The Gardener, p. 548 (Dec. 1868)



Dear Sir,—Now that the seedsmen are going to be honest, allow me to give them a "bit of a hint" about the value of their old Turnip-seed—at the same time I beg to hint to them also that testimonials are fashionable. The fact is, and I mean to show it, that these amalgamators do not know the value of their old Turnip-seeds. So long as old seed will vegetate strongly, the value of new seed is in an inverse proportion to the value of the old seed for late sowing.

In consequence of the great heat of the last summer I could not grow Turnips; I therefore took the first opportunity when rain appeared to sow largely where the early Potatoes had been cleared off. I sowed all my new seed of Early Dutch, Early Stone, Early American Green Stone.

Fearing I should be short "of things" for the winter supply, as I had very little of any thing green in the garden, I searched my old seed-bags, and I found some old Early Dutch Turnip; but, unfortunately, I cannot tell how old it was. However, I sowed it a fortnight after sowing the new seed, which was "up" and doing well at the time.

We were anxious to see young bulbs, even of the diameter of a shilling, and my "kitchen-man" and I paid frequent visits to the first-sown crop. This important official came to me and said, "Sir, have you noticed the last crop of Turnips lately?" "No, I have not." "Well," said the man, "them be the best."

Here is a proof that "old Twig's uncle" knew this secret, hitherto unknown by the seedsmen of our time, as he carried new Melon-seeds in his pocket for months before sowing it, to make the young plants believe that they had come of old seed. Had our seedsmen known that old Turnip-seed "bulbs" more quickly than plants from new seed, we should have had old seed advertised for late sowing at a higher price than that for new seed.—I am, dear Sir, yours,

Early Dutch Turnip.