Our recent article about the difficulties of germinating seeds prompted one reader, Carole, to e-mail with her tips for getting good results from UK-bought seeds out here.

Our recent article about the difficulties of germinating seeds based on a survey from Gardening Which in the UK prompted one reader, Carole, to e-mail with her tips for getting good results from UK-bought seeds out here.

Carole rightly points out that seeds brought from the UK are probably not adapted to Turkey’s Mediterranean climate and soil conditions, and with our much longer and hotter summers, the planting time on the seed packet is often wrong.  Some UK ‘summer’ plants actually grow better here in autumn and winter.

Her two main tips for success are:

1. Enrich the soil before planting with a lot of goat manure and some sand (soil here is very heavy clay).  Water frequently and plant until manure is well absorbed into soil (buy ‘eski gubre’ – old manure – as it is not as hot.)

2. Buy or bring seeds from countries with very similar climates: southern France, Italy, southern Spain or California.  You can buy California seeds on-line, others must be bought from the country of origin.

Thanks for taking the time to communicate Carole.  Fethiye Times would add that Chiltern Seeds, a UK-based company that specialises in exotic seed did very well in the ‘Gardening Which’ survey and their seeds can be bought on-line at www.chilternseeds.co.uk. Another specialist supplier used by at least one Gardening Club member is www.jungleseeds.co.uk. So take your pick and let us know of any successes.  Carole ends her e-mail by saying that when she followed the advice given she managed to grow several things that had previously failed such as coriander, spring onions, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and thick-skinned bell peppers.  As Fethiye Times’ coriander invariably bolts we’d better get looking for some ‘eski’ goat manure!

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