A couple of Fridays ago, Gerard gave a talk at Kings Seeds - an introduction to our new varieties. We know that most of you can't make it to Katikati to visit us, but we thought you might be interested to hear a bit about what he had to say. I couldn't write fast enough to get everything onto paper, but there are some little gems of information that you might enjoy .... this blog is a great way for us to let you know some of the extra bits and pieces that we can't fit into our catalogue. This blog entry doesn't cover all our new varieties but we thought we would mention a few of them.
WHY NEW VARIETIES?
The reason we introduce new varieties is to be continually refreshing the range of seeds we offer at Kings Seeds. This year we have added about seventy new varieties. Around sixty varieties have been discontinued. Some of the reasons we might discontinue a particular variety is if it hasn't been popular, it has become unavailable, or because a better, improved variety has been brought in as a replacement.
NEW TO OUR FLOWER RANGEWe have about 25 new flowers. One of the things Gerard considers when choosing the varieties for the new catalogue is to look at what we presently have and how it is used - for example bedding plants, cut flowers, perennials, vines, plants for hanging baskets.....or do we need to increase our colour range - more in the range of blue flowers, or red flowers, or white flowers.
One of our prettiest new flowers is our Hibiscus Flower of an Hour - this is a New Zealand native which flowers for six months of the year.
NEW TO OUR ORGANIC RANGE
This year nearly half our additions are to our organically certified range - these seeds are all certified to IFOAM standard.
The additions to our organic range have been brought in to strengthen our range and include some high quality hybrids. Three examples of additions to our organic range are:
Bean White Emergo - this is an organic white flowered runner bean - now you can have a wonderful variety of spectacular (and delicious) runner beans in your garden with red, white, pink and bi-coloured flowers. The Sunset Runner and Painted Lady beans we introduced last year have been hugely popular. Pictured below from left to right is White Emergo, Sunset Runner, Painted Lady and Scarlet Runner.
Beetroot Kestral is a good monogerm beetroot. Most beetroot seeds are clusters, meaning that you will get a number of seedlings growing together, but Kestral is a single seed and makes for easy spacing, eliminating the need for thinning.
Our new Rainbow Blend of coloured carrots is already proving very popular - it has just jumped to number one in our list of top sellers! Sow a row of these and you can enjoy red, purple, white and yellow carrots - hugely entertaining for kiddies and grown ups at harvest time!!
NEW TO OUR HERB RANGE
Well, it isn't easy to find new herbs! Gerard has added Angelica Giant Purple to our range of herbs this year. It is an impressive plant which can grow to 3 metres in height! The stems are purple and are more purple when the growing conditions are colder.
NEW TO OUR VEGETABLE RANGE
We have added Soybeans to our catalogue this year and this is another product proving to be very popular. We do get asked a lot about the orgins of our Soybeans - these are regarded as a genetically engineered crop and they are therefore difficult to get into New Zealand. We have found a New Zealand-grown GE free source and so have been able to add Soybean to our range.
Carrot Samantha is a baby carrot, like the ones you see beautifully packaged in the supermarkets....previously available only to commercial growers, we have now made it available to home gardeners. This carrot has a "precocious" gene for colour, which means that these carrots have their wonderful bright colouring even when harvested young.
Well, that gets me only about halfway through Gerard's talk and mentions just a few of the new varieties but I think I'll stop now and continue in next week's blog post, when I'll let you know what Gerard said that caused a stampede towards a particular one of our new varieties, and give you a bit more info on the world's hottest chilli, among plenty of other things.
Thanks for reading our blog!