The seed tin of happiness

My seed tin ready for action

Like many gardeners, Easter is my starting gun for major gardening activities and also like many of them, I always feel a pang of guilt at starting seed sowing now. Everyone else seems to have lots of healthy seedlings and it's easy to be a little envious of their bounty. However, it's best if I ignore that and crack on now instead. I don't have a greenhouse and only a limited windowsill capacity so I've found a later start works better for me. That way everything should be at peak perfection for planting out in VP Gardens at the end of May. 

Having culled all the old or unwanted packets of seeds, my seed tin really is full of happiness with the promise of colour and harvests to come. It's looking a little different in there this year as there are as many packets of flower seeds as well as my usual vegetables. 

Some of these are earmarked for the newish border at the bottom of the garden. I'm being a little cautious with the revamp here because there's plenty of bramble sending out new shoots even though I dug them out pretty thoroughly. I want to make sure it's gone before I set out the permanent plants, therefore some direct sowing of colourful annuals is my answer for this year. I'm going to try some Nigella in the sunniest spot, not the usual Love-in-a-mist but Nigella sativa instead which produces the black seeds used in Indian cooking. NAH uses them when he cooks curry and they've been a gap in our store cupboard for a while. I'm also going to add some bronze fennel to the single terrace bed so I can top up its seed jar; I've missed this particular harvest from the allotment.

On the vegetable front the tomatoes are all blight resistant varieties this year - more on this in a future post. Surprisingly (to me) I'm growing spring onions for the first time. I do miss my allotment onion and shallots, but don't have the space for them here. However, I'm cooking a lot more stir fries in our more heart friendly diet these days and it'll be good to have a successional supply of spring onions to add to them. I'm also going to grow aubergines again despite them being a borderline success last year. Growing them outdoors is always an optimistic activity, so I'm looking at ways I can give them a little more protection.

Courgettes, squash and cucumbers have all grown well on my patio allotment previously and I'll sow these in a couple of weeks time. I've just sown the mangetout to scramble up behind them; I think of them as my 'two sisters' instead of the more familiar three sisters approach.

It's shaping up to be a grand year in the garden *crosses fingers*

What seeds have you sown this year? Are any of them for the first time?


  1. I am hopeless with seeds - other than the scatter and hope variety; too impatient; too much else to do. Not good I know, but bet to b honest - and I guess the garden centre is pleased. New garden being built here in West Wales - will send photos soon!

    1. I'm planning on quite a bit of seed scattering too - mainly wildflowers. Look forward to seeing your new garden!

  2. Like you I don't have a greenhouse and limited windowsill space so most seeds, flowers and vegetables, I sow direct. At home I've started off some cosmos, sunflowers and tomatoes to be followed by cucumbers and sweet corn. I also tend to sow later than many people do.
    Happy sowing and growing. xx

    1. Sadly I've found slugs like my direct sown crops too much so I like to get them well established before planting them out. We have similar sowing lists apart from the sweetcorn :)

  3. I love ruffling through the seed tin - I started a new job at a kitchen garden in January and they have (be still my beating heart) 5 shoe box sized tins filled to the brim with seeds. I have been known to ruffle through at every tea break (happily planning and plotting) 😁

    1. Ooh there's nothing like a good seed tin! Hope the new job is going well :)

  4. Ooh, it’s so tempting to get started, but we (mostly) restrain. Once our potatoes are planted out we’ll have a bit of space at home under a grow-light, then we can start properly. But probably not till next month...

    1. I'm in southern England here Belinda, so I'm amongst the earliest locations for seed sowing and planting out here. Now, if I was in Scotland it would be completely different.

  5. Easter is not a fixed date being any time between March 22nd - April 25th so I think that it can be risky to rely on it as a guideline to start sowing 😄 Even with a greenhouse my sowing is staggered through March and April depending on what the seed is and I definitely err on the side of caution. As far as this spring is concerned I'm glad that I
    do! Later sowings when it is warmer and the days longer soon catch up. New to me this year is papaver 'Amazing Grey' and a tender perennial by the name of tweedia caerulea. For the last couple of years I've made a headway by sowing some hardy annuals in September which really eases the workload in spring. I'm missing my bronze fennel at the allotment too VP! Apart from it's uses it's such a lovely plant to smell and stroke.

    1. Indeed Anna, but Easter is when lots of people have the time for this kind of task, so it tends to be the starting gun no matter if it's completely practical. This year's colder April means it's quite handy that I've been slow off the mark this year :)


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