors before transplanting to a larger pot or being transplanted into the garden.

  • Using Jiffy peat pellets or a combination of peat pots and starting mix is the perfect start to a successful gardening experience.  
  • Be sure to follow packet directions for sowing depth and spacing, and don’t forget to label what you have planted.  
  • Cover your tray or flat of newly planted seeds with a plastic dome and remove once the seedling has fully emerged.  
  • Use Grow lights to help with germination and growth.  
  • Place your flat or tray somewhere warm (on a heat mat or on top of refrigerator) to warm the soil and promote germination.  
  • Be sure to remove from heat once seedlings start to emerge to keep roots safe.  
  • Keep your growing medium consistently moist – seedlings cannot tolerate dry conditions.

WHY AND HOW SHOULD I USE PLANT NUTRIENTS?

SUPERthrive plant nutrients can be used on plants at every stage it's life. SUPERthrive is a high-quality vitamin solution that promotes root development and builds plant vigor. It is ideal for starting, transplanting, and maintenance of plants, houseplants, trees, and more. Simply mix the SUPERthrive product according to its packaging instructions and use accordingly.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DETERMINATE TOMATOES AND INDETERMINATE TOMATOES?

Determinate tomato varieties are most often "bush type" tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes will set all their fruit in a certain period of time and do not need to be pruned. They grow well in a cage and do not require staking. Determinate tomatoes are smaller and produce fruit early in season.

Indeterminate tomato varieties will require staking and will continue to grow and produce until your first frost date arrives. Indeterminate tomatoes will set  their fruit along their growing stems, which should be kept off of the ground. Longer growing period than determinate.

WHAT IS SUCCESSION PLANTING/SUCCESSION GARDENING?

Succession gardening is a method of planting a second or third crop where another crop has finished growing. With this method, you can always be using your garden space for more fresh produce. Once early maturing plants have finished, you can plant a second crop in their place (to get ahead, try starting plants in Jiffy peat pots).

After your second planting has been harvested you can usually plant a cool weather crop for late season enjoyment. To allow enough time for plants to mature, add the days to germination and maturity on the back of the seed packet and be sure to plant at least that many days before a likely first frost date for your region. Most greens (lettuce, kale, endive, spinach), radishes, bush beans, and peas can be planted mid summer and harvested in the fall for regions with a September/October first frost date.

WHAT IS SUCCESSION PLANTING/SUCCESSION GARDENING?

Garden inoculant is a fine powder applied to seeds at time of planting. Inoculant is living bacteria that enables garden bean and pea plants to produce nitrogen fixing nodules along the roots which act to gather nitrogen (which is vital for plant growth) from the air and soil. This process results in better growth and production. In addition, the nitrogen gathered stays in the soil at the end of the season for the next season’s crops to profit from.

NOTE: Store it in a cool place. It is best to use inoculant in the year it was purchased. Excess inoculant can be worked into the soil.

SHIPPING POLICY

**IMPORTANT NOTICE** The United States Postal Service is currently experiencing carrier shipping delays on all packages due to an unprecedented volume of parcel shipments. Because of this, your Ferry-Morse package may be temporarily delayed.

All orders are shipped within 2 business days of purchase via either USPS or FedEx. Seed orders will arrive within 7-10 business days from purchase. Home Décor items are shipped separately and will arrive between 7-10 days from purchase.

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

At this time, we only ship orders within the United States. We cannot process international orders.

FERRY-MORSE RETURNS POLICY

We have a 30-day return policy for items purchased at ferrymorse.com. Products purchased at a retail store must be returned to the original place of purchase and are subject to that store's return policy. If you placed an online purchase with ferrymorse.com are not satisfied, please return your order along with your Contact Information and FM Order number to:

Ferry-Morse Online Returns
202 S Washington St
Norton, MA 02766

For e-gift card returns, please email us at info@ferrymorse.com.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

In keeping with the custom of the seed trade, Ferry-Morse shall not be liable for more than the purchase price of the item. Ferry Morse does not cover return shipping costs.

FERRY-MORSE GIFT CARDS

Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are delivered via email immediately upon purchase. Our gift cards have no additional processing fees and never expire. Gift cards can only be applied to online ferrymorse.com orders and cannot be applied to in-store purchases.

OUT OF STOCK PRODUCTS

Once an item goes Out of Stock, it is not likely to come back in stock until the next growing season. This is in keeping with our standards for selling the freshest possible seeds.

