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

Aubergines
Beans - French
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Beetroot
Broad Beans
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Carrots
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& suchlike things
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Unusual Tubers: Oca & Yacon

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Some special Books
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SEEDSAVING

Why Save Your Own Seed?
How to Save Seed
Start a Seed Circle!
Seedsaving Book
Threshing & Winnowing
Processing Brassica Seed

Drying your seed

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

 

INFORMATION

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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

 

PAYMENT



 

~ BEETROOT Seed ~

plant picture White Beetroot
Not just a novelty, this pointy white beetroot is great - no more red stains all over the kitchen. The flavour is just as normal. It is also the most productive and quick-growing beetroot we have found.

Although white beetroot have been known since at least Roman times, this is an improved modern variety for small gardeners, and dual-purpose - the succulent green leaves have been bred for use as leaf beet or chard. We often pick the beet in the morning, cook the leaves at lunch, & eat the root for dinner.

White beetroot. Leaves also particularly good to eat

Order BtWH - 100 seed £1.60



plant pictureplant picture Sanguina Beetroot
The name means "Blood". If you do want a good traditional, deep blood-red beetroot, this is the one.

Large conical roots, with intense red flesh, very juicy and sweet. This special strain from Italy is the most productive red beetroot we have found. Tender even when huge!

Very large conical roots. Tender, no woodiness. Deep red.

Order BtSA - 150 seed £1.50

 

"Sanguina beetroot is tops!! germinated really well and is installed all over the garden." - Lexie Munro




~ CARROT Seeds ~

plant pictureD'Eysines Carrot VERY FAT
This is a good productive old French variety , of the "half-long Nantes" type, that makes nice orange roots, more cylindrical than the others we have. It has been grown for many years in the region around Bordeaux.

They are a good orange colour throughout, including the core, with a good flavour and medium-sweet taste. Early in the season they are long and thin much like any other orange carrot, but later they get incredibly fat, with a unique conical shape.

We included it in our carrot trials for the first time in 2003, and in the end because it makes such very fat roots, it gave one of the highest yields of the lot!

Traditional carrot from France. High yielding with good flavour

Order CtDE - About 300 seed £1.30




plant picture 'Giant Red' Dark Orange Carrot
Despite the name, this is not what we would call truly giant! However, the vigour and flavour of this Italian variety are terrific - large carrots grow quickly, with big, orange pointy roots.

The flesh is sweet without bitterness, while still retaining a good 'carrotty' flavour, and the core is much reduced. We will definitely be keeping this one in the future, while selecting for a redder colour.

Quick, large table carrot . Young specimen in photo doesn't do it credit - they get bigger!

Order CtGR - About 350 seed £1.35



plant picture'Jaune Obtuse de Doubs' Yellow Carrot
Most people don't realise that orange carrots are a modern invention. Carrots naturally come in a range of colours - white and yellow from Europe, and purple from the Middle East where agriculture originated about 11000 years ago. (The orange ones are actually a recent cross between the groups in the past couple of hundred years. )

Anyways, the point is that yellow is a perfectly sensible colour for a carrot! This old traditional French variety has yellow roots with blunt ("obtuse") tips that are easy to dig up with no risk of snapping, and a good strong (but sweet) carrot taste.

Yellow carrots look great sliced or grated in salads, and they stay yellow when cooked.

Traditional yellow carrot , good flavour.

Order CtJO - about 350 seed £1.35

Note: This is a great old variety but over the years has started to depart from its original description. We are looking for someone to take this on as a project, to reselect for a brighter yellow colour and more typically rounded-tip root shape. It shouldn't be too big a task - you'll need to grow about 120 carrots and keep the best 60 of them for seed the following year. If you are interested in joining our growers network, please do get in touch!



plant picture

'Blanc a Collet Vert' White & Green Carrot
This is a traditional variety once popular all over Europe. We think it originated in Belgium about 200 years ago as a selection from the 'Long White' variety.

The long root is white, and the top inch or so sticks up out of the soil, turning green.

It's a nice carrot, and always popular with Historical re-enactment societies (They have to have white carrots in their soup before the battles, for true authenticity!)

White, green tops, long and pointy. Needs good spacing for best results.

Order CtBC - about 350 seed £0.99



' Lisse de Meaux' Long Carrot - SWEET , GOOD FOR STORAGE OVERWINTER

New last year, a medium long orange carrot with rounded tips. We like the flesh which is particularly sweet, and gets sweeter after lifting.

It is a late-season carrot, best planted for a maincrop, and we chose it for its very long-keeping qualities once harvested.

Good keeper, maincrop

Order CtLM - about 350 seed £1.30



Saving Carrot Seed:

Carrot seed is fairly easy, provided you don't have any wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace') growing nearby.
Here we are selecting and storing Dragon Purple Carrots for seed production. plant picture

Carrots flower in their second year, so you need to dig up your carrots in Autumn.
Lay them all out so you can compare them, and select the best 40 roots:

plant picture

Make sure you choose ones that are true-to-type: right colour, shape & size. You can even test the taste by slicing off the tip!

If your area has cold winters, store them in sand or sawdust in a cool but frost-free place, and plant out in spring.
(the ideal is about 5-10 C and 95% humidity, so keep them damp)

plant picture
Otherwise in milder areas, replant them straight away where you want them to grow.

You can plant them quite close together, so 40 needn't take up much space.
(The numbers are really important if you want to get good seed.)

The next summer they will flower (to about 5 foot high!)
MAKE SURE THERE IS NO QUEEN ANNES LACE NEARBY, THEY WILL CROSS!

plant pictureplant picture

... and seed is ready in autumn. Just rub the seed off when it is mostly brown.
You will get huge amounts of seed: dry it well, and it will be good for 2 years.

plant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant picture

Basic seed-saving instructions are included with your seeds, so you can do this yourself.
There are more detailed home-seed saving guides (printable) over to the left of this page,
in the box titled 'SeedSaving', with sheets on drying and storing your seed too.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.



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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