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Keeping Food Production Going During Hot Humid Summers

Green Harvest carries a range of seeds ideally suited to hot, humid areas. To make finding them easier on the website below is a list with short description and hyperlink to other cultivars.
Gardeners in subtropical and tropical areas face a range of challenges in the vegetable garden during the 'wet'. Pests and weeds can spread in the blink of an eye, with fruit fly and fungal problems being particularly difficult to deal with.
One way of dealing with this season is to 'put the garden to bed', by spreading a liberal amount of mulch and refraining from sowing seeds until the weather starts to cool down in March. This doesn't mean there is nothing to harvest, only that the harvest is limited to perennial, tropical edibles such as asparagus, arrowroot, bamboo, cassava, chillies, choko, ginger, kangkong, lotus, pawpaw, pigeon pea, sweetleaf, sweet potato, taro, waterchestnuts and yam. Many of these plants are available seasonally. Find some of them here.
Alternatively you can substitute more familiar vegetables with hardier ones that are native to tropical regions and will withstand waterlogging and high humidity without collapsing in a slimey heap. Angled luffa or New Guinea bean will substitute for zucchini without the powdery mildew problems, snake bean will continue to set pods during very hot weather and is resistant to bean fly. Ceylon or Egyptian spinach are both rust resistant and won't bolt too fast as the weather warms up.
The following plants suitable for warmer climates are available seasonally as tubestock:
Aibika, Betel Leaf, Brazilian Spinach, Ceylon Spinach, Cranberry Hibiscus, Kangkong, Lagos Spinach, Okinawa Spinach,
Peruvian Parsnip, Surinam Spinach and Tahitian Spinach.
Tropical Food Gardens: A Guide to Growing Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables in Tropical and Sub-tropical Climates
Leonie Norrington 2001 (AUS)
This excellent book is written in an informative, conversational style that is engaging and funny. Beautiful hand-painted graphics accompany the witty prose. This is easily the best book we have come across for northern gardeners. 160pp

BT100Reduced from $39.95

Find more books on gardening in warm or hot climates here.
Agati H UT
Sesbania grandiflora
Syn. vegetable hummingbird, agathi, West Indian pea
Agati is a fast growing, tropical legume tree to 10 m high with beautiful, large white flowers. It does best in warm humid areas and will not tolerate temperatures below 10C or frost. It is useful as a shade or nurse tree for other crops, such as black pepper. The leaves can be cut as animal (ruminant) fodder but avoid cutting the main stem. The young leaves, flowers and tender pods contain 25-30% crude protein and are favourite Asian vegetables. Remove the centre of the flowers before eating to reduce bitterness. Suitable for subtropical and tropical areas; unsuitable for temperate areas.
More growing information...

SA101approx. 14 seeds

Agati plants are available seasonally.
Amaranth Leaf H syn. Leaf Amaranth; Chinese Spinach, Tampala, bayam
Amaranthus tricolor
A nutritious, leafy green for warmer areas. It is a fast-growing and best to harvest the whole plant as older plants get tough and bitter tasting. Successive sowings will provide greens over a long period. The leaves have a sweet, tangy flavour and are best cooked, raw leaves should not be eaten very often, as they are high in nitrates and oxalic acid. In China and Japan it is the main vegetable used as a cooked green.
Leaf Amaranth prefers a fertile, well-drained garden soil, full sun to partial shade. Soil temperature needs to be at least 20C to germinate seed, sow late spring and summer. Harvest is 30 days to baby leaf and 50 days to maturity, when they are about 20 cm tall. As they get older the leaves will get tougher.
Amaranth 'Red' H
'Red' is a very attractive, nutritious, red leafy green for warmer areas.

SA124approx. 250 seeds
Amaranth 'Red Calaloo' H UT
Syn. Red Stripe Leaf
Red Calaloo has attractive green leaves with a red splash down the middle.

SA112approx. 250 seeds
Amaranth Grain H
Amaranthus hypochondriacus
An ancient Aztec food grain that is higher in protein than wheat or rice; it is a rich source of the essential amino acid, lysine. It grows vigorously, tolerates drought and heat. It is pest-resistant. The flowers are vivid burgundy, feathery plumes, 1.5 - 3 m high. The pale blonde amaranth grains are shiny, slightly larger than poppy seeds. It is delicious cooked as a cereal, can be ground for flour or popped like popcorn. It is a warm season annual and germinates best at 20 - 27C soil temperature. Sow seed from late spring to summer in temperate areas. In subtropical and tropical areas, sow all year (avoiding frost periods). It takes 4 - 6 months for a grain crop. Harvest the seed head once a few seeds drop, lay on a tarp and dry in the sun for a week until the stems are dry. Separate the seeds from the stems and winnow in a light breeze.
SA127approx. 250 seeds
Angled Luffa H syn. Okra Vine, Okra Cee Gwa
Luffa acutangula
Angled Luffa is a fast growing, vigorous annual vine that requires a trellis to grow on. The young fruits are similar in flavour to zucchini but slightly sweeter, it is a good substitute for zucchini in humid areas as it does not suffer fungal problems. The stem tops, young leaves and flower buds can be steamed as vegetables and the seeds from mature fruit roasted with salt and eaten. Plant it in a rich soil in full sun. Sow seed in spring.

