Just to let you all know that we're in the middle of a project to rebuild our Quickcrop seed range at the moment - as well as providing more comprehensive info on the different varieties.
Brexit is still causing seed import issues and is one of the reasons for revisiting our seed range but we are also aware that some open pollinated seed varieties have not been maintained as well as they should over the last number of years. Maintaining a seed variety refers to the seed growers making sure that no cross pollination occurs between other varieties and that 'rogue' plants (natural mutations) are removed from the seed crops.
The seed varieties we all grow were created through a process of cross pollination in the first place so it stands to reason that this work can be undone in the same way. Rogue plants will inevitably arise in seed crops, it is the natural way of things, but if they aren't removed they will cross pollinate with the true types and compromise the purity of the resulting seed.
It may be the result of a perfect storm due to very high seed demand over the past year or two coupled with low production but this issue seems to have gotten worse over the last 2 years. I should mention that we grow most of the varieties we sell, both in our gardens and in our seedling business so we are testing batches every year. We haven't had any major issues apart from some decline in germination rates for a small number of varieties but we feel it is time to make a move anyway.
You won't see a change in many of our favourite varieties (we are changing the supplier rather than the variety) but we will be adding a number of exciting new ones from selected seed producers. We have also been keeping an eye on some of the top growers like the fabulous Charles Dowding in the UK and trialing some of the seed varieties that they recommend.
We have had particular success with seed from Bingenheimer in Germany (a company I see Mr. Dowding mention often) who curate an exceptionally well maintained range of open pollinated seed. We have found the germination rates, vigour and reliability to be on a par with some of the best F1 varieties. Naturally we will be including seed from Bingenheimer in our new selection and am very much looking forward to stocking them.