Comfort buying (partial) success...

21 July, 2012

A few weeks ago I succumbed to the early instinct to buy vegetable seeds. I knew then that it was too early, I wouldn't be able to sow them anyway, but I followed my gardening heart, not my head, and purchased away.

The complicating factor was that I bought them from an American seed store. Now I wouldn't usually do this, but I came across a few varieties that I hadn't seen in Australian seed catalogues. I know a little about AQIS (the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, which now is known as DAFF  - Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Biosecurity... what a mouthful!) and so I did look up whether these seeds would be allowed into the country.

The problem is my research was incomplete. I looked up a couple of the species names, but then I got bored and didn't look up the rest.

So I have been eagerly awaiting the delivery of my parcel of American seeds. But earlier in the week my hopes were dashed when I recieved a suspiciously flat parcel from the American supplier with Quarantine stickers all over it.

My poor seeds had been seized! I couldn't believe it - I knew at least some of them shouldn't be a problem.

So I called the friendly DAFF Biosecurity people, and they very promply looked into the matter and agreed that some of the seeds were ok, but others would need an import permit and were unable to be released without one (which I did not have and would cost about $150 to obtain - per seed packet!!!).

So I will have to do without the tomatoes, pink popcorn (damn, and I was particularly looking forward to those) and pumpkin seeds, which were only not released as they apparently did not have the full species and genus name on the seed packets. Grrrrr.

But I do have the cucumbers, melons, eggplant, carrot, collards, lettuce and peppers. Yay!

I'm particularly looking forward to the Tigger rockmelons, and the Alibi cucumbers which looked exactly like the ones my grandmother used to grow.

So now I'm off to introduce this lot to my other seeds, and begin to work out the current status of my seed collection and see what seeds I need to buy for the coming season and what will just be superfluous seed collecting as I will never be able to fit it into my garden.

I expect that I will end up with more seeds than I could sow in a lifetime even with these good intentions. Its just that I'm a sucker for a new and different variety, and so I end up with about 50 different types of zucchini and couldn't possibly grow them all. Hopefully my plan will minimise the excess seed purchasing, but we shall see.


  1. Pink popcorn would have been very cool! Oh well enjoy the ones you did get.

    1. Yes, I'm a bit gutted. But anyway... I'll just have to console myself with my other seeds!

  2. I've become a bit crazy with seeds too. Way too many! But comfort buying of seeds is way better than comfort buying of shoes!

  3. I hope you contacted the seller and asked them to change their packets to include the full species and genus names on their new packets - maybe down the track you could have gotten your pink popcorn!
    - Christine

    1. No, I didn't, though in hindsight I should have. Lately I've begin able to satisfy my seed needs with aus sellers, so no matter, but if I do look overseas again I'll have a much better idea of what I can get and what I can't.

  4. I know this is from a while back, but I just ordered 'Strawberry mini' popcorn seeds from Boondie Seeds (she's an Australian seed supplier) and she currently has 15% off the order if you use coupon code WINTER15. She's one of my favourite seed suppliers. ;)
    Like you, I manage my lack of gardening time in winter by buying seeds. I have an impressive collection that really needs better organisation, but they can stay in their multi-sized packets for now.