Saturday, 12 March 2011


My Seed Guardian seeds arrived today; Boothby's Blond cucumbers, and Cooper's Bean Pea. It's a little confusing when there are small, rounded beans known as pea beans, and large peas known as bean peas! There's even a Mr. Bound's pea bean and Mr Bound's bean pea, which got me totally mixed up last year.

I read that you can start couve tronchuda indoors in February for an early crop. It's a little late for that, but I'm going to start it on the windowsill in a couple of days, along with a few other brassicas. It'll be good to get a few things started again. There's ben some discussion of the HSL variety Spis Bladene, a white-flowered kale. Apparently the name originated as a mix-up; they acquired it as nameless seed with 'spis bladene' (eat the leaves) on the envelope, and nobody knows what it actually is. So many old varieties have come down to us without their names; it's infuriating. They say it 'appears to be a perennial kale', which is interesting. there used to be a lot of perennials; some flower rarely if ever, while others have to have the flowers picked off to make them last. Over the years, some of them appear to have been selected for biennial flowering; Hungry Gap, if it is the same one, is now a biennial rather than a perennial. I wonder whether anything could be done to breed the perennial tendencies back in? I'd love to try some brassica breeding, but I'm acquiring so many rarities, I'm probably going to be stuck with just perserving them.


  1. Isn't the Couve tronchuda rather day/night length sensitive? I tried it years ago and seem to remember that. Though since I'm at the 56th parallel, that might make it worse.
    Lila, Denmark

  2. It may well be, but I've only grown it the once, so I'm not sure.