Friday, 11 March 2016

Gardening in March: confessions of a seed hoarder

I love this time of year. The first hints of Spring are starting to appear. The sun feels warmer on your face, new shoots are appearing and I get a chance to rummage through seed packets.

colourful selection of flower and vegetable seeds

My trusty Mr Men tin sits on the shelf for most of the Winter. It's only in late February, early March that I dust it down and have a look at the masses of packets I've gathered over the years. There's all sorts in there, including sunflowers, cucumbers, salad crops and wildflower mixes to attract the bees. There's also lots of home-dried seeds from plants I like the look of when I'm out and about. I dry them in paper bags over the Winter. If I'm feeling particularly organised, I might even label the bags with what's inside.

using a mr men tin to store my seed packets

I 'borrowed' this tin from Magoo a while ago and she seems happy for me to use it for my seeds. I think it reflects my serious attitude towards gardening...or maybe that should be 'winging it' attitude towards gardening. I'm not Little Miss Perfect...in fact I'm almost definitely Little Miss Busy, which leads me to be Little Miss Scatterbrain most of the time.

planning the plants to grow in the garden this year

Anyway, I'm nothing if not ambitious when it comes to seed planting. The Spring always makes me want to grow tons of different things. In reality, come June or July, I'm usually growing my favourites. Things I know will survive on semi-neglect.

These include flowers such as:

- Nastursiums

- Calendula

- Petunias

- Cosmos

- Geraniums

On the allotment we usually stick to:

- Masses of potatoes

- Wig-wams covered in runner and french beans

- Beetroot

- Garlic

- Onions

- Parsnips

- Courgettes and squashes

- Strawberries

As per usual I've ordered loads of seed catalogues and this year I'd like to grow something new. Hence the carrot seeds. I'm hoping to grow them with Magoo in a pot at home. I've always been put off growing carrots because of the fly they attract. I hate using chemicals, so only like to grow things that are pretty pest free. Anyway, we're going to give the carrots a whirl and see what happens.

Magoo also wanted a homegrown pumpkin for Halloween. Last year we started growing them too late and had nothing to carve in Autumn. This year we'll try and be more organised. Famous last words...

We found a small local nursery that sells strips of vegetable seedlings last year. They worked really well on the allotment. I don't have a large greenhouse so I can't grow loads of things from seed. I'm happy to let someone else do the tricky germination bit and buy the seedlings to save on time and space on our crowded windowsills.

Wish us luck with the carrots...

seed tin with lid open showing selection of seed packets

I'm linking up with 'How Does Your Garden Grow' over on the beautiful mammasaurus.co.uk

'The List' over on youbabymemummy.com

'Making Home' over on www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

10 comments:

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

I've managed to grow carrots in raised beds without too much trouble so pots will be good I think. I was a seed hoarder but have had a really good sort through them this year so I'm starting with a clean slate, wonder how long that will last! ;) xxx

Me, You and Magoo said...

I know what you mean, it's good to have a clear out of old packets every now & again because the seeds get less viable over time. Although I do think they last longer than the dates printed on the packets...garden centres just want us to buy more ☺

Annie said...

Loving that tin - and I too am certainly Little Miss Scatterbrain !

Seed packets are like books for me - impulsed by on the merit of their covers and not what's inside. I know, I am SO bad!

A post of optimism - I can't wait to see what you grow from these!

Thanks for joining in again lovely x

Bear and Cardigan said...

I have a seed collection too! I am not sure if any would grow. We do the same now, buy strips from a local shop. It's so much easier that growing from seed although we still grow some from seed #hdygg

Eco Gites of LĂ©nault said...

I need a bigger tin for all my seeds - I did a sort out this week and realised I have managed to amass 14 varieties of tomato - oops!
With carrots, if you delay sowing until June the carrot root fly will no longer be in flight so your roots should be safe. Alternatively place a a fine mesh such as Enviromesh over the plants.

Amanda Masters said...

Love the tin and the seed collection!
The idea of a homegrown pumpkin really appeals to me, I shall have to see what to do!

Claudia Guerreiro said...

that is so funny! nasturtiums for sure. they grow wild and randomly all over california. i couldn't believe it

chickenruby said...

I love the tin, my seeds sit unlabelled in a PG Tips tin, I randomly throw handfuls into pots and see what comes up. Good luck with the carrots

Me, You and Magoo said...

I thought I might not be the only one who has masses of seed packets. I think we all wait for the Spring for so long in the UK that when it arrives, we go a bit seed-crazy in the garden centres.

That's a great tip about leaving the carrot sowing until June...will give it a go!

Mrs Crafty B said...

ha ha I LOVE your tin. Hubby B is the gardener in our house and has similar stashes of seeds and bulbs etc. I however do have a secret stash of wild flower seeds which I really just want to throw around the edges of the garden! He would not be pleased. *Mission sow seeds* #MakingHome

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