Author Topic: Ideas for new seed varieties  (Read 1055 times)

George the Pigman

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Ideas for new seed varieties
« on: February 07, 2018, 20:29:19 »
Well the time has come to order my seeds for this year and I am always looking for something new.
Has anyone any recommendations for something a bit different. New varieties of common-or-garden veg plants or maybe something a bit different.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 20:34:24 by George the Pigman »

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Ideas for new seed varieties
« on: February 07, 2018, 20:29:19 »

Paulh

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 20:51:31 »
I always try to grow something new each year. Sometimes it joins my staples, other times I throw away the rest of the packet of seeds at the end of the year ...

Last year it was Spanish black radish - actually more like a turnip in size, taste and use. It grows quickly from a late summer sowing, so fills up any available space  and for me is ready as the turnips finish, so a different veg for boiling, roasting or adding to stews.

Vinlander

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 12:22:42 »
Here's my top 5 unusual seeds that I keep sowing:

Rubine sprouts have the best "red" flavour - they hardly ever produce sprouts more than 15mm across but still worth it (I've never mollycoddled sprouts so I don't know if they can do better).

This one is a no-brainer - and no trouble at all to get a reasonable yield - the dwarf (40-60cm) Physalis pruinosus is fully annual and produces at least as early as tomatoes with NO risk of blight and a sort of similar light sweet/sharp flavour plus a hint of pineapple, (compared to the perennial species which have a very heady flavour with overtones of coconut cream). The problem is finding the seed if the species isn't quoted - all physalis can be called "ground cherries", "golden berries" etc.  - fortunately Nicky's Nursery do say annual and do quote the binomial. NB. Tradewinds say pruinosus too - but they say it applies to "Aunt Mollies" - which is definitely perennial so definitely not pruinosus (probably pubescens).

Turkish aubergines and the similar sized stripy ones (like Toga) are much more resistant to 'red' (sic) spider mite* (leaves have virtually no fur) so more reliable croppers, and also overwinter well - almost as well as Rocoto/Locoto /Manzano species peppers. Just don't let them colour up like the picture on the packet - ripe aubergines are always bitter and these aren't as bad - but not nice.

Rampion is a fabulous heirloom edible-ornamental (delightful flowers) - in their second year they produce clean tasty roots sweet enough for a raw snack or a salad - unfortunately the seeds are like talcum powder so they are tricky in trays and a lottery in open ground...

Skirret is a really sweet delicious root - like a really sweet parsnip with a much milder flavour - it is perennial and dead easy, the only problem is that since it went out of fashion we have lost the larger sizes so we're almost back to the wild strain. Why did it go out of fashion? mainly a) because sugar became fashionable, and b) because the roots always have a string inside that has to be pulled out of the cooked flesh before they can be enjoyed - but a mash made with less than, or = 50% potato is just fantastic.

Cheers.

PS * the pest spider mite is slow & slower and yellow/white to orange - the bright red fast-moving tiny spider in our gardens is a friend - part of the solution - not the problem.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

cambourne7

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2018, 18:19:41 »
can recomend parsley hamburg as one to try you can eat the root like parsnips.

http://marksvegplot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/hamburg-parsley.html

Paulh

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2018, 20:10:59 »
can recomend parsley hamburg as one to try you can eat the root like parsnips.

http://marksvegplot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/hamburg-parsley.html

That worked very well for me the first year and badly afterwards - just bolted. I'll try it again soon as it was good.

Vinlander

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 09:28:07 »
can recomend parsley hamburg as one to try you can eat the root like parsnips.

All parsleys have slow germination, and slow growth from the tiny seed can make it worse. They were puny roots the first time I grew them, so since then I've started them off like celeriac - chit, sow in cells and grow on in a frame, house or tunnel - but plant out sooner ( & not as rich but a bit richer than parsnips) to avoid bolting - do it as soon as the ground is ready and the spring is working - March at the latest.

Cheers
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 18:44:33 »
can recomend parsley hamburg as one to try you can eat the root like parsnips.

http://marksvegplot.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/hamburg-parsley.html

Thanks for the recommendation - just bought some along with some Physalis pruinosus as recommended by Vinlander.  Always good to have something new to try.

Paulh

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 21:47:44 »
can recomend parsley hamburg as one to try you can eat the root like parsnips.

All parsleys have slow germination, and slow growth from the tiny seed can make it worse. They were puny roots the first time I grew them, so since then I've started them off like celeriac - chit, sow in cells and grow on in a frame, house or tunnel - but plant out sooner ( & not as rich but a bit richer than parsnips) to avoid bolting - do it as soon as the ground is ready and the spring is working - March at the latest.

Cheers

My worry with this would be that plants with tap roots don't work well when grown like this (for me at least). You're growing Hamburg parsley for the root as much as the leaves.

