Thompson & Morgan launches spring catalogue

Thompson & Morgan has 15 new petunia varieties in its spring catalogue, as well as a 'Egg and Chips potato/aubergine plant.

Petunia 'Night Sky' T&M
Petunia 'Night Sky' T&M
The company adds that vegetable seed sales helped overall seed sales grow 24 per cent last autumn.
Thompson & Morgan communications officer, Kris Collins said: "There's a certain amount of snobbery in some circles when it comes to Petunias. Some gardeners turn their noses up, but these showy summer performers remain popular for a reason. No other plant offers such diversity in terms of garden use, colour scheme, growth habit and ease of growing. There's something for everyone in our 2016 
Petunia selection – colour, shape, style and even scent. Grow our latest introduction and people will be turning their noses up for a very different reason." 
Petunia 'Purple Rocket', ‘Night Sky’ and 'Easy Wave Ultimate Mixed' are highlighted varieties.
On customers can send in their photos through the season for a chance to win £100 vouchers.

T&M have claimed 24 per cent rise in seed sales through September to end of November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. T&M horticultural director Paul Hansord said after veg seed sales peaked at £60m in 2009, when industry wide sales of vegetable seeds peaked at an historic £60million for the year "if vegetable seed sales continue to perform at current levels then the firm will be reporting its best ever year [Sptember-September] for the category".

Tomato seeds sales have jumped 51 per cent in the three month period. Much of this growth has been generated by sales of Thompson & Morgan's Vegetable of the Year for 2016 – Tomato Mountain Magic, a "fully blight resistant variety". Akron and Sweet Aperitif are also in T&M's top three tomatoes.

Brassica seed sales have risen 52 per cent, while onion seeds have seen growth of 67 per cent. T&M says the loss of show bench favourite Onion Kelsae from other retailer's 2016 catalogues (the Italian seed crop was destroyed by a hail storm and will not be available again until at least 2017) has driven growers towards other large varieties including Onion Bunton's Showstopper. Pea and Bean sales have risen 82 per cent, with Runner Bean Firestorm – the 2016 Thompson and Morgan Seed Catalogue cover star – alone seeing a 75 per cent rise in sales.

Thompson & Morgan's Chilli and Pepper range has seen the biggest growth, with sales rising 111 per cent. Each variety has been given a 1-10 heat rating.

T&M say the Tomtato has sold one million sold worldwide since launch in 2013. A similar plant 'Egg & Chips' is now available, producing aubergines (better known as egg plants in the US and Europe) and potatoes on the same plant. Both are bred by Beekenkamp. Egg & Chips is known as GineTato outside the UK.

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