Last Wednesday I had an urge for a little retail therapy, nothing serious, but as it’s about this time of the year I buy my vegetable seeds for the season, I thought a trip to the garden centre would raise my spirits. I set my budget at £12, and off I went, salivating at the prospect of what might await at the garden centre.
It took an age to find a space as the car park was packed with lunchtime diners Have you noticed just how many garden centres have started selling food? My local garden centre has really gone for it in a big way. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a brilliant idea and if it helps to keep them in business it has to be a good thing, but interestingly there was also a noticeable decline in the amount of plants on display.
On my way to the seeds I walked past gorgeous pots of spring bulbs and some rather sad looking plants, all at knock down sale prices. I was tempted by the most gorgeous clematis Armandii for £12.00, but managed to resist. Then I noticed a whacking great sign on the display in front of me, FOR SALE, QUALITY SEEDS, 10p a PACKET.
I couldn’t believe my eyes at first, then as I got closer there they were, a huge collection of vegetable and flower seeds of all varieties, classic varieties, vintage varieties, F1 hybrids, and all as good as new!
Being a little suspicious I thought they must be out of date or damaged, but on closer examination they were all dated 2013 and in perfect condition. So I started to sort through the rows and rows of seeds and found pretty much everything I needed, from early carrots, beet root, radishes, lettuce, lollo rosso lettuce, parsley, purple sprouting broccoli, to curly kale, tomatoes and a whole lot more besides. I was in heaven!
So rather than buying a few packets for my £12 budget as intended, I spent £2.20 in total and went home with enough seeds to last me right through the season. Now I call that value for money.
It is a bit early in the season for sowing seeds in the kitchen garden, but I’ve thought id try a row of early carrots, a few radishes and maybe a few beetroot in the Polytunnel, and see if i can persuade them to provide me with an early crop.
Also planted a few tomato seeds in 3.5 inch pots. I find the best way to get them to germinate is to plant them in a light seed compost that is free draining. Also don’t over water them or they will rot in the compost before they’ve had a chance to get started. They need a minimum 60-65 degrees to germinate, so I think I will start them off in the house.
I guess time will tell if my lucky seeds will grow into succulent vegetables, but someone was certainly looking down on me last Wednesday, and for that I am extremely grateful.