Seed saving

As well as watching over our green manure like horticultural hawks, we're in the throes of deciding what we need to save from this year to sow next year, and what we're going to have to buy:

Saving

• Shallots - we replant our smallest shallots year on year
• Black tomato seed - outdoor variety - we were given this tomato seed four years ago by our lovely neighbour Sue, and we grow it every year at home in the garden, not on the allotment (outdoor tomatoes always get blight on the plot)
• Olive tomato - we were given this tomato plant by Len and we're not sure if its F1 hybrid or not. We're going to save some seed anyway, and give it a try in the greenhouse
• Royal Black Chilli - it's so pretty and we gave away so many plants grown from the original seed that was donated by Jill that we're going to save seed again and hope that in 2011 it will get off to a faster start

Buying

• Peppers – we are enjoying the chocolate peppers a lot, but visitors to our house do seem a bit dubious about them, so we’re going to have some classic red peppers too, for when we’re entertaining guests
• Borlotti – to our great disappointment we haven’t managed to get hold of any tall borlotti beans that are not F1 hybrids. We can buy dwarf borlotti that are not F1 but they are only about half as productive (naturally enough!) as the tall ones. We want the tall ones and will be scouring catalogues to obtain them.
• Nero kale – I was rather hoping somebody would give us a couple of Cavolo Nero plants this year, but nobody did. Black Tuscan, as it’s known in some catalogues, is an elegant and very tasty and hardy winter vegetable, and you can save the seed easily if you have a parent plant (which we don’t, hint hint!) so if we don’t manage to track down a seed-saving allotment-holder we shall end up investing in seed of our own.

Buying seed is a bit of an issue for me – sometimes I love splurging on new plants and seed and at other times I feel that I should be more frugal and try to run my whole allotment from saved seed and propagated plants. Am I alone in feeling the tension between self-sufficiency and investing in my passion?

Those green manures do really shoot up don't they? This picture shows our mustard four days (FOUR DAYS) after sowing!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 Comments:

Blogger Joanna said...

We have wild garlic mustard growing in our ploughed land and that didn't take long to spout up either. Unlike you we haven't had time to plough it in and so I guess we are going to have it springing up amongst our vegetables next year. Heh ho! At least it doesn't drown the seeds like some plants do.

August 31, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous allotments4you.com said...

wow...sorting your seeds now is VERY organized...maybe if I did this I wouldn't end up with hundreds of one thing and none of another!!

September 2, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

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