Gardening Magazine

Stocking up with Seeds

By Mwillis
The other day I wrote that I had been looking at good-value seeds, and intending to avoid buying the highly-priced seeds that many of the Big Names offer. Well, I was delighted to receive an email from Gerry at Grow Seed, who had seen my post and offered to let me have some of his seeds for free, in return for a little publicity. How could I refuse?! This is the generous selection I received - 11 packets of seeds and 250g of "Sturon" Onion sets:
Stocking up with seeds
I'll confess that I have not previously bought seeds from Grow Seed, because there are just so many suppliers out there and you can't give your business to all of them. However, having seen what Grow Seed offer, I may well become a regular customer. They have a very respectable range of seeds for vegetables, herbs and fruit, as well as a few plants. Most of the seeds are sold at £0.99 per packet, which is pretty good by today's standards - especially since the number of seeds you get is generous. Beetroot "Cylindra", for example, comes in a pack of 500 seeds, which is surely plenty for any amateur grower.
Stocking up with seeds
There are some other aspects of this business that sound very attractive to me too - for instance, they strive to minimize the use of packaging materials (though I'm a bit wary of their use of plastic bags for the seed packs), and the postage rates are very reasonable - starting at £1.00, with UK orders over £25 being completely postage-free. I shall definitely be growing some of the seeds that Gerry sent me, and I'll report back on how they perform.
On a related theme, this weekend I have been stocking-up on seed potatoes too. Yesterday I went with my daughter Emma to the Hampshire Potato Day at Whitchurch (about 20 miles from here). I have been several times before, and described the event here on my blog, so I won't go over it again. If you want to see the details, have a look HERE and HERE. For today though, let me just show you what I got:
Stocking up with seeds
That is 22 potato tubers of 10 different varieties, some Broad Beans ("Witkiem Manita"), some Runner Beans ("Scarlet Emperor"), and some "Red Baron" Onion sets.
For the record, my potato varieties are:-
Charlotte
Nicola
Juliette
Lady Christl
Belle de Fontenay
Orla
Accord
International Kidney
Ratte
Kestrel
It's a mix of First Early, Second Early and Maincrop types. Interestingly, when researching these varieties I found that some of them can be grown as different types. For instance, at the Potato Day "Orla" was being sold as a maincrop, but it is also often described as suitable for cultivation as a First Early.
I bought 2 of each variety, except "Charlotte" (my favourite), of which I bought 4. This is the joy of going to a Potato Day - you can buy as few or as many tubers as you like. This year the price was still 17p per tuber, or 10 for £1.50. Excellent value, I think.

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