Whether you consider yourself thrifty, financially cautious or a mean penny pincher, it's a good idea to mooch around Wilko at this time of year. They're clearing the gardening aisles 'cause apparently gardening season's over. Not in my book, but according to retailers it is. They're gearing up for Return to School / Halloween / Christmas and shelf space is needed for things other than gardening equipment. What that means is prices are slashed for basics that're come in useful next year. Large plastic tubs, plant saucers, gardening gloves, plant labels and so on. Plus - seeds!
This lot were half price, meaning I spent a fiver and picked up 9 packets, all of which have a 'sow by' date of 2020 or 21. In the store I visited today there was a massive range available, and you could certainly stock up on all your veggie seeds for next spring. Or, if you're like me, you can indulge your floral fantasies and snaffle packets of pretty Scabious and Cosmos. The Wilko own brand are cheap enough even when full price, so my rocket and tomato seeds were a total bargain at 50p and 35p respectively.
Why not pop in and see what you can find?
Had a lovely day at the Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park yesterday. No passport required as the gardens are nowhere near the Himalayas, instead being situated at The Hutts, Grewelthorpe which is near Ripon. I'll blog about that another time, when I've sorted out the photos taken.
In the meanwhile, why not start planning ahead for seed planting next year? Yeah, I know that sounds over-eager, but Fothergill's are having a seed sale with dozens and dozens of varieties on offer at £1.00 per pack. There're some fantastic bargains to be had, especially if you order with a friend or two and split the packs between you. I've overindulged a tad with the credit card - oops! - but it was too good a chance to miss. Especially when postage & packing only added a measly £1.95 to the overall total.
So whether you're after Rudbeckia, Honesty, Asters, Lupins, Hellebore Christmas Roses, Bok Choi, Basil, tomatoes or chillis, Caraway or Chard seeds, head to http://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk which stocks last.
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.