See also Luffa - Loofah
Angled Luffa H UT
SA109approx. 12 seeds
Bean 'Poor Man's' Rare H UT
Lablab purpureus syn. Dolichos lablab
syn. Tongan Bean, Bonavist pea, Indian bean, bataw
Poor Man's Bean is an old Australian heirloom and was once found on many backyard fences in QLD. It is not forage lablab, which has much coarser pods. The deep pink flowers are followed by pale green pods, resembling snow peas in shape when young. It is a short-lived perennial and will live for 2 - 3 years. It is hardy and good at coping with wet, humid conditions. It is grown for its young, tender pods, edible leaves and flowers and is a popular vegetable in South East Asian and African cooking. The mature pods and dried beans contain toxins so should be well-cooked with a change of cooking water. It climbs vigorously to 2 - 3 metres and requires a strong trellis. Wait for warm, humid weather before sowing; it needs a soil temperature of at least 25C to germinate well. It tolerates a wide soil range but prefers fertile, well-drained soil.
SB369approx. 10 seeds

Find other bean varieties here.
Bitter Melon H syn. Fu kwa, Balsam Pear or Bitter Gourd
Momordica charantia
A tropical climber with small, fragrant flowers produces a warty fruit. It produces prolifically but may need hand pollination in cool climates. Sow next to a trellis, after all danger of frost has passed, soil temperature min. 22C, 2.5 cm deep, 30 cm apart. Early plants can be sown in seedling pots for later transplanting. Prepare well-drained soil with compost and well-rotted manure. To avoid excessive bitterness, pick the green fruit when young. Fruit is peeled, rubbed with salt and left for an hour then rinsed and the central spongy pith discarded. Seeds should not be eaten. Alternatively it can be parboiled in salted water before use. Used as a cooked vegetable and in pickles and curries. Young leaves and shoots are edible. Days to harvest: 60 - 70.

Bitter Melon H UT
A prolific, open-pollinated, traditional variety of bitter melon. The fruit weigh up to 20 kg but are best picked at 1.5 kg, bigger fruit is more bitter.

SM139approx. 20 seeds
Butterfly Pea H UT
Clitoria ternatea
syn. Pigeonwings, Cordofan pea, Darwin pea
A perennial climbing vine native to tropical Asia, with striking vivid blue flowers that besides being ornamental, are used to make a natural food colouring. It is in use throughout Asia to colour drinks, desserts and cakes. It can also be used as a natural dye for clothes. As a legume it is also grown for soil improvement. The pods are 5 cm long, flat pods are edible when tender. It is hardy and good at coping with wet, humid conditions. It climbs vigorously to and requires a trellis. Wait for warm, humid weather before sowing; it needs a soil temperature of at least 25C to germinate well. It tolerates a wide soil range but prefers fertile, well-drained soil.
SB448approx. 10 seeds
Capsicum 'Hungarian Sweet Wax' H UT
Syn. Hungarian Stuffing Pepper
'Hungarian Sweet Wax' is an heirloom variety of a type introduced by the Turks to Hungary in the 16th century. It is a prolific yielder of fleshy fruit up to 15 cm long that tapers from 5 cm wide to a blunt tip. The waxy skin turns from pale green to red when fully mature. The flavour is mild and sweet and becomes more complex as it ripens. Use it in salads, roasted, fried or pickled. It is one of the ingredients used to make paprika spice. It is early-maturing and very suitable for areas with a short growing season. Days to harvest: 58 - 75.
SC639approx. 35 seeds
Capsicum 'Perennial' H UT
'Perennial' is a tall, hardy, productive, bush capsicum that can live up to 5 years in the tropics. The fruit are 3 cm by 8 cm long and taper to a blunt point, ripening from green to red. It is resistant to wilt and can also be used as rootstock for grafting other capsicum varieties. Days to harvest: 70.
SC384approx. 35 seeds

Also available as tubestock
Ceylon Spinach
Basella spp
Syn. Climbing Spinach, Malabar Spinach, Indian saag, espinaca basela, baselle, vine spinach.
There are two varieties of this attractive, climbing leafy green, rich in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. It can be eaten raw in salads or lightly cooked in stir-fries. It has a flavour similar to spinach. The older leaves develop a 'slipperiness', this mucilaginous property has been used traditionally as a thickening agent for soups and stews. It is perennial in the tropics and is native to tropical Asia. It can be grown as a warm season annual in cooler areas. Strangely enough, records show it was being cultivated in gardens in Scotland in 1689. It is useful over summer as it copes much better with heat than ordinary spinach. It likes to grow in full sun. We find it works well on a tripod trellis and it looks good in a hanging basket.

