So I’m looking at the last few packets of seeds that I really need to get going with. I’d planned to get them in some seed compost or the soil this weekend but it’s raining and blowing a gale. Another job that I might have to put off for a little bit longer…….
But have you ever wondered why – in many cases – there are so many seeds in the packet? I’m looking at a packet of Little Gem lettuce seeds. It says there are 1700!
And have you noticed in some cases that the best before date is within a year of you buying the seeds? So here we have 1700 seeds with a best before date of September 2020. That’s a lot of lettuces to find space for, to grow and to eat, in at best, two growing seasons. I reckon that even Mr McGregor would have difficulty managing that lot!
In the past I’ve tried saving seeds for the following year, giving seeds away and even using them when they’ve been past their best before date. This year however I’m sowing everything. I know that I’ll lose a number due to poor germination, under/over watering, the weather and pests but I’m reckoning on some of them making it all the way to being strong productive plants. But even then I know that I’ll have more than I can use.
I had thought of not buying seeds this year and simply buying plugs. Nothing wrong with that and it is a great way to save time and not have to faff about with the worry of germination, watering etc…..
The cost of plug plants...
But it always amazes me how much plug plants are and the mark up that garden centres charge. What’s the true cost likely to be? Pence for the seed, compost and pot and yet as I write this a national seed supplier is charging £5.99 for 16 Black Kale plants whereas the seed packet – that contains 50 seeds – costs £2.50! Ok so you need to build in a number of (significant) overheads in that – and I don’t begrudge them making a profit – but is there another way?
Well I think there is – and one that I hope will be of benefit to others. So here we have my current crop of seedlings. A tasty selection of cruciferous vegetables – 3 types of kale, red cabbage and early broccoli. Now those that are in pots are the ones that I’m using. The rest are surplus to requirements and what I’m doing with these is potting them on to order. 50p a plant. With all proceeds being donated to our local foodbank. So far and after less than a day I’ve sold 20 plants – that’s £10 in the foodbank kitty.
It might not be a huge sum but I know that rather than letting my seeds wither and die they’ll be going to a great cause – sharing my seeds with others who will grow them on and enjoy the tasty benefits of cruciferous (yes – I’ve used that word before!) vegetables and whilst doing so making a small difference to others who might not be so fortunate.
Fancy growing your own? Drop me a line for more details....
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