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Vegetable, Flower and Herb Seeds. Vegetable, Flower and Herb Seeds.

As an avid gardener and buyer of mail order seeds, it’s likely that there will be various things that you do with your plants simply because… well, everyone does, and they’re supposed to work. One such popular tradition is putting ‘crocks’ – bits of broken pottery – at the bottom of your plant pots. It’s supposed to increase drainage, and yet it’s all nonsense, according to one new study.

Yes, we’ve all heard from those people who absolutely espouse putting ‘crocks’ at the bottom of a pot. They’re supposed to allow quicker water run-off than soil, in addition to stopping compost blocking the holes at the bottom of the pot. Don’t feel too silly if you’ve always thought that way, too – after all, Alan Titchmarsh, Monty Don and Gardeners’ Question Time are among previous endorsers.

The debunking comes from consumer magazine, Which?. Researchers each planted 40 pots with five “Million bells trailing yellow”, a yellow flowering plant that has been known to suffer root rot when combined with saturated soils. Sometimes a plastic pot was used, on other occasions a terracotta pot, while some pots had saucers, and others not. A note was made of the “vigour and flowering impact” of each of the plants. The outcome was that the crocks “made no difference to how well our plants did.”

Surely, though, it’s easier for water to flow through those bigger gaps where the crockery shards meet with the soil? That’ll doubtless be the view of many of our mail order seeds customers, but the RHS’s chief horticultural adviser Guy Barter disagrees, saying drainage is – if anything – likely to be worsened by broken bits of crockery, due to the block that is created. He instead advises having a layer of soil underneath the soil into which the water can drain, later being sucked up by the roots if needed.

Be reassured that crocks aren’t necessarily completely useless, as they might save you money on compost, in addition to blocking drainage when the weather warms up. Nonetheless, they generally just aren’t needed. Naturally, though, many of our mail order seeds customers are sure to keep up the ritual. There’s just something magical about crocks’ role in the heritage of gardening.

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There are lots of great plants to begin growing in April. Spring is finally here, and as the days grow longer, you’ll want to spend more time in the garden – so take a look at our comprehensive stock, and purchase seeds online from us at a competitive price.

Flowers:

  • This is the last month you can plant the Chilean Glory Vine, Eccremocarpus. It resembles a climbing foxglove which blooms into varying shades of fire red, sunset orange, golden yellow and even light pinks or creams. This bold plant adds a welcome splash of colour to a wall.
  • It’s also the final month for seeding Alonsoa Warscewiczil Scarlet. The visually striking red petals make the plant resemble a large snapdragon, but this plant is even better for attracting bees and butterflies.
  • Before it’s too late, you can add Aster Chinensis Carpet Ball to your garden. Flowering in compact spheres of vivid purples to pinks, they should flower until the beginning of autumn.

Herbs:

  • Borage can be seeded in April. It has pretty blue flowers, and is often put in alcoholic tipples. It spruces up gin, or a nice glass of summer Pimms.
  • Dill is another herb to sew at this time of year. It makes a great accompaniment to trout, with its anise like leaves and powerful seeds. You can also add it to pizza, as it goes with many Mediterranean flavours.
  • Marjoram is great for lamb, pork and beef. It emphasises meatiness and ‘Marjoram, Sweet or Knotted’ helps to reduce bitterness in foods. For a good quality supply of marjoram, purchase seeds online from us at Seeds By Post

Vegetables:

  • For delicious beans, try sewing Runner Bean Scarlet Emperor. With big harvests, this variety also grows magnificent red flowers.
  • A slightly more decorative runner bean is Fagioli Nani Splendido or the Borletto Bean. The pods are a deep pink, with an off-white speckle. These beans taste nice, too.
  • In April, you can also plant Boltrady Beetroot, which is a hardy variety that combines sweetness with a vibrant red colour.

To get the best deals on seeds online, just peruse our pages, and add packets to your basket. Soon, you’ll have borders overflowing with foliage, and bowls brimming with everything from beans to beetroot.

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March is a great month to get sowing and growing a plethora of wonderful plants for your garden. Here’s some inspiration if you want to buy seeds online:

Flowers:

  • ‘Love Lies Bleeding’ Amaranthus sends out velvety red spikes of flowerlets that stay in bloom for most of the summer. Use these to add fountains of colour wherever you sow.
  • Calendula Lemon Zest gives wonderful light yellow flowers, and better yet, the flowers can be eaten! They’re tough plants too, so you can be sure that they’ll be brightening up your border whatever weather we have for the rest of spring.
  • Sunflower Total Eclipse is Seeds by Post’s collection of deep red and buttery white sunflowers. The two types together contrast wonderfully.

Vegetables:

  • Try planting courgette zucchini this month. It’s a variety with pale to dark green stripes, which make it pleasing enough to look at, and it has a good flavour too.
  • March is also the month for Redhead broccoli. You may know how healthy cruciferous vegetables are, and this variety is more vigorous than other kinds of purple brassicas.
  • You can also plant little gem lettuces this month. In every pack we sell, there’s five metres of seeds, which will give you a big crop of crunchy, succulent leaves.

