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I'm a newbie, last year we moved to a house with a lovely south facing garden and it also has a greenhouse and vegetable plot. Feels like all my dreams have come true.

I'm trying to get organised now for next year. This year I've had a go at growing all typres of flowers and vegetables, but I alway feel like I'm just a bit late with sowing my seeds. I'm interested in growing herbs, hanging basket plants, carrots, peas, betroot and parsnips. Maybe next year try potatoes.

So to get organised for next year, I have a folder for my self and trying to make a calander/ diary to inform me as to when to buy seeds and when different seeds need sowing buy.

When do you buy all or most of your seeds? I'm a bit worried to buy too early and find the seeds don't do so well, how good are the sow by dates?

Anything else you can think of to get me organised for the coming year is appreciated. I live in the North East, any advice about planting here and hardy plants alsi welcome.

Thanks in advance


I bought a lot of seeds last September at 50p a packet, I have had no problem with germination. I have just bought seeds for next year in the T&M half price sale. 

Alina W

Yes, I often buy at this time of year when they are half price. Many companies supply their seeds in a foil packet which, if not opened, will keep them fresh for a minimum of a couple of years.


Wlkinsons later in the season have a garden sale, I have bought mail order through e-bay-you will usually find that seed packets bought this year will have a sow -by date of 2013 which you don't have to take as gospel


I usually get mine in Wyevale sale . They go to half price then followed by 20p a packet sometimes. Never sure when they do it but have friends who pass the word round all us gardeners when we spot the reductions, usually in August.


Thank you all for all your information. I am on mailing lists for a few seed catalogues. I'll look out for the sales also.

Premier seeds direct, an ebay shop is really good. Cheap P&P & lots of seeds per pkt. They do some heritage varieties too.Great for sharing & swapping. Wyevale go down to 50p & then 20p.

As above, there are loads of good and economical sources of seed. I'd also like to add that how you store them can vastly improve how long they remain viable. I keep mine in airtight plastic containers in the fridge with those little packets of silica gel that seem to come with a lot of things these days. I also reseal the packets as tightly as I can with paperclips after I've sown what I need. At the very least, I'd advise you to keep seed in a cool, dark dry place. I do need to reorganise my collection though, so they are in some sort of calendar sequence.
Figrat, how do you organise your collection in a calendar sequence? Do you have a special box or divider system.

Thank you, I do keep my seeds in an air tight box in the garage. I hadn't thought about putting them in the fridge.

Paper clips are a good idea too!
At the moment they're stored under categories - flowers, veg, salads,herbs etc. But I find I have to rummage through them all to get what I want, and usually miss some in the process. So I'm going to reorganise the boxes into months - probably! Sarah Raven has a lovely seed box which has monthly dividers, but I thought I'd save a couple of bob and reorganise the Tupperware. Regarding my previous post I'm currently harvesting salad leaves grown from a packet of seed that should have been used by 2004....
Green Magpie

I'll second the vote for premier seeds direct on eBay. I also buy online from Moreveg, who are good for small quantities of seeds, low prices, amd a great variety to choose from. And I keep an eye out for free seeds with magazines.

I keep my seeds in a plastic carton with card dividers to sort them into the month when they should be sown. Then when I've sown most of them, I sort them into "Sown/spare" and "Still is use". Then I can't remember whether I decided I was finished sowing parsely or not, so I have to look everywhere for it. Then I find the carrot seeds in the wrong place because I only have the inner packet and I couldn't read what it said on it. Then I find the parsely seeds I thought I'd lost, lurking in the pocket of my gardening jacket. And what are the cornflower seeds doing in with the vegetables? And why did I ever imagine I would grow asters from seed? Have I really had them since 2003, the date on the packet?

As you can see, my system is not yet perfect. I really must go and sort out the seeds once more ...

Just don't put any seeds in the tool-caddy you use around the garden and then leave the whole lot out in the rain, OK?


Lots of good advice here for a fellow new gardener, thank you 


Lidl sell seeds starting at 29p a packet and I have always had good results from them.

Things like lettuce, beetroot, spring onions, radish, carrot, beans - all types - always grow from seed - dead easy, dead cheap

Courgettes, squash, pumkins, cucumbers - nearly always grow from seed. Besides a packet of seeds should last you 3 years or so, if you plant 4 seeds with a hope to get at least 2 plants of each, you will still have more them you can eat!! 

Toms, chillis, peppers - can be a pain - especially up north, as you need to start them really early (Feb) on a window sill/light box for  a hope of good crop - and the seeds can be expensive. 

If you want a variety of toms and peppers etc it can be just as cheap to buy a selection of small plants. I have 8 varieties of toms this year 6 of which I hve raised from seed I have bought in previous years. 1 or 2 plants of each makes for a lot of tomatoes!!!! 

It sounds like you have loads of space so keep the hanging baskets to flowers. veg prefers being in the soil

Herbs - sow basil, corriander every 2 weeks for a constant supply. Parsley, can be a pain to germinate if grown from seed but still worth a try. Treat your self to a rosemary, lavender &  a sage ( well drained soil - add lots of grit and sand to add drainage or they will just curl up and die during the winter) 

But it is only early June - still loads of time for growing this year - why wait? 

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