Archive for category Seed Saving

Brussels rules against seed diversity – News story from Garden organic

Seeds of edible plants must be kept free of restrictive EU rule which favours the corporates at the expense of small farmers, gardeners and our food security.

Brussels rules against seed diversity – News story from Garden organic.

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Hairy Cucumber, Bari

Cuc Bari 20090629

This wonderful fuzzy little ‘cucumber’ was one of the delights of my kitchen garden this summer. A smallish plump light green fruit with a furry or ‘downy’ skin and sweetish crisp flesh. The natural habit of the plants is to trail but it can be tied to grow over a climbing frame. Quick to crop, in around 60 days, they are also prolific and it seems the more they are picked the more cucumbers the plants produce. Most importantly they are absolutely delicious and do not get bitter even in extreme dry heat. I don’t think a meal has gone by, since they started cropping in early June, without them. Bari cucumbers are actually smooth skinned, the fur just rubs off.

Kate from Hills & Plains & Seedsavers in Australia brought the seeds over with her last Autumn on her French visit and entrusted me with some of these heirloom beauties. Kate came by the seeds because the Radogna family of Bari, who had been growing this cucumber in Italy as Caroselli Baresi, brought seeds with them to Australia.  One of the family, Silvio, who has been growing them for over 30 years in Australia passed some of the seeds on to Kate because he wanted to make sure that the seeds would be kept going and the cucumbers would be grown by other gardeners. Read Kate’s story of her encounter with Silvio and his cucumbers

I was so impressed with these heirloom cucs that I started doing some research to find out more about them and discovered a whole family I didn’t know about, the Italian carosello type, a smallish fruit with a fuzzy skin and crisp flesh grown and eaten as a cucumber but botanically a melon, Cucumis Melo.  If these Bari cucumbers are Italian carosello type, Cucumis Melo,  I do have a slight problem with my seed saving plan this year because Melons cross easily. I had planned to save the seeds of these Bari cucumbers not least because I promised Kate, so I planted only one cucumber, the Bari, in the potager believing it to be Cucumis Sativus but I have also planted melons in the potager, so if the bari is a melon they could cross. The melons are not yet flowering so I have time to pull them out to make sure the Bari do not cross with them. I’d gladly sacrifice melons for these little beauties. I have planted Armenian Cucumber in the polytunnel which is Cucumis Melo so I can only hope that the barrier of the polytunnel will have cut down the chances of crossing sufficiently not to endanger the Bari seed. If anyone can confirm which botanical family these Bari cucumbers belong to I’d much appreciate it.

Flower Hairy Cucumber (Bari)

Flower Hairy Cucumber (Bari)

The fur just rubs off in you hand or under the tap.

The fur just rubs off in you hand or under the tap.

Cuc-Bari20090810 (1)

Left to grow on for seed

As they grow and get larger the characteristics become more melon-like, the flesh, although not sweet has a more melon like flavour, the fur is thinner or possibly the same amount of fur shared over a larger area.

Research paper  A published paper on the varieties of Cucumber Melons still growing in Southern Italy. There are a number of ‘cucumbers’ from Southern Italy and from Puglia in particular that appear similar in that they have fury skin and are small.

I have found similar cucumber melons at a number of seed sources as follows.
Cucumber Barese from Grow Italian Described as: Light green, oval cucumber/melon from bari. White flesh. 4 inches long. Mild tasting and very productive. 70 or so days. Typical ‘downy’ skin of this type.

Cucumber Carosello Barese from Mail Order Garden Heirloom Cucumber Barese Seeds from Bari produce a Light green oval melon type cucumber with White flesh mild taste and very productive.

Carosello Barese from Gourmet Seeds Described as: Extremely tasty and very mild heirloom. Texture and flavor are very nice. Similar to Mandurian round cucumbers. Has no spines as a normal cucumber but light peach fuzz, as it is truly a member of the melon family with no bitterness or ‘burps’. When harvested young (as pictured), slice and use whole as you would a cucumber. If allowed to grow, it will begin to show ribbing and develop a thin skin, and the flavor will shift to a that of a mildly sweet melon. A wonderful ‘cucumber’, a best seller, and a huge hit on any table and a great novelty at market.

Carosello Mezzo Lungo and other armenian cucumbers, carosellos and pickling melons from  Solan Seeds

Original post from Mas du Diable  August 8, 2009  updated July 2012

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Chilli, Lemon Drop

Lemon Drop pods freshly harvested

Chilli, Capsicum baccatum, Lemon Drop

An Aji variety from Brazil or, according to the Chilliman, its origin is Peru where it is known as ‘Kellu Uchu’. Citrus-flavoured hot lemon yellow chilli pepper. Some sources list this variety as C.chinense but Kokopelli list it as C.baccatum which matches its botanical characteristics.

Chilli Pepper, Lemon Drop Growing

Plants Beautiful arching plants grow to 2-3ft in height. A very productive variety the spreading branches are quickly laden with fruit. The flowers are white star with green markings on the inner petals.

Pods The bright yellow, crinkled, cone-shaped fruits are about 4cm long and 1cm wide and mature from green to yellow. Some sources say in 100 days from transplant but the strain I grow have pods to harvest 3 months from sowing.

Flavour This is a truly unique flavoured chilli with a real sharp and distinct citrus flavour.

Heat A hot chilli Lemon Drop. According to Kokopelli this chilli has a Scoville rating in the 5,000 to 15,000 range making it Heat Level 6 but I think it is hotter and more likely Heat level 7/8. As with most chillis the actual heat of each pod will be affected by the growing conditions.

Use A fantastic chilli adds both heat and citrus tones to all kinds of cooked dishes. Dries well and the Lemon Drop pods make a wonderful and very hot powder.

Lemon Drop Chilli Seed Processing

Seed Saving

Pods have very few seeds sometimes as few as 15. Saving seeds from hot chilli peppers can be painfull, the heat from these chillis burns through gloves and irritates the hands. I find if the chilis are first dried then the stalk end can be broken off and the seeds can be shaken out of the capsules without touching them.

Growing Log

2007 I grew these as a seed Guardian for Association Kokopelli  Sown March 17 (20 seeds) in a 13cm pot of sterlised seed compost covered with vermiculite then placed in an electric heated propagator. Pricked Out April 9  (6 plants) to 7cm pots of sterlised seed compost. Hardened off in unheated polytunnel (12c-30c). Planted Out May 20 6 plants in a single row. Productive from June 20 to November 6 outdoors. Planted 45cm apart. Note these plants have a wide spread and should be spaced 60-75cm apart

2009 Sown Jan 11 (10 seeds)

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for. See my other variety files



Edible Pumpkin Seeds

I love eating pumpkin seeds but it is a real trial to extract edible seeds from regular pumpkins because most seeds have a thick second skin or hull. The seeds need to be extracted, dried and then hulled which is very fiddly and time consuming.

Pumpkin Lady Godiva

I tried growing a variety of pumpkin called Retzer Olkurbis or Lady Godiva because it has hulless seeds. The flesh was a real disappointment and had little culinary value, being watery and tasteless, but the seeds were lovely and hulless.

Pumpkin, Lady Godiva

Getting the seeds from this pumpkin is really easy you simply dig the seeds out with your hands, wash them well, drain and lay out to dry. They taste great as they are or even better dry roasted with soy sauce as a delicious snack or crispy extra in a salad.

A word of warning

The seeds seem prone to sprouting whilst still inside the pumpkins, perhaps because they have no hull. So I find it best not to store this variety and harvest the seeds as soon as the pumpkins are cured. Another thing is that this pumpkin is often described as having hundreds of seeds. I did not find that myself when I grew Retzer Olkurbis. As you can see from the picture this pumpkin does not have many seeds at all.

In the end I am not sure it is worth dedicating the pumpkin patch to this variety. I don’t want to eat the pumpkins only the seeds and lots of them so perhaps I should stick to varieties I like eating and put up with the fiddly chore of getting the seeds out of their hulls.

I’d be interested if anyone else has grown pumpkins or other cucurbits for their edible seeds.


Seed List 2010

It has taken me some time to find the seeds for the varieties I want to grow this year but I’ve finally done it and this is my selection for 2010. Plenty of old reliable must grow varieties, some new things I am desperate to grow for the kitchen, some varieties that I am growing to photograph for seed catalogues, some I am not sure what they are but came by the seeds in swaps and others because well I am obsessed. I want to at least try to grow everything and anything edible I possibly can. You just never know what might turn out to be an edible diamond. So this is my seed list for 2010, there’s a lot of varieties this year and I just hope I can fit them all in.

Header seed list 2010

ALLIUMS Alliaceae
ONION Allium cepa
Maincrop Sow after the shortest day of the year S(Dec-Jan) TPFeb PMarch
Succession Sow S 1.Feb-April 2. Mar-May 3.MidAug-MidSept H Aug-Sept/April-June/April-Sept Some vars Sept-April Dates listed for individual vars as per seed source.
Onion Tropea Rossa Lunga (F) S:[July-Sept] or Mar-May H May-Sept new
Onion Rossa Lunga di Firenze (F) S:[July-Sept] or Mar-May H May-Sept new
Onion Blanca de Lisboa S:mid Jan-Feb TP March-April H Aug-Sept
Onion Walla Walla (O) SMar-Apr HMid June-Oct Sweet Salad onion
Onion Giugnese (F) S[July-Sept] or Mar-May H May-Sept
Onion Tonda Musona (F) S[July-Sept] or Mar-May H May-Sept
Onion Blanc Blanc de Paris SAug-Sept HApr-July
Onion De Rebouillon* (O) Bulb SAug-Sept H Apr-July. Scallions S Apr-May H May-July
Onion Japanese Bunching Long White Tokyo SMar-Jun HMay-Oct
Onion Barletta SFeb-April Poly
Onion Rose de Roscoff (SW) P March growing for seed
GARLIC Allium Sativum P Oct-Jan
Garlic Asiatic? Turban (SWPatrick/SS)
LEEK A.porrum
Leek Bleu de Solaise (V) S (Feb-Mar) March-May PJun-Jul HDec-Mar could sow earlier
Leek Musselburgh S(Jan-Feb) March-April HNov-Mar
Welsh Onion Allium fistulosum Commune Rouge (FSM) SFeb-May HApr-Nov Perennial
Tree Onion Allium cepa proliferum Amish (SWPatrick) perennial P autumn
Tree Onion Allium cepa proliferum Egyptian Walking Onion (SWPatrick) perennial P autumn
Garlic Chives (FSM) Allium tuberosum S: Spring or early autumn

BRASSICA Brassicaceae
Brassica Oleracea
Broccoli, Purple Sprouting Botrytis Cymosa Group Rudolph extra early* (O) SMar-May TP H Dec-Jan
Broccoli, Purple Sprouting Botrytis Cymosa Group Late (T&M) SApr-May TPJun-Jul HJan-Feb
Broccoli, Purple Sprouting Botrytis Cymosa Group Early (O) SApr-May TPJun-Jul H Mar
Brussels Sprouts, Gemmifera Group Noisette or Mezzo Nano(O) S(Feb-Mar) PApr-May HOct-Dec
Cabbage, capitata group Savoy Ormskirk* (T) SApr-May TPJun-Jul HNov-Apr
Cabbage, capitata group Golden Acre (SH) SFeb-May HJun-Sept New
Cabbage, capitata group Red Acre (SW Candy) New
Cauliflower Botrytis Group All Year Round S(Jan-Mar)Mar-Jun, Sept-Oct HJun-Oct New
Cauliflower Botrytis Group Italica Romanesco (Un) SApr-May HSep-Oct
Cauliflower Botrytis Group Italica Romanesco Precococe (F) SMay-July TPMay-July H Nov-Jan
Kale Acephala Group Red Russian* (SW Ireland) SJan-Jun TP before mid August HNov-Mar
Kale Acephala Group Cavolo Laciniato* Nero di Toscanna Precoce (F) SMay-Jul TPJun-Aug HOct-Dec New strain
Kale Acephala Group Dwarf Green Curled SMar-May PMay-Jun HSept-Mar New
Kale Acephala Group Asparagus Kale (HSL) SMay TP July-Aug
Kale Acephala Group Georgia Southern Collard (HSL) SMay TP July-Aug
Kale B.O longata? Jersey Walking Stick (O) SApr-May TP June-Jul HNov-Mar New 2010
Collard Greens Acephala Group Vates (SW) SJan-Jun TP before mid August HNov-Mar
Kohlrabi Gongylodes Group Purple Vienna (I) S(Jan-Feb) May-July/ June-Aug HApr-Nov
Chinese Broccoli alboglabra group Kailaan (O) SJune-Aug
Oriental and other brassica Greens and Mustards
S1.[Jan-Feb] 2.May-Aug 3.Sept-Oct 4.[Nov-Jan]
Chinese Cabbage B.rapa var Pekinensis unknown var
Chinese Cabbage B.rapa var Pekinensis Michihli
Chinese Cabbage B.rapa var Pekinensis Wong Bok SJun-Aug HAug-Oct
Pak Choi B.rapa var chinensis (K) unknown var
Pak Choi B.rapa var chinensis Canton Dwarf (SS) 
SSept-Oct [Nov-Jan]
Rosette pak choi B.rapa var rosularis Tatsoi 
Mizuna B. rapa var nipposinica or japonica 
(SS) SMay-Aug or Sept
Komatsuna B.rapa var perviridis (O-Photo) 2010 SMar-Sept HApril> cut 40days
Oriental Greens Stir Fry Mix (O) SApril-Sept contains White Pak Choi, Chinese Kale Full White, Tatsoi, Kaillan, Choy Sum Yukina and Savoy.
Texsel Greens B.carinata Abyssinian Cabbage/Ethiopean Mustard (T) S(Feb or Oct) SMar-Sept.
Indian Mustard Greens Brassica juncea (O) SJune-Sept HAutumn-spring. 55days