Ceylon Spinach - Green Stem H UT
Basella alba
Syn. Climbing Spinach, Malabar Spinach.
A green leaf - green stem version of this attractive climbing leafy green. Sow spring and summer. Does best in subtropical and tropical areas.
SC217approx. 20 seeds
Ceylon Spinach - Red Stem H UT
Basella alba 'Rubra'
Syn. Climbing Spinach, Malabar Spinach.
A green leaf - red stem version of this attractive climbing leafy green. Sow spring and summer. Does best in subtropical and tropical areas.
SC726approx. 20 seeds
Ceylon spinach plants are available from November to January.
Growing Chilli
Capsicum spp.
Chillies are warm season, frost tender annuals to 60 - 80 cm tall. Seeds germinate best at 20 - 30C soil temperature. Sowing at too low a temperature will cause delayed or failed germination.
In Temperate Areas: sow in early spring - either inside with extra heat by using a bottom heat propagator; behind a sunny window or on top of a hot water system; if sowing outside wait until all frost danger has passed.
In Subtropical Areas: sow March - October in frost-free areas; wait for spring in areas that receive frost
In Tropical Areas: all year but avoid January - February
Soil Type: fertile, well drained, garden loam with a pH of 5 - 6.0; prepare the soil by adding compost. Give moderate fertiliser and water throughout the growing season; avoid high nitrogen fertilisers as these will promote leaf growth at the expense of fruit.
Germination period: 7 - 14 days (longer if the soil is cool); liquid feed the seedlings once germinated.
Planting depth: 6 mm deep
Position: full sun
Sow Where: into seedling pots to reduce transplant shock; transplant when the soil is warm.
Plant Spacing: 45 cm between plants
Harvest: 10 weeks

Scoville Scale
The Scoville scale is a measure of the 'hotness' of a chilli pepper or anything made from chilli peppers, i.e. Tabasco sauce (2,500 - 5,000 Scoville). The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville who developed the test in 1912.

Chilli 'Birdseye Thai' H UT
Capsicum annuum
'Birdseye Thai' is a must for every keen cook of South East Asian and Indian food. A productive chilli with upright clusters of fruit, approx. 5.5 - 6 cm long, with thin walls and an intense spicy flavour. The fruit start green and ripen to deep red. A good choice to grow in a container as plants are compact. Days to harvest: 85. Very hot: 100,000 to 225,000 Scoville.
SC689approx. 25 seeds
Chilli 'Bishops Crown' H UT
Capsicum baccatum
Syn. 'Christmas Bell', 'Bishop's Hat'
A bushy chilli plant 75 cm high with unusual-shaped fruit. Very hardy, it will grow from the tropics right through to Tassie. It is highly productive and tolerant of poor soils. The fleshy fruit is spicy, crisp and fruity so is a good choice for chilli sauce. Days to harvest: 90 days for green fruit; 100 days for red. Scoville heat scale 5,000 - 30,000 units.
SC613approx. 35 seeds

