SPECIAL: If you only want one book, this is it! Organic Vegetable Gardening by Annette McFarlane is an excellent book for beginners and advanced gardeners. Full of useful general information on compost, raising plants from seed, crop rotation and soil characteristics as well as specific information on growing vegetables and herbs. From asparagus to zucchini. Now discounted by 20% and selling fast for $28.00 plus p&p until sold out. Click here.
Getting ready for Spring
With the cool weather with us in temperate or cooler climatic zones, the choices for planting are more restricted but I have included some varieties to consider. Beetroot, lettuce, radish, peas (podding, sugar snap and snow), lambs lettuce should all do well planted directly in the soil. Small mixed cutting lettuce, chicory and endive, and wild and cultivated rocket are ideal for gardens or container growing. You can also plant strawberry seed in containers in a warm spot. Try the wild strawberry that has huge flavour in a small fruit.
It is an ideal time to start preparing for spring planting either direct in the garden, or by raising seedlings to go out when the weather is suitable. Get that compost happening with vegetable scraps and green waste, but make sure you incorporate some dry organic matter and manure or blood and bone. I buy a bale of pea straw and layer it with the wet organics and give it a sprinkle of chook poo pellets every now and then.
Magnum, a new line of larger seed packets have been introduced for some seed varieties and are excellent value for small-scale growers. The choice is quite limited at the moment, but if you would like me to include other varieties please email me and I will see what I can do. I also now carry 500g cans of some varieties for market gardeners, and can import bulk seed in any quantity on request with pre-payment. Click here for details
New stock just in includes a sprouting broccoli "spigariello", from the Naples region, a chicory "catalogna pugliese" from Puglia of course, and a mixture of three colours of beetroot.
I have reviewed my seed stock and as usual there are a few varieties that have use-by dates at the end of 2015 and following my policy of not selling any seed at full price that has less than 12 months these are offered ON SPECIAL, usually $1.00 less than the normal price. The viability of seed decreases with time but I believe that you will get satisfactory germination rates form this seed. I have also put out some Parsnip seed with a use-by date of 12/2017 at $1.00 off as this seed does lose viability more quickly than most.
QUARANTINE WA : I am in discussions with WA quarantine so please be patient. Customers please see information on quarantine regulations here
Beans, peas and corn. A new range of Roma, French, borlotti and broad beans, podding and snow peas and corn have been added to provide a more complete selection for home gardeners. Grown in Australia, this is quality seed in generous quantity and included because quarantine does not allow import of these varieties from Italy. Your feed back welcomed. Not for WA customers
There have been changes to the quarantine laws regarding tomato and pepper seed recently in that all seed now needs to be tested for several viral diseases that can adversely impact on tomato production. The cost of testing one variety of tomato or pepper seed is $3,500 which means that I will not be importing this seed from Italy at this time. I have identified some locally grown tomato seed, some with Italian heritage, and this is now included in my range. Your feedback welcomed. Not for WA customers
My preferred method of payment is by Electronic Funds Transfer where you ask your bank to transfer funds from your account to mine. Very safe and is at no cost to you or me. Chose EFT at the checkout and you will receive an email with my account details.
The Italian Gardener sells vegetable and herb seed from Franchi Sementi SpA, one of the most respected seed producers in Italy, and a family owned business since 1783. Franchi vegetables deliver on quality and flavour.
Click here to see Martha Stewart and Bill McKay, US Franchi Agent, discuss Franchi Seed.
Click here to see an interview with Geoff Hudson, Principal, The Italian Gardener
Maggie Beer says that The Italian Gardener provides a direct link to Italy for her vegetable garden. "Some of my favourite meals have come from produce grown from seeds from the Italian Gardener- artichokes, cavolo nero and the most wonderful varieties of tomatoes to name a few...."