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The garden will save you from sanctions: how prices for seeds have changed and what to expect for summer residents in 2023

Date: October 1, 2023 Time: 15:17:40

We buy the right seeds and tools for the garden.

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN

“The dacha will feed us!” – Traditionally, many Russians think about difficult times. But the current “tough times” are not quite standard. Some foreign companies refuse to supply goods to Russia not only for “double” purposes, but also for single purposes. Including such harmless products as seeds and garden tools. And for the second year in a row, the headlines have been screaming in fear: “Because of sanctions, the Russians will run out of seeds!”, “Seed potatoes in Russia are 50-80% imported!”.

And now comes the gardening season. KP.RU decided to check whether the dacha planting campaign, and therefore the plans for “self-sufficiency” with berries and vegetables, is threatened?

“Obzhorka” and “Borscht” READY

In the nearest Leroy Merlin, everything is in its usual place: seeds, garden equipment and the hypermarket itself. And in “Auchan” “seasonal products” to the delight of vacationers are already ready, as if nothing had happened. And from the variety of seeds in online stores, it dazzles the eyes. There are dozens of varieties of single tomatoes, not to mention parsley. Lawn mowers, walk-behind tractors, pumps, generators, cultivators, brushcutters and all sorts of things for seedlings and greenhouses, yes, in any quantity.

The seeds are mostly Russian. For the current season, our producers have carefully prepared and included “marketing for dummies”. I immediately stumbled upon the domestic “Borsch Seed Set” for 67 rubles – there are beets, and carrots, and parsley with dill. There is simply no meat. This is the right approach: we urban gardeners don’t need fancy scientific names; it is better to explain what kind of food will grow from this. And another big producer has some names of leaf lettuce that are worth something: “Crunch-Crunch”, “Glutton” … Are you ready to immediately rush to increase your food safety with your own hands?

Dutch seeds, by the way, are also available. And he would not say that his share somehow visibly decreased: in the assortment “for summer residents” domestic products prevailed earlier.

The technique is predominantly Chinese. Or Russian with Chinese components. But the western one… Although no, stop. At first it seemed to me that the European brands were disappearing. But this is because the eyes were looking for the usual memorized names like Bosch. And if we ignore the well-known transnational brands, then German technology is also represented. For example, here are Denzel’s garden tools: they haven’t gone anywhere.

The price of seeds for the year has not changed. At the same time, while Price.ru analysts rejoice, most summer kits have dropped in price by 15-30% compared to last March (when prices for everything skyrocketed). This applies to both Russian and imported lawn mowers, cultivators and walk-behind tractors.

Only numbers

Photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN


– What changed? Yes, for ordinary summer residents, almost nothing, confirms the chairman of the all-Russian public organization “Gardeners of Russia”, the founder of the newspaper “Your 6 acres” Andrey Tumanov.

This is a problem for farms if imported seed potatoes of a certain variety, from which crisps are made well, suddenly disappear. For summer residents, the task is not worth it, and the volumes are not the same. For six acres, some are usually content with their own seed obtained from last year’s crop. And in general:

“Small private companies still bring seeds to Russia even from the United States, not to mention the Netherlands,” says Tumanov. – Same thing with seedlings. Nursery stocks were imported in large quantities from Poland and grown here, and continue to do so. In general, it is a sin that Russian summer residents complain about the variety – it is huge. You can complain about the quality of the seeds we sell. But our average summer resident loses more with improper farming practices. And even more so – in the fact that he believes in a miracle and promises a fabulous harvest without problems and buys seeds and seedlings from no one knows who “from the Internet.”

The standard wiring scheme for those who want to get a “super harvest using the latest technologies” this season cannot be done and looks like this. Each “miracle strawberry” or “super tomato” is advertised on the Internet, which gives unprecedented yield and at the same time does not require special care. This is not necessarily about seeds, perhaps a miracle remedy from the series “Drip four drops and the harvest will triple.”

– And it is quite difficult to bring scammers to justice. I do not know of a single such case, – says Andrey Tumanov. “Also, the seeds are a lottery in every way. Even if the most overwhelmed are sold as an “elite supergrade”, someone has something, albeit not in a huge amount, but it can grow. By the way, I know one such story. An employee of the factory where they made raw peppers decided not to throw away the seeds of this pepper, but to sell it on the Internet. The man built the cabin.

In order not to step on the old rake, many Russians this year decided to return to their “estate” and feed themselves.

Photo: Vladimir VELENGURIN


Where and how to buy the “right” seeds

Tips from Andrei Tumanov

1. If you do not want to understand the situation on the market and the achievements of Russian and foreign breeding, it is better to buy seeds in large hypermarket chains or through their online stores. They tend to work with large, well-known, and trusted vendors.

2. You can also safely buy seeds directly from the largest domestic producers, for example, Sedek, Aelita, Russian Garden, Gavrish, Semko. Each of them has an official online store.

– So “big” also sometimes has punctures, we have not yet reached a control system in which the quality of the seeds is the same in all lots. But the probability of getting stuck is much lower, says Andrey Tumanov.

3. The information on the package must be studied carefully, but with the understanding that it may be purely marketing: the description of the variety or hybrid will be “for sale”, compiled by a marketer and not by a breeder.

A more objective description of the variety is found in the State Register of Breeding Achievements.

– You can meet varieties that are not registered there. This does not necessarily mean that they are worse (registration is paid, and some breeders save on it – Ed.). But still, it is better to choose registered ones, the breeder, at least in this case, undertakes zoning obligations (that is, the variety is suitable for breeding in a specific climatic zone), explains Tumanov.

4. If the packaging indicates too long a period for the sale of seeds, this is a reason to be careful. As a rule of thumb, it’s normal when this is the year after packaging, and not “before 2030” when packaging in 2022.

5. High-yielding varieties (real, not from Internet “storytellers”), as a rule, are quite difficult to grow. Therefore, beginning gardeners are better not to chase them, but choose something that even inexperienced summer residents will give, if not outstanding, but still a harvest. For the climatic zone where the Moscow region is located, it is better for “teapots” to choose early-ripening varieties of vegetables; they are more likely to have time to mature in any weather condition.

6. I went, I thought, I paid.

– My main advice: do not go to garden centers and stores with money, – says Andrey Tumanov. – They got there without money – they looked, wrote down the necessary names. They went out, turned on the computer at home, checked what was what, made their choice. He counted the correct amount of money. And I went and bought it. Everything – you will save at least half. Any gardener is a little “knocked out” of his head, and even more so in the spring. Therefore, they buy twice as much as they need, everything from seeds to equipment. And then roll, because it is not necessary. And, oddly enough, this is more typical of poor people – nothing is a shame for the future harvest.


And the official service responsible for the safety of planting material gives gardeners these tips on the choice of seeds.

1. Choose zoned seeds included in the State Record of Breeding Achievement.

2. Ask the seller to tell you about the manufacturer, provide a package of documents confirming the varietal and planting qualities of the seeds.

3. The packaging must be well glued, the text, the drawing well applied.

4. The packaging indicates:

– crop name, variety (hybrid),

– the name of the manufacturer, its full legal address and telephone number,

– Lot Number,


– weight/quantity,

– implementation period.

The germination percentage and the packer number can also be indicated (but it is not necessary).

5. The lot number on the package must match the number on the accompanying documents.

6. Don’t forget the check.


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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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