AS the thud of the next 2012 seed and plant catalogue hits the front door mat, I wonder at whether all the hype and panic about a second and possible global recession is fact or fiction.
One might suspect that it is isolated to a few scare-mongering stock brokers and bankers in London who will not be able to afford another new Porsche this year or a few megalomaniac politicians who think they might lose a vote or two!
Getting back to a more gentle, sustainable occupation, the 2012 seed catalogues seem to be showing a trend that has not been too evident over recent years – the hints and details about whether a particular new cultivar of a vegetable or fruit can resist the ravages of some annoying pest or disease.
This important issue seems to have been forgotten by many breeders for too long and now, with pesticides fast disappearing from our garden centre shelves, the trend is to encourage organic and non-chemical growing.
Take Thomson and Morgan’s Fruit and Vegetable catalogues for example.
A new variety of main crop potato called Rubesse is said to have eelworm resistance and disease resistance (I wonder which diseases?) – try it for yourself and let me know.
A new pink raspberry called Valentina is said to have resistance to aphids and diseases – again no detail but I await your comments next autumn.
You might look out for pear Accolade’ which is reported to be a heavy cropper and pea Shiraz with its purple pods that turn green as they are steamed or boiled.
A pink garlic called Edenrose is new to this country and has a delicate flavour. Why not try out the new Verbascum Blue Lagoon – the only true blue one, the catalogue suggests.
Mr Fothergill’s catalogue highlights a number of vegetables from around the world under the banner of VE – Vegetable Explorer.
A pink seeded variety of broadbean from Eastern Europe called Karmazyn and a Soya Bean variety called Elena are amongst a wide selection that you might consider as alternatives to the norm.
Look out for Beetroot Albina Vereduna with its sweet white beets – you can eat the foliage as well!
A clubroot resistant variety of Brussels sprout called Crispus might be worth a try or you can test out the new hybrid between Brussels sprouts and kale called Brukale Petit Rosy.
The Garden Organic organisation has a commercial arm known as the Organic Gardening Catalogue, which is online at www.organicgardeningcatalogue.com or you can call them for a hard copy of their 2012 catalogue on 01932 253666.
Amongst their selection of new varieties on offer are a bolt resistant Beetroot called Rhonda and a new French Bean Nassau that is said to be resistant to a number of diseases.
Try leek Oarsman as a bolting and rust-resistant variety and the new potato Trixie, with its long tubers and delicious flavour, that sounds worthy of a space in the vegetable garden.
Next week I will give you my thoughts on the latest from Sutton’s, Dobies and DT Browns new seed catalogues.
If you have tried out a new cultivar laden with promises that either did or did not quite make it, why not write to me at Graham’s Seed Selections, Features Department, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Pennine Business Park, Longbow Close, Bradley Road, Huddersfield, HD2 1GQ.