31 January 2013

My Seed Stash

For the past couple of weeks or so, I have been pondering what vegetables to plant this year. It's a very pleasurable pastime. I love looking at seed catalogues and browsing on seed websites but the fact remains that I still have a whole load of seeds left over from last year. I'm always in a quandary about whether or not I should use them. I know that the seed packets have a use by date on them and some of them are use by 2013 so does that mean I can use them this year? And if I do use them, are they less likely to germinate? Is it better to use fresh packets of seeds? So many questions and so few answers. So, usually I wimp out and just buy new ones.

So. To this years planting. I have 5 raised beds. Three wooden ones which I made myself and 2 that are edged with slate slabs which are stood on their ends, which I also made. Actually, the largest slate bed was just a case of making the most of a large pile of dumped topsoil that I was too lazy to move and I basically, I just slapped the slate around it, flattened the soil out and turned it into a raised bed. It worked so well I made another one.

Anyway, here is a list of things I am hoping to plant this year.

French Beans                                  Shallots
Leeks                                             Mange Tout
Beetroot                                         Peas
Salad Leaves                                  Curly Kale
Tomatoes                                       Broccoli
Potatoes                                         Cauliflower
Cucumbers                                     Carrots
Courgettes                                      Strawberries

These are all things we eat regularly. Last year, I made the mistake of planting things that I wouldn't normally eat like chard and broad beans and I didn't eat them. To be fair, the weather was so bad down here in Cornwall last year and the slug problem so bad that I didn't get very much from the garden last year. Some leeks, some potatoes, some tomatoes, plenty of shallots and some salad leaves were really all I managed to salvage from the slugs.

Anyway, I have been collecting seeds over the last couple of weeks from my local cheap-as-chips store, Trago Mills, and this is what I have go so far. I still have quite a few left to get but I'm getting there and I will have to have good rummage through my last years seed stash to see what else I have left that I can plant. I also bought some fabulous flower seeds but that will be another post.


  1. Enjoy your blog so much. Gardening here in the mountains of Utah is quite different to gardening in Cornwall, I'm sure. About your "old" seeds, I've had success with some and failures with others. I think it depends upon the veg. Last year I planted some 14-year-old green beans (I think you call them haricots) and had a bumper crop. Also vegetable spaghetti and zucchini (courgettes?) seeds seem to keep their sprouting ability a long time. Anyway, it can't hurt to try and plant them rather than just throwing them out. Good luck!

  2. How did the butter turn out? Have you tried yet?

    We're waiting for Lidl to have their 29p seeds in and then we'll go and buy some. This year it will be important for us to get a good crop to stretch the budget so we'll have to be careful what we plant.

  3. Hi Jo, I'm having a go at the butter this weekend I will let you know how it turns out, I'm really looking forward to tasting it, thanks so much for posting how to make it :-)
    I know what you mean about the stretching the budget. That's exactly why I'm determined to get as much out of the garden as I can this year. I'm also contemplating getting some chickens if I can find a reasonably priced chicken house. They all seem so expensive, even the second hand ones but I shall keep looking and hopefully I will have some chickens by summer :-)

  4. Hi Anonymous, I was wondering what vegetable spaghetti is it sounds very intriguing. I wonder if it's something that would grow here in Cornwall?

  5. I love sorting through my seeds & making plans. I hope 2013 is a better growing year for us all.

  6. Vegetable spaghetti is also called spaghetti squash. I am pretty sure it would grow fine in Cornwall.