Seeds and Books

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.

Planting Fruit Trees, by Roy Genders

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.

4 thoughts on “Seeds and Books

  1. According to Wikipedia, M25 was introduced in 1952, which suggests that the book wws probably first published at some point in the 50s.

  2. I’ve just taken a peak at your list. I don’t know if you’ve ever grown teasel before but on open ground (veg or flower bed near by) it self seeds prolifically. I started with 3 plants from seed. This year I have dug up, dug over and mulched over absolutely hundreds of plants all over the place. In the lawn also.

    Fantastic plant though, just put it in a corner that when it self seeds it won’t matter too much.

    If I left it unchallenged it would dominate my whole garden after 3 years.

    • Are they easy to pull up? I don’t mind self seeding as long as you can pull the seedlings up. If it’s unkillable that’s another matter

      • Not too bad to pull up as long as they haven’t become big, ie, in their first season they are easy. Also easy to kill by putting mulch on top of them.

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