Peter Clarke's planting advice -plan for the coming year
The days have started to lengthen, its 29th December and we gained 4 minutes since the turn, not much but in a month's time it will be 80 minutes gained and I will be starting to sow vegetables (mostly indoors). So now is the time when I work out what I will be growing in the coming year and making sure I have seed for it. Most seed keeps for quite a long time so no need to replace everything every year with a few exceptions eg Parsnip and maybe Beetroot and of course those things I have run out of or want to try a different variety. If you keep seed dry and cool it can last for years depending on the vegetable - this site has a guide but it is just a guide. Sow before dates on packets can also be helpful, bearing in mind the supplier would like you to buy more. NB as seed gets older the number of seeds per 100 that will germinate decreases so you may need to sow more to get the same number of plants as the seed gets older.
Nothing better than sitting in the warm picturing next season's growing while the wind howls outside and the rain lashes the windows. So get out the seed catalogues, go online and look at the suppliers' sites and don't forget the sets for onions if you want to grow them from sets and 'seed' potatoes. Growing from seed is very satisfying and very economical and in the coming months I will be suggesting what to sow when and how to do it for those who are just starting.
Chris Cant adds:
If you have seed spare ask for it on Penrith and Eden District Freegle - or ask for whatever others have spare. We have plenty of asparagus kale seed spare. Or come along to Seedy Sunday on 24th February 2013 in Kirkby Thore.