Veg: Are the Old Varieties better than New?

Has anyone else tried 'Misty' Peas from T & M this year? Very few in the row sprouted yet my old favourite Kelvedon Wonder has as usual surpassed itself. Same bed, same soil, same date sown. The new 'Matador' Spinach from T & M however has been superb for the second year running I have turned this one instead of my old favourites. It's better than any lettuce and just keeps coming regardless of weather.


  • They say soaking peas over night in a bowl of water is suppose to help them germinate better, I think it does?

    I think so far it is a very cold year and somethings are weeks late coming. So I sowed some NE Plus Ultra peas in to peat pots in a greenhouse and they have germinated, 2 per pot. I did the same with the Guernsey Half Long Parsnips because those I planted outside never came and I planted my Lumper potatoes in May and they look healthy but I always plant potatoes in May as they are better plants than those planted in April but that is my view?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,579

    I've got a very good crop this year from my overwintered Aquadulce Claudia Broad Beans - the same variety that my mother grew 50 years ago.

    But last year I tried a new variety of sweet corn, described as being well-adapted to our indifferent summer weather.  In what was an absolutely awful summer, we got an average of two good cobs per plant, and they were absolutely delicious.  I'll grow them again.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • i guess this is similar to the test they are doing on beechgrove with AGM vs Normal varieties. 

    I decided to try some squash this year, and picked up a "heratage" veriety golden hubbard, not sure why i picked it, but i just thought i'd give it a try. Part of me thinks there must be a reason some of the old verieties have fallen from favour... so are we daft for going back to them? Do the seed companies just see marking stuff as "heratage" a way of extracting more money for old rope?

    Perhaps i cynical but i think often with the old/heratage stuff they are playing on the fact that people who like to grow their own veg, are also more likely to be attracted to the idea of saving old varieties. So they use it purely as a marketing gimmick. 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,914

    Sometimes I think its just a case of Emperors new clothes.

    This new variety is all singing, all dancing,looks better, then it dies a quiet death after a few years and people go back to the tried and tested. Many people used to keep their own seed from year to year. I do this with sweet peas and runner beans, but the seed companies lose out. If everyone grew the new F1 varieties, the seed companies win,because the seed from F1 will not come true,so you have to buy fresh each year.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 741

    I agree completely about pre-soaking peas, but because it has been so wet, I decided against it and still my Kelvedon Wonder popped up first!!

    I keep my 'Sutton' Broad bean seeds from year to year and they are always reliable. Must admit I tried T & M's Primabel last year and they were good. Coming on again nicely next to good old 'Sutton'!

    I think many seeds are re-hashed to get us to try them, but there must be some rules and regs against this - It's like bulbs - Many of the old colours just seem to be re-named - Am I wrong or just naive??


  • Dido2Dido2 Posts: 1

    Over the last two weeks I have been digging up and eating my new, first early, potatoes. Once again, as in the previous four years, I am sooo disappointed with the taste. I have now experimented with twelve various varieties including all the old favourites such as Pent land Javelin, Aaron Pilot, Foremost etc etc BUT can not get that "new potato earthy Taste" of yesteryear.

    I have also purchased the seed potatoes from the usual reputable seed merchants including direct from |Scotland, without success. I use loads of well rotted manure when preparing the soil and have used the usual crop rotation system. In short, I have not changed my potato regime but the taste is simply not there.

    In reading this thread, I too wonder about the seed merchants desire to get good cropping outcomes, low disease and FS1 seed/plants at the expense of good old fashioned taste!

    Can anyone recommend a first early that has the earthy taste of old???

    Thanks for reading this,


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