Dig in and get some free seeds

Filed in Blog by on March 29, 2010 7 Comments
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Hopefully we'll be harvesting potatoes in no time.

Hopefully we'll be harvesting potatoes in no time.

Last year we took part in the BBC Dig In Challenge.

You get 5 free packets of seeds and lots of helpful information about growing your own food. The idea is that no matter how small your space, you could dip a toe into the self sufficient life.

Last year we had carrots, beetroot, squash, tomatoes and lettuce.

This year it’s carrots and salad along with courgettes, French beans and basil – yum!The free seeds are open to anyone, as long as stocks last, so I’ll give you a moment to pop to the site, apply for your free seeds and come back to finish this exciting post…

Ok, good.

Last year, our biggest success were the carrots and beetroot. Living on a bed of clay soil, we made a special container for the carrots and filled it with compost, sand and grit. They thrived beautifully and we were eating carrots right up until the snow made them a bit sweet and sickly.

The lettuces didn’t grow at all. We’d made a raised bed on the patio, but I don’t think it got enough light. I figured lettuce would be ok if it didn’t get too hot; I thought it would prevent it bolting, but it had other ideas and we didn’t have a single leaf.

The squash grew magnificent plants with the hugest leaves you ever saw but produced no fruit. The tomatoes didn’t come to anything either, which is weird, because we always grow tomatoes. Perhaps I didn’t sing enough to them.

Anyway, we’re waiting arrival of our new seeds with anticipation of a fruitful year.

There’s a gardener’s calender on the BBC site to let you know what to do each day. You’ll also get plenty advise during the growing and harvesting season about how to get the most from your veg and recipes to try. There are videos and pdfs to download as well as advise from gardening experts.

In addition to the BBC Dig in campaign, the charity Garden Organic are encouraging 30,000 people who have never grown anything before to take their “One pot pledge“.  Once you sign up, you’ll be able to find lists of some of the easiest things to grow in pots along with some great blog posts to help you. If you’ve never grown anything, but fancy having a go, this is a great opportunity to get stuck in and try a little self sufficiency.

What about you – what are you growing this year? In addition to these veggies, we’ve got potatoes, carrots, kale, beetroot, broad beans, parsley and watercress along with salad leaves and lots of tomatoes. I always tend to take on too much, but as you know, this year I’m scaling back on the amount of growing space I plant.

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Jane says:

    My flatmate and I had a small patch in the vicar’s garden when I lived in Bristol many years ago. Rock cucumbers were successful but took up a lot of space cf your squash! They have tougher skins than the plastic coated ones and even have prickles but have a good flavour. They grew more like squash/marrow/courgette. This year I’m still dreaming but herbs will come first because they are expensive and sometimes difficult to buy and can jazz up so many dishes including salads that might otherwise be boring.

  2. Sarah says:

    We have the Dig In free seeds too! So far we have 4 beans up, not done anything else from that set yet.

    We also have a couple of pumpkins coming up, the first few tomatoes, some cosmos flowers and parsley. Those are in paper pots inside. Outside we have garlic growing well and the onions are in. Over Easter, assuming it doesn’t snow as forecast, we’ll be cracking on with digging over the veg beds, fertilising and getting things sown. We’re planning peas and carrots, maybe some spuds and loads of herbs.

  3. sandy says:

    I have just signed up for free veg seeds, thank you, we are also growing potatos, tomatoes, carrots, runner beans, broad beans, lettuce, salad onions, onions, courgettes, cucumbers, kurley kale, brocciille, cabbages, squash for the first time.

  4. Fiona says:

    What a coincedence, I have just signed up for my free seeds tonight. Have never grown veg before but excited about giving it a go. By the way, I would like to say I find your blog inspiring. I would love to get to zero waste but at present am just trying to recycle as much as I can.

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: Great idea to start with the herbs; I’ve got my parsley on the go!

    @Sarah: Oh fab; we’ve not planted any of them yet, but I might get the basil in soon.

    @sandy: Sounds like you have some great plans; enjoy the free seeds!

    @Fiona: Hi Fiona, thanks for your lovely message. I’m so pleased you are going to have a go at growing your own food and thrilled the site is inspiring you to look at your recycling and waste – well done you; keep us updated on your progress 🙂

  6. Poppy says:

    Joshua’s seed potatoes arrived a couple of days ago (via Guildford …. How?!) He is outside planting them now. Although we have other bags and bins on the go, he is chuffed because these are *his*! He is also well into watering all the seeds that we planted the other day. Got to watch that as it tends to be all or nothing!

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: Yay! I hope you get a lovely crop. I had some stuff from Garden Organics ‘one pot pledge’ this week too. I signed up for it, but I didn’t realise you got ‘things’ in the post 😀

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