Now is the best time to order your seeds, plants and sundry items for the coming growing season. I try to take advantage of whatever discounts are on offer and it’s worth checking what seed company your local gardening club / Horticultural Society is affiliated to as they tend to receive large discounts.
For example my local village club is linked to Dobies and with our online code I received just over 50% off my seed order (also 10% off plants/sundries) which is a great saving. I’m also a member of the National Vegetable Society which is linked to Marshalls who offer a straight 10% off orders over £30.
I had plenty of seeds left over from last season which are still viable so only needed to stock up on a few such as leeks and squash. I’ve bought some strawberry plants and a few extra raspberry canes – Marshalls added 5 free strawberry plants as I had just over £20 of soft fruit and with a few sundry items I received the 10% discount for an over £30 spend. I know these offers are there to tempt you in but if you were going to buy the items anyway it’s worth shopping around.
One final recommendation at this time of year is to visit a local potato day if you can. They are a great place to buy cheap seed potatoes – all of which can be bought as singles or in packs so you can try out different varieties very cheaply. Plus they have lots of veg growing related stalls – my local Potato Day is the Hampshire one based at Whitchurch, well worth a visit.
Today was the 16th Hampshire Potato Day as I mentioned in a previous post. Darren and I were up bright and early with his Landrover loaded and off to Whitchurch which is about 40 minutes from us.
The large school hall was packed – about half was taken by the potatoes, around 300 different varieties to choose from in either packs or individual tubers. The standard well known varities but also plenty of unusual ones to try out with expert advice on hand to guide you through the bewildering number of them!
The rest of the hall was individual stalls like ours – the NVS Hamsphire DA stand – which we use to spread the word about the NVS, “a growing society” and to fund raise by selling various plants, seeds and sundry items. We were also promoting our veg growing Seminar in March – more of that in the next post. It was an extremely busy day, the first hour after the doors opened at 10am was very busy and then it thinned out to a good crowd who could actually move around freely at that point!
We did well with lots of interest in our stand and what we had to say which was great to see. We were joined by our Chairman Ted Perren a well known grower in the Hants/Wilts area and we managed to keep up with the flow of enquiries. Many familiar faces stopped by and we were visited by fellow blogger Mark and his wife.
If you’re thinking of going there’s still a chance tomorrow between 10am and 3pm.
I bought a few varieties – Pentland Javelin, Winston, Kestrel, Bonnie, Charlotte and a new variety recommended by the owner called Carolus (supposedly fully blight resistant) which I took 5 tubers of to try out.
A very good day and it was great to see so many people there!
I helped out on the Hampshire DA NVS stand at the Hampshire Potato Day in Whitchurch today. We had a really good day selling merchandise, seeds and plants plus quite a few tickets for our vegetable growing seminar in March (more on that in a later post). The organisers said the numbers were way down this year which is a shame, I guess this may be a result of the poor growing conditions last year, but there was still around 1200 people through the doors over the two days.
This year’s purchases were first early Winston, second early Kestrel and main crop Amour. With a bag of Charlotte and a few Red Emmalie (red flesh), a bag of onions sets (Stuggart Giant), Broad Bean seeds (Longfellow – reselected by our Chairman) Dwarf Bean Prince and Pea Show Perfection.
Thankfully all the snow has gone now. This is what it was like last Friday in the village.
Next job is to set the potatoes out to chit and then start shredding the 8 75-litre bags of F2S compost I have. Early season preparations are now well and truly underway!!
The 15th Hampshire Potato Days will be held on
Sat 26 & Sun 27 January 2013
10am – 3pm
Testbourne Community Centre, Micheldever Road, Whitchurch RG28 7JF
Entry adults £2, accompanied children free
Sorry I’m a bit late in posting this as it’s on tomorrow and Sunday but if you’re in the area why not pop in to stock up on your seed potatoes, onion sets, shallots etc. The great thing about this event is there’s dozens of varieties and you can buy tubers singly for just under 20p each. I’ll be there on Sunday on the NVS stand so come and have a chat if you’re there. This is a good site to see what potato days or seed fairs are near you.
I’m slowly coming out of hibernation after being offline for most of the last 3 months so you’ll start to see more activity on here and I’ll be stopping by from time-to-time to catch up with my favourite blogs as well. Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and here’s to a successful growing season!!
A busy day today. I took delivery of a pile of muck from a local farm, Stanleys, in the next village. He was round 10 minutes after my phone call in a JCB with a £20 load and a promise of more if I needed it. I’ll dig this in around the plot were it’s needed as it’s really well rotted stuff avoiding the areas where I’m planning to grow root veg.
After taking the girls swimming we drove up to Whitchurch for the 14th Hampshire Potato Day. Whilst they slept in the car I had a quick look round and bought my seed potatoes for the year plus a couple of bags of onions sets. There was around 150 varieties to choose from, many of which you could buy as single tubers. And good value with 2.5KG bags for between £3.50 and £4 or 15p per tuber (7 for £1), and bags of onions sets for a £1.
I bought three 2.5KG bags of Casablanca, Kestrel and Bonnie. And smaller bags of Arran Pilot, Charlotte, Lady Christl, Pink Fir Apple and Salad Blue. I’ll set them out in egg boxes later to chit.
The show varieties will be grown in 17litre polypot bags using Medwyns Potato Mix and whatever is left over will be in the ground at the shared plot or alloment. I can’t wait to get started.
Had a quick chat with Darren who was manning the NVS stand and then it was back home for the football……..
Posted in Grow Veg
Tagged Arran Pilot, Bonnie, Casablanca, charity, Hampshire Potato Day, Kestrel, Lady Christl, Pink Fir Apple, Potato Day, Potatoes, Salad Blue, Seed potatoes, Whitchurch