MAIZE Zea Mays
S[April]-May PMay-June HJuly-Sept
Sweetcorn Stowells Evergreen (O-Photo) 2010
Strawberry Popcorn (SW) Corn, Popcorn Zea Mays (SWFrance) S(April)May PMay-June HAug-Oct

CUCURBITS Cucurbitaceae
Sow in pots early mid spring and set out after frost S(March-April) TPMay-June
Armenian Cucumber Cucumis melo var.flexuosus (SW) 2009 Poly
Hairy Cucumber Cucucmis melo Bari (SW/SS)
Cucumber Cucumis sativus Satsuki Madori (SW) new 2010
Cucumber (Gherkin) Cucucmis sativus Fin de Meaux (Tz/SS) Poly
Summer eating
Courgette C. pepo Verte D’Italie (G) 2008,2009
Squash, C.pepo Patty Pan Mixed SMar-May HSep-Oct (Un) new 2010
Squash, C.pepo Yellow Crookneck (SW-Mike@PlanB) new 2010
Squash, C.pepo Delicata (O) aka ‘sweet potato squash’ Trailing habit
Squash C.pepo Table Queen (O)
Winter Storage
Pumpkin C.maxima Queensland Blue (SW-Matron)
Pumpkin C.maxima Marina di Chioggia (F)
Squash, Winter C.moschata Butternut * (SS)
Gourds & Unusual Cucurbits
Snake Gourd? lagenera alargadisima lunghissima de sicilia (SW) new 2010
Ridge Gourd/Luffa* Luffa actangula
Sponge Gourd/Luffa smooth Failed 2009 try again
Bitter Gourd/Karela Momordica Charantia. Failed 2009 try again
Achocha Cyclanthera pedata Fat Baby (SW) Failed 2009 try again
Calebasse Lagenaria siceraria (K) new probably edible but growing for the shell
Bottle Gourd (SW) new probably edible but growing for the shell
Watermelon Citrullus vulgaris Kleckley’s Sweet (SW)
Watermelon Citrullus vulgaris Cream of Saskatchewan (SW)
Watermelon Citrullus vulgaris Yellow from NZ (SW)
Melon Cucumis melo Zatta (Ugly but Good) (F) S[Feb-Apr] TP/S May-June HJul-Nov

Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) SApr-May and July-Aug.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Variegata Di Chioggia (F)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Rouge de Vérone (V) Radicchio S May-July H Oct-March
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Rossa di Treviso 2 (F) Radicchio S May-Sept H Sept-Dec upright with long red leaves
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Sugar Loaf (V) SJun-Aug
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Witloof (Forcing) SMay-July Lift Oct HNov-Mar
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Barbe de Capucin (Forcing) (G) SMar-Aug HJun-Mar
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Catalogna Gigante Chioggia (F) S:Mar-Sept
Corn salad/Mâche (Valerianella locusta) A Grosse Graine S:July-Sept, Aug-Oct H:Sept-March
Corn salad/Mâche (Valerianella locusta) Ronde Maraîchère S:Aug-Oct H:Sept-March
Corn salad/Mâche (Valerianella locusta) Coquille de Louviers S:Mid July-Oct H:Sept-March Spacing 20cm (V)
Endive (Cichorium endiva) Frisée De Meaux S(Feb-Mar)May-July HMay-Aug-Oct
Endive (Cichorium endiva) Frisée Fin de Louviers S(Feb-Mar) May-July H May-July & Aug-Oct
Endive (Cichorium endiva) Scarole Ronde verte à coeur plein SMay-Aug
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Malabar Spinach (Red) SMay-Jun new
Rocket Cultivated* (Eruca Sativa M.) SMar-Oct H:All year
Rocket, Wild (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) SMar-Sept
Chrysanthemum Greens (Chrysanthemum coronarium) S(Feb-March&Sept) & May-Aug
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) Géant d’Hiver * S Aug-Oct (Oct-Nov-Feb) H Oct-April
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) Bloomsdale Longstanding (HSL) (39days) new
Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris var.cicla) Verte a Carde Blanche* (G)(Feb-March) April-June + September

LETTUCE Lactuca sativa
Sow Spring (Dec-Feb), Summer (March-May), Autumn (June-Aug), Winter (Sept-Nov)
May King (Crisphead) winter/spring (O-Photo) 2010
Winter Density (Cos) Winter/spring S:Aug-Sept
Brune D’Hiver Butterhead Winter/Spring
Rouge D’Hiver Romaine Winter/Spring
Rougette de Montpellier butterhead Winter/spring
Valdor (Butterhead) Winter undercover/spring S:Sept-Oct
Corsair (Cos) spring/summer
Sherwood (Cos) spring/summer
Regina dei Ghiacci* (Iceberg) spring/summer
Paris Island Cos (Cos) spring/summer
Sucrine (Romaine) summer
Little Gem (Semi-Cos) summer
Craquerelle du Midi (batavia) summer
Laura (Batavia) summer/autumn
Rouge Grenobloise* (Batavian) autumn/winter lettuce, good in cold and shade.
Verde D’Inverno (Cos) Autumn/Winter/spring S:(Feb-April) July-Oct H Autumn / winter
Gloire de Dauphiné (Batavia) Autumn/Winter/spring S May-July /Sept-Oct New
Greek Maroulli (Cos) (63days) (HSL) 2010
Soulie (butterhead) Heirloom ?
Red Leprechaun (Romaine) autumn ?
Green Salad Bowl, (Loose-leaf) all year S:March-Sept
Red Salad Bowl (Loose-leaf) all year S:March-Sept
Lollo Rosso (Loose-leaf) all year S:March-Sept
Bronze Arrow (looseleaf) all year (HSL) 2010
Sword Lettuce (Lactuca longifolia) Yu Mai Tsai Leaf (SWCandy)

