What’s New in Gardening? Plant Breeding

Last month we talked about the vexing problems of climate change and how we can do our bit in our own gardens to improve things.

We also looked at reducing our use of chemicals and in particular pesticides, with subsequent effects on wildlife.

In July we discussed the world of biological control available to home gardeners to help us with the problem of slugs and snails in the garden. However there are others, again using the pests natural predators to establish control over the little ‘varmints!’

Nowadays there are biological controls for pests such as aphids, whitefly and red spider mite among others.

Let’s take a look how the world of science is coming to our aid in the garden through the world of plant breeding.

Fungal diseases such as powdery or downy mildew can be a nightmare in the garden but science is coming to our rescue! Nowadays, we can purchase seed and plants with genuine resistance to tomato leaf blight, which can decimate crops. Look for varieties with a ‘Crimson’ prefix to the name such as Crimson Cherry or Crimson Blush for next year’s growing.

This fungal resistance can also be found in cucumbers, courgettes and even lettuce.

September is the time that seed and plant catalogues start to land on our doormats with all the new varieties to tempt us for next years growing in our own gardens.

Next month in ‘What’s New in Gardening’, we will take a look at just some of those new items for you to try!

Happy Gardening!