I have to confess that I have a bit of a weakness for garden centres (I wonder what that says about me!) and this whole crop-growing business gives me an excellent excuse to visit them.
This weekend we popped into the best garden centre I’ve found in the area, Burston Garden Centre, which is just a little bit out of Watford. It actually has an impressive range of just about everything, and I’ve never gone there and been unable to find what I was looking for – something worthy of a shameless plug!
I actually popped in there during the last week (well, I was passing the front door!) and managed to pick up a couple of small items – firstly some of these really cool little compressed pellets; just add water and they expand up into little net-wrapped pots you can plant seeds in, and then plant out directly when they’re big enough. It’s my answer to the trauma of the seed trays I mentioned last time.
The other purchase then was the last few seeds; some odd-looking courgettes called ‘One Ball’ which, as the name suggests, are spherical – and also some ‘companion planting’ in the form of Limnanthes Douglasii, which are widely acknowledged as very good for attracting both bees (for pollenation) and hoverflies (for eating all manner of nasty things) as well as being pretty.
I had been meaning to keep a very careful tally, but of course that would have required me to keep hold of receipts and write things down as I go along; here’s my best attempt at a total for the season (excluding some bits I’ll talk about later!)
- Summer savoy cabbage seeds – £2.49
- Red onion seed – £1.99
- Sweetcorn seeds – £1.99
- Seed Potatoes – I’m a little hazy but I think around £4.00
- Courgette seeds – £3.00
- Limnanthes Douglasii – £1.99
- Cool little pellets for seedlings – £5.00 or so
Gosh. Well that adds up to less than £20 for the year; at least that gives me a target for the volume of food I need to produce!