Nothing beats the flavour of peas freshly picked from the garden, and kitchen garden mail order supplier D. T. Brown is offering gardeners seed of a very old strain and a new variety for the first time in its 2017 offer. Pea Half Pint (£3.99 for 50gm) is a venerable, old ‘first early’, which is remarkably winter-hardy; it produces a good yield of delicious young peas on extremely neat, compact plants. Half Pint can even be grown in small pots, and is great fun for encouraging children to grow some of their food. It has also been known as ‘Tom Thumb’. Snap pea Nairobi’s abundant pods stay stringless, have a lovely firm, crunchy texture and a really old-fashioned pea taste. They are a real treat tossed into stir-fry dishes. Nairobi (£3.99 for 250 seeds) is also highly tolerant of powdery mildew.
T. Brown is also launching a trio of British-bred Brussels sprouts. Trafalgar F1 (£2.99 for 50 seeds) is almost sweet-tasting, and the ideal variety for Christmas lunch, Attwood F1 (£2.99 for 40 seeds) is also mild-flavoured and crops from December through to March, while Agincourt F1 (£2.99 for 60 seeds) carries on cropping to the end of February.
There are also three tomatoes new to D. T. Brown for the 2017 season in yellow beefsteak Gazzy F1 (£2.79 for 15 seeds), huge-fruited Gigantomo F1 (£2.99 for 10 seeds) and the green-skinned, sweet and juicy ‘cherry’ Sungreen (£3.99 for 10 seeds). Other new highlights of the catalogue include onion Yellow Sweet Spanish (£1.49 for 550 seeds), delicious with burgers or hotdogs, sweet and crunchy cabbage Cabice (£2.69 for 30 seeds), which can be used like an iceberg lettuce, and autumn-cropping cabbage Kilazol F1 (£3.79 for 30 seeds), which shows very good clubroot resistance.
The company reports herbs are becoming increasingly popular with its customers, which it is reflecting in the addition of 19 species and varieties to its offer for the forthcoming season. These include corianders Lemon (£1.59 for 300 seeds) and Cilantro (£1.59 for 500 seeds), salad burnet (£1.59 for 500 seeds), red orach (£1.59 for 500 seeds), caraway (£1.59 for 200 seeds) and both orange-scented (£1.59 for 1000 seeds) and creeping red (£1.59 for 1000 seeds) thymes.
To request a copy of the Fruit and Vegetables Catalogue 2017, write to D. T. Brown, Western Avenue, Matrix Park, Chorley, Lancashire PR7 7NB, telephone 0845 3710532, or go online www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk