In temperate climates now is the time to prepare for winter plantings. Chicory, radicchio and endive should be grown as seedlings as should the brassica family, including cabbages, caulis, sprouts, kohl rabi, and Tuscan kale. This will buy you some time to prepare your beds after the removal of summer crops and allow you to more easily protect the brassicas from the dreaded cabbage moth catapillars. Root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, radish, daikon,salsify, swedes and turnip should be planted directly where they are to grow in well prepared soil.
As the summer crops are removed from the garden to the compost bin (do not compost plants that look diseased), areas that sre not going to be cropped should be lightly turned over with the addition of compost, manure or blood and bone, and before the soil cools off too much, be sown with a green manure crop. Nitrogen fixing plants such as legumes together with grassy plants are ideal. Try fenugreek, lupins, subterrainian clover, oats etc. in temperate areas these can be planted through autumn into winter. Broadcast the seed and then rake over and keep moist.
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...."