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About Sea Spring Seeds

 The view at Sea Spring Farm with chillies growing in the tunnels

Tunnels at Sea Spring Farm and in the distance a view of Lyme Bay in West Dorset

Sea Spring Seeds is a vegetable seed company. It is owned and managed by us, Michael and Joy Michaud, and is based at Sea Spring Farm, a specialist nursery overlooking the English Channel in West Dorset.

Sea Spring Seeds specialises in tomatoes and salad crops, and promotes ‘Easy Peasy Gardening’ for time-stressed adults, children and anyone without a garden. However, we’re best known for our range of chillies, many that are unique varieties produced through our chilli breeding programme. Dorset Naga, one of the hottest chillies in the world, was developed by Sea Spring Seeds.

Our aim is to encourage home owners and allotmenteers to grow vegetables. We only sell seeds of reliable, productive and good tasting varieties that we, as gardeners ourselves, would grow. We achieve this by conducting trials to find the best varieties available for home growing.

Other enterprises

Sea Spring Seeds is run along side our other enterprise, Sea Spring Plants, selling chilli plug plants in the spring (orders accepted from October to May) and mature, fruiting chilli plants from June to September.

A bit of history

After working in agriculture and horticulture for several decades, we started our own business in 1989, at first growing vegetables and herbs for local shops and restaurants. However, we gradually became interested in chillies, and in 1994 established "Peppers by Post", Britain's first commercial chilli farm. For over 15 years grew a wide range of specialist chillies for selling by mail-order.

During this time we were constantly searching for new chillies in immigrant shops and allotments; and this is where we found naga morich, a Bangladeshi landrace variety from which we developed the Dorset Naga, releasing it as a new variety in 2006. At that time Dorset Naga, a naga chilli that is adapted to growing in the UK, broke the standing world record for heat by almost double, belongs to the class of chillies known as "Superhots", which are the hottest chillies in the world.

Sweet pepper trial

Sweet pepper trial at Sea Spring Seeds.

Sea Spring Seeds was started to satisfy our love for growing and eating high quality vegetables. We only sell vegetable seeds, and being growers ourselves, we sell only those varieties that reach the high standards we have set for flavour and productivity. In our search for the best we have grown and tasted hundreds of varieties – and eliminated many that were downright bad or depressingly mediocre. But there are always a few that stand out as being exceptional, and these are the ones we offer in our seed shop.

lettuc seedlings for a growing trial   Harvesting the lettuce trial 

Sea Spring Seed lettuce variety trials: seedlings ready for planting out; harvesting the mature heads.

Sea Spring Seeds is a work in progress, and we are continuously working to expand our range of varieties on offer. The process is slow and steady, and every year we conduct more trials, looking at a wide range of vegetables including some on tomatoes, peppers and leafy salads. But we will always remain loyal to chillies, and will always be working on our breeding programme to produce more exciting and unique varieties to follow on from Dorset Naga and the other varieties we have devoloped.