Pak choi added to trials list

The popularity of the Chinese salad leaf pak choi has led the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to add it to its trials menu for the first time in its history.

It means the vegetable will be grown and studied by RHS horticulturalists with a view to granting it an award of garden merit.

The decision comes after Thompson & Morgan revealed there has been a sustained rise in sales of pak choi since the introduction of the new F1 hybrids.

In total, 27 cultivars of the Brassica rapa Chinesis group will be trialled, which sees a committee of over 170 members study the progress of plants over a period of up to three years.

Only if the vegetable has delivered "outstanding excellence for ordinary garden use" will it receive an Award of Garden Merit.

Other trials that are ongoing or about to begin include carrot, spring cabbage, daffodil, asparagus and hardy Chrysanthemum.

Meanwhile, the RHS revealed that Nottingham Trent University has agreed to become a seed guardian for Garden Organics Heritage Seed Library, which will see it grow a number of old vegetable varieties.