Heirloom vegetables could hit open market

New government proposals could see the number of heirloom fruit and vegetable seeds available to UK garden and greenhouse enthusiasts soar.

Plans are afoot to make the registration process simpler for seed catalogues, allowing sellers to distribute their products more easily to the open market.

The government is consulting gardening bodies on their opinion of the matter, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed.

European Commission rules have meant that products must go through an expensive testing procedure before they are approved for the open market, making it uneconomical to register heirloom varieties.

However, complaints over a lack of variance in fruit and vegetables, combined with a higher demand for heirloom seeds, have led the commission to relax its regulations.

It could mean that garden and greenhouse fans have better access to such varieties and are not forced to rely on seed swaps and membership schemes.

The consultation will run until October 29th and could see heirloom varieties and those aimed at amateur gardeners be made exempt from the full testing process.

Meanwhile, London gardeners can take a sneaky peek at a meadow which has been planted ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The RHS revealed that experts are trialling seeds to ensure they are perfect for the event.