LEGUMES Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Haricot or Common Bean Phaseolus vulgaris
Sow Direct (March) April-Mid Aug H June-Oct
Haricot (Bush) Fin de Bagnols green filet
Haricot (Bush) Maxidor *(SS) yellow beurre bean
Haricot (Bush) Roi des Beurres / Kinghorn yellow beurre bean S:Mid July
Haricot (Bush) Black Turtle (SW) new 2010
Haricot (Pole) Mountaineers (HSL) White Half Runner new 2010
Haricot (Pole) Blue Queen (HSL) 15-20cm long purple pods new 2010
Haricot (Pole) Supermarconi (F) flat podded green new 2010
Haricot (Pole) Rattlesnake (SW-Mike@PlanB) new 2010
Haricot (Bush) Black Turtle (SWFrance) new 2010
Haricot (Pole) True Red Cranberry (shelling) (SW) new 2010
Pea Pisum sativum
Annual cool season crop Sow round seeded 15 Feb-15 April & End July H May-June & Oct in mild areas S Sept-Nov H March-April wrinkle peas
Pea Duke of Albany Maincrop, Tall
Pea Alderman Maincrop, Tall wrinkled S March 100days
Pea Epicure (HSL) Tall-2-3m new 2010
Pea Mangetout Pisum sativum macrocarpon
Pea (snap) Sugar Anne (O) dwarf S April
Pea (snap) Sugar Snap (O) dwarf S April
Pea (snow) Norli (DO) Tall
Pea (snow) Carouby de Maussane (G) Tall SFeb-April new 2010
Other Legumes
Bean, Broad Vicia Faba. Aquadulce (V) S Oct-Nov H April-May early var
Bean, Runner Phaseolus coccineus Scarlet Emperor (SS) perennial Early
Bean, Long Green Vigna sesquipedalis (F/SS) Undercover (March-April)
Bean, Long Red Vigna sesquipedalis (F/SS) Undercover (March-April)
Bean, Soya Glycine max Fiskeby (SW) new 2010
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) new 2010
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) S[Feb-Mar] TP May H Sept 2009

OKRA Abelmoschus esculentus
Sow in Heat early/mid-spring March-April Transplant after last frost
Okra Texas (SW)

PARSNIP Pastinaca sativa S March-April
Parsnip Demi-Long de Guernsey (C) SFeb-May H Sept-April
CARROT Daucus carota
S (Jan-Feb & Nov) S March-July main crop carrot.
Carrot Gigante Flakkée (F) SMarch-July late
Carrot John’s Purple (HSL)
Carrot Red Elephant (HSL)
Carrot Rainbow Mix (O)
Carrot Amsterdam Forcing (O) S(Feb)
BEETROOT Beta vulgaris
I (Oct-Nov) II March-April, III May-June, IV July-Aug
Beetroot Boltardy* (O) early/main crop S:March (S: Nov in polytunnel).
Beetroot di Chioggia (SW) SApr-July Old Italian salad beetroot.
Beetroot Cylindra (W) SApr-July HJuly-Oct
Beetroot Golden Detroit (O) SApr-June HAug-Nov
RADISH Raphanus Sativus
Daikon SJuly-Aug (SW-Kate) Harvest 10-12 wks failed 2009
Daikon Mooli Minowase Nr2 SMay-Aug or July onwards HAug-Nov
Radish Giant Luo Buo (SWCandy) S Late summer early autumn ready 75 days.
Radish French Breakfast (V) S Jan-Feb
Radish Pink Beauty (O-Photo) 2010 SFeb-Sept HMay-Oct
Radish White Icicle (SWCandy) a daikon type radish
TURNIP Brassica rapa var. rapa
Turnip, Rave D’Auvergne Sow late summer / autumn for winter
FENNEL Foeniculum vulgare
Sow after midsummer for autumn & winter crop.(November in polytunnel for spring crop).
Fennel de Parma Sel Prado (F)
Fennel (SW) unknown var
SALSIFY Tragopogon porrifolius
Salsify Mammouth a fleur Rose SMar-June HOct-Apr

AUBERGINES Solanum Melongena
Annual prefers Hot & Humid conditions S Jan-Mar in heat and plant out after last frost.
*Szechuan (HSL/SS)
*White Egg (SS)
Thai Long Green (SW)
Thai Round white / green (SW)
Black Beauty (SW)

PHYSALIS Solanaceae
Sow undercover 6-8 weeks before last frost, can take up to 3 weeks to germinate, plant out mid spring – early summer or sow direct. S: Mar-April P or S direct May
Physalis (Physalis Peruviana) Coqueret de Perou Height 70-100m (FSM) 2009

Perennial prefers Hot conditions S (Nov) plant out undercover March-April or Sow Jan-Mar in heat
S Jan-Mar in heat or Aug-Nov for indoors
Doux D’Espagne/ Spanish Mammoth (SS)* Outstanding sweet pepper
Californian Wonder Orange (SS)*
Yellow Cornos (SW/SS) Yellow tapered
Giallo D’Asti Yellow (F) new
Topepo Rosso (F/SS) Red Round tomato shaped pepper.
Cecei (Sweet White pepper) (SWNóra) Hungary new 2010
Kocsolai (Sweet red pepper) (SWNóra) Hungary new 2010
Aci Sivri* (SW) Turkey
Alma Paprika (SWCandy) Heat Level 1 new 2010
Cayenne* (SS) Guyana
Chile De Arbol*  (SW)
Cyklon  mildly hot Poland new 2010
De Bresse  (O) Medium Hot France new 2010
D’Espelette (SS) Heat 3-4/10 French Basque
Exploding Ember  (SW/SS)
Fish Pepper (SW) Heat 10/10
Guajillo (SWCandy) Mexico Heat Level 5-6/10 new 2010
Guindilla*  (MS) Heat 3-4/10 Spain
Grandpa’s Home Pepper  (SS) Siberia
India Goat Horn  (SW) not true but like what I got so breed this one
Istanbul (SS)
Jalapeño, Conchos  (SW/SS) Heat 4/10
Jalapeño, Early  (O) Medium Hot
Jalapeño, (SW)
Kashmiri I 2009  (MS)
Kashmiri II 2009  (MS)
Kalocsai (Hot paprika?)  (SWNóra) Hungary new 2010
Oriental Red  (MS) medium
Pasilla (k) Mexico Heat 1/10
Pasilla Bajio (SS)
Pepperoncini (K) & Golden Greek Pepperoncini  (SS)?
Pimientos de Padrón  Med+Hot Spain
Santaka  Japan Heat 8/10 (SW)
Satan’s Kiss(F/SS) Italy Heat 1/10
Szegedi (Hot paprika) (SWNóra) Hungary new 2010
Thai Red  (MS/SS) Heat Level 8-9
Tepin or Chiletepin C.Annuum var. glabriusculum Heat 8/10 Mexico
~ C.Baccatum
Aji Amarillo  (MS) Peru Heat 7-8/10
Lemon Drop* Heat 8/10
~ C.Chinense
Habanero, Peach C.Chinense Hot
Habanero, Red (MS) C.Chinense Hot
Trinidad Seasoning C.Chinense Mild (SW)
~ C.Pubescens
Rocoto Red Peru.
Rotoco, Alberto
~ C.Frutescens
Tabasco  Louisianna Heat 8/10 Poly

