From purple radishes to yellow chillies
It seems Mr Fothergill’s is going through a purple patch if customers are anything to go by – they voted radish Viola as the cover star of the 2017 seed catalogue.
The radish’s large, crisp roots are violet-skinned and have crisp, tasty flesh which doesn’t bolt or split and is ready for lifting 36-40 days after sowing. A packet of 250 seeds costs £2.19. Their strong tops make pulling them easy, too.
Second-placed Zinnia Solmar Mixed F1 is an early flowering mix with large flower heads that last well and have good heat and drought tolerance, plus excellent disease resistance. A packet of 20 seeds costs £3.99.
Third-placed chilli pepper Biquino Yellow is a small-fruited, teardrop-shaped strain from Brazil. Relatively mild and with a rather smoky flavour, the fruits are good in salads and stir-fries, eye-catching as a garnish, while the plants are ornamental. A packet of 10 seeds costs £2.35.
Also new for the Year of the Zinnia is Purple Prince (£2.19 for 75 seeds), with its intense rosy-purple blooms – it needs little care to put on a summer-long display.
2017 is also the Year of the Bean and Mr Fothergill’s has several new varieties. Luz de Otono (£2.99 for 65 seeds) is the first autumn-cropping broad bean, while high-yielding climbing bean Python (£3.25 for 50 seeds) and runner beans Guinness Record (£3.25 for 45 seeds) self-pollinating Snowdrift (£3.25 for 40 seeds) and peach-flowered Aurora (£3.35 for 45 seeds) are all exclusive to Mr Fothergill’s.
For more information, visit www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.