Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Chapter 3..... A bit of forward planning.

  Welcome back for the third installment of my blog..... I hope i'm not boring any of you too much yet :)
 One of the first things on my agenda for 2011 was sorting out all of our seeds, and then trying to come up with a crop rotation plan for the plot. Sarah loves this part as it means I take over the entire living room and my side of the bedroom with seeds, books, catalogues and all manner of other gardening paraphernalia..... probably for about a fortnight or more :) I did just realise however, that while thinking about what to write here, I am actually a bit of a self confessed seed addict.  I can actually feel another urge coming on now!!!....... quick, where are my catalogues!?!  (my name is Simon, and i'm a seedaholic... apparently admitting it is the first step to beating it :)
 There must be around 130 packets of assorted seeds in and around the seed tray. I am a bit like a magpie when it comes to the nice shiny packets, or the lovely little pictures next to the blurb on the websites..... I just want to have them to try out :) (note to self.... try to remain calm when looking at new varieties this year)

 After sorting through them all, and remaining unusually composed, I only actually needed to get a few seeds for this years growing season (Sarah also decided she wanted some seeds after I had received my order, so I may have just sneaked another couple of packets in with her selection when ordering them.... mum's the word, ok? :)  Out came the seed catalogues, several evenings of studying with a drink in hand passed, and the selections were made... most of which came from The real seed company. I used them for some seeds last year and had great success with the health and vigour, and most importantly the taste of most of the plants, and I am also in great admiration of their approach to ethical gardening practices and encouraging others to do the same.  I have saved some of my own seed from last year as a result of their influence, so I am really looking forward to seeing the results when I get them growing this year. Oh, and I did have to get us a few seeds from Medwyn's of Anglesey at the last minute to try and grow some big show veg for the village show :)

 There were inevitably one or two selections from the other catalogues, including some rather exciting mushroom kits from Dobies which I may have a go at growing in the cellar, but I am definitely leaning towards the heirloom open pollinated varieties as much as possible, and then I can attempt to produce more of my own seeds each year to create my own strains of veg suited to my little micro climate at home.  As for garlic, onions and shallots, I already have some of those overwintering in the garden, but we did get a surprise delivery this week, I was like a little kid at Christmas tearing open that jiffy bag, but it turned out not to be the Congo potatoes I was hoping for, but more onion and shallot sets that I had completely forgotten I had ordered in the autumn.... I think we shall have enough onions and garlic now to feed the entire village! :)
 Potatoes have been ordered mainly from JBA seed potatoes who I have used before.  They provide a good service and top quality stock and they have a huge selection of seed to choose from. I shall have to start chitting them soon... Sarah equally loves that process just like the planning part, as I end up with trays of seed spuds in every windowsill in the house..... and 30kg's of seed spuds take up a lot of windows :)
 The crop rotation planning is coming along slowly (a friend of mine once thought crop rotation meant turning each plant periodically so that it got sunshine equally on all of its leaves :) I have so far designated areas for permanent plantings of Asparagus, Rhubarb, Artichokes, Strawberries etc, and then I have five areas loosely marked for anmy othernual plantings of all the other veg.  I still need to come up with some sort of plan for the new polytunnel which I hope to put up in the next few weeks, but I am in the process of reading a couple of books on that at the moment (I will probably still be none the wiser at the end)
 I am excited about trying Sweet potatoes, Passion fruit and Oca this year, aswell as one or two other new varieties which I have never tried to grow before.
 We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I shall enjoy every bit of it.


  1. Really got the bug now then, Simon the seedaholic

  2. There are much worse things to be addicted too! Don't forget to buy MORE seeds for guerllia flower gardening (you promised).
    Hello to Sarah *waves*

  3. It's quite exciting to find a Blog to follow from the very beginning - and one that's so interesting too! Looking forward to seeing what happens with all those seeds :)

  4. Many thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment here. It's great to know that people are enjoying my blog so far, i only hope i can keep everyone reading.
    Regular posts are needed i think :)