Herbs:

  • Thyme is easy to grow and is delicious when paired with hearty meat. Plant it now, and plan a venison dinner.
  • Moss curled parsley can be planted now. It’s an old folk remedy for bad breath, and is often paired with garlic to prevent halitosis that may come from delicious Mediterranean food.
  • Basil lemon gives a lovely zesty flavour to food. Try burning some on a BBQ to give the meat a smoky lemon character.

Buy seeds online from us at Seeds by Post, and you can get these excellent plants at very reasonable prices. We stock a great range. What’s more by using top quality seed companies, you can look forward to seeing spectacular results in your gardens this year. March is an excellent time to buy seeds online.

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At the beginning of every year, the soil lies dormant and ready for your horticultural inspiration… and every season, there’s something interesting to plant or pot up. Of course, you should buy seeds to match the month you’re in, and a few things to try right now are:

Flowers:

  • Arctotis Harlequin (a burst of colour from sunny yellows to regal reds);
  • Climbing Snapdragon (a beautiful stream of pink flowers trailing up your conservatory walls);
  • Delphiniums (available in blues, whites, yellows, pinks and purples, these tall spears of petals will burst into bloom during August and September);
  • Achillea Summer Berries (this species produces wonderful dome like flower heads in a range of reds. They add impact to any border).

Herbs:

  • Chamomile (it makes for a luxuriantly fragrant lawn, and is an old folk remedy for nerves);
  • Cat Grass (if you’re a cat lover, you’ll want your moggy chewing this herb. It aids their digestion, and helps to remove fur balls);
  • Chives (these delicious, oniony stalks start to grow at the end of February, so sow now for a treat at the end of summer);
  • Basil Floral Spire (this variety of basil produces wonderful lilac flowers. The delicious flavour and aroma will intensify if you grow it in moderately poor soils, so treat them mean).

Vegetables:

  • Cabbage Red Drumhead (this variety is great pickled, and is wonderful with sweat and sour pork);
  • Cape Gooseberry (a delicious fruit which traditionally pairs well with mackerel. However this sub-type is bright orange, and will brighten up any salad too);
  • German salad radish (sow the fiery and crunchy root vegetable now to enjoy a constant crop throughout the summer);
  • Leek Autumn Giant (Autumn is becoming a time of novelty vegetable varieties, and this leek is sure to put your neighbours to shame at nine inches of stem alone).

Seeds By Post proudly stocks all of the above, so buy seeds now to get your garden overflowing with beautiful petals and delicious crops. If you do buy seeds from us, you can be sure of top quality supply, at excellent prices.

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Far from a time to put your feet up, there’s plenty to do in your garden in February, relating to everything from trees, shrubs and climbers to bulbs, flowers and lawns. Of course, it’s possible that you will spend some time indoors this month to purchase cheap seeds from a website like Seeds By Post, but any self-respecting garden owner is also likely to spend a decent amount of time carrying out a series of general and maintenance tasks in this area of the home, in readiness for the spring.

One thing that you are certainly likely to need to do is continue digging over existing beds and borders, maximising the amount of organic matter that you incorporate into them. Forking over is a good way of reducing the number of pests given how it makes them visible to hungry birds, and it’s also simply a sound way of better preparing the soil for the months ahead. This is naturally a month in which temperatures begin to rise, but frost and even snow can still linger in places, making it potentially necessary to wrap insulation – such as garden fleece – around any susceptible plants, taps and pots.

In a similar vein, the conscientious customer of cheap seeds is also likely to go to every effort to raise pots and containers off the ground wherever possible, while the roots of tender trees and shrubs will always be better protected against freezing conditions with dry mulch applied to them. If the ground is no longer frozen, new beds and borders can be made, the shape best made by trickling sand from a bottle. The top layer of growing vegetation can then be removed and the ground dug over.

Those that have opted to make a bed in the lawn may consider stacking the removed turf upside down in another location, so that it can spend a year or two rotting down into compost. It could also be chopped up and buried upside down in the planting hole, but ensure that it is a good spade’s down, rather than simply digging it in, to prevent the regrowth of the buried grass. As the weather continues to improve, the buyer of cheap seeds may also check walls, clear paths and ensure that their greenhouses are insulated and clean.

As temperatures keep on rising over the course of the month, so you should have even greater freedom beyond simply planting cheap seeds. You may check that your garden tools are clean and in good condition, as well as looking for any rot affecting your garden furniture. You might even be confident enough to use wood preservative to treat your trellis, fences and sheds. It promises to be an active gardening year ahead, and you can minimise difficulties in the spring and summer by being proactive in your garden this February.

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Do you ever buy seeds online to get fashion ideas? Unless we’re referring to some suitably rugged Wellington boots and a decent coat and gloves, perhaps not – but there are actually many, frequently unexplored links between gardening and the catwalk. Those connections are set to be uncovered in a new exhibition at London’s Garden Museum, entitled ‘Fashion & Gardens: Spring/Summer – Autumn/Winter’, running from 7th February until 27th April 2014.

