May 2017 I: an experiment making my own seeds…

Over the past 3 years, I have started making my own seeds for a few vegetables. These have been:

1. Tomatos and Chili peppers – these are easy and are made from fruit you have picked from the plant, so there is no time pressure.

2. French Climbing Beans and dwarf beans – these are also easy and these crops are not usually requiring to be pulled before seeds mature in pods.

3. Broad Beans and Peas – although these are easy, there is usually acute pressure to pull up the plants after crop harvest to plant out a second crop.

So, this year, I have put four broad bean and pea seedlings into 30cm pots to allow seeds to mature away from the garden.

As the pictures show, the plants are doing well for early May, with the broad beans flowering and the plants climbing the pole rapidly. It will be interesting to see how well seeds from plants grown in pots perform when put back into soil in 2018.

The other experiment I am trying this year is growing onion seed, this year progressing six Kelsae plants in pots:

The scapes are now forming well and should turn into seed heads in a month or two.

The proof of the system’s worth will of course be in 2018….

Author: Rhys

Rhys trained as a research biologist, working for a decade in the cancer research charity sector, before completing an MBA and working in management consultancy, technology transfer and early technology investment spaces, mostly working with UK academics to turn their scientific discoveries into value for society. AS a younger man, he was fascinated with mountains, both climbing them and ski-ing down them. Whilst living in Scotland, he completed a round of (then) all 277 Munros, the independent mountains over 3000ft originally complied as a list by Munro. He also spent his holidays representing the Ski Club of GB, as a Representative and Party Leader between 1990 and 1997. During that time, he found to his bemusement that he was able to predict, without understanding fully why, to a remarkable degree of accuracy, when good snow conditions would occur in the Alps, gaining an unworthy reputation for predictive genius in 1990 when predicting the evolution of the 1989/90 winter in Wengen, Switzerland for his CEO boss. He used this skill for the next seven years to ensure that he enjoyed powder snow pretty much every time he went ski-ing. An MD student he was training in Oxford also impressed his wife by taking Rhys' advice about when to take her to Italy in the mid 1990s! In recent years, Rhys has turned his mind toward how to grow prize tomatoes, winning several prizes in local and London shows and has, in the past 3 years, moved toward taking over a 50 square metre urban vegetable patch, which he has turned into a no-dig area since autumn 2014.

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