Chilli plants are available seasonally.
Chilli 'Cayenne Red Hot' H UT
Capsicum annuum
Cayenne is a hot and pungent chilli that take its name from a river in Guyana. It has a wide range of uses from drying to use as chilli flakes, steeping in oil or vinegar, seasoning salsa or pickles or dried and strung as 'ristras'. 'Red Hot' chilli fruit are 10 - 12 cm long, ripen to a glossy red and are fairly smooth, less wrinkled than other Cayenne. It is productive and hardy, producing over a long period. It can be long-lived in subtropical and tropical areas. Days to harvest: 60 - 85 days for red.
Scoville heat scale 30,000 - 50,000 units.
SC676approx. 20 seeds
Chilli 'Habanero Red' H UT
Capsicum chinense
'Habanero Red' is an extremely hot chilli with a unique flavour described as a rich, smoky-citrus taste. The fruit are 5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide. The productive, hardy, ornamental bushes grow to around 1 metre tall and have a multi-branching, upright growth habit. It can be perennial in subtropical and tropical areas. Habanero chillies have a bonnet shape.
Days to harvest: 90 - 100 days for red.
Very, very hot, Scoville heat scale 350,000 units.
SC641approx. 20 seeds
Chilli 'Lilac Cayenne' H UT
Capsicum annuum
'Lilac Cayenne' is a very hot chilli that turns from green to dark lilac-purple and then to a dark purple-red colour when fully ripe. The beautifully coloured, slightly curved fruits reach 6 - 8 cm long. The plants are strong, sturdy and highly productive; also ornamental with light-purple flowers and purple tinged leaves. Use in salsa, pickles, sauces and curries. Days to harvest: 85 - 90. Scoville heat scale 30,000 - 50,000 units.
SC481approx. 35 seeds
Chilli 'Jalapeno' H UT
Capsicum annuum
'Jalapeno' chillies taper to a blunt end, are 7.5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The fruit are glossy deep green in colour, turning bright red when ripe. The plants are sturdy and productive over a long period and begin cropping early. Plants also grow well in containers. It is a good choice for salsa and dishes where a milder chilli is preferred.
Days to harvest: 65 days for green fruit; 85 days for red.
Scoville heat scale 5,000 units.
SC279approx. 35 seeds
Chilli 'Magnum' H UT
Capsicum chinense
'Magnum' is a high yielding, habanero type chilli with a very spicy, shiny, golden orange fruit. The fruit are 6 cm long by 3 cm wide. The hardy bushes have an upright growth habit and are multi-branching. Habanero chillies have a bonnet shape.
Days to harvest: 80 days for green fruit, 100 days for orange.
Very, very hot, Scoville heat scale 200,000 - 300,000 units.
SC255approx. 15 seeds
Chilli 'Maui Purple' H UT
C. annuum x frutescens
Chilli 'Maui Purple' is a highly productive chilli over a long period on compact sturdy bushes to about 50 cm high. Don't be fooled into thinking this is an ornamental chilli because of its good looks as it is definitely a culinary chilli with a very peppery, pungent flavour. The foliage is a deep purple tinged with a green blush and the flowers are purple too. The bushes are covered with shiny dark purple fruit 3 - 4cm long that ripens to red. It can be eaten fresh or dried for chilli powder. In a cool climate it can be grown as a container plant. In its native Hawaii it is grown as a hedgerow around gardens. Days to harvest: 95. Scoville heat scale: above 30,000 units.
SC700approx. 20 seeds
Chilli 'Rocoto Tree' H UT
Capsicum pubescens
Syn. 'Hotlips', 'Locoto', 'Manzano'
This is a true heirloom, having been grown for thousands of years by the farmers of Bolivia and Peru. A 'must have' plant for anyone who likes really hot chillies, it grows well from the tropics right through to Tassie (in a suitably sheltered position). It is considered the most cold-tolerant of the chillies. The fruit is produced on a sturdy, wide, bushy, perennial shrub up to 2 - 3 m tall. It has small, dark purple flowers and dark green leaves with a purplish tinge. Highly productive, it crops nearly year round with fruit that start as green turning purple and then glossy bright red when fully ripe, the seeds are black. It is hardy and pest resistant including fruit fly but like all chillies, sensitive to heavy frost. Fruit ranges from medium hot to extremely hot depending on the weather. The fruit is fleshy like a capsicum so is a good choice for chilli sauce.
Days to harvest: 95 days for green fruit; 130 days for red.
Scoville heat scale 100,000 - 300,000 units.
SC514approx. 15 seeds

Chilli plants are available seasonally.
Chilli 'Trinidad Scorpion' H UT
Capsicum chinense
It is a bit hard to understand why people want to grow such extremely hot chillies but they definitely do! 'Trinidad Scorpion' chilli is among the world's top ten hottest with a Scoville heat scale over 1,000,000 units. The sturdy bushes reach 60 - 90 cm tall and grow best in full sun. The chillies are 2.5 - 5 cm long and have a wrinkled red skin. Great care should be taken in handling them to avoid contact with bare skin and eyes. Days to harvest: 90 - 100.
SC674approx. 20 seeds
Chilli 'Trinidad Scorpion Yellow' H UT
Capsicum chinense
'Trinidad Scorpion Yellow' chilli is among the world's hottest with a Scoville heat scale between 800,000 and 1,000,000 units. The sturdy bushes reach 60 - 90 cm tall and grow best in full sun. The chillies are bigger, longer and thicker than the red Trinidad Scorpion. They are also milder (relatively) than the traditional red or brown varieties. Great care should be taken in handling them to avoid contact with bare skin or eyes. Days to harvest: 90 - 100.
SC714approx. 15 seeds
Cucumber 'Giant Russian' H UT
Cucumis sativus
syn. 'Gympie Gold'
This is an excellent variety for humid areas, although of course, it will grow anywhere a cucumber does. The vines are vigorous and best treated as a climber. The fruits are very large, crisp, sweet and acid-free and change to golden as they ripen. It has the advantage of keeping for several months. Hardy and much more resistant to mildew than Lebanese cucumbers. After growing both for many years we have concluded that there is no difference except name between 'Gympie Gold' and 'Giant Russian' cucumber but we are happy to be told differently.
SC373approx. 20 seeds

Find other cucumber varieties here.
Eggplant 'Golden Egg' H UT
'Golden Egg' is an open-pollinated, highly ornamental eggplant that is also delicious. The fruit are round, egg-shaped and ripen from pearl-coloured to golden yellow. Best flavour is before fruit turns yellow. It is faster to bear fruit and much more productive than larger eggplant. Suitable for container growing, even as a house plant in strong light or in a flower border. Days to harvest: 60.
SE132approx. 80 seeds
Egyptian Spinach H UT
Corchorus olitorius
syn. Molokhia, Malu Khia, Melokheya, Meloukia, Salad Mallow, Jew's mallow, West African sorrel
A very hardy, fast growing annual to 1m. The young leaves used in salad, older leaves and the shoot tips cooked as spinach and are high in protein. It self-sows readily. Sow spring and summer. Suitable for subtropical and tropical areas.

