Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The big sort out and a taste of... SPRING!

I have a problem. It's a type of addiction and it mainly happens when I'm in garden centres. It's quite embarassing and it costs me a fortune but for some reason I can not stop buying seeds.

I already have two containers full and I now need a third. On the way back from Ryton we popped in to our local Wyevale garden centre. I joined their gardening club and they sent me a leaflet saying that all seeds were 50p. So I made a visit a priority and stocked up. We managed to get £60 odd worth of seeds for only £12. We also got plenty of seeds for free which were the promotional packs you get when you buy 2 or more packs of a particular variety. Because I bought so many new packets, I promised myself I would sort out the ones I already had and throw out any unlabeled, out of date packets and also chuck any that had a poor germination rate or simply didn't live up to expectations!

Anyway next year I will be trying to grow watermelons, yellow carrots, banana shallots, gourds and many other weird and wonderful things that I have been jealous of seeing other people grow. I am now ready for next year and have a seed collection to envy...

Although it is getting darker and colder every evening, I still have a small sense of optimism and excitement. Buying seeds and sowing them is something that you normally do in March onwards, but in order to get the most out of our plot I've bought seeds to sow now including some chards, lettuce and radishes and I also have seedlings emerging from the cabbage and lettuce sowings I made the other night! With all of this spring like activity, I'll probably forget to put the clocks back next month and will instead put them forward!!
It is nice having a year round vegetable garden. Not using it for summer crops but autumn, winter and spring really does increase it's efficiency and worth. Being able to pick runner beans, dwarf beans, squash, marrows, raspberries, strawberries, cabbage and kale in mid September certainly ensures we don't go hungry!! We've also got the delights of celery, celeriac, turnips, swede, pumpkins, leeks. sprouts, parsnips and lettuce to come before the end of the year. Then at the beginning of 2013 we'll have cabbage, purple sprouting, chard, lettuce and kale still to pick! Long gone are our days of only growing summer crops like courgettes, tomatoes and peppers. This is a 365 day a year thing now!
We're still getting used to this plot so we can certainly learn from what we don't have enough of this year and what we have too much of also. So next year we know to only plant 1 marrow plant instead of 3 and to double the amount of sweetcorn plants and broad beans that we sow! One day we'll be able to sit down and say 'yer, we got that just about right', but that's if the weather plays ball of course!!
Never mind, it's an interesting learning curve! Gardener's certainly never stop learning!
Enjoy the rest of your week!!!


  1. Got the same problem!
    In garden centers.... and in fine groceries!

  2. It is so good to hear your enthusiasm. So, I guess you understand the addiction to buying fabric? Seeds are certainly more compact.

    Just a thought--can you give those old seeds a chance and just throw them all in a small area devoted to HOPE. You might get a bit out of the less than perfect seeds. I do understand if you do not have extra space. Of course, you may not want to sort out the things growing. Maybe you can leave them in a place where people can pick them up for free? Yes, I would leave a note explaining the seeds may have low germination rates. Okay, maybe I am getting overly concerned about I would certainly have to just toss them into my shrubs and hope for something.

    1. Great idea Linda - I will be giving some of them a chance. It's just mainly parsnips and cauliflowers which I find never do too well from an open packed. But some seeds will be salvaged nonetheless! :0)

      Thanks for reading!

  3. If there's anything I've learnt about allotment growing over the years, is that when you think you know what you're doing, and got the plot just as you want it in your head, Mother Nature will give you a kick up the arse and make you think again....

    Perhaps that's why I like it. It's always a challenge :)

  4. Hi, seed envy here but we have learned to only buy as we need because we never got around to trying some of the more weird and wonderful ones we bought when we began.Our beds are valuable so we plant only what we know we will eat.The weather is always the final hurdle to getting germination and crops but we gardeners are nothing if not hopeful!

  5. I love seeds too. My downfall is purchasing magazines with free seeds.

  6. This is true Peggy, but I go weak at the knees at the sight of a stand full of seeds!!

    I'm glad magazines with free seeds isn't a downfall that only troubles ourselves! :0)

    Mark - you are quite right. Allotments and gardening are a different challenge from one year to the next. Sometimes for better, some times for worse but it is good fun nonetheless!!

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