Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Getting ready for spring

It's always exciting watching the days getting longer, even when there's snow on the ground.  Why?  Because it means spring is coming and it's time to get ready for planting seeds, sowing crops and generally preparing for enjoying the fruits of my labour later in the year.  There's nothing quite like home grown veg.

I managed to stock up on some seeds from B&Q while they were on special offer.  I ended up with tomatoes (moneymaker), two packets of Brussels sprouts, beetroot, spring onions, carrots, radishes, sprouting broccoli, sweet pepper and chilli pepper, little gem lettuce and some speedy greens.

I've also got just a few flower seeds: Calendula - a good companion plant for tomatoes as it's supposed to stop white fly, and the flowers are good for drying for using in lotions and salves; some Heartsease, which is my favourite little flower, their happy tri-colour faces look so lovely and they're edible too; and some sweet peas in the "golden oldies' mix, for their beautiful fragrance.

Seeds and stuff
Although some of the seeds are a bit trickier to grow than others, they're all things that we like to eat.  A lot of my neighbours have allotments - but unfortunately the ones round our way are so big I couldn't possibly manage one, and the local council won't consider splitting them into smaller plots or allowing you to share. They very kindly offer me young broad bean or runner bean plants, but no-one likes them.   I can never quite understand why some people insist on growing veggies they don't actually want to consume, so I pass up their offers or try and persuade them to part with a few of something I do want in exchange for my excess plants.

While I was in B&Q, I spotted their seed potatoes.  Too expensive!  I'd also seen some in a local garden centre.  Horrendously expensive!!  I learned my lesson on that one last year when one of the allotment holding neighbours told me he'd bought his from Home Bargains for 99p.

Sure enough, when I called in yesterday, the packs of seed potatoes were 99p and they also had bags of onion sets for 99p.  I bought two lots of seed potatoes, a bag of Sharps Express first earlies, and a bag of Maris Piper main crop.  I only get one bag of each as the garden is tiny, but it's enough for us, and now I've dug up the front lawn to convert it into a bed for growing, we have plenty of space and it saves a lot of money growing them at home.  Roll on February, when I can start planting some of these.

What do you grow to save yourselves some money?

Until next time. x

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