SE113approx. 100 seeds

Egyptian Spinach plants are available seasonally.
Are you looking for Zaatar seed?
Gliricidia H UT
Gliricidia sepium
syn. Mexican lilac, Madre de cacao
Gliricidia is a thornless, spreading, tropical legume tree that produces masses of attractive white and pink flowers which are a good source of nectar for bees. It is only suited to frost-free areas and is ideal as a shade tree for crops such as coffee, vanilla and tea. The foliage is rich in nitrogen and can be cut as mulch. It can also be used as firewood or for a living fence as it is easily propagated by cuttings. Variable success as an animal forage; nutritious for cattle but toxic to horses and other animals.

More growing information...
SG108approx. 5 seeds
Jicama - Climbing Yam Bean H UT
Pachyrrhizus erosus
Climbing plant from Central America, with delicious sweet, crisp tuber, eaten raw or cooked, flowers are removed, as seeds are toxic. Sow spring in the subtropics; sow all year in the tropics; in warm temperate areas do not sow before early summer as it requires a very warm soil to germinate. Suitable for temperate, subtropical and tropical areas.

Jicama growing information...

SJ101approx. 20 seeds
Kailaan H UT
Brassica oleracea Alboglabra Group
syn. Chinese Broccoli; Chinese kale; gai lum, gai lan (China); kol (Indonesia); kai lan (Malaysia); phak khana (Thai); cai ro (Vietnam)
A fast growing, hardy vegetable that can be planted close together, making it very productive for small spaces. It is harvested for its thick, succulent stems, leaves and flower buds, which are delicious cooked. Very nutritious, a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. It is heat and frost tolerant. Kailaan fills the gap waiting for the broccoli crop to start producing. It germinates best between 18 - 24C soil temperature. In cool areas sow October - February; in temperate areas sow spring to autumn; in subtropical areas sow March - September; in tropical areas sow April - August. Days to harvest: 60-70.
SK170approx. 100 seeds
Kangkong H UT
Ipomoea aquatica
syn. Water Spinach
Ground-hugging, Thai vegetable that likes moist soil; young leaves, stems and tips are delicious cooked in a stir-fry or steamed. Sow spring and summer. Suitable for subtropical and tropical areas.

SK119approx. 60 seeds
Kangkong plants are available from November to January.
Lagos Spinach H UT
Celosia argentea
Syn. quail grass, soko, celosia, feather cockscomb.
Lagos spinach is an unusual annual leafy vegetable but it can be perennial in subtropical and tropical areas. It is easy to grow in most climate zones and is drought tolerant. There are few problems with pests or diseases. It is grown in many parts of the world especially Africa and Mexico. In Nigeria it is traditionally called 'soko yokoto', which means "make husbands fat and happy". The leaves, young stems and young flower buds are used cooked. The leaves have a soft texture and a mild spinach-like taste. The flowers can be cut for flower arrangements or dried. It is known to self-sow vigorously. Suitable for temperate, subtropical and tropical areas.
SL231approx. 50 seeds
Lagos Spinach plants are available seasonally.
'Madagascar' Bean H UT
Phaseolus lunatus
A vigorous, climbing, tropical lima bean, it lives for many years and is excellent at coping with wet, humid conditions. It can be used as a tropical alternative to broad beans or as a dried bean. The dried beans cook quickly and make tasty vegetarian burgers! Suitable for warm temperate, subtropical and tropical areas. Madagascar Bean growing information.

SB111approx. 10 seeds
Mibuna H UT
Brassica rapa var. nipposinica
Syn. Mibu greens.
Very similar to mizuna but with smooth edged leaves. In warmer areas it is best planted in the winter, avoiding the peak caterpillar season of Feb-March. In cool areas plant from spring to autumn. Mibuna is a salad green from Japan, use while young; older leaves can be steamed as a spinach or eaten in soups and stir-fries.
SM221approx. 150 seeds
Moringa H UT
Moringa oleifera
Syn. Horseradish Tree, Drumstick Tree, Ben Tree, Miracle Tree
Moringa is a semi-deciduous tree to 8 m high and 3 m wide. It is a hardy, shrubby tree with fern-like leaves and white, fragrant flowers. The pungent roots are used as a substitute for horseradish; the young leaves are eaten as cooked greens and the immature pods have an artichoke flavour and are eaten in a similar way. The leaves are very nutritious, high in vitamins and with up to 38% protein. The flowers are attractive to bees. The seeds are used for water purification. The seeds germinate best between 25 to 30C soil temperature, sow late spring in subtropical areas. It will grow in sun to partial shade but needs a well-drained soil. It is suitable for subtropical and tropical areas; unsuitable for temperate areas. More growing information...
SM215approx. 15 seeds

