Let me start by saying that i just bought 5 year upgrade to my membership. I want to try to be balanced and objective in my review.
I renewed my membership for 5 years because:
- I love the philosophy of these guys. Old is new again. Im a fan of anything ‘Heirloom’
- The standards they adhere to are second to none. From the Diggers website: “Multinational chemical companies, like Monsanto, can now introduce chemicals into our food supply (ie: G.M. seeds), which threatens our health and the existence of our best plant varieties.” Im glad to know i can get non GM and even certified organic seed from Diggers
- Mail Order Plants – Need i say more?? it is really cool getting a parcel that is marked ‘Live plants’ (the only thing better is when the stamp says ‘live animals’! i own a large aquarium and have fish delivered too)
- The regular magazine / ordering guide. Its full of handy hints and growing tips plus everything you need to know to order from Diggers
- The customer service lady i spoke with today was good at dealing with my complaint about the companion panting chart: http://www.diggers.com.au/shop/product/HCCH/CHART%20COMPANION%20PLANTING.aspx
- I ordered a vegetable planting guide which contained a section on ‘Moon planting’. ‘Lunar gardening is a concept i’m extremely interested in!
The other side:
- I have made a few orders with Diggers and have experienced a couple of issues:
- member ‘free gifts’ show as ‘out of stock’
- lots of items are ‘out of stock’
- Expensive – even member prices are at the top end of what you might expect
- I purchased a companion planting guide for $14.95. It was packed on the bottom of my order and arrived crushed. In its ‘un-crushed’ state, it was a poorly printed piece of A3 paper with no coating or protection. It was impossible to read and i really cant believe that diggers attempted to charge me nearly 15 dollars for this item. My request to return the product was handled professionally!
- My expensive 5 year membership renewal was supposed to include a ‘Gift’. No gift was sent :- ( (customer service assure me that they will sort this out)
- I ordered a couple of citrus trees (limequat and blood orange). The Fact Sheet link for blood orange leads to a 404 error. Diggers make their pot sizing clear and i knew what i was ordering. With this in mind, i don’t think i have ever seen a nursery or department store sell such sickly specimens for $29.95. I felt so let down when i opened the (well packed) box to extract small and sad looking plants – when i paid $29.95 plus postage. i know a ‘Limequat’ is not common, but even bunnings stock Blood Orange- and for $30 i could get a pretty happy looking tree!
It is possible that they trimmed the plants down before packing to reduce transpiration – but this wouldn’t explain the yellowing leaves.
Hopefully they will come good after i plant them out and give them a feed.
On balance, Diggers magazine is a great catalogue, but so far they have given me little other reason to recommend you join.
Come on Diggers – pick up your game!
For seeds, i have had great purchases from ebay seller: ‘Seeds4you’. this seller has a great variety and provides growing notes for each item!
For live plants, try www.gardenexpress.com.au as an alternative.