Ed Hume, Ed Hume Seeds
A personality-driven, family-run business, Ed Hume
Seeds has a character unique among seed companies. If you visit the
company’s Puyallup headquarters and take a stroll through the Puzzle
Garden you’ll get a sense of what that means. Over the years, staff
members, visitors, and even Ed’s eight-year-old grandson have
contributed visual garden jokes to the space. (What is a 36” square
piece of turf with 3 shoes sitting on it? Answer: 3 feet in a yard!) And
then there’s Ed’s television persona. He began in TV in 1965, and his
show, Gardening in America, continues to reach millions of households.
Puyallup, named after the local Indian tribe, means “home of friendly
people,” and the staff at Ed Hume Seeds takes this to heart as they
welcome people of all ages to their 14 educational display gardens.
“Gardening should be fun,” says Ed, “because fun builds interest,
particularly with kids.” Garden themes include carnivorous plants,
plants for the blind, annuals, perennials, and more, but the most
popular of the 14 gardens is, without a doubt, the Puzzle Garden.
Ed Hume Seeds is a full-service rack company, primarily
serving the northwest region. This means that a representative will
deliver, assemble, and fill retail seed racks with seeds, and, at the
end of the growing season, come back and take it all away. For twenty
straight years, Ed Hume Seeds has been judged on the quality of its
service, personnel, and product line, and has been rated as “Superior”
by the Northwest Nursery Buyers Association. “We have fun, but we take
our business seriously,” says Ed.
Since 1976, the company
has offered varieties well suited for the cool, maritime climate of the
Pacific Northwest. In fact, it all started when Ed was having
trouble locating certain short-season varieties of plants, particularly
‘Early Girl’ and ‘Imur Prior Beta’ tomatoes. From there, he began
seeking out all sorts of plant varieties known to perform particularly
well in cooler climates and high altitudes. Gardeners in warm climates
that have both an early and a late growing season can and do check out
the short-season selections as well. Online sales to more distant
regions are a secondary part of the company’s business.
Ed Hume’s Tips for Seed Growing
• Do not cover seeds
too deeply. Some, such as impatiens and coleus, don’t need to be covered
• Avoid tamping down soil on top of planted seeds. This will
press the oxygen (needed for germination) out of the soil.
Intensify your vegetable garden space. You can grow a lot of crops in a
A thorough seed-testing routine helps to ensure that
the plants sold by Ed Hume Seeds will indeed grow in tough conditions.
Ed’s two sons, who now own the business, test their products in the
company’s own Puyallup test garden, in home gardens, at local colleges,
and in Elfin Cove, Alaska where temps rarely reach 60°F, even in July.