Vinlander

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 11:03:42 »
I couldn't absolutely swear that cell-grown hamburg parsley roots are as long as drill-sown ones, but they definitely produce heavier roots on average because the plants are bigger on average.

I don't see more forking than drill-sown parsnips, certainly not early forking (which can still be treated as two smaller roots if the whole plant is big enough).

Hamburg parsley roots are generally stumpier, wrinklier and more wiggly(?) than your average parsnip anyway (including my pre-cell experience) - and  I suspect their taproot is less committed and more like an opportunist 'leader' than carrots or parsnips. More demagogue than Divine Right perhaps?

What counts for me is how many roasting-not-burning-size pieces can they be cut into... and I'd say that cell-grown ones have a big advantage here.

Deeper cells are available anyway, but if you want the longest possible roots (a show or a bet would be the only reason for me) then a movable cold frame in place right now might be the answer - I would still chit them early and get them in the warmed soil by the beginning of March - in April you should be able to move the frame elsewhere for something more deserving.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:05:45 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

plotstoeat

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 11:53:50 »
If you like kale I can recommend cavalo nero. It is a great cut and come again veg. Mine lasted into the autumn last year. Very versatile too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacinato_kale

Vinlander

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 19:59:39 »
If you like kale I can recommend cavalo nero. It is a great cut and come again veg. Mine lasted into the autumn last year. Very versatile too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacinato_kale

It's my favourite too - but don't miss the "broccoli" it produces in spring - it's the best tasting of all the cabbage family IMHO, and it's a real shame to miss it just to clear the ground a week or two early. After all,  you are still getting tender leaves right up to the shoots appearing - a bit more finicky picking effort maybe but definitely not 'dead time'.

Unfortunately the pigeons/parakeets love it too - but it likes the shelter it gets from netting and crops heavier and earlier - so well worth the effort.

It loves being in a polytunnel too - if you have any plants too puny and late to transplant outside this year then keep them going until say Sep - then plant them on the N side of the house/tunnel - they will go mad after you remove all the "Med" stuff, and then they can be nudged into producing broccoli by transplanting out again to make space for next years "Med" stuff  - they will probably be a metre high but they will still take OK if you can get them out with at least a spade-width cube of soil and roots.

My other great favourite is giant mustard "broccoli" - but that's so punchy it's best eaten mixed in with the blander kinds.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 20:07:33 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

George the Pigman

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 16:01:46 »
Thanks for your ideas.
I grow the Physalis (I know it as Cape Gooseberry) every year and agree its a  great crop for the greenhouse.
I discovered Caveolo Nero a couple of years ago and its a cracker (I grow it under netting)
I have tried Skiirret, Rampion and Hamburg Parsley a few times without success (might be because I have clay soil)
I am interested in the Turkish Aubergines. I used to attempt aubergines every year in the greenhouse with variable success. Often they never produced fruits (even though they flowered) or the spider mite got them. Where do you get the seed?

Any ideas on Cauliflower varieties? Looking for something that doesn't bolt too easily.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 16:03:36 by George the Pigman »

Tee Gee

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 16:07:09 »
Quote
Any ideas on Cauliflower varieties? Looking for something that doesn't bolt too easily

Candid Charm for summer

Mystique for Winter

johhnyco15

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 17:25:50 »
i sow cauliflower barcelona  in october always get big heads in june its a great variety
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

Vinlander

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 09:59:35 »
I am interested in the Turkish Aubergines. I used to attempt aubergines every year in the greenhouse with variable success. Often they never produced fruits (even though they flowered) or the spider mite got them. Where do you get the seed?

Nicky's Nursery have Turkish, Toga striped, and Goyo at a reasonable price - all 3 have smaller fruit and much smoother leaves than ordinary aubergines and are less bothered by spider mite - Goyo plants are bigger & later but also overwinter extremely well at 4C. I'd be interested to hear if yours do the same.

All 3 overwinter well - especially on a capillary platform - all well worth anticipating the need by planting out in 4L pots buried to the rim - it definitely eases the shock of being dug up and transferred inside before the first frosts. Pruning before digging up is worthwhile but they will even survive after carrying a few fruits to eating size before Xmas.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

saddad

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2018, 17:54:46 »
I agree with Winter Radish... very useful at this time of year... Black Spanish Long is my favourite but harder to find than round..
If you like cabbage Filderkraut is great... thin leaves so ideal for Winter salads and huge heads.. best cut before the first "real Frosts".. don't mind a light frost.. will store well in a shed. a second late sowing often doesn't fully heart up and makes a good spring "greens" cabbage.

Digeroo

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Re: Ideas for new seed varieties
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2018, 20:14:49 »
I like Russian Kale, very cold hardy.

 

anything