Duff seed

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Odsox
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Duff seed

Post: #288129 Odsox
Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:55 am

Does anyone else have problems with seed or is it just me?
What I mean by duff seed is, seed bought from reputable seed companies that is either wrong or not pure.

Last year I bought some Gardeners Delight tomato seed which turned out to be Tigerella (or very similar)
This year I bought some cyclamen seed (shock horror he grows flowers too :shock: ) which were supposed to be scented like freesias. They are very nice plants but absolutely scentless.
Plus 2 other oddities, I planted some January King cabbages which are now filling out nicely, but one is most definitely NOT a Jan King, it's twice the size and has smooth light green leaves, not the dark purplish crinkled leaves of the others.
And ( :iconbiggrin: ) there's my winter squash, I'm growing Candy Roaster again, 3 plants, except one is obviously a Potimarron.
I wait with interest as to what next year will bring.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Green Aura
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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288130 Green Aura
Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:34 pm

Apart from the melon pear which wasn't, the only problems we've had are seeds that just aren't viable - none striking from an entire packet. Not common but has happened more than you'd expect (or want!)
I can only put it down to cost cutting from even some of the most reputable companies - repackaging old seeds, staff on piece work or zero hours contracts so they have no incentive to do any quality control, cutting down on viability testing and suchlike.
I've never heard of scented cyclamen, they sound fab - shame they're not.
Maggie

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ina
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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288131 ina
Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:10 pm

All my newly bought seeds (and most of the old stuff) germinated ok - but then I didn't get any broad beans (despite hundreds of flowers on them), and the runner beans succumbed to some strange pest or disease, too... :(
Ina
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Odsox
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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288132 Odsox
Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:20 pm

ina wrote:All my newly bought seeds (and most of the old stuff) germinated ok

I didn't have any problems with germination Ina, just odd plants coming up. I assume the seed packing area is not cleaned or they don't take too much trouble keeping different varieties separated.

Green Aura wrote:I've never heard of scented cyclamen, they sound fab

I was going to provide you with a link to that variety (cyclamen scentsation), but strangely they are not selling it now.
I wonder why? :iconbiggrin:
Tony

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288133 diggernotdreamer
Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:10 am

I have had issues with lettuce seeds a couple of times in the last few years, I would set a whole load of seed of different sorts in a module tray and one lot would fail to germinate, so you give it a few more goes and the same thing happens, I did tell one company about the failure, just for their information, but I think they just think I am doing something wrong

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288137 Weedo
Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:17 am

Folks
Similar issues in Aus. I guess that as our better (ergo more profitable) seed companies become multi-national traders the quality goes down. I know that most no longer grow their own seed but source it anywhere. Some, such as our own beloved Yates Seeds, are now owned by multi-national companies that have fingers in many pies and are quantity, not quality, orientated. I suspect they actually sell the producer the right to use their packaging and actually have nothing to do with the production.

As a weedo, I often monitor what is being imported and sold in seed packets (internet sales are a disaster area !!!!!) and the mixes are incredible - hardly a pack doesn't contain something that is not on the label - even from the most "reputable" names.
There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen - (Sun Tzu 600BC)

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288138 Flo
Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:07 am

Storage doesn't help - think seed packets on display in non temperature controlled shop environments - as well as transport in non ideal conditions.

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288139 Green Aura
Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:31 am

I've also been wondering if they still do the same rigorous testing for F1s. Although that probably wouldn't give you a stripy tomato from a Gardeners' Delight - more likely the other way round I'd have thought.
Maggie

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288142 Odsox
Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:20 pm

cabbage.jpg
cabbage.jpg (124.77 KiB) Viewed 818 times

There you are, does this look like a January King cabbage ?
Miles too big and a soft pappy consistency, very reminiscent of school dinners.
The chicken won't it mind though. :iconbiggrin:
Tony

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Flo
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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288143 Flo
Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:40 pm

So which variety do you reckon it is then Mr Odsox?

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288145 Green Aura
Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:53 pm

It will make some great kimchi.
Maggie

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288146 Weedo
Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:43 pm

Our basic seeds are rapidly becoming owned by businesses ranging from smaller local "breeders" to multinational giants. The first generation hybrids (F1) are predictable in expressing the bred for characteristics but successive generations from saved seeds rapidly degrade and any mix of ancestral characteristics may be expressed - even a completely new variety is possible. Today there are so many original varieties that may be contributing to an F1 that almost any traits could be expressed in subsequent generations, or even in the so called F1 itself.

Couple this with the huge range of patented varieties, leaving smaller breeders no choice but to chase genetics elsewhere, and the much larger production scales of today and you get a loose breeding system. Even some "heirloom" varieties and organic production processes are now being patented.

In my opinion the real issue is not so much with a little variation we get but with our governments allowing (and encouraging) private commercial ownership of our food plants - the financial benefits of this prompt the businesses to focus in on, and force us to use, an ever reducing range of food plants in monocultures.

An even more frightening thing is the fact that the technology for production of "terminator" seeds is available and patented (by one of the largest multi-nationals). Simply put, terminator seeds produce sterile F2 seeds; no viable offspring. We will then be forced to buy new seed, of the type and variety the "owner chooses to sell and at the price they choose to charge every time we want to grow anything.

We can choose not to buy a television, not to buy a particular car etc. but, in the global situation, we cannot choose not to eat.
There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen - (Sun Tzu 600BC)

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288149 Odsox
Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:55 pm

Flo wrote:So which variety do you reckon it is then Mr Odsox?

I have no idea Ms Flo, all I know is it grew from a seed that was in a packet named January King.
All the others have grown into Jan King, just that one.

These are open pollinated non-F1 varieties, so there are two possibilities I suppose. Either the seed plants were not separated enough from other varieties or they don't bother to clean the seed packing machines between varieties.

I grow very few F1 varieties, mainly trialling these new varieties of blight resistant tomatoes and the French/runner bean crosses that allow me to grow runners in the tunnel.

Below is a photo of one of the "proper" January King cabbages in case you have no idea what I'm going on about. I mean a cabbage is a cabbage, isn't it? :lol:

Jan King.jpg
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Tony

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288150 Flo
Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:42 pm

Nope a cabbage is not a cabbage - it's a darned big family and they don't all look alike just for starters. :mrgreen:

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Re: Duff seed

Post: #288152 diggernotdreamer
Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:41 pm

I grow very few F1's, I grow Hispi cabbage because they are small and crunchy, I have just started growing those new flower sprout things. Mostly, I buy seeds from Real Seeds who are completely independent, save quite a few seeds of my own and from the Organic Gardening catalogue. It is scary how many small seed companies have been swallowed up by huge organisations which does affect our food security. All this hoohah about abolishing unregistered seeds and making it illegal to grow this and that just sets off the militant in us gardeners


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