Friday, December 13, 2013

Seeds

Seeds are at the very heart of gardening, yes we can reproduce plants through division and cuttings, but it is only through seeds that plants maintain healthy genetic variety. (A simple illustration of this is to think of a tree being used as a source for cuttings, being widely distributed, used and grown - all effectively the same plant genetically and therefore all susceptible to the same threats ans diseases in the same way. Contrast this with work in the UK, underway at present, to identify those ash trees which have a natural resistance to the disease now threatening our native ash population).

In my latest news message from Garden Organic, I see that the proposed regulation of seeds within the EU, which had been adjusted and improved, in response to representations, from Garden Organic amongst others, is now being put back on the table (by the EU’s Chief Rapporteur for Agriculture, Sergio Silvestris) in its more restrictive form.

Regulation of seeds for a healthy environment is to be welcomed, yet not if it is to the advantage of large scale seed producers over small businesses and individuals and certainly not if it has the effect of reducing genetic diversity and resilience.
More information from Garden Organic

I am happy and able to buy some commercial F1 seeds, and do not mind paying the price for the research that has made them possible, for example this year's included: CARROT Fly Away F1, COURGETTE Black Forest F1 (Upright), CUCUMBER Bella F1 and TOMATO Ferline F1

From other plants and varieties I have enjoyed I wish to keep back some of the seeds, below are pictures of bean and tomato seeds which will hopefully do well for me again next year.

Tomato and bean seeds
Black Prince and Cosmonaut Volcov tomato seeds with French and runner beans behind
Who knows what new, exciting or useful varieties might pop up, just through the chance of gardeners and growers keeping back seed.

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