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About Us

Introducing Kings Seeds.
Wholesale seed merchants and growers since 1888

Our History

In the Trade since 1888

Ernest William King founded E.W.King & Co in 1888. His family first started growing seeds in Essex in 1793.

Initially with just 3 acres of land, such was the expansion of his business that by 1918 he was farming 1,500 acres.

Crops included ‘pedigree’ mangels, runner beans, peas, swede, flowers included candytuft (over 20cwt in 1918) and nasturtium (3-4 tons in 1921).

He said “One of the secrets of the progressiveness of the firm is in the purity of the stocks. Every possible care as regards rogueing is most rigorously attended to by the firm’s own experts”. He always insisted on “the best modern machinery for cleaning and dressing the seed”.

The catalogues always showed the development of the company and even from as early as 1896, included glowing testimonials from all over the world on the purity of his seed.

In 1905 he devoted much of the catalogue to his favourite flower, the Sweet Pea (with over 100 varieties) and as a result became know in the trade as “The Sweet Pea King”.

Clever naming of his sweet peas ensured much publicity with names such as ‘Jack Hobbs’ (the cricketer) and ‘Nippy’ (the affectionate name of the Lyons Corner House waitresses of the day). Even better the naming of ‘2LO’ (the new wireless station) ensured that the company was the first seed merchant to be broadcast on the BBC.

The firm became a limited company in 1920 with some of the workforce being given directorships, which ensured that after his untimely death in 1930, business continued smoothly.

Today, we continue to thrive as we still offer our existing and new customers the finest quality seeds, realistically priced, backed up by good, old-fashioned service.

As seed quality is the most important factor as far as we are all concerned, we have a well equipped laboratory under the management of Julia Simpson, our qualified technician, who tests all our seed for germination, vigour and purity.

As we are still a totally independent privately-owned company, and not influenced by outside forces, we are in a unique position to be able to select and offer the very best, and widest, possible range available worldwide to our many customers.

Unlike other seed companies, we still farm and we either grow seed stocks on our own land, or in many cases, raise our own seed stock where selection and roguing is carried out to ensure that uniformity and trueness to type. The resulting mother seed is then supplied to specially selected, independent growers, throughout the world, to produce a seed stock exclusively to Kings.

In addition, when it comes to Kings seeds, you always get what it says on the tin. By that, I mean that if you ask for a specific variety, it will always be the genuine stock, and not a look-alike, cheaper, alternative stock. All ourseed stocks are carefully selected and cared for by Mr Peter Miller our Trials Manager who has been with us for 50 years in 2013.

To succeed in this extremely competitive world, your main ingredient to make your business grow, starts with a good, reliable seed supplier. Therefore, there is no need to look any further. We feel sure that once you use our quality seed you will never look back, as our catalogue is a one-stop shop, as far as you are concerned, backed up by quality, advice and service, which is why we are still here 130 years later.

This year, we have introduced new varieties, which compliment our existing range and we consider to be the best new varieties in the market. Therefore, when searching the website, please keep and eye out for these new, exciting varieties.

Don't forget, we have four Representatives covering the UK as well as agents in Scotland and Ireland, so if you need to discuss your requirements in person, please let us know and we can pass your details on to the appropriate Representative or Agent.

The industry in general is looking forward to, hopefully, improved weather conditions for the new season, as the weather plays a big part on the entire industry.

Tel: 01376 570000