The InfoBar is a new Livingseeds development to give our customers more germination and planting information at their fingertips.

From the beginning of the 2014 planting season all new seed packets will have our InfoBar label on the back of the packet.

A lot of work has gone into the development of our InfoBar and we trust that this information will help you in making informed gardening decisions.

All seed orders will be shipped with a free InfoBar leaflet.

The InfoBar

Icon Key

  Transplant: This seed is best started off in seedling trays and then transplanted once they are past the two true leaf stage.

  Sow Direct: This seed is best sown directly in the soil. These seeds do not enjoy being transplanted, if you do you could reduce your yield.

  Pots / Small Gardens: This variety is suitable for planting in pots or in small gardens, as they do not take up a lot of space.

  Train / Trellis / Pole variety: This variety can be trained up either a lattice / fence / pole or string.

  Indeterminate: This tomato variety will be best trained up a string or in a wire cage. Will produce continuously.

   Bush / Determinate: This plant has a bush or compact growth habit.

  Sprawling: This variety will sprawl and send out runners along the ground.

   African Heirloom: This is a traditional African variety. Typically collected in deep rural villages throughout Africa. These varieties have developed natural disease resistances.

  African Open Pollinated: These are African varieties that have a rich genetic diversity, are Open Pollinated but do not have heirloom status.

  Open Pollinated: A variety (if kept pure) that will breed true from season to season.

  Heirloom: Typically a variety that has been handed down from generation to generation. These varieties werewell known in communities, or were commercially available before 1950.

  Medicinal: This variety is or has been used for medicinal purposes. (Please consult your Doctor / Medical practitioner)

  Bee friendly: Beneficial insect variety either pollen and/or nectar.

  Insect deterrent: Deters insects in the home and / or garden.

   Cuisine:  Commonly used in cooking in the home / restaurants.

  Root Crop: Grown mainly for harvesting its root, however often the leaves are also edible.

  Salad Greens: Grown either mainly as a leaf crop or the young leaves can be used as salad greens.

  Dry Beans: Superb variety for cooking as a dry bean.

  Green Beans: Grown mainly as a green bean crop.

  Shelly Beans: The beans of this variety are well suited for use as shelly beans.

   Culinary: Denotes Herb varieties that are used for culinary purposes.

  Light Shade: One of the few vegetable varieties that will do well in light shade.

Plant type

T = Tender

A = Annual

P = Perennial

H = Hardy

HH = Half Hardy

Ease of Growth

1 = Very Easy

2 = Medium

3 = Can be challenging

Seed Treatment Key

A)   Soak Overnight

Certain seeds like beetroot and swiss chards have a very corky seed coat. Soaking them overnight allows water to penetrate the coat and assists with germination.

B)   Sow shallowly in beds and cover with a hessian cloth.

Fine seeds are best sown very shallowly, the problem now is that the top surface of the soil dries out very quickly. Covering with a hessian cloth, traps the moisture in the top soil layer allowing the seeds to germinate effectively.

C)   Chill in fridge for 2 weeks

A number of seeds need cold treatment prior to sowing. If not chilled, the seed’s  internal ‘germination mechanism’ does not get turned on.

D)   Soak in boiling water overnight

Seeds with a very hard seed coat, often do not germinate at all without the boiling water treatment. Drop the seeds into boiling hot water and allow to stand overnight. The ones that have visibly swollen by the next morning can be planted. Repeat the process with the un-swollen seed.

E)   Needs light to germinate

Light is a requirement of a number of seeds. If planted too deeply they seeds will simply not germinate. In this case the seeds should very lightly covered with fine sand, soil or vermiculite.

F)   Needs bottom heat to germinate

Hot and Extreme Chillies as well as Brinjals are real heat lovers, without bottom heat germination can be slow and erratic. Bottom heat is generally applied using a heating pad (obtained from a pet shop specialising in reptiles) or an old electric blanket. The seedling trays should be lifted 1-2 cm above the heating pads so as not to overheat the seeds.

G)   Will benefit from bottom heat

As above, but these seeds will germinate without bottom heat. The additional heat, stimulates germination, gives an even germination and speeds up the process.

H)   No special treatment

I)   Prefers cool germination temps.

These varieties prefer cool soil to germinate. Often will not germinate if the soil temperature is too high.