University joins Garden Organic seed scheme

Nottingham Trent University has concluded a deal that will see it become one of Garden Organics seed guardians in its Heritage Seed Library (HSL) programme.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the scheme involves around 300 seed guardians, ranging from individual garden and greenhouse fans to prisons, growing and collecting heritage varieties of vegetable seeds.

The collected seeds are passed back to the HSL for redistribution among garden and greenhouse enthusiasts via its seed catalogue.

It is aimed at resurrecting and strengthening ailing seeds from yesteryear and has been successful in helping a number of varieties back to popularity from the edge of extinction.

"About 40,000 packets of seed – thats 40 per cent of what goes in our catalogue – are provided by seed guardians. We couldnt manage without them," HSL head Neil Munro told the RHS.

He added that the organisation is keen to strike deals with other universities as they are often open during summer and can tend to the vegetables.

The RHS recently revealed that it has added Pak Choi to its trials menu, meaning the vegetable could soon become eligible for an Award of Garden Merit.