I just added a list of the seeds I have lined up so far for 2016/7. As usual, it’s a bit long on plants that might be classified elsewhere as weeds, but had some traditional value in the past.
It’s a bit short on veg so far since I haven’t done the order yet. I did find a lot of left over seed from last year while reorganising today though, so I might not need that much if they’re still good.
I also picked up some very old gardening books on atrip yesterday to the garden centre. There was box of old books with a sign saying ‘please take’, so I did.
Seeing the way people used to think about specific topics is quite interesting. There’s no publication date anywhere I can find, but Mr Genders apparently regarded M4 as the best semi-dwarf rootstock for apples, M1, M2 or the ‘new’ M3 as semi-vigorous, and the ‘new’ M25 as a very robust choice. He also included a description of the heritage ‘Cockle Pippin’ variety we planted a year ago, which doesn’t feature in any but the most comprehensive books now, in the ‘For December to January’ section:
Like so many russets, at its best over Christmas, this is an extremely hardy variety. The fruit is sweet and aromatic, the skin being almost an orange colour, shaded with dull russet-brown. Its fruit reaches a good size only in a heavy loam, and should be thinned. Raised in Surrey about 1800, and at one time extensively grown in Surrey and Sussex.
The comment about soil requirements is something interesting I hadn’t read elsewhere. It’s the sort of thing that gets forgotten when varieties are rarely grown and reduced to the odd tree from Brogdale scionwood. No-one remembers anymore why these old varieties lost favour, or the trade-offs in growing them.