Seeds glorious seeds

I’m a bit worried I might have a slight addiction to buying and collecting seeds. For most girls it would be shoes or handbags, but for me it’s those little packets that cost so little, yet promise so much. Each year I think, I don’t really need any more seeds, as I rarely use a whole packet, and I have stashes of muddy, folded down packets in old tins here and there. With the exception of a few vegetables that I might have run out of, I have enough seed to keep me going for several years. But, every winter the seed catalogues duly fall on my doormat, tempting me with new and exciting (for me anyway) varieties to try. Better strains, disease resistant, unusual or delicious tasting, are all things that pull me in, and I find myself greedily ordering yet more seed. That’s marketing for you!

The collection above is this years new seed. A starting point of the journey towards the best allotment year yet. An elusive thing that I’ll probably always be chasing, but the thing that drives me on. At this point in the year, anything is possible.

For now, the propagator has been dug from the depths of the shed, cleaned and plugged in, and the first seeds sown. I always start too early, but I can’t help it. As usual the first seeds in are lettuce (a crop I ideally want ready with my early spuds in late spring – early summer) and a few leeks (which I will stagger the sowing of over spring), and also this year some Sungold cherry tomatoes. I might have been a tad hasty with the toms as I’ll have to keep them protected until May, but they’re intended for growing in pots at home, not on the allotment, so I think should be doable.

Also in biodegradable pots are sweet peas and summer cabbages. I did sow some sweet peas in the autumn but they didn’t germinate. Hopefully these will catch up quick enough. And I’ve never grown summer cabbage before as I’d always seen cabbage as a winter vegetable, but last summer I thought how nice it would be to make my own coleslaw, and so that is my intention this year. I’ll be growing some early carrots, under fleece, for this purpose too.

As for the allotment, I haven’t been down there for a few weeks now due to the cold and rain, but I must go and prune my autumn raspberries and mulch them with some manure. I need to check on the rhubarb and maybe give it a feed or mulch. I should harvest more leeks, and I’m sure those pesky weeds are coming through already.

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