I RECEIVED THE WRONG PRODUCT. HOW CAN I GET MY ORDER CORRECTED?

Your satisfaction is important to us, so we want to hear from you when we make mistakes. If you have received an order in error, please let us know by calling 1-508-928-GROW (4769) and we will do our best to correct it.

HOW DO I CANCEL OR EDIT MY ORDER?

To cancel or edit your order all you have to do is log-in to your account from this page and select Cancel Order, Edit Order or Re-Order. If you do not have an account with us then you should be able to create an account using the same credentials (name, email, phone, etc.) you used when checking-out on our site. Using these credentials should populate past/relevant orders to your account.

If you have forgotten your password, please select Forgot your Password? in order to recover or reset your account. Please contact us if you have any issues with completing such requests.

You can also Contact Us by phone 1-508-928-GROW (4769) or email at info@ferrymorse.com for assistance.

DO YOU HAVE A SEED CATALOG THAT I CAN ORDER?

We currently do not have a seed catalog for mailing. We understand that many of our gardeners prefer shopping via seed catalogs but we can promise you that our website has a secure checkout portal (where your personal information is never shared nor sold).

We also try to make our website as user friendly as possible! If you're unsure of how to navigate the website then we suggest that you first try using the 'Search' bar located on our homepage. To get back to our homepage, simply click on our logo in the upper left hand corner.

Once on the homepage, you will see the Search bar. Type in keywords (such as "basil seeds" for example) and if available, our search bar will present relevant options for you to click on. Clicking on the products will bring you to the product page.

From the product page you can simply click on "Add to Cart." You can also choose quantities from the product page. Once you have finished shopping you can visit the Cart page and begin our secure checkout process. To get to your cart you click on the Shopping Basket icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Voila!

You can also call our Customer Service number at 1-508-928-GROW (4769) for assistance with Online Ordering.

HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU?

You can contact us by sending an email to info@ferrymorse.com or you can submit a contact form via our Contact Us page (click here to visit our Contact Us page).

You can also call our Customer Service team at 1-508-928-GROW (4769) available daily from 7am-11pm CT.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce Plantling from Ferry-Morse!

PLANTLINGS™ LIVE BABY PLANTS

WHAT ARE PLANTLINGS™?

Plantlings are baby plants delivered straight from our nursery to your home. These LIVE little plants will be ready to transplant, easy to grow and guaranteed to be strong and healthy!

HOW BIG ARE PLANTLINGS?

Plantlings, upon their arrival to you, will range in size from 2"-4" tall. You can also view specific product pages for visual references and plant specifications.

WHEN WILL MY PLANTLINGS SHIP?

Pre-Orders for the 2021 spring season are now open! PLANTS WILL BEGIN SHIPPING MARCH 15TH

Plantlings typically ship within 1-5 business days, orders that are placed before Wednesday at 12:00 PM EST will ship same week. If your order comes in after that time it will ship the following Monday. Please note we do not ship live plants orders from Friday to Sunday to minimize the transit time to your location.  To ensure we are sending you well-developed healthy live plants, we only stock and ship plantlings that are in-season.

When we are not in season our plantlings may be available for Pre-Order. If this is the case then you can simply place a pre-order for the plantlings you would like and they will ship on the specified date (date will be located on the Plantlings Page).

WILL MY CREDIT CARD BE CHARGED BEFORE MY PLANTLINGS ARE SHIPPED?

Yes, your credit card will be charged immediately upon placing your order. Working with our grower, we want to provide the best possible information and forecasting so we have healthy plantlings on hand when it is time to ship.

WHAT IS MY GROWING ZONE?

A growing zone or a “Hardiness Zone” is a USDA system developed to aid gardeners with an understanding of when to plant fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs and other plants based upon geographical location. To find your growing zone see the USDA map here.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY PLANTLINGS WHEN THEY ARRIVE?

Please see our Plantlings™ Care  Instructions here.

HOW WILL MY PLANTLINGS SHIP?

Plantlings ship in a custom plastic clamshell which has been designed to protect your baby plants so they are delivered in perfect condition. We use priority shipping services to ensure that your plantlings are delivered within 3 business days of their shipping date as well.

ARE THERE SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS ON PLANTLINGS?

To comply with state shipping regulations, we are unable to ship certain live plant varieties to some states. If you have any questions regarding this please visit our Contact Us page.

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