HELEN LANG: Pick your seeds carefully

By all means experiment if you have room for the ones you usually grow but do try a row of the new variety as an experiment.

We are launched into the new year accompanied by a modest snow fall mixed with a light shower of rain.

All  very pretty, but it’s exceedingly tricky to walk or drive in. We all should stay indoors but if you insist on gettng some exercise, and a breath of fresh air, at least put on some old slacks because you are almost bound to slip and fall. And it would be a shame to take the seat out of those new ones you got for Christmas. It would also be exceedingly unpopular with your wife (who gave them to you) and who would be expected to mend the large tear in the plaid material (not easy to do).

It’s safer to stay at home. And you did get a couple of books — one of which is about fishing for marlin off the coast of Hawaii, which has a lot of appeal. especially when you look out at all that snow!

The 2017 seed catalogues will almost certainly be available toward the end of January or early February and are always a source of new varieties of tomatoes, peas, corn and much more. But if you had success with a certain type, why not stick with one you know does well in your soil?

By all means experiment if you have room for the ones you usually grow but do try a row of the new variety as an experiment.

Most seeds, vegetables especially, are relatively inexpensive, and any extra you end up with, can be shared and the produce compared when mature for size, taste and disease resistance. You could become an authority amongst your gardening friends.

A visit to the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific on Saturday was for the annual Seedy Saturday event and there you will meet many of your fellow gardeners also seeking good advice, exchange seeds and possibly help. There was an excellent talk on bringing bees to your garden.


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.

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