TOMATOES Lycopersicon esculentum
Sow in Heat early/mid-spring March-April or Direct May Transplant after last frost
Tomato Zapotec (SW Candy) Large pink-red fluted tomato. Mexican heirloom
Tomato Ceylon (SWCandy) mini-beefsteak heirloom tomato
Tomato Auntie Madge’s (HSL) small red plum tomato new 2010
Tomato Greek (HSL)
Tomato Double Rich* (K)(SS) red beefsteak
Tomato Cuostralee* (K)(SS) red beefsteak
Tomato Ananas / Pineapple yellow/red beefsteak
Tomato Caro Rich* (K/SS) orange
Tomato Reine D’Or (SS) yellow
Tomato White Beauty (O) White new 2010
Tomato Emerald Evergreen green beefsteak.
Tomato Andean Purple (SWCorsane) collected growing wild in the Andean foothills new 2010
Tomato Eva’s Purple Ball (SW/SS) pink/purple
Tomato Noir De Crimée *(V/SS)black
Tomato Green Zebra (HSL/SS) small vine yellow/green stripe
Tomato Peacevine or Gardeners Delight(HSL/SS) red cherry
Tomato Miel du Mexique (SS) large red cherry
Tomato Roma V.F. determinate paste
Tomato San Marzano2* paste
Tomato Cornu des Andes* paste

Quinoa, Temuco (HSL) S [April] TP May
Quinoa, Rainbow (HSL) S [April] TP May

Asparagus Asparagus officinalis*  P spring
Sunchoke /Jerusalem Artichoke Helianthus tuberosus. Asteraceae P March H Nov-March
Cardoon Cynara cardunculus.Asteraceae Plein Blanc Enerme S (March-April)-May H Sept-Dec
Rhubarb Rheum undulatum S July-Sept P Oct-Dec Harvest the following year.


Mexican Tarragon (sweet mace)(SW Candy) Hardy Annual/Tender Perennial.
Summer Savory (SW Candy)
Mammoth Dill (SW Candy)
Mitsuba Japanese parsley (Honewort) (Cryptotaenia japonica) A hardy perennial woodland plant Sow late spring and early autumn (SWNóra)
Perilla/shiso (Perilla frutescens) Red
Perilla/shiso (Perilla frutescens) Korean large leaved green (SWCandy)
Basils: Genovese, Lime, Purple, Thai
Parsley Giant Italian Flatleaf
Alongside plenty of perennial herbs Rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay, tarragon, sage, mint etc.

KEY Those marked with a * are my favourite varieties ones I will always grow because they produce well and are valued in my kitchen.
S Sow TP Transplant P Plant H Harvest
Seed Source Code (SS) self saved (SW)Seed Swap (K) Kokopelli (HSL) Heritage Seed Library (F) Franchi Seeds (V)Vilmorin (DO) Duchy Originals (O) Organic Seed Catalogue (T) Tuckers Seeds (RS) Real Seeds (N) Nicky’s Seeds (PC) Potager d’un Curieux (Eden) The Eden Project (LeP) Le Paysan (Tz) Tezier (C) Caillard(AH) Amish Heirloom Seeds (Mar) saved from a market fruit



Chilli, Red Habanero

Chilli, Habanero Red Growing 2009

The habanero Capsicum Chinense, type chillis are really something special I love the tropical flavour of the Chinense chillis. This is the standard red habanero it is fairly easy to come by and the most commonly found in markets.

Plants Plants are strong and grow to a height of about 3ft in one season. Fruit grow pendulous on arching branches.
Fruit The pods are 5-7cm long and 4-6cm wide and ripen from light green to this wonderful bright red. Fruit are thin fleshed and scalloped.
Flavour very hot and intensely fruity totally different to annum types. Habaneros can reach a blistering 285,000 SHU Heat level 10 but these ones are more like a Heat Level 7-8/10.
Use A great all round fruity chilli for those who like heat. Wonderful raw in salad dressings and salsas or cooked in sauces and stews. Use with caution very hot.

Capsicum Chinense, Red Habanero Original bought peppers

Seed Source Seeds collected from peppers bought in a market in Barcelona.
Note As with other Chinense varieties plants can be slow growing, these capsicums need a bit more heat and are less tolerant of wind, start earlier and grow a few plants undercover for best results.
Growing Log Grew from market saved seeds in 2009, performed well and grew true to form. Set out a bit late – June 5- would have had a better crop if set out as normal in early May.

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for. See my other variety files


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Chilli, Amarillo

Capsicum Baccatum, Amarillo

A stunning large orange chilli pepper ripening from green to yellow to a wonderful bright orange colour when fully ripe. Pods are chunky tapering to a point about 11cm long with a crisp flesh and hot fruity flavour.

Fruit are quite pungent and are wonderful fresh but I’ve read they are trditionally dried and powdered. These are pretty hot peppers measuring about 40,000-50,000 SHU Heat Level 7-8 say some sources. I think this may also be known as aji yellow.

Plants are vigorous and quick to germinate forming good solid plants quickly. In 2009 fruit were noticably later to mature than the annum varieties

Seed Source – Seeds collected from peppers bought in a market in Barcelona. Grew out in 2009, performed well and grew true to form but matured very late in the season.

Propagation I think this variety may need to be started early, November – January in humid heat and grown on undercover to provide the long season they need.

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for and collect information on how best to cultivate them. See my other variety files


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Chilli, Guindilla

These peppers are one of the most commonly used hot peppers in Spain. A great all purpose chilli with good flavour and Medium-Hot heat.

Capsicum Annuum Guindilla

Robust plants produce plenty of 13-16cm long pods. Slim at 2-3cm wide tapering to a point with a slight curve. Fairly quick to mature and tough in adverse conditions. Best eaten fresh either green or red. The red guindilla is dried and used as a flavouring component in dishes such as dried cod al pil pil and gambas al pil pil. It is hot but not as hot as a Cayenne so it is a great all purpose fresh chilli pepper to use when the heat of a Cayenne would be too much.

Seed Source – Seeds collected from peppers bought in a market in Barcelona. Grew out in 2009, performed well and grew true to form.

