Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018 – The Result

Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018

Late last year I was lucky to be selected by Mr Fothergills to test some exciting new Flower and Vegetable varieties that were launched for sale for the 2018 Growing season.

New seed varieties from Mr Fothergills.

On trial are 2 vegetable varieties and 4 flower varieties.

  • Calendula Orange Flash described as a hardy annual, can be direct sown, or pot sown, grows to 30cm high and 30 cm wide. A compact plant with bi-colour bloom. To be sown in March.
  • Cosmos Double Dutch White described as a half-hardy annual, with large double, and semi-double free-flowering blooms, tall bushy habit. 90-120cm high, 45cm wide. To be sown Mid-April.
  • Carrot Speedo F1 described as a fast growing, early main crop Nantes variety, smooth skinned and an excellent source of Vitamin A and Antioxidants. to be sown March – April.
  • Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury described as a hardy annual, can be sown direct or pot raised. fragrant cream and white picotee blooms. Perfect for cutting. Can be sown indoors from January.
  • Pepper (Hot) Curry Pepper described as hot, pungent 15cm fruits on compact plants, full of flavour, can be eaten fresh or dried. Best used whilst the fruits are still green. Can be sown indoors from February.
  • Verbena Scentsation described as ideal for creating beautiful mix containers, bedding and cut for posie. Mr Fothergill’s own super scented, compact variety. Ideal for creating beautiful mix containers, bedding and cut for posie.

Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury

I started the season  in March by sowing the seeds for the Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury, I pre-soaked the seeds for a few hours, and sowed the seeds individually into modules of multi purpose compost. The seeds germinated quickly and grew into strong plants. I plants were planted out a few months later into a large container with a bamboo wigwam for support.

5 plants per tub

I pinched out the plants and tied them to the canes and they grew on strongly. A drop of water every few days, and a bit of liquid feed when I remembered and the flowers soon bloomed to show the distinctive lavender picotee edges to the flowers.

The blooms were not as strongly scented as other varieties of Sweet pea available, but they had really lovely large classical flowers.

The Chillies were also sown around the same time.

I’m not a massive fan of hot Chillies, but I gave these a go, they germinated very well and grew onto big strong plants.

Chilli Peppers

They grew onto big strong plants and continued to fruit well into the autumn, however the taste blew my head off so the plant which I was growing in a big pot, was gifted to a work colleague who can stand the hot varieties.


Mid Spring the Carrots were sown into my raised bed.

Carrot Speedo F1 was sown in several drills, covered and watered and ignored for the growing season, there was very good germination and in the autumn I harvested a basket bull of lovely carrots. Sweet Tasting and now in the freezer.

Carrot Speedo F1


The Cosmos Double Dutch White were sown late march and grew on strongly.

Cosmos Double Dutch White

I sowed half the packet as there were lots of seeds, The seedlings were pricked out into individual 3.5 inch pots and then when big enough planted out in small groups into a large mixed border where I work.

Now the very hot summer we endured did appear to hold back flowering for as while, but the plants did get going and bloomed all late summer until the first frosts we had recently.

The plants got quite tall and had multi flowering heads, they were not dead headed or not bothered with all season.


The last two flowers to be sown had mixed results……


The Calendula Orange Flash grew very well into a decent plant and flowered all season long until early autumn when it went to seed, but unfortunately my photos of the plant have all vanished, so ill just have to share the picture of it on the front cover of the 2018 Catalogue.

And finally my sowing of  Verbena Scentsation became a victim of me trying out some peat free sowing compost, the seeds germinated well, but the compost showed poor nutrients in the seedlings and the plants became weak and succumbed to a slug attack.  It was too late for me to sow anymore seeds, so I’ll have to share with you the posy of flowers we were sown the Mr Fothergills trial grounds late last year.


Verbena Scentsation

All in all a very tasty and flowery year.

7 thoughts on “Mr Fothergills New Seeds on Trial 2018 – The Result

Add yours

  1. If I may ask totally the wrong question, what was the peat-free compost you used for the Verbena? I’m looking around though, thus far, the best results I’ve had have been with sowings in rehydrated coir (that’s pure coir) to which I add a dilute liquid feed once the seedlings have got past the cotyledon stage. FWIW, I then grow on in the same pure coir but use a stronger feed.


  2. I have never presoaked any seed. They can soak in the dampness of the media after they are sown. That is a technique that I never understood the need for. I suppose some seed prefer to have water flow by them for a while (which would be like soaking them), but I have found no seed that seemed to be bothered by a lack of soaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lol, I had a bumper crop of the Curry Chillies and my other half loves them but – oh my – you don’t want to use more than one in a recipe at any one time, not if you want to be able to eat your meal that is 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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