Every year the search begins again to find the latest seed varieties available to complement the current seed range and keep it fresh and interesting. Inspiration comes from a number of sources and catalogues from innovative international companies are a good place to start. Then the homework begins - to ensure they comply with NZ import regulations and will grow here successfully.
Receiving awards or gold medals from either the UK's Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), Europe's Fleuroselect or the USA's All American Selections (AAS) is an assurance that they’re a quality selection.
Suppliers are found right around the globe from Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and India through to the USA, Italy, Holland and Germany. However, the seed could well have been grown in a different country, perhaps one of the East European states, Africa, South America or even under contract here in New Zealand.
Because of the length of our country and the fact that we're surrounded by huge oceans, New Zealand's climate is unique with several different growing zones. A couple of small areas can be classified as subtropical at times. Northern and coastal regions are mainly temperate and inland North Island and much of the South Island are clearly cooler - prone to both early and late frosts, refusing to grow what can be grown a few kilometres away on the coast. Consequently, finding hardy varieties is the prime aim so gardeners all over the country can enjoy success!
Top of the "to find" list.....
Flowering plants offering pollen and nectar to bees and beneficial insects.
Flowers that are edible or good for picking; useful in many garden locations (borders, baskets, trellis); or just straight out gorgeous to look at.
High quality vegetables that are heirloom or have an exotic or different appeal.
Culinary and medicinal herbs, although new herbs are always hard to find.
And interesting new Microgreens as this popular trend continues.
It’s always a challenge to create a point of difference from our competitors who may have greater resources and support networks. Complying with the ever-increasing biosecurity import regulations is the greatest challenge of them all. New Zealand (along with Australia and Japan) is regarded as having some of the strictest rules on seed importing in the world.
In recent years, extra testing has been required for tomatoes, capsicums and all the Cucurbit family (pumpkin, cucumber, melon etc) and now the Apiaeceae family (carrot, celery, parsnip, fennel and parsley) has joined this list. The cost of testing against the quantity of seed being considered can cause a variety to become uneconomical.
Belonging to an American association of seed companies that specialize in supplying home gardeners allows us to network with people doing pretty much what we’re doing as well. Check out this organization at www.ezfromseed.org for some handy gardening tips and advice.
E says ...
Hello, if there were any concerns about these seed suppliers it would be, for me, that they not be ge/gmo/roundup-ready. So, Im wondering how you deal with these?
From KINGS Seeds: We only deal with suppliers who are certified and approved for import into NZ. As you may be aware, we have one of the most stringent import authorities in the world and their requirements must be met by us for every shipment into NZ.