Penny pinching and planting

Gardening, and allotmenteering, lays itself open to be very expensive. At least in the outset, and making preparations. Flicking through seed catalogues, surfing the companies online can also mean for pennies and pounds being spent.

Seed saving, as well as swapping, goes some way towards alleviating that cost. I have benefited from a number of swapped seeds, in addition I have passed on seeds for others to try. This particularly true, of people who wish to sow heritage seeds. Many seed varieties of yore, have been forgotten, save for the efforts of studious seed savers who have diligently saved seeds to keep them in circulation. There are off course many techniques, some simple others less so, that allow this to happen. With chillies, for example, one needs asbestos gloves given how potent some chillies can be. With tomatoes, one needs a penchant for slime in fishing them out of a jam jar. Beans, can be left to dry, and plucked from a crispy pod. It is that is simple. You will also get those plants and vegetables that are wont to sow their wild oats and cross widely. So that is seed saving, encouraged and plausible.


In tending the plot, an interesting experiment has developed. There are some roses that are more expensive than some of their plot counterparts, bought from a mail order company. The counterparts, are from a shop, where everything is priced at one pound or from a shop where goods are priced at being a penny below the pound. You can see the statement of the obvious. There is not much in the price of these two groups of roses, approximately £1.50 would separate the roses from online and the high street bought ones. Before the snow descended, the online ordered ones were actually demonstrating some growth on the thorny stems. The high street ones, did actually look a bit sorry for themselves. They were also still covered in green protective wax, that I had thought would have disappeared by now. 


Previously, spring flowering bulbs had been planted. It would be a surprise if any of these actually came up now,to be fair. All, generally, from those high street shops where you spend a pound. In the past, these have been reasonably successful. There are also some blueberries and redcurrant plants.


As I venture into these high street shops, I do wonder about the success rate. More recently, there have potatoes, onions, different seed varieties on the shelves. A reflection perhaps of how more and more people are choosing to grow their own food. The variety does seem to be getting more and more extensive, and more value compared to the stock held by garden centres. For many years, there has always been a clamour for Aldi and Lidl with their gardening GYO offers. With Wilkinsons also proving themselves to be a useful resource. 


Then there is the pot making contraption, Whilst it is labour intensive, it is incredibly useful. Made me reconsider, just how much money could be spent on pots that weren’t going to be occupied for very long. With the broadbeans currently in paper pots, I hope that this will also help the rather challenging clay soil on the plot.


It remains to be seen, if being savvy with pounds and pence makes any difference,

Yours in anticipation,


Horticultural Hobbit