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Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:09 pm
by Odsox
I grow mainly open pollinated plants too. The only F1 that I grow are these latest blight resistant tomatoes (along side normal ones) and Brussel sprouts. The reason for the sprouts is that I only grow about half a dozen plants otherwise I get inundated, and years ago when I grew non-F1 half the plants seemed to go wrong, small stunted ones and ones that produced loose "blown" sprouts, which left me with a small crop.
Some F1 varieties are fine, but many now appearing in seed catalogues are commercial varieties, as opposed to garden varieties, which may not suit what you want out of a plant.
Commercial peas for instance are bred to be short stemmed and to have all the pods ripe at the same time. That way they can harvest them all with a machine. If you grow these at home you will get a glut for a week and then nothing, plus taste is way down the list of desirable traits.
Carrots are bred for strong stems, so that a machine can pull them out of the ground, tomatoes for their storage potential between harvesting and several days on a supermarket shelf (the same goes for strawberries), taste again is not much of a criteria.

Yes you can save seed from F1 plants, they then become F2. They won't be the same as the original of course, but most should be broadly similar.
Like Maggie I saved seed from a supermarket tomato. It came pretty true for several years, but this year it's not doing well. The problem is of course I have no idea what the name of the original was, so I can never replace it.

Not a stupid question at all. :iconbiggrin:

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:05 pm
by bonniethomas06
Hmm that is really interesting, thanks. I will step out of my seed comfort zone. I do remember some exquisite piccolino peppers I saved from a Riverford veg box once that produced a whole summers worth of perfect peppers. Timely as the Dobies catalogue arrived on my doorstep this morning, squee!

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:01 pm
by diggernotdreamer
Have a look at Real Seeds, they have some very interesting things on there, no F1's at all, and they grow all the stuff and save their own seeds, they test that everything they sell is suitable for UK conditions and have detailed instructions for seed saving, also the Organic Gardening Catalogue they sell stuff suited to the organic grower, some F1 stuff but mostly tried and tested older varieties, potato varieties suited to chemical free growing

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:41 pm
by Odsox
Just to reinforce what I said earlier, I am growing 5 cauliflowers at the moment.
They were all sown at the same time and planted out at the same time. One we ate 2 weeks ago, another one will be harvested for next Sunday dinner. The other 3 are at various stages of growth although all are hearting up nicely.
They are open pollinated All Year Round and if they had been an F1 variety they would all have matured in the same week.

They would be no good for commercial growing, but ideal for what I want.

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:20 am
by bonniethomas06
Hmm, a good point indeed. I will definitely be a bit more selective with my seeds this year - you are right, gluts are difficult and I am hopeless at successional sowing. Even when I sow the bloody things a month apart, they seem to catch up with each other anyway!

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:55 am
by Odsox
diggernotdreamer wrote:I save small and large of everything in the misguided theory that this will lead to better genetic diversity

I planted my autumn Garlic today (and shallots) and when I came to separate the bulbs I found that the Champion Purple were huge cloves, almost as big as Elephant garlic, but the Early Purple Wight were fairly tiny. I did contemplate rifling the larder for a better one, but then with what you wrote decided to experiment and planted them.
It will be interesting to see what the result will be next June.

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:05 pm
by diggernotdreamer
ooh eck, I hope they turn out all right then, you know me and my wibbly wobbly garden methods, anything could happen

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:38 pm
by Brewtrog
Finally pulled our liquorice up this year. Although there is quite a lot of it, I'm a bit disappointed after 3 years of it growing. So saying I know I lost some growing under the border. Now to work out what to do with it all :scratch:

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:34 pm
by Penny Lane
diggernotdreamer wrote:Have a look at Real Seeds, they have some very interesting things on there, no F1's at all, and they grow all the stuff and save their own seeds, they test that everything they sell is suitable for UK conditions and have detailed instructions for seed saving, also the Organic Gardening Catalogue they sell stuff suited to the organic grower, some F1 stuff but mostly tried and tested older varieties, potato varieties suited to chemical free growing



I'm going to buy from Real Seeds next year too. I love their website. I've spent perhaps too many hours going through all the seeds they supply,reading the articles and reviews!

On gluts and failures. I had a good crop of runner beans just as I started threatening to pull them down! Leeks are doing really well but that's it.
Courgettes I grew were absolutely rubbish. I got three usable courgettes off five plants! Potatoes were ok but they got blight so had to come up earlier than I wanted.
Next year will be better...

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:51 pm
by Flo
Penny Lane wrote:Next year will be better...

Or different. :wink: :wink: :mrgreen:

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:00 pm
by Weedo
Excess citrus.

I have a reasonably prolific navel orange, lemon and grapefruit. Unfortunately most of the fruit goes to waste for a number of reasons; I have tried marmalades, juicing and freezing etc. but this only seems to shift the glut from the tree to the bottle. We are in the middle of one of our largest citrus producing regions and fruit is freely available so it is even hard to give it away. Grapefruit doesn't seem to be on anyones' menu anymore.

I do need to strip the fruit each year to break the pest (fruit fly) risk and I don't want to pull them out because they are a great windbreak and look good.

Any ideas? Three fruits wine? Get a couple of pigs?

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:21 am
by Flo
Don't any other people bottle and jam? Could you set up a home made marmalade business?

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:28 am
by Green Aura
I'd love to try and handle that kind of glut!

Different scale, I know, but I buy 1kg each - oranges and lemons, weekly. The oranges largely get juiced and made into ice cubes for our evening gin (four orange ice cubes and a splash of soda - I like it better than tonic and it's allowed in our diet). The lemons mainly go in cooking and salad dressings but if I run up a bit of a glut I either salt them to preserve or zest them (I have a little bag in the freezer) and juice as ice cubes again (OH has, on occasion, confused them with the orange cubes - gin and lemon is a bit of a shock!). I've got a jar of fermented pink grapefruit "marmalade" - thinly sliced quartered grapefruit, lacto-fermented. It goes beautifully in salads, with fish and spicy foods. Unfortunately it only used about 3, so wouldn't answer your problem. Orange wine is lovely, and retains a fresh (although not necessarily orangey) bouquet.

My issue with citrus fruits is what to do with the peel. I read somewhere that you shouldn't put them in the compost, so I've been throwing them in the bin but that feels very uncomfortable.

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:07 pm
by Odsox
Green Aura wrote:My issue with citrus fruits is what to do with the peel. I read somewhere that you shouldn't put them in the compost, so I've been throwing them in the bin but that feels very uncomfortable

I used to make lots of candied peel when I could eat sugary things, it was very nice to eat as a snack.

My missus eats an orange a day and the peel goes in our compost bin, I haven't seen anything untoward with it and I have never seen anything looking remotely like orange peel when I spread the compost.

Re: This year's gluts and failures

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:19 pm
by Green Aura
I wonder if I might be mistaking it with not putting it in the worm bin. (Guess who's been Googling :lol: ).

Our output would be approximately double yours, so should probably still be OK. Ta.