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Seeds for a cool climate, with short growing seasons

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by Toddy, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I have heard it said that Scotland doesn't have poor soils and growing conditions compared to Southern regions such as the Med, etc., but rich Northern ones.

    I have a found an Alaskan seed merchant who sells good seeds that experience shows will grow in their short season, and I'm wondering about things like sweetcorn and the like, and that comment about rich Northern growing came back to mindÂ….does anyone know of a European site like this one ?

    https://bestcoolseeds.com

    I don't know if I'm allowed to import seeds from Alaska, but surely within the EU it should be fine ?

    M
     
  2. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Somewhat further south along the coast in British Columbia is West Coast Seeds.
    They claim that they won't don't sell what doesn't grow well in the Pacific North West.

    Surely there must be some Scandanavian Seed Houses?
     
  3. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    That was rather what I thought, and we do have RealSeeds here who only provide seeds that they themselves say are worth saving for next years crops, but I haven't found anyone else who specifically says that they're providing seeds for short Northern growing seasons.

    My bit of the world is about 55Deg North. and it's generally if not actually raining, at least lightly overcast. It's an Atlantic climate that's warmer than might be expected because of the Gulf Stream.

    British Red grew and passed along plants like Oca and Yacon, but we had real concerns about our short growing season (I got lucky last year :) ) and then I found the Alaskan site and they're selling sweetcorn that they say will grow and ripen in the far North :) I thought that's got to be worth an investigate :D

    M
     
  4. nic a char

    nic a char Settler

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    Your growing season is quite long enough, you can fettle your soil to suit what you want to grow, separate beds if necessary, it's then about shelter and good drainage if you're growing in the open - rich victorians made their serfs produce pineapples in Scotland - albeit with heated beds.
    A cool DIY "greenhouse" will be enough to get your seeds off to a frost-free and early start for planting out after any late frosts in May.
    TBH I've found local allotment-growers a much more reliable source of valid information than seed houses - good luck with your efforts.
     
  5. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I have bought seeds from the US without difficulty before Mary. They use a zone system for climate. If you can work out which zone you are in, it makes seed buying easier. My problem with corn is wind damage, same as long stemmed wheat. Don't know if you get high winds?
     
  6. Drain Bamaged

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    Mary, you mention in particular Sweetcorn, have you thought about the baby Sweetcorns? ‘MiniPop’ is one that comes to mind, though there are several more recognised varieties…….the beauty of these is you eat them ‘before’ they are fertilized and grown to full size, meaning you can generally harvest them a good month before a mature cob. The fact that several baby cobs will develop on each stalk and the fact that you eat the whole thing rather than just the grain means weight of actual produce is pretty similar. Another advantage is that because you don’t want them pollinated (fertilized) there is no need to plant them in ‘blocks’ they can be planted in rows along walls and hedges etc. where they get added protection…..I actually took advantage of the stalks last year and grew Cucumelons and Gherkins against and up them which seemed to work really well and in the case of the particular three plants mentioned plenty of water, providing they are not ‘stood’ in it is certainly of no disadvantage. I am by no means as far North as yourself and obviously one good growing year for me doesn’t really mean anything but it’s something else to consider and the seed is readily available (I think mine may even have come from ‘real seeds’).
     
  7. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    That sound very interesting, Brain Damaged :D and well worth having a think about :D

    Hugh, I hear what you're saying, and we do get winds, but I manage to grow sunflowers (though they rarely get long enough to produce heads full of seeds….I need a different variety there too, I think) and I thought the corn stalks if grown in the 'hills'/ clusters might manage, especially if I used some of the windbreak mesh around them once they got up a bit. I could grow them among the willow ?

    Good to know I can buy in the seeds :) I'll check RealSeeds first though.

    atb,
    M
     
  8. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    If you can grow sunflowers you should be OK. I tried three times and lost the lot, even with protection. The wind fairly howls over this flat landscape. Real seeds do corn, as do premier seeds direct who I also like.
     

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