Shopping (yes, me)

It’s now the time of year when I do a big shop. No. I’m not talking about stocking up for gluttony over the festive season, I’m talking about seeds.

Tea and seed-shopping - a lovely combination on a winter's evening

Tea and seed-shopping – a lovely combination on a winter’s evening

This time of dark evenings and rain (here in west Wales at least) is ideal for settling down and choosing what I’m going to grow next year. I used to use paper catalogues, but these days I sit down with my laptop and a mug of tea (or possibly a glass of wine) and browse some of my favourite seed suppliers… The Real Seed Catalogue, Chiltern Seeds, The Organic Gardening Catalogue…

I think about the successes and failures of the past year. What do I want to repeat? What worked well? What was a disaster? And I look to the future – always trying something new each year. I find the idea of a new growing season particularly uplifting. It’s not many weeks now, in fact, until I need to start planting chillies and peppers, which benefit from a very early start, even though we are still harvesting fresh chillies from both of this year’s varieties: Lemon Drop and Alberto’s Locoto (both of these are on the list to grow next year).

In 2014 I’m also definitely going to grow Yellow-podded Mangetout, Lipstick Pepper, Lady Godiva Pumpkins, Lady Godiva Sunflowers, Mira and Colleen Potatoes and Mizuna. What about you? Or if you are in the southern hemisphere, what’s doing well for you now?

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  1. Buying seeds is the kind of shopping I most enjoy! Sure is better than buying shoes… πŸ™‚ This year is an experimental one in my garden since we’ve moved to a new home and all the beds are new. I wasn’t an expert gardener before our move either, so I’ve got a lot to learn. I’ve been using the Mother Earth News Garden Planner to help me, it’s pretty fantastic!

  2. I’m a member of The Diggers Club, which is devoted to preserving heritage fruit and vegetables. You get 5 catalogues a year, and they have two gardens you can visit. Unfortunately, those are down in Victoria, too far for me, but I order my seeds from them. Take a look:

  3. gary finch

     /  December 16, 2013

    it’s possible to ‘perennialise’ your chillies if you have the space and they are in pots – as soon as the leaves begin to drop or after you have finished harvesting the fruits cut all of the smaller branches etc back to a ‘trunk’ and a couple of ‘leaders’ then put your pots in a well protected and insulated place away from any frost (and ideally the air temp not dropping below 5 c for a prolonged period – A sth facing porch or shed is ideal) – come the spring you should start to see the beginnings of new growth – I have kept a ‘lemon’ type one going for 3 years now

    • Yes, several of my chillies are indoors in the hope they will survive – sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Alberto Locoto is great anyway because it is a different species, so doesn’t cross with any other capsicums and the seeds come true… so a bit less shopping there!

  4. I’m totally and completely unable to grow plants!!!!That is the only thing I haven’t figured out how to manage!Even the strong fat plants die in my hands…and I’m so sorry for that…any advice for such a lost cause as me… 😦

  5. tomatoes here (and weeds) πŸ™‚

  6. Some people collect shoes, or jewellery or tupperware.. I seem to collect seeds. My seed collection seems to vastly outweigh the available space I have for growing- but I can’t seem to resist trying out new plants. This year I’ve got ramsons, crookneck squash and lipstick peppers that I’m particularly looking forward to. And lemongrass. And sweet potato slips, and .. well you get the idea.


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