The Real Seed Catalogue

March 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

If you’ve never visited the Real Seed Catalogue its worth a look. We grow around 10 of their cultivars, Napia Early Pointy sweet pepper and Verde Marchigiano cauliflower being the most popular. Their business ethos, general information and seed saving instructions are excellent.

Here are a few of their newer cultivars which we are trialling this year and all going well selling via our website next year:

‘Wautoma’ Cucumber
An excellent cucumber from the breeding program at the University of Wisconsin in the 1980’s, this was recommended to us by cucumber expert Robert Bruns. It can either be used small for pickles or left to grow for use as a slicing cucumber.

The plants set many lightly striped dark green fruit , with tiny white spines that come off easily. We got an awful lot of cucumbers off this one!

Quick to set fruit, bitter-free, and Robert says it resists nearly all known cucumber diseases. (anthracnose, angular leaf spot, CMV, DM, PM, & scab!)

You can grow it indoors or out, and we think it’ll be quite a few years before we find anything that can even come near it in terms of yield or reliability. We grow huge numbers outdoors here in Wales with no trouble at all.

Provide some support outdoors, under cover quite happy on the ground.

Parisian Pickling’ Cucumber
A proper gherkin-type cucumber with a long history – selected in the 1800’s for the cooler northern climate of Paris when cucumbers became fashionable in the city – other ‘southern types’ just couldn’t crop reliably that far north.

It is a very reliable, early and productive cucumber, making lots of fruit with no fuss, even outdoors in the UK. It used to be grown as a pickling cucumber (picked small as ‘cornichons’) – but we find it also works well letting it get bigger for use in salads.

You would of course need to peel it if you let it get huge or over-ripe (like any cucumber), but the skin is just fine to eat up to a normal size, so this a good choice if you only have room for one type of cucumber, but want pickles as well as salad.

We used lots in salad this summer.

Taltos

Originally collected from Geza Korbely in Hungary in 2001, this is a great early sweet pepper.

Hungary has a tradition of early sweet peppers, and this one was given to us by pepper-collector Sharon Vadas-Arendt in response to our request for the best early-season peppers she knew of.

The flavour is great, and it has large (3” x 6”) sweet & juicy yellow fruit that ripen to orange.

“Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato”

This is a great Acorn Squash we have added. Acorn squash have a good flavour, and we have been trying various types to find one suitable for the UK climate.

We are really pleased to have come up with this one which is much earlier than the others, producing lots of squash even in short summers.

The pale heart-shaped fruit are pointy and have gentle fluting down the sides. When mature, you can simply cut them in half and bake in the oven. (Though of course there are other options for the experts – Kate’s mother once made a very fine acorn-squash soufflé!)

Originally collected by Tom & Sue Knoche in Ohio, USA.

Very productive. Remarkably long-keeping too.

Grushovka (Early dual-use type) WEB SPECIAL
This is a really good producer of big pink tomatoes – halfway between a plum and an ox-heart type – with an excellent flavour.

Compact plants grow to around 3 or 4 foot tall and are easy to manage.

The heart-shaped fruit are shocking pink. A bit like a plum tomato – good for sauces, but also very pretty in salads, or for making a lurid pink gazpacho soup.

Medium sized blocky fruit, very tasty . Tall Bush .

Just a very few packets grown this year by John Wheeler in Pembrokeshire.

plant picture

 

‘Rainbow’ Quinoa

Quinoa is a high-protein grain you can easily grow at home. It is cooked just like rice, and as well as tasting nice, it is rich in lysine, giving a good nutritional balance to your meal.

This is a diverse population of different colours all selected for an open flower-shape that sheds water easily and helps grow good seed even in slightly damper climates (like, for example, the west coast of Wales where we are . . .)

Note that at first you might question the name – we certainly did to start with. As it starts to grow, it seems to be just different shades of green. But wait patiently! As the seed ripens, they do indeed go all different colours, making an impressive display.

It did very well this year, reaching about 6 feet tall by the end of July, even despite a cold windy spring. The plants flower in July/August, and seed is ready in Sept/Oct.

Bred for home gardeners.

Descriptions and images courtesy the Real Seed Catalogue.

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§ One Response to The Real Seed Catalogue

  • katy says:

    Oooo thank-you for pointing me in their direction. What a brilliant site, made me hungry just reading about them all.

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