Posts Tagged ‘sunflower seeds’

Easy to Grow Edible Seeds and Grains

October 23rd, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

A smaller sunflower head with bright yellow petals, resting on a larger dried up sunflower head that's had its seeds harvested. The black seeds are in a small pile infront of the two heads.

When we think about edible gardens, the first things that spring to mind are fruits and vegetables, and then perhaps herbs. But what about seeds and grains – where do they fit in, and are they even worth growing? The answer is a resounding yes!

Seeds and grains have plenty to contribute, so read on or watch the video for our pick of the crop.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins are big news in the autumn vegetable garden. Give them rich soil and plenty of room and they will reward you with two harvests for the effort of one – full-flavoured flesh and snackable seeds.

Here’s our guide to roasting them:

  • Cut the pumpkin open, then scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Pull off any bits of stringy flesh and rinse them clean in water.
  • Now, spread them out onto a baking sheet or pan, drizzle over olive oil then sprinkle on a few ingredients to add flavour. Salt is a great starting point. We also love adding some chilli pepper flakes and fennel seeds before mixing it all together to combine.A close up of some roasted pumpkin seeds laid out on a tray
  • Roast them in the oven at 350ºF/180ºC or Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the seeds are golden, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down completely before storing in an airtight container – if you can resist eating them there and then that is!

Sunflower Seeds

Give sunflowers a sunny spot in the garden sheltered from strong winds and they’ll be standing tall and proud by summer. The seeds are ready to harvest once the petals have withered and the seeds can clearly be seen. Rub the seed head back and forth to dislodge the seeds.

You can roast sunflower seeds as they are – no need for oil – in as little as five minutes, but we reckon salted sunflower seeds taste best:

  • Pour two pints, or a litre, of water into a pan along with two tablespoons of salt and a cup of seeds.
  • Bring the water to the boil then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Drain the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet and roast for up to 15 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes is up, check the seeds every few minutes because they can go from perfect to burnt very quickly. Let them cool before storing.
  • Enjoy your salted sunflower seeds, but spit out the tough shells!

Amaranth and Quinoa

Amaranth and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) are two protein-rich grains that make a delicious alternative to rice or pasta. They aren’t difficult to grow and they make colourful additions to the garden. Plant them into nutrient-rich, well-drained soil that gets plenty of sun, then once they’re established they’ll quickly take off!

The grains are ready when they are easy to shake free. You’ll need to winnow the chaff from the grains, first by sieving and then carefully blowing away what remains or by catching a breeze. Allow the grains to dry thoroughly for at least a week before storing. Quinoa needs rinsing in water before cooking to ensure it’s not bitter.

Three dried poppy seed heads on their stems clustered together and foregrounded on a blurry autumn field backgroundPoppy Seeds

Poppy seeds – delicious in cakes and bread – come from the opium or breadseed poppy, Papaver somniferum. In most areas it’s perfectly legal to grow this type of poppy for its pretty flowers and tasty seeds, but check local laws before planting!

This sun-lover is ready to harvest once the seed pods are dry and seeds spill out of the top when turned upside down. Cut them off and bring them indoors to a warm room to finish drying, then pull the pods apart to free the seeds for storing.

Seeds for Spices

Many leafy herbs will also produce seeds for the spice cabinet. Fennel is an easy-to-grow perennial herb that comes back year after year. Sunshine and a free-draining soil should see plants thrive, throwing up clouds of pretty yellow flowers each summer. Simply wait for the seeds that follow, gather them up and dry for storage.

Like fennel, caraway is a member of the carrot family. It prefers cooler, temperate climates and, as a biennial, only lives for two years. Keep plants well-watered in the first year to encourage strong plants producing plenty of seeds in their second.

Grow your own coriander seeds too by allowing it to flower and set seed, which it readily does if sown in the first half of the year as days continue to lengthen.

Then there are nigella seeds, also known as black onion seeds, though bearing no relation. The seeds come from the hardy annual nigella, or love-in-a-mist. Sow the seeds in autumn into well-drained soil that’s been raked to a fine tilth, or wait until spring if your winters are very cold. Harvest the seed heads when they are crisp-dry.

Here’s just a few ideas to get you started, and don’t forget many of these plants are also a big attraction for wildlife – if you don’t mind sharing! Tell us if you’ve grown any of these seeds or grains before, or perhaps you have others to recommend? Comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.

New Flower Varieties Seed Range

February 28th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

We have expanded our flower range with the introduction of eleven new and four exclusive varieties for the 2018 season, all of which promise colourful backdrops as well as distinctive shapes and blooms.

Verbena-Scentsation-new-Mr-Fothergills-flower-seed-varietyVerbena Scentsation (RRP £2.69 for 50 seeds) is our own super-scented compact variety. Developed from an unusual specimen discovered by trials manager Brian Talman. An annual verbena not only pretty enough for patio pots, but also has the potential to be a scented star in vases and posies. This half hardy annual flowers from summer to autumn. The plants grow up to 20cm high and create a beautiful carpet of fragrant pink, white and bright purple flowers.

Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury (RRP £2.45 for 20 seeds) is named after the patron of Capel Manor College, Lady Salisbury. Lady Salisbury is a passionate gardener as reflected in the magnificent grounds at Hatfield House. She has visited the Mr Fothergill’s trials ground and demonstrated a keen interest in our work in ensuring the quality of seed supplied. The easy-grow annual is ideal for use on trellis, fences and frames, offering a long summer of colour and fragrance. The classic, highly scented, grandiflora blooms are cream and white, many with picotee edges in blue, pink or lavender. Being long-stemmed it is superb for cutting as well as garden display.

Other exclusive flowers added to the range include: Calendula Orange Flash (RRP £2.29 for 75 seeds enough for 50 plants) which is an uniquely bicoloured, dwarf variety with double blooms in warm tones of orange, apricot and caramel up to 10cm across. Plants are attractive with a nice bushy habit. Adds beautiful colour and style as a cut flower in arrangements. Excellent in landscapes and borders where it exhibits impressive garden performance. Cosmos Double Dutch White (RRP £2.29 for 30 seeds) has large double and semi-double, extremely showy, long flowering blooms. Plants are tall with an attractive bushy habit that makes it an ideal border variety.

Calendula-Orange-Flash-new-Mr-Fothergills-flower-seed-variety

Calendula Orange Flash

Cosmos-Double-Dutch-White-new-Mr-Fothergills-flower-seed-variety

Cosmos Double Dutch White

Sweet-Pea-Lady-Salisbury-New-Mr-Fothergills-flower-seed-variety

Sweet Pea Lady Salisbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the new varieties in our Mr Fothergill’s main seed range are:

Lupin Avalune Bicolour Mixed (RRP £2.05 for 30 seeds),
Marigold (French) Red Knight (RRP £2.29 for enough seeds for 30 plants),
Poppy American Legion (RRP £2.29 for 2000 seeds),
Poppy Maanzaad (Bread Seed) (RRP £2.29 for 1000 seeds),
Sunflower Sun King (RRP £2.69 for 20 seeds),
Sweet Pea Little Red Riding Hood (RRP £2.29 for 20 seeds)
Sweet Pea Turquoise Lagoon (RRP £2.29 for 20 seeds).

 

Visit your local garden centre for the full range or head over to www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

Sunny Babe and Buttercream lead the way for Mr Fothergill’s Sunflower Year

February 17th, 2015 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Year of the Sunflower seed stand

Mr Fothergill’s is putting its weight behind a Europe-wide celebration of the once-humble, but now trendy sunflower by introducing nine new varieties, including brand new  Sunny Babe and Buttercream F1, to its range of these bright, bold annuals for 2015.

The initiative comes from the home gardening division of Fleuroselect, the organisation which assesses new flower varieties from around the world to determine their suitability for European conditions.  Mr Fothergill’s Tracy Collacott is the sole UK seed company representative on the Fleuroselect Home Gardening committee.  2015 has been declared the Year of the Sunflower by the organisation, which hopes to see them grown in gardens everywhere.  Easy to grow, great favourites with children and now available in so many different colours and plant forms, sunflowers are really versatile subjects for modern gardens.

Sunny Babe is a multi-stemmed variety, producing an abundance of golden orange 3-4in wide single heads on plants which grow up to 5ft.  Buttercream F1 has soft, butter-yellow heads which are pollen-free.  Again multi-stemmed and reaching around 5ft, its blooms are slightly larger at around 6in across.  Both varieties are great for garden display and for cutting.

Other F1 hybrid sunflowers being introduced by Mr Fothergill’s include Infrared in a range of rich bicolour shades, Summer Breeze with unusually green centres and Copper Queen, a superior ‘take’ on the traditional sunflower and pollen-free.

You can order Sunny Babe and Buttercream F1, or any other sunflower seeds from our extensive range from Mr Fothergill’s on the website, or by mail order from our catalogue.

Sunny Babes and Buttercream lead Mr Fothergill’s Year of the Sunflower in 2015

September 7th, 2014 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Sunny Babe Sunflower SeedsMr Fothergill’s is putting its weight behind a Europe-wide celebration of the once-humble, but now trendy sunflower by introducing nine new varieties, including brand new Sunny Babe and Buttercream F1, to its mail order range of these bright, bold annuals for 2015.

The initiative comes from the home gardening division of Fleuroselect, the organisation which assesses new flower varieties from around the world to determine their suitability for European conditions.  Mr Fothergill’s Tracy Collacott is the sole UK seed company representative on the Fleuroselect Home Gardening committee.

2015 has been declared the Year of the Sunflower by the organisation, which hopes to see them grown in gardens everywhere.  Easy to grow, great favourites with children and now available in so many different colours and plant forms, sunflowers are really versatile subjects for modern gardens.

Buttercream F1 sunflower seedsSunny Babe is a multi-stemmed variety, producing an abundance of golden orange 3-4in wide single heads on plants which grow up to 5ft.  Buttercream F1, has soft, butter-yellow heads which are pollen-free.  Again multi-stemmed and reaching around 5ft, its blooms are slightly larger at around 6in across.  Both varieties are great for garden display and for cutting.

Other F1 hybrid sunflowers being introduced by Mr Fothergill’s include Infrared in a range of rich bicolour shades, Summer Breeze with unusually green centres and Copper Queen, a superior ‘take’ on the traditional sunflower and pollen-free. All the above varieties and many more are featured in Mr Fothergill’s Seed, Plant and Bulb Catalogue 2015 and at retail stockists throughout the UK.

To request a catalogue, go online at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk,, telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.