Are you looking for Moringa plants?
Mung Bean H
Vigna radiata
Quick growing and hardy, adds nitrogen, builds organic matter; combine with buckwheat or Japanese millet; produces edible seeds. Sow in temperate areas November - February; in subtropical areas September - March and tropical areas during the wet season.

SM130 I
SM1312.5kg I No TAS
SM1922.5kg I No TAS
SM16710kg I No TAS
SM18710kg I No TAS

Are you looking for Organic Mung Bean seed for sprouting?
New Guinea Bean H UT
Lagenaria siceraria
Syn. Italian edible gourd, gourd cucuzzi, Indian squash, bottle gourd, calabash gourd, doodhi, lowki
Not of course a bean at all, instead this is a type of squash. A traditional Italian vegetable, the light green fruits are cylindrical 60 - 100 cm long and can weigh up to 2.5 kg. The creamy white flesh is said to have a flavour and texture similar to green beans, which is probably where it gets its common name. The white flowers are large and scented. Sow next to a trellis, after all danger of frost has passed, with a minimum soil temperature of 22C, 2.5 cm deep, 30 cm apart. Early plants can be sown in seedling pots for later transplanting. Prepare well-drained soil with compost and well-rotted manure. Pick the green fruit when young, 15-60 cm long. Prepare it in a similar way to squash.

SN101approx. 10 seeds

Looking for Guada Bean?
There is a bit of confusion around this plant name. It is sometimes used as a synonym for New Guinea Bean Lagenaria siceraria which is a true gourd but more often refers to Serpent Gourd Trichosanthes anguina. Seed of Serpent Gourd is available seasonally.

Welsh or Bunching Onion H
Allium fistulosum
Also known as Welsh onion; Japanese bunching onion; evergreen bunching onion; taai tsung, qing cong, xiao cong (China); bawang daun (Indonesia); atasuki, negi (Japan); bawang daun (Malaysia); ton horm (Thai); hanh (Vietnam).

Welsh onions are a hardy, non-bulbing, often perennial, spring onion with a mild, sweet flavour. It has tube-like, hollow, green leaves above white stems; the white shaft plus a few cm of the green leaves are eaten. It is a versatile plant, extremely hardy and pest resistant, that will generally grow from cold regions right through to hot, tropical areas. The seeds can also be sprouted. Older varieties will form a clump; some modern cultivars are best grown as annuals and will fail to clump up very much at all. Welsh onions prefer an open, sunny site, with free drainage and a pH above 6.5. The flowers of Welsh onions are attractive to bees and other useful insects.

Sow seed in autumn or spring; it germinates best at 10 - 24C soil temperature; in warmer areas try germinating the seed tray in the bottom of the fridge to get it started. Sow seed into a seedling tray, 5mm deep, cover with soil and firm down. Transplant the seedlings once large enough to handle. Space rows 30 - 70 cm apart with 15 - 30 cm between plants. Seed takes 7 - 21 days to germinate. Established clumps can be divided to for propagation material.
Onion 'Ishikura Winter Long' H UT
Allium fistulosum
'Ishikura' is a popular variety in Japan for its long, white stems and excellent flavour. It has a very long 45 cm of white stalk; 75 cm overall in length. It is a vigorous, non-bulbing spring onion with tube-like, hollow, blue-green leaves. Use it in salads, stir-fries and soups. It will grow from cold regions right through to subtropical areas. It is hardy, frost tolerant and pest resistant. 'Ishikura' is best grown as an annual and is unlikely to form a clump. Sow seed in autumn or spring; it germinates best at 10 - 24C soil temperature. 66 days to begin harvest. This is an F1 hybrid so is not suitable for seed saving.

