A seed sort-through

So after a couple of peeks into the garden - one in January and then another one last week, my gardening bug is starting to kick in again. So instead of racing into it and doing everything in our North-facing garden too early I thought I'd dig out my seed box and have a sort through. I keep all my seeds in this metal re-purposed Crabtree & Evelyn box, which was a present a while back containing a hand trowel and fork, various pink gardening gloves and some post-gardening hand cream - a fab present.

It's pretty crammed with seeds though and ...erm, just a little bit disorganised *hangs head in shame and looks around for someone else to blame but finds no one*  Ideally it'd be sorted by the month in which the seeds should be planted, so accepting my challenge I emptied the box...

...and this is what I found:

1, Lettuce: 7 varieties - last year I grew lots of Cos Freckles and had plenty, but looking in the packet there's still lots of seeds left.  I've also got some American Landcress which I'm planning to try this year.
2. Chillies & peppers: just 5 varieties - I've had limited success with chillies grown from seed in the couple years and last year resorted to buying some plants. The first year I grew them they went bonkers, so I bought more seeds and since then nothing much. Typical. I'm going to try again as it'd be great to grow some Padron Peppers of my own.

3. Tomatoes: 7 varieties - my favourite is Tigerella, but the most reliable are Gardener's Delight. Last year the snails got to my seedlings, twice so I gave in and bought some plants when I bought some chillies. I still haven't got the hang of discarding the weaker seedling, it seems such a shame when it's made all that effort to grow... That means I usually end up with more tomato plants than I expect and have my own tomato farm. But it's good to fill the freezer up with pasta sauce!

4. Herbs:  a full range, including three different types of basil: "plain" basil, sweet basil and lemon basil and the more unusual summer savoury, vervain and sorrel. My problem here is once the plants grow they stay growing and there's so many seeds left in the packets. My lemon balm has overwintered twice now and the sorrel perks up just as I think it won't make it. 

Oh and that nibbled Vervain packet - that was attacked by the snails too, that's why I now keep my seeds in a metal tin, indoors. Just to be doubly safe!

But by far and away the biggest piles were for the vegetables, not bad as I only have one smallish vegetable bed... but lots of pots! Although I have discovered that I am now number 3 on the allotment waiting list, it's been a long wait to get this far I can tell you. One day, maybe.

5. Vegetables: split into piles here of
- pumpkins and squashes: 10 varieties - which is shocking really as I have very little room to grow these;
- root crops: 9 varieties, including 4 types of beetroot - 2 traditional, 1 golden and 1 white. And guess what, yep I've only grown the traditional sort;
- brassicas: 9 varieties, some of these aspirational too like the Red Rubine Brussels Sprouts (they grew, but sprouts didn't form so we had a lot of Brussels tops that year) and
- legumes: 6 varieties including two large packets of Blue Lake French beans - in my defence I do like beans...

6. Flowers: 21 different packets - and I thought I didn't really grow flowers. Hmmm.. maybe that's why there's so many unopened packets in this pile. It looks like I'll be trying some flowers too then...

And one of my favourite discoveries, was this one.  Carefully labelled as "Lucky Dip Pumpkin"

I also discovered that many of my seeds are out of date - oops! - that's another thing about having so many seeds in one packet - I suspect some will be fine and grow happily, but there's others I want to test to make sure they'll germinate. I mean, if I've going to nurture and tend those seedlings, I want them to deliver the goods don't I? This test on You Grow Girl looks to be a quick and easy germination test and I think I could be doing that this year.  Well, as well as buying some more seed just in case - that's what you do right?!

Assuming you also have out of date seeds, do you test them to see if they'll germinate or do you just sow them and hope for the best?  And if you don't have out of date seeds, what do you do with them all?  Answers needed please below! 

The List