Preparing for the growing year means you have to make a few decisions. I have to make a fair amount of decisions! I spread out all the seeds I have onto the kitchen table, and I was more than mildly surprised.
There are more seeds than I can grow by far. My evening will now consist of agonising over which ones to grow and which ones will remain in the box. Maybe. I do think plans have to be flexible, as you never know.
For example I bought some sweet pepper seeds, from a reputable source. All but one failed to germinate. The one plant that grew produced a single solitary pepper! This was my first attempt at sweet peppers and I had no other seeds to try. Feeling despondent, I did not bother buying any more pepper seeds that season. The following year I invested in some more, hoping it was simply a bad batch. I was right, the new seeds germinated much better and I grew five healthy plants.
There are many reasons why seeds don’t germinate, and it isn’t always anything to do with you. Some seasons are just better than others. Some seeds have to be fresher than others. Sometimes the conditions are just not quite right.
Now, I prefer to have a selection of varieties so I have a back up plan. Or if I change my mind. Or if I simply cannot resist the feeling you get when you see the little green shoots pop their heads up above the soil for the first time.
Little packages of loveliness
Some seeds are small, uninteresting and nothing to get excited about. Other seeds are fiddly and a pain in the rear to handle. Others, are just delightful to look at!
These are just common old runner beans (or pole beans). I don’t know the variety, but they have the standard bright red flower and long beans. I have saved the seeds every year and these must be the fourth generation of seeds I have saved to grow the next year. They are just gorgeous!
It still amazes me that something so small contains everything to grow a brand new plant, flowers, and the edible results . It’s also a very frugal way of gardening and brings great satisfaction knowing that you raised the plant, and will continue with its “offspring” year after year.
So, I will try and reduce the number of seeds that I plan to grow. I will let you know what I decide on. Watch this space!