2022 Citizen Seed Trial Wrap-up

Posted on Wednesday, 9 November 2022 under Stories

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2022 Citizen Seed Trial (CST). We had over 125 participants in each of our trials this year.

A variety trial is a method for comparing different varieties so farmers and gardeners can determine what crop variety they would like to grow. A citizen seed trial mimics more extensive variety trials and brings folks into the seed conversation.

This year, we looked at orange and red carrots, tomatoes, and bush beans. Using Seedlinked, CST growers rated traits such as germination, yield, flavour, and disease resistance. We also recorded the planting, transplanting, first, and last harvest date, all of which helped us to determine metrics like days to maturity and harvest window.

We had some setbacks in our trials this year. Issues with germination arose in our Soleil tomatoes, likely due to the heat dome we experienced last summer and CANOVI carrot seed germination was sparse, likely due to seed immaturity. We were ambitious in doing carrot seed production in one year. Due to the cool spring, our carrots did not mature as early as we had anticipated, leading us to harvest them early to still get seeds out to participants in a timely manner.

In our bean trial, we were looking at the varieties EZ Pick and Straight and Narrow. The results show very similar ratings for both beans. EZ Pick received an overall rating of 3.7 and Straight and Narrow of 3.8.

Our tomato trial showed more nuanced results with the hybrid Sungold tomato coming out at the top with a rating of 4.4. The Strawberry cherry followed behind with a rating of 3.1, and the Soleil tomato with a rating of 2.1. The most significant difference we saw was with ratings of germination, with Sungold tomatoes receiving a 4.5 rating, followed by Strawberry cherry at 2.9, and Soleil at 1.8.

In the orange carrot trial, the Bolero variety had an overall rating of 3.9, and the CANOVI orange nantes population of 2.9. The red carrot trial was much closer, with the CANOVI red carrot population just ahead at a rating of 3.2 and the Redsun variety at 3.1.

We would like to invite all participants to our Citizen Seed Trial wrap-up webinar on November 22nd from 5:30-6:30 pm. Please mark your calendars; participants will be sent an email with event details and zoom links.

We look forward to next year’s trial and we are happy to announce that our theme will be early-season crops. We hope to see your participation in next year’s Citizen Seed Trials.