SO154approx. 200 seeds
Onion - Welsh 'Nebuka' H UT
Allium fistulosum
Syn. Evergreen Bunching Nebuka, Japanese bunching onion
A reliable and useful heirloom vegetable, 'Nebuka' is a non-bulbing, open-pollinated spring onion which readily forms a clump to 30 - 40 cm high. It has a mild, sweet flavour; the green shaft plus a few cm of the green leaves are eaten. The flowers are attractive to bees and other useful insects. This is a versatile plant with tube-like hollow leaves; it will grow from cold regions right through to hot areas. Sow seed in autumn or spring; it germinates best at 10 - 24C soil temperature. It prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil and is extremely hardy and pest resistant. Grow it in full sun. They can be propagated from offsets once clumps are established. Days to harvest: 60 - 70.
SO136approx. 200 seeds
Pigeon Pea UT
Cajanus cajan
Pigeon Pea is an excellent chicken forage for warmer areas, providing high protein seeds, edible leafy greens and shelter. It is a perennial, nitrogen-fixing, drought tolerant shrub to 2 - 3 m. It is also useful for on-site mulch production and is an excellent animal forage. It is an important food plant in India; the seeds are 25% protein and can be eaten fresh or as split dried peas. The dried seeds are used for dhal in India and contain 5 times more Vitamin A and C than green peas. The leaves and young shoots can be eaten cooked, they are fibrous and have a strong spicy odour. Sow spring and summer into warm soil; autumn in frost-free areas only. Suitable for (warm) temperate, subtropical and tropical areas.
More information on pigeon pea...

Provided as seed
SP123approx. 30 seeds I
SP351approx. 125+ seeds I
SP124approx. 500+ seeds I
Rosella H UT
Hibiscus sabdariffa
syn. Queensland jam plant, Jamaican tea, karkade
Rosella is an annual shrub to 2m with attractive yellow hibiscus-like flowers. The plants are vigorous and easy to grow. The calyx (fleshy cover surrounding the seed pod) is used to make jam, cordial and wine. Dried the red calyx can be used for herb tea and is high in vitamin C. To prepare it, strip off the red calyx from the seedpod and dry it in a food drier or a slow oven until crisp. Seeds can be roasted and ground into flour. Young leaves can be steamed and are known as Red Sorrel in the Pacific.
Sow seed in early spring, as it needs a long growing season and takes at least 5 months frost-free to fruit. Bottom heat will be required to get the seed germinated in cooler areas. Suitable for warm temperate, subtropical and tropical areas. See here for jam and cordial recipe and growing information.
SR248approx. 15 seeds
Serpent Gourd H UT
Trichosanthes cucumerina var. anguina
syn. snake gourd, chichinga, padwal
Serpent Gourd is sometimes confused with Guada Gourd syn. New Guinea Bean but it is a completely different plant. It is widely grown as a vegetable in India and southeast Asia. It is a fast growing, subtropical plant with a growth habit similar to luffa. It is best to grow this vine on a trellis to obtain straight fruit.

SS166approx. 9 seeds
Shungiku H UT
Chrysanthemum coronarium
syn. Garland Chrysanthemum
An aromatic annual, green, leafy vegetable to use in salads, stir-fries and sushi. Small, orange and yellow daisy flowers appear towards the end of the season on unharvested plants that can grow to 1m. It is best harvested at 10-20 cm tall. It will grow in full sun or semi shade in a rich well-drained soil with added compost. Sow autumn and early spring in temperate areas. Sow in winter in subtropical and tropical areas. Avoid sowing during summer as plants will bolt rapidly and become bitter. Harvest in 21 days (baby leaf) to 45 days.

SS161approx. 100 seeds
Snake Bean Climbing 'Red Dragon' H UT
Vigna unguiculata var. sesquipedalis
syn. Chinese Long Beans, Yard Long Bean, Asparagus Bean
'Red Dragon' produces 60 - 70cm long, dark green slender pods with a small red-brown tip; seed is red coloured. Highly productive and can be picked for approx. 4 weeks. Snake beans are very nutritious and have a slightly sweet flavour and crunchy texture; use them steamed, in stir-fries or curries. Snake bean is resistant to Bean Fly and Rust that can make French or runner beans difficult to grow over summer. Sow all year round in tropical and frost-free areas. Elsewhere sow from spring to early summer.

SB296approx. 20 seeds
Snake Bean Climbing 'Red Noodle' H UT
Vigna unguiculata var. sesquipedalis
syn. Chinese Long Beans, Yard Long Bean, Asparagus Bean
'Red Noodle' produces 30 cm long, attractive dark red slender pods; seed is a reddish brown colour. Highly productive and can be picked for approximately 4 weeks. Snake beans are very nutritious and have a slightly sweet flavour and crunchy texture; use them steamed, in stir-fries or curries. Snake bean is resistant to Bean Fly and Rust that can make French or runner beans difficult to grow over summer. Sow all year round in tropical and frost-free areas. Elsewhere sow from spring to early summer.
SB402approx. 20 seeds
Squash 'Chilacayote' H UT
Cucurbita ficifolia
Syn. fig-leaf gourd, malabar gourd, Siam pumpkin, Thai marrow, shark fin melon, chiverre, pie melon, calabaza china, cayote, gila, potiron cheveux d'ange, calabaza de cabello de angel, alcayota, seven year melon, Malabar gourd, chiverre.
Chilacayote is widely grown as a vegetable in Mexico and South America. It grows like a pumpkin vine to 15m long and forms roots in the leaf nodes. The melon-like fruit are large, round, green and white speckled. Highly productive vines produce fruit that can weigh up to 6kg. The flowers, leaves and tender shoots are used as greens. Young fruit are eaten cooked, mature fruit are used in jams and confectionery. The protein-rich seeds are very nutritious. Vines are very hardy and disease resistant. The fruit stores for many months.