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for. See my other variety files


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Seed List 2009

This is my list of the varieties to grow for 2009.  It takes years, a life time probably, to find the very best varieties to suit your growing location and the taste of the cook. I grow a large selection, in small amounts, trying new things and continuing with the crops that really work for us.  I really don’t think I will be able to pack this lot in but I am going to have a good go. I am supposed to be scalling back this year, as I won’t be able to spend so much time on the garden, but I just can’t help it so it will be interesting to see what makes it in and what produces well with less input from me.

Header seed list 2009

ALLIUMS Alliaceae

  • Onion, A.cepa Rossa Lunga Di Firenze / Red Torpedo*
  • Onion A.cepa Rossa di Milano (SS)
  • Onion A.cepa Rose de roscoff (SW)
  • Onion A.cepa Blanca de Lisboa 
  • Onion A.cepa Giugnese / Bianca di Maggio(F)
  • Onion A.cepa De Rebouillon (T)
  • Onion A.cepa Tonda Musona (F)
  • Onion A.cepa Banana Shallot 
  • Garlic A.Sativum Italian White (SS)
  • Garlic A.Sativum Asiatic Turban (SW)
  • Garlic A.Sativum Uzbek Turban (SW)
  • LeekA.porrum Bleu de Solaise (V)

BRASSICA Brassicaceae

  • Broccoli, Purple Sprouting B.oleracea Rudolph extra early *(O)
  • Broccoli, Purple Sprouting B.oleracea Late (O)
  • Broccoli, Purple Sprouting B.oleracea Early (O)
  • Broccoli B.oleracea Botrytis Cymosa Romanesco*
  • Brussels Sprouts B.oleracea Gemmifera Group Noisette
  • Cabbage, Savoy Ormskirk* (T)  B.oleracea capitata 
  • Kale B.oleracea Acephala Red Russian * (SW)
  • Kale B.oleracea Acephala  Cavolo Nero / Black Tuscan Kale*
  • Kale B.oleracea Acephala Georgia Southern Collard (HSL)
  • Kale Asparagus Kale (HSL)
  • Kale / Collard Greens B.oleracea Acephala Vates (SW)
  • Kohlrabi Purple Vienna (I)
  • Abyssinian Cabbage B.caranata Texsel (T)

BRASSICA, Oriental

  • Chinese Cabbage B.rapa var Pekinensis unknown var
  • Chinese Cabbage B.rapa var Pekinensis Michihli 
  • Pak Choi B.rapa var chinensis (K) aka Bok Choy
  • Pak Choi B.rapa var chinensis Canton Dwarf (SS)
  • Pak Choi B.rapa var chinensis Green Revolution (N) S
  • Rosette pak choi B.rapa var rosularis Tatsoi 
  • Mizuna (SS) B. rapa var japonica 
  • Vitamin Greens B. rapa (Narinosa group)


  • Sweetcorn Zea Mays Ashworth (RS)
  • Sweetcorn Zea Mays Golden Bantam

CUCURBITS Cucurbitaceae

  • Armenian Cucumber Cucumis melo var. flexuosus(SW) new
  • Cucumber Cucucmis sativus Bari (SW) new
  • Cucumber Cucucmis sativus  Burpless Tasty Green * (O)
  • Cucumber (Gherkin) Cucucmis sativus  Fin de Meaux (Tz/SS)
  • Courgette C. pepo Verte D’Italie* (G)
  • Squash, Summer C. pepo Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash (RS)
  • Pumpkin C. maxima Blue Hubbard (SW)
  • Pumpkin C. maxima Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert squash (SW)
  • Pumpkin C. maxima Green Hokkaido* (FdM/SS)
  • Squash, Winter C. moschata. Butternut * (SS)
  • KiwanoAfrican horned cucumber Cucumis metuliferus (SW) new
  • Achocha Cyclanthera pedata (SW) new
  • Mexican Gherkin Melothria scabra (Eden)
  • Chayote Sechium edule (SS)
  • Karela / Bitter Gourd Momordica Charantia. new
  • Loofah Angled Luffa actangula new
  • Loofah Smooth / Sponge Loofah Luffa cylindrica (SW) new
  • Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) Kleckley’s Sweet (SW) new
  • Watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris) Cream of Saskatchewan (SW) new


  • Mâche (Valerianella locustaA Grosse Graine
  • Mâche (Valerianella locustaRonde Maraîchère
  • Mâche (Valerianella locustaCoquille de Louviers (V)
  • Rocket Feuille d’Olive (Eruca vesicaria subsp.sativa. Brassicaceae) 
  • Rocket Cultivated * (Eruca Sativa M.) 
  • Rocket Wild (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) 
  • Endive(Cichorium endiva) FriséeFin de Louviers(LeP)
  • Endive (Cichorium endiva) FriséeDe Meaux
  • Endive (Cichorium endiva) Scarole
  • Chicory, (Cichorium intybus) Witloof
  • Chicory, (Cichorium intybus) Rouge de Vérone Red radicchio(V)
  • Chicory, (Cichorium intybus) Variegata Di Chioggia Variegated Red radicchio (F)
  • Chicory(Cichorium intybus) Sugar Loaf (V)
  • Chicory, (Cichorium intybus) Catalogna Gigante Chioggia (F)
  • Spinach Spinacia oleracea Géant d’Hiver *
  • Chrysanthemum Greens Glebionis coronaria
  • Swiss Chard Beta vulgaris CiclaVerte a Carde Blanche*
  • Amaranth .Amaranthaceae new
  • Perilla, Green (Shiso) Perilla frustescens new

LETTUCE Lactuca sativa

Sow Lettuces for: Spring (Dec-Feb), Summer (March-May), Autumn (June-Aug), Winter (Sept-Nov)

  • Lettuce Corsair Cos spring/summer/autumn
  • Lettuce Brune D’Hiver Butterhead  Winter/Spring
  • Lettuce Rouge D’Hiver Romaine Winter/Spring
  • Lettuce Rougette de Montpellier butterhead Winter/spring
  • Lettuce Gloire de Dauphiné (Batavia) Winter
  • Lettuce Winter Density* (Cos) Winter/spring
  • Lettuce Verde D’Inverno (Cos) Autumn/Winter/spring
  • Lettuce Valdor (Butterhead) winter undercover/spring
  • Lettuce Sherwood (Cos)  Spring
  • Lettuce Regina dei Ghiacci* (Iceberg) spring/summer  Italian
  • Lettuce Reine des Glaces* ( Iceberg) spring/summer  French
  • Lettuce Paris Island Cos (Cos) spring/summer
  • Lettuce Sucrine (Romaine) summer
  • Lettuce Little Gem (Semi-Cos) summer
  • Lettuce Craquerelle du Midi (batavia) summer
  • Lettuce Laura (Batavia)  summer/autumn
  • Lettuce Soulie (butterhead)
  • Lettuce Rouge Grenobloise* (Batavian) autumn/winter
  • Lettuce Red Leprechaun (Romaine) autumn
  • Lettuce Green Salad Bowl, (Loose-leaf) all year
  • Lettuce Red Salad Bowl (Loose-leaf)  all year
  • Lettuce Lettuce Ubriacona (Loose-leaf)  all year
  • Lettuce Brunia,  (Loose-leaf)  all year
  • Mesclun Home made mix

