Seed Catalogues

Oh hell, every penny I get given at Christmas tends to go on seeds. It’s an addiction, I know but there doesn’t seem to be a Seed Buyers Anonymous that I can call on for help. In fact, just about everybody I know has the same weakness.

The only thing that stops me is not being really sure what I’m doing (and that doesn’t always stop me, I won’t bore you with the years I’ve spent trying to germinate Romneya Coulterii but it involves wood smoke, ash, stratification … and so far, no Romneya!) so this year I’m trying to limit myself. Not easy when himself gets in on the act.

What he wants to buy is exploding cucumbers, celettuce and rainbow quinoa. Now quinoa I’m happy to grow (except he doesn’t eat it, so why does he want to grow it?) but exploding cucumbers? And a plant that looks like a lettuce on top of a celery stalk but apparently tastes like neither?

Why?

Because they are a challenge and a novelty. And no matter how often we sit down and talk about productivity, staple food crops and filling the freezer for winter, we always end up with one or two of these novelties that usually go nowhere but soak up hours of effort. Last year it was the peanut plant which produced exactly nothing for all our labours.

I do rather fancy purple Brussels sprouts, although apparently they are not as productive as their green cousins. And I have a sneaking desire for yellow leeks too, so perhaps we should limit ourselves to one flight of fancy each … but then we’ll go to February’s seed swap and come back with armfuls of weird things that caught our eyes. Honestly, we’re hopeless!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Sunday, December 28, 2008

16 Comments:

Blogger tpals said...

I was just browsing Sutton's site today, filled with envy for the abundance of choices you have in the UK.

December 28, 2008 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew purple brussels sprouts last year/this year; we had them for christmas dinner - very nice. I found them more productive than ordinary ones (but then maybe that was because my green seed was a year old!). Had to steam them to retain the lovely colour. (Learnt that from the purple kale that went into the pan nice and pretty - came out green!)

I too am afflicted with buying too many different seeds. Although I've not even heard of exploding cucumbers. Now to find a seed swop near me.

December 29, 2008 at 12:11 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

I've just planted some coriander seeds in a nice pot which I got for Christmas, their starting to germinate already.

I cant wait to get out in the garden and plant my veg plot!

December 29, 2008 at 4:38 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Happy New Year from a fellow seed catalogue peruser!

We are trying rainbow quinoa for the first time this year too.

I have an extra patch this year. A couple in our village who are struggling to keep on top of their garden have agreed to let me use it to grow veg which we'll then share. I'm delighted. It's a good size patch. Only trouble is it backs on to lots of fields and I think rabbits could be a problem. Any ideas for growing in rabbit regions?

December 29, 2008 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Danny said...

Dear Madame Secretary,

Please do not concern yourself with whether or not the suggestions by "himself" are practical, worthwhile, or will eventually feed your family. That is irrelevant.

I too am an "himself" and my role is to encourage, be a guinea pig, sometimes not watch Match Of The Day etc. when "herself" needs to discuss matters of state such as whether or not a particular dish needs more seasoning, if a shrub looks right in this corner of the garden or does my bum look big in this?

Us menfolk may sometimes provide enigmatic grunts/quips but always believe that we would much rather participate in your projects rather than slouch on the sofa with a six pack of beer watching footy. That supoosed man habit is a total fallacy that has been promulgated by "lads' mags". Just stop reading them and trust us!

Now where did I put that latest seed catalogue?

Love and best wishes for 2009 to you both.

Danny

December 31, 2008 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Cottage Smallholder said...

Happy New Year. Love this blog and all your ideas, really inspirational.

January 2, 2009 at 5:12 PM  
Anonymous littlem said...

oh, I have a seed addiction too! join me up.

January 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Tpals, we do, don't we?
Anon - that's interesting - I shall remember to steam ...
Melanie, coriander grown at home is wonderful.
Claire, see post below about rabbits!
Danny, Cottage Smallholder, littlem - I'm drawing up the rules for the SAC (Seed Addicts Club) right now ... and we can have badges too!

January 9, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Claire, here's the bad news. Nothing will keep determined, starving rabbits out of your crops.

However, most rabbits don't bother with sweetcorn, pumpkins and gourds, courgettes and summer squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers or potatoes - so plant those at the outer edges of the plot and the peas, beans and carrots that they do love, inside that 'barrier'.

A slightly better barrier is to use rhubarb slips to plant along the area where the rabbits enter - rabbits hate rhubarb and don't even like tunnelling under it. It can send them on a diversion to a place that has less of the nasty rhubarb around it.

But the only real answer is a wire mesh fence that descends eighteen inches into the soil ...

January 9, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Frankie @ Veg Plot said...

I'll join!!!

February 27, 2009 at 11:51 PM  
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