This is a completely different plant to Jam Melon Citrullus lanatus syn. Red Seeded Citron, an ancestor of the watermelon.

SC455approx. 10 seeds
Sweet Potato H
No Norfolk Island, TAS or WA
Ipomea batatas
Sweet potatoes are vining plants with attractive lobed leaves, pink morning-glory type flowers and tuberous roots. They are a 'must have' vegetable in warmer climates as they are so easily grown, highly nutritious and can be used in wide range of recipes. The vines are vigorous so space is needed. They do best in areas that are frost-free for at least 5 months with warm days and nights. In cooler areas wait for the beginning of the warm weather to plant. In subtropical and tropical areas sweet potato can be planted all year round.
Sweet Potato growing information...

Sweet potato plants are available seasonally.
Timor Lettuce H UT
Lactuca indica
syn. Indian Lettuce
Indian Lettuce is a close relative of lettuce but grows faster, taller and is hardier to hot temperatures and high humidity. It will grow across a wide climate range from cooler areas to the tropics. It is a fast-growing, upright leafy green that can grow as high as 2 m. It has a semi-perennial habit and can be cut back after flowering to re-shoot. It will grow in full sun, but plants grown in partial shade will produce larger, more tender leaves. Very young, tender leaves are eaten raw in salads, older leaves can be cooked like spinach. The leaves have a somewhat bitter flavour, closer to chicory than lettuce. It is also used in traditional medicine. It self-sows readily and care should be taken to avoid weediness. A useful plant for poultry forage systems. In temperate areas sow late spring; in subtropical and tropical areas sow all year. Seed germinate best between 20 - 26C soil temperature. Seed takes 4 - 10 days to germinate.
ST240approx. 100 seeds
Tomatoes can suffer a range of pest and disease problems in the tropics. Try these hardy types for a good chance of success. Sow seed in the dry season and practice crop rotation.

Cherry Red Pear
Cherry Yellow Pear
Tomato 'Tropic'
Tomato 'Thai Pink Egg'
Wax Gourd H UT
Benincasa hispida
syn. Chinese winter melon, flour gourd
A fast growing, long season, warm climate vegetable producing very large fruit up to 20 kg but it is best harvested at 2 kg. The gourds are green with a white waxy coating. The wax gourd keeps for many months off the vine and is eaten raw or cooked. The shoots, tendrils and leaves are also eaten as greens; seeds are edible and are tasty roasted. Use the white flesh of this giant fruit in a chicken and wax-gourd curry; serve appetizers of finely chopped stir-fried vegetables in bowls made from a hollowed-out melon. Sow after frost in spring; in tropical areas sow during the dry season. Sow direct into well composted soil, 1-2 cm deep, 1 m apart on raised mounds, rows 1 m apart. Days to harvest: 100. This is an F1 hybrid so is not suitable for seed saving.
SW121approx. 45 seeds
Bean 'Winged' H UT
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus
syn. Goa Bean, Asparagus pea
Winged bean is a vigorous, tropical climber with mauve-blue flowers and four-angled pods with wavy margins. The pods, leaves, flowers and tubers are all edible. It is high in protein: the seeds contain 34% protein and 17% oil; the root contains 20% protein. If you are growing it for pods, leaves or flowers, grow it on a trellis; a trellis is not needed if you are growing it for the tuberous roots - let it sprawl. Of course, you will need to replant annually if you are harvesting the roots. The young leaves (top three sets of leaflets on a shoot) are cooked and eaten. The flowers taste like sweetish mushrooms. It is among the world's most effective nitrogen-fixers.
A short day length (11-13 hours of daylight) during hot weather is required to flower, so it is not suitable for temperate areas; it is also very frost sensitive. It grows to 3 - 4m. Wait for warm, humid weather before sowing; in the subtropics sow November - December; in the tropics sow October until January. It will grow on a wide range of soils but requires moisture to do well; it tolerates acidity. Plant rows 1m apart; with 30 - 60 cm between plants. To improve germination either rub seeds with sandpaper or soak in hot water until the seeds swell. Harvest the pods when 10 - 20 cm long; use like green beans. Days to harvest: 60.

SB113approx. 25 seeds

Find other bean varieties here.
Australian native plant
organically certified with ACO - Australian Certified Organic
UT untreated; no chemical fungicide, insecticide or rodenticide
edible flower petals to add colour, flavour and nutrition to meals
bee and good bug friendly. Information on growing bee forage.
H suitable for hot and humid growing conditions
I inoculant is included with the seed purchase
No TAS / WA quarantine between states restricts the sale of seed to some states
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