I do not put ads on my blog but do have a counter that shows me how many visits the pages get. (The stats. count is just there so I can see if I am 'talking' to myself, luckily so far this has not happened.) By continuing your visit here you are consenting to the stats. counter tracking cookies. Cookies, that sounds like something nice to eat but not that exciting.

Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sowing vegetable seeds - how many ?

The quantity of seeds that you sow at one given time can be difficult to decide and eventually experience will guide you in this. 

Planting seeds like courgettes can often lead to a glut which ready to harvest and eat all at once. The problem is compounded with courgettes because they need to be harvesred when they are young and small and left to grow on will turn into 'marrow' size and 'toughen' very quickly.

Do not become disheartened if you make mistakes in judging the quantities in the early years of growing vegetables. If you can store your harvested vegetables by freezing them down do so. If not be prepared give them away to family and friends, who will probably be pleased and amazed by how tasty the vegetables are. They will probably think you are generous and a gardening genius.

Last year I misjudged the number of runner beans I would be able to harvest from the seeds I planted and found it difficult to keep up with the picking and freezing process. I am not that keen on runner beans anyway . To make matters worse they are one of the plants that you need to harvest regularly to keep the plant producing. Hence ,I ended up with more runner beans than anyone could have used in one season and valuable freezer space was taken up with a vegetable that I am not that fond of eating. The lesson here is this year I plant less of them, and if there is a glut I give away the ones I do not need.

I also overestimated how many tomato seeds I needed to sow, but instead of a failure this proved very successful. Last year was a very good year here for growing outdoor tomatoes and as I had  spare seedlings I transplanted the excess seedlings onto the allotment, I was fortunate to have a super harvest. Last year,I had a constant supply of fresh tomatoes and enough to cook pasta sauces.

I think it helps if you approach the sowing of the vegetable seeds with a mixture of pessimism and optimism. Sow enough seed to fill in gaps - with things like peas where the pigeons will devastate your early seedlings at worst and peck and spoil one or two early shoots at the best. Some things like peas freeze to store really well.

Spread the planting of things like salad leaves, lettuce over a period of time say at ten day or two week intervals so that when the first batch is finished producing the second and successive batches are coming to the stage where they are ready to harvest.

More about this later...

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote