I trust you all had a pleasant time with family and friends over the festive season. I had all of my mob for Christmas which was excellent as it does not happen all that often these days with remotely located children with partners and children. Fourteen of us around the big table justified a turkey buffe (breast and wings on the bone, with legs into the freezer and boney back end into stock) and a baked ham with a bit of sea food and salads. Love it!
My veg garden has been slow to start as the soil is poor and needs enriching and the early hot weather was devestating on a hot box of a garden that is enclosed by 2m fences on all sides. Hopefully it will work for me in winter, but for next summer I will install wires across the top so I can use shade cloth as necessary. The exciting news is that I have several Zatta melons growing. These primitive looking cantelopes were described by that name in a publication in the early 1600's and illustrated in water colour paintings of the day. Super heirloom. Will add some images.
Summer started at the end of spring in Adelaide with some punishing heat and it is on again this week. With my recent plantings of both ornamental and edible plants, the issue is keeping them alive and healthy during days when the temperature is aroung 40 degrees, the humidity about zero and a drying wind. I provide shade where possible and keep the roots moist with a good layer of mulch, but sometimes even that is not enough. Vigorous, healthy plants do better in the heat which again reflects the importance of building the quality of your soil.
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...."