LEGUMES Fabaceae / Leguminosae

  • Bean, BroadVicia Faba. Aquadulce Claudia (F)
  • Haricot Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Haricot  (Dwarf) Fin de Bagnols filet
  • Haricot  (Dwarf) Roi des Beurres / Kinghorn yellow beurre bean
  • Haricot (Dwarf) Maxidor *(SS) yellow beurre bean
  • Haricot  (Climbing) CosseViolette (G) purple
  • Haricot (Climbing) Buenos Aires flat podded green
  • Haricot (Climbing)Tarbais (K)  white shelling
  • Haricot (Climbing)True Red Cranberry shelling
  • Haricot (Climbing)Yin Yang / orca or Calypso bean shelling
  • Haricot (Climbing) Butterscotch Bean shelling
  • Bean, Snake / Yard LongVigna unguiculata sesquipedalis (F/SS) Undercover
  • Bean, Runner Phaseolus coccineus Scarlet Emperor (SS) Early
  • Bean (Runner) Phaseolus coccineus Meesher (HSL)
  • Pea Pisum sativum
  • Pea Duke of Albany Maincrop, Tall
  • Pea Alderman (SW)Maincrop, Tall
  • Pea Petit Provencal Early, H 45cm
  • Pea Purple Podded Pea Tall
  • Pea Mangetout Pisum sativum macrocarpon Sow Feb – April & July
  • Pea (snap) Sugar Ann (T) mid, H 65cm
  • Pea (snow) Mammoth Melting Sugar Tall
  • Pea (snow) Taiwan* Early, Tall
  • Pea (snow) Golden Sweet Yellow
  • Pea (snow) Norli (DO) H 60cm


  • Okra Abelmoschus esculentus Texas


  • Parsnip Pastinaca sativa  White Gem (T&M) medium length smooth
  • Parsnip Pastinaca sativa  Demi-Long de Guernsey (C)
  • Parsnip Pastinaca sativa Guernsey (HSL)
  • Carrot Daucus carota Nantaise (K) all year
  • Carrot Daucus carota John’s Purple (HSL)
  • Carrot Daucus carota Red Elephant (HSL)
  • Celeriac Apium graveolensvar.rapaceum Monarch (T&M)
  • Beetroot Boltardy* (O) main summer crop
  • Beetroot Rouge Crapaudine (K) Autumn-winter crop
  • Beetroot Golden Detroit (O) Yellow
  • Beetroot Lutz Winterkeeper winter crop & store
  • Fennel Foeniculum vulgare de Parma Sel Prado (F) autumn & winter crop
  • Turnip Brassica rapa var. rapa Rave D’Auvergne autumn & winter crop
  • Radish Raphanus Sativus French Breakfast 
  • Radish Raphanus Sativus Daikon (mooli) (SW) autumn & winter crop

SOLANUMS Soloanaceae

AUBERGINES Solanum Melongena.

  • Szechuan *(HSL/SS)
  • Thai Long Green (RS) long pale green
  • Vkus Gribov (SW) (Taste of Mushroom) white
  • Thai Round (SW) white / green
  • Black Beauty (T&M) classic club shaped dark purple
  • Skorospelij small fing er size purple

PEPPERS Capsicum

PEPPERS Sweet & Mild C.Annuum

  • Doux D’Espagne/ Spanish Mammoth*
  • Lipstick (SW)
  • Red Pimento (SW)
  • Yellow Cornos (SW)
  • Nardello (HSL/SS)
  • Californian Wonder (Orange bell) (SS)
  • Golden Tranquility (yellow bell) (SW)

PEPPERS Medium for pickling & Paprika C.Annuum

    • Pimientos Piquillo (SW)
    • Romanian Antohi (RL)
    • Pimientos de Padrón Spain
    • Golden Greek Pepperoncini? (SS)
    • Pepperoncini (K)
    • Ancho 101 (SW) poor germ
    • Lombardo (F)


      • Aci Sivri C.annuum. (SW) Turkish
      • Amarillo C.Baccatum (MS)  Heat 7-8/10
      • Bob’s Black Sea Chilli C.annuum.(SW)
      • Cayenne (SS) Heat 7-8/10
      • Ciligia Piccante/Satan’s Kiss C.Annuum Heat 1/10
      • Chile De Arbol Heat 6-7/10 (SW) New seeds 2009
      • Chiletepin orTepin C.Annuum var. glabriusculum Heat 8/10 Mexico
      • Cyclon C.Annuum (SW)  Poland
      • D’Espelette C.Annuum Heat 3-4/10 French Basque
      • Exploding Ember C.Annuum (SW/SS)
      • Fish Pepper C.Annuum (SW) Heat 10/10
      • Guindilla C.Annuum (Mar) Heat 3-4/10 Spain
      • Grandpa’s Home Pepper C.Annuum (SS) Siberia
      • Habanero, Peach C.Chinense Hot
      • Habanero, Red (Mar) C.Chinense Heat 10/10
      • Holy Mole C.Annuum (SW) Pasilla type  F1
      • Hungarian Death C.Annuum (AH/SW) Hungary, Very Hot
      • India Goat Horn C.Annuum (SW)
      • Jalapeño Conchos C.Annuum (SW/SS) Heat 4/10
      • Jalapeño C.Annuum (SW) new seeds 2009
      • Kashmiri 2009 C.Annuum (MS) Heat 7/10 market pepper
      • Lemon Drop . Heat 8/10 (K/SS)
      • Maroccan Green Hot C.Annuum (Mar)
      • Oriental Red C.Annuum (Mar) mild
      • Pasilla (k) C.Annuum Mexico Heat 1/10 poor germ but got 1 to germinate
      • Rocoto Red C.Pubescens (SW) Peru
      • Rotoco, Alberto C.Pubescens (SW)
      • Santaka C.Annuum (SW) Japan Heat 8/10
      • Scotch Bonnet, yellow C.Chinense (PC) Caribbean
      • Serrano C.Annuum (SW) Heat 5/10
      • Tabasco C.Frutescens (Tz) Louisianna Heat 8/10
      • Thai Red C.Annuum (Mar/SS) Heat Level 8-9

PHYSALIS Solanaceae
Sow undercover 6-8 weeks before last frost, can take up to 3 weeks to germinate, plant out mid spring – early summer or sow direct.

