Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Home made Seed Packets, Saving Seed and Broody Mavis

Yesterday I sorted my stash of seeds and discovered that I only need to buy Tuscan kale, Sweet Corn, another packet of maincrop tomatoes ( probably Alicante) and early Brussels. No doubt I will discuss these in more detail at a later date.
Below is an illustration of how I make my seed packets -
Starting from 11o'clock and moving clockwise - The first stage shows a magazine page folded diagonally, The excess paper is cut away so that you have a square folded diagonally. Next fold the bottom corner to the opposite side at 90 degrees to the edge. Fold the top corner likewise crossing over the previous fold. You now have a sort of envelope. Part the two sheets at the top of the envelope  and fold the top sheet over, level with the crossed over sheets. You will now have a little packet. Place your seeds in the packet, fold over the back sheet and seal and label. In this illustration I have used beans and have sealed the packet with a sticky label  For smaller seeds you will also need to sellotape the packet around the top of the packet so that they don't escape. You can make these packets whatever size you want, so long as you start with a square it will work. I use magazine pages as they are sturdier than newspaper. I have also recycled used envelopes this way.

I NEVER throw seeds away, seems almost like sacrilege to me! Some seeds have a longer life than others and if a certain seed is getting towards the end of it's viable life I tend to sow more thickly, hoping that at least some will come up! If you are not too sure about the viability of seeds and/or would like a book that gives you no-nonsense guide to growing vegetables, Hessayon's  "Vegetable Expert"  is a good place to start. He discusses the how-to of each vegetable and includes the life expectancy of  the stored seed too. Hessayon's Expert books are affordable and easy to use (The Fruit Expert is good too) These books have been out for years.

Below is a picture of a cute little chick called Mavis. She was born 18 months ago and is the offspring of the love affair between a Black Maran Cock and an Apricot Favorelle Hen  called Fi Fi (oo la la !)

Now though Fi Fi was not too posh to push (obviously) she had no interest in mothering and didn't hatch this rather cross looking chick. That job fell to Marjorie a legendary broody bantam, who sadly died last summer, but who hatched many many broods - she couldn't resist raising chicks and was always sitting on eggs whenever she could steal them!

 Now Mavis has decided that she too wants some chicks and started to sit on a couple of eggs. We placed a few more in front of her today, which she instantly "stole". So the first broody of the year is ...MAVIS.  Below is a picture of her, taken last summer, talking to Hugh the Orpington cockerel , who is looking at her lasciviously. Mind you Hugh looks at all hens that way!

I seem to have quite a few things to discuss this week, so I will be back blogging soon. Thanks for reading and a very warm Welcome  to my new followers.
Gill x


  1. Do you dry your seeds? My granddaddy used to keep a few select kinds of seeds in the freezer and I never thought to ask why.

    1. Yes I do dry my seeds and they seem to keep well. I believe the jury is out re. freezing seed, though many swear by it ("Lizzie" freezes her seed)it is suppose to ensure viability of seed, with the risk of seed becoming damp easily overcome by the right wrapping/container. I do have quite a lot of seed and use large jars for the large seed, such as beans, I guess they would use up quite a bit of freezer space!
      Hope your tests went well