A very Happy New Year to you! We’re having a worryingly mild start to January here in Manchester (I swear I saw buds starting to open on a plot neighbour’s apple tree the other day, which is wrong) but hopefully there will be some colder weather to come for all those crops – garlic, apples, pears strawberries and the like – that need a chilly spell of vernalisation for their bulbs to divide or their fruiting buds to form properly.
I’ve been carrying out my annual seed audit today. I was planning to recycle (as bird food) a whole lot of half-empty packets and then indulge in an epic spending spree on new seeds. But when I checked the packets in my seed box, I found that most of them were still in-date. Which was oddly disappointing.
Still, I managed to find a few missing items to order – a couple of squash varieties, onion, leek, courgette, cucumber, kohl rabi – and I’ve decided to try growing asparagus from seed, to hopefully replace a row of ‘Connover’s Colossal’ that I planted back in April 2016 but has failed to establish (unlike the other two cultivars that went in at the same time, which are both doing well, thankfully).
This year I’ve placed orders with two smaller independent (as far as I I know) seed companies, both of whom I’ve bought from in the past with good results: SowSeeds and GroSeeds (who make a donation to a charity that provides clean drinking water for people in Malawi for each seed packet bought). I’ve also ordered organic seed potatoes – ‘Nicola’ and ‘Cara’ – from another smaller supplier, Tamar Organics.
I’m looking forward to everything arriving so I can slot them into my 2020 growing scheme and get the growing year started.
How about you? Have you ordered this year’s seeds yet? Do you have a favourite seed supplier you can recommend? Do you prefer to shop from the smaller independents, or are you happy enough with the standard supermarket and/or garden centre ranges? Do you just stick to whatever magazine freebies come your way? Or do you prefer to save your own, year to year? Please do to let me know, via the comments.