      • Ground Cherry/Physalis (Physalis Pubescens) Goldie (K) (SS) height of 30-40cm
      • Ground Cherry/Physalis (Physalis Peruviana) Golden Berry Height 50-100cm
      • Physalis (Physalis  ????) A Gout de Prune S: Mar-April (PdC) said to taste like plums.
      • Tomatillo, Purple Physalis philadelphicafor mexican savory sauces

TOMATOES (Solanum lycopersicum) Lycopersicon esculentum
Sow in Heat March-April or Direct May Transplant after last frost

      • Tomato Cyril’s Choice (HSL)
      • Tomato Greek (HSL)
      • Tomato Double Rich*  (K)(SS) red beefsteak
      • Tomato Cuostralee (K)(SS) red beefsteak
      • Tomato Ananas/ Pineapple yellow/red beefsteak
      • Tomato Emerald Evergreen green beefsteak.
      • Tomato Green Zebra (HSL/SS) small yellow/green stripe
      • Tomato Black Zebra (Mar) small black/red stripe
      • Tomato Tigerella (SW) small yellow/red stripe
      • Tomato Zuchero (B&Q)small plum
      • Tomato Yellow Pear (SW)
      • Tomato Noir De Crimée *(V/SS)black
      • Tomato Spanish Black (Mar)
      • Tomato Kumato (Mar) black
      • Tomato Caro Rich* (K/SS) orange
      • Tomato Eva’s Purple Ball (SW/SS) pink/purple
      • Tomato White Rabbit (K)(SS) white cherry
      • Tomato Brown Berry (SW) brown cherry
      • Tomato Black Cherry (K/SS) brown cherry
      • Tomato Peacevine (HSL/SS) red cherry
      • Tomato Roma V.F. determinate paste
      • Tomato San Marzano*  paste
      • Tomato Cornu des Andes* paste

I am hoping to start a perennial garden; taking the form of a forest that willl mirror nature and contain plants that self-seed or produce a crop year after year. 

      • Asparagus Asparagus officinalis
      • Sunchoke /Jerusalem Artichoke Helianthus tuberosus. Asteraceae
      • Cardoon Cynara cardunculus.Asteraceae Plein Blanc Enerme S (March-April)-May H Sept-Dec
      • Welsh Onion Allium fistulosum perennial
      • Tree Onion Allium cepa proliferum Amish (SW) perennial
      • Tree Onion Allium cepa proliferum Egyptian Walking Onion (SW) perennial
      • Garlic Chives Allium 
      • Sorrel Rumex Scutatus perennial   (O)


Those marked with a * are my favourite varieties ones I will always grow because they produce well and are valued in my kitchen. 
Sow TP Transplant P Plant  H Harvest
Seed Source Code
(SS) self saved (SW)Seed Swap (K) Kokopelli (HSL) Heritage Seed Library (F) Franchi Seeds (V)Vilmorin (DO) Duchy Originals (O) Organic Seed Catalogue (T) Tuckers Seeds (RS) Real Seeds (N) Nicky’s Seeds (PC) Potager d’un Curieux (Eden) The Eden Project (LeP) Le Paysan  (Tz) Tezier (C) Caillard(AH) Amish Heirloom Seeds (Mar) saved from a market fruit
Thanks to seed swappers:  David at Piglets Plots, Patrick at Bifurcated Carrots,Christina at A thinking Stomach,  Sharon at Mustard Plaster ,  James at Growing Groceries, Matron at Down on the Allotment , Cindy in Texas, Anslem in Spain, Teleri from Olives and Artichokes, Bob in Tasmania, Søren from In The Toad’s Garden

NB Seeds Removed from list
I’ve had a problem with some of the seeds I’ve received in swaps and through Kokopelli members sharing scheme. The problem has been one of poor viability, I have a load of poor seeds particularly capsicums, old or not stored properly whatever they just won’t germinate so I’ve finally given up on them and removed them from the list after one last go with them last month. 
Sweet Cherry
(K), Ancho San Luis (SW), Anaheim TMR 23 (SW), Cascabella (SW), Chile De Arbol (SW) 2008, Jalapeño C.Annuum (SW) 2008 came from Tesco peppers I believe no germination Pasilla Bajio C.Annuum (SW), Trinidad Seasoning C.Chinense (SW) poor germ last year, weak plants produced no fruit this year no germination from remaining seeds.

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Chilli, Cayenne

Capsicum annuum, Cayenne , plant

I normally grow at least 6 cayenne plants each years which produce baskets of pods, as nothing I’ve yet grown come close to the Cayennes for drying and making a punchy chilli powder.

Chilli, Cayenne fresh and still green

Chilli, Cayenne fresh and matured to red

Cayenne chillis are one of the most widely grown chillis in the world; popular with both the food industry and kitchen gardeners and I can understand why. They are tough, reliable, productive and easy to grow but most importantly they are brilliant in the kitchen. If I could grow only one chilli in my garden, it would have to be this one because it is the most versatile. The fruit are clean and hot with a lovely sharp capsicum flavour and can be used fresh either green or ripened to red, dried they are even better; the flavour deepens and the colour intensifies. Cayenne have thin fleshed pods so they dry quickly and easily, and the dried pods can be used whole, crumbled or ground into a powder. In powder form it is incredibly useful in the kitchen because it is easier to control the chilli heat by adding a little at a time. If you use a whole pod, the deed is done and you cannot take the heat out but a tiny pinch goes a long way and you can transform a whole meal with just a sprinkle.

Chilli, Cayenne pods harvested and dried

Chilli, Cayenne dried and powdered

See post on Making chilli and paprika powders
Original seed source: Gondian
MDD Growing Log
2004 S: March 27 Set out June 23 Excellent crop (ran butternut squash along base of plants worked well provided root shade.)
2005 S: Feb 11 Set out May 30, excellent crop from 6 plants. From self saved seeds.
2006 S: March 29 Set out June 20, super crop 6 plants.  From self saved seeds
2007 S: March 17 failed crop of seedlings (weather) all but 1 plant and the wild boars turfed it up out on the garden.
2008 S: Sept 24 4 pots in house, greenfly reduced health and only a 2 planted in tunnel.

Scovilles (SHU) are the unit of the measurement of heat in capsicums. Pure capsaicin measures 16,000,000 SHU at the other end of the scale sweet peppers measure zero, a medium heat chilli, like a Jalapeños measures 3,000–6,000 SHU and a hot Habaneros can measure 300,000. Chillis are sometimes given a Heat level from 0 to 10 which is based on the SHU.

Note this variety log is part of a series on my favourite varieties; the pick of the crop and the ones that I will continue to grow and save seeds of. I like to keep good records for the varieties I maintain seeds for. See my other variety files


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