Sowing the seeds of love.

Seeds are full of promise and hope. They make me feel excited about spring and getting out for the new growing season.

Where to get seeds and top tips-

1. Don’t buy on impulse. Do an audit of what you left in stock before you purchase, as it is all to easy to over-buy.

2. Make use of local seed swap events and seed banks in your area. You can find interesting and useful local strains all for free, or a donation. And you join the Heritage Seed Library at Garden Organic

3. For the cheapest seeds avoid F1 varieties. Look at the number of seeds in the packet, which is always stated in small print. Work out how much each seed costs. £2.99 for 5 F1 seeds is 60p each. Or 500 for £1.99 is less than half a pence each.

4. There is nothing wrong with own brand and cheaper seeds in places like Wilko. They will be just as good as big name ones and probably from the same source. The packets may have fewer seeds which makes them cheaper and you won’t find unusual varieties. A garden centre will have more choices.

5. Consider buying on line from one of the smaller catalogues – Chiltern, The, Organic Gardening Catalogue (this now belongs to Dobies)

6. Keep seeds in packets carefully stored in a cool but frost free place like a garage. Fold the inner foil packets into a tight roll to exclude air. They have a ‘sow by end of year’ date on them, but most except parsnips will last for longer. Eventually germination rates decline and then I throw them away.

7. Be ambitious – every year I try two or three new things I haven’t grown before. This year I have some seeds of Mirabellis a gardener gave me, and I have melons and padron peppers to try out.

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