The clocks have gone forward, the days are getting longer and thoughts are turning to gardening. Even though we may still get a frost or two, and it's way too early to put away cosy woolies and waterproof coats at least there's a feeling of optimism in the air. Spring is here and actual, proper Summer isn't that far off. Not really.
I'm putting off buying bedding plants, even though the shops are full of gorgeous pansies to tempt me, but have started off four trays of seeds. I've actually bought propagator trays with their close fitting lids this year, having made do with individual plant pots last year, topped with clear plastic bags or clingfilm. Those DIY versions didn't work too well as I never got the watering right. Seeds either got bogged down in too-wet potting compost or wilted through arid over-dry soil. Hopefully the propagator trays will help me get things on track.
I've started off a mix of seeds. Some practical stuff like broccoli, courgettes and tomatoes. Other practical but also pretty stuff like parsley, garlic chives and marjoram. Plus lots of lovely bee-food in the shape of verbena and various colourful flowers. I'm being sensible with the veg. It's easy to sow lots of courgettes, for eg, in one fell swoop, but better to stagger your seedlings. After all, when your harvest is ready to pick you don't want to go from famine to feast. No courgettes, then two dozen all ready at the same time. So there're half a dozen courgette seedlings popping their heads up, and over the weekend I'll start a few more off.
If you're buying seeds try Wilko where their own brand are dirt-cheap and perfectly good. Otherwise they're currently offering 3 for 2 on Johnsons seeds.
(Of course the ideal time to buy seeds is just after gardening season ends, as far as retailers are concerned. When it's Back to School time supermarkets and shops like Wilko sell off seeds and general gardening equipment for bargain-bucket prices. Always double-check the use-by dates on seed purchases though.)
Most of my precious seedlings are nestling on windowsills and surfaces in the conservatory, but a few seeds have been sown outside in pots. Rocket I'm especially hoping will do well. A packet of rocket seeds can be bought for a quid, the same price as a single bag of ready-washed leaves. But with a little care & attention you get a heck of a lot more for your pound coin with the seeds, don't you agree?
What's on your seedy shopping list this year? Any new varieties you're trying out for the first time?
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.