Heirloom vegetable seeds chosen by gardeners.
The best vegetable seeds for the Kitchen Garden
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VEGETABLE SEEDS

Aubergines
Beans - French
Beans - Runner
Beetroot
Broad Beans
Broccoli & Rapini
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Carrots
Celery, & Celeriac
Chicory
Chilli Peppers
Courgettes & Summer Squash
Cucumbers, Gherkins
& suchlike things
Fennel
Flowers
Grains
Herbs
Kale
Kohl Rabi
Leaf Greens for Cooking
Leeks
Lettuces
Melons & Watermelons
Mustard Greens
( for cooking)
Onions - spring sowing
Onions - overwintering
Onions - special types
Oriental Greens for cooking & salads
Parsnips, Root Chicory & Root Parsley
Peas
Pumpkins & Winter Squash
Radishes
(salad, & cooking types)
Salad Vegetables
Sweet Corn
Swedes
Sweet Peppers
Tomatoes : Bush Types
Tomatoes : Vines - Cherries
Tomatoes : Vines - Larger
Tomatoes : New Centiflor types
Tomatilloes & Groundcherries
Turnips
Unusual Tubers: Oca & Yacon

BOOKS and GIFTS

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SEEDSAVING

Why Save Your Own Seed?
How to Save Seed - free booklet!
Drying your seed
Seedsaving Book
Threshing & Winnowing
Pepper/chilli seed tricks
Cabbage (etc) seed details

Start a Seed Circle!

Isolation cage plans
Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties
Open-source Seed Cleaning Machine

INFORMATION

Josie's Kids Gardening Blog
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Browse the Reference Section
Tips for Beginners
How long seed keeps in storage
Monthly Sowing Calendar
Guide to Summer Sowing
Guide to Autumn/Winter Sowing
Why GMO vegetable seed is stupid

 

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Home Seed Drying & Storage

This is a really important bit. You need to dry your seed out, or it will not keep.

Seed that is air-dry is not really properly dormant - its just napping;
so it is still burning through its stored reserves of energy and will soon run flat - like a mobile phone left on.

Also, you can't put it in a sealed container as it is still breathing - it would suffocate. And without a sealed container, it will soon reabsorb water from the air on the first humid day, and start getting ready to germinate.

How can we dry the seed at home?
We'll use dry rice to suck the water out of the seed & get it really dry. Then it will hibernate completely.

You need to get:

  • a big jam-jar with a good lid,
  • an old pair of tights,
  • a rubber band,
  • and some rice

You need to use at least twice as much rice as you have seed. It doesn't matter if you have too much rice, but too little won't work.

plant pictureBake the rice on a tray in the oven for 45 minutes until it is bone dry. While it is still hot, put it in the jam-jar , about half full, and screw the lid on .

Wait patiently until the rice is cool. (If you rush this you'll cook your seeds.) So you now have a jam jar 1/2 full of very dry, cool rice.

Put your seed in a bag made by cutting off the foot of the tights, and tie it in with a rubber band. Put it in with the cool dry rice. Put the lid on tightly, so damp air can't get in.

Leave your seed sealed in the jar with the dry rice for a fortnight, and the dampness in the seed will be drawn out into the rice.

You now have bone-dry seed that you can safely seal in a plastic bag, and it will keep for several years.


Passing it Round
This is also important. You will have huge amounts of seed. If you are sure you avoided crossing, and that your plants were nice and healthy, then you have a valuable thing there.

You will get about two and a half kilos of seed from a 20-foot-long bed of 30 plants. Now that's actually three-quarters of a million seeds - and if every one of those was given away or swapped, and then grown, you will have created more than 500,000 kilograms of kale! More than enough to feed all your friends and neighbours, and their families.

So you can see that even one person, on a small scale, can make a real contribution to local food security. Take your spare seed to a local seed swap, or even better, organise your own. Get to gether with your friends or family and set up a seed-circle: one person can grow kale seed, another parsnips, another cucumber, etc etc. You'll all have bags of seed - you can all just swap with each other, so no-one has to save seed from more than a couple of things, yet you all get seed of everything.

It will save you a fortune, and you'll get great, locally-adapted varieties. Just remember, all this is only possible because you are growing real, open-pollinated seed. You can't do this with hybrid (F1) varieties. Funny how the seed companies are so keen on selling you hybrid seed, isn't it?



The Real Seed Catalogue is produced by The Real Seed Collection Ltd , a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
~ Company No 5924934 ~ VAT No 841181938 ~ DEFRA registered Seed Provider No 7289 ~

Our Unique Guarantee:
We think these are the best seeds you can sow.
We will immediately refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!

Due to daft seed laws, some rare veg seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club. But membership costs just one penny per annum. When we process your order, you will be charged
a penny for a year's Seed Club Membership. For more details see our terms and conditions.

Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed:
Because none of these seeds are hybrids,
you can save your own seed for future use: there's no need to buy new each year.

Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions.
Do have a go - read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.

~ We have sent out over 65,000 sets of home seed-saving instructions!~

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