In some ways, perhaps those links ought to have been spotted earlier. After all, the most committed readers of Vogue and those who buy seeds online speak a similar language, of a seasonal cycle where all eyes are always on the changes in light, mood, temperature and scale that await in the forthcoming season. Both garden and dress design are about bringing a sense of occasion to a season. The exhibition begins its story in the age of Queen Elizabeth I, and continues right through to the 2014 London Fashion Week’s catwalks.

Curating the exhibition is writer, historian and Garden Museum Trustee Nicola Shulman, who admitted that the idea originated from a conversation with the museum’s director, Christopher Woodward. She recalled: “I was in his office, which is in a very cold vestry, looking out of a gothic window at a dripping rosebush. He said he was thinking about the relationship between fashion and garden design and I just started talking.”

It didn’t take long for them to unearth (if you’ll excuse the pun) plenty of direct links, from as early as the start of the 17th century, when the same patterns were used by gardeners and embroiderers. These patterns, “probably based on Arabic gardens”, had arrived from the east, via Italy. Later in the century, embroidery patterns were a point of reference for a garden design devised for the grounds at Versailles of King Louis XIV. The design’s static swirls, arabesques and scrolls were a common sight in garden designs across the subsequent decades.

But there are so many more recent links between gardening and fashion that are sure to fascinate those who buy seeds online. Christopher Bailey, for instance, has said that his 2014 Spring/Summer collection was inspired by “this idea of an English rose garden. There are all these very dusky, gentle, soft colours and then all of a sudden you’ll see a spiky, very red rose in the middle of it.” Bailey’s pieces are featured in the exhibition, alongside such other designers of recent decades as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Valentino.

In-between those far-flung eras, exhibition visitors who buy seeds online will see so many more of the ways in which the gardening and fashion worlds have interacted down the centuries – from the new style of clothing that emerged alongside the 18th century English landscape garden, to examples of the flower craze of camellias in the 1840s. It promises to be a fun exhibition for those enthusiastic gardeners who will be spending time in the capital over the next few months!

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If you enjoy gardening, but you are lacking one of the main necessities, a garden, all is not lost. Even though the name gardening suggests you need one you can grow your own seeds indoors successfully.

In fact, now, it is arguably easier to grow your own seeds indoors. Follow these few simple steps here and you will find that growing seeds inside is just as rewarding.

Choose the right seeds

It’s important that you choose the right seeds to use, especially if you are new to indoor growing. One of the downsides of growing your own seeds inside is that you will not be able to plant all seeds successfully. This is why you need to pick vegetables that you know can be grown indoors. Start with herbs like; basil, chives and parsley. They need the least management so are the easiest to start with.

Get the right conditions

Having the right conditions is the most important factor if you are growing indoors. Most plants require a lot more light than a kitchen windowsill can offer. However, if it is your only choice, it is usually the best place to set up. If you want to take planting seriously, you can use high-intensity lights inches above the soil for twelve hours a day making sure that you raise the lights up as the plants grow.

You also need to make sure you keep the plants or herbs moist. Use a spray bottle to ensure you do not over water them. Alternatively, you can fill a tray underneath the plant with water so that the mix wicks up the moisture from below.

Buy reputable, buy right

If you want to make sure you get it right the first time it’s important that you buy seeds from a reputable supplier. Seeds By Post offer Suttons Seeds, Mr Fothergills Seeds and Johnsons Seeds among others so you can be sure that you are buying quality seeds, which will give you the best chance of being successful.

If you decide to give indoor growing a go, make sure you take the time to research how to do it right. While it may seem simple, you will soon find that if you do not put in ample research, you’ll end up having to start again.

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The weather across the UK has broken all sorts of rainfall records over the last few weeks. In the short term, you may have experienced flooding in your garden, but what about longer-term damage?

At this time, we’d usually be looking at how the cold affects the soil and our gardens. However, while this could still become an issue as in recent years – February has seen the most snowfall in the UK – rain is far more prevalent at the moment and requires you to take action if you do not want to be affected when it comes to the spring/summer months.

I thought rain was beneficial?

A generous amount of rain in the months leading up to the spring allows people to grow a rich, varied selection of plants. Seeds By Post offer some of the best brands available, including Suttons Seeds, Mr Fothergills Seeds and Johnsons Seeds, all of which thrive on soil that has seen a decent amount of rain. However, while wet soil is much better than dry, the amount of rain that the country has seen means that water-logging is an issue.

Did you know that certain root diseases are more common in wet soil? Root rot is one of the many problems that can be caused by too much rain. This can lead to plants failing to sprout when it comes to the spring/summer months.

What is the solution?

Lots of people are looking forward to the spring and summer time to get back out in the garden, but how can you ensure that the weather now will not cause you problems?

You need to make sure that your soil structure is perfect. To do this, add lots of organic matter to the soil. Many choose to use compost, but there are other solutions available.

Make sure you also use horticultural grit before planting as well as this will improve the soil structure and drainage in general. Furthermore, if flooding is a real issue that has affected your garden, you may want to look at installing a basic drainage system to move water away from the affected areas.

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It’s doubtful that you’d be perusing the Seeds By Post (http://www.seedsbypost.co.uk) website if you sincerely believed that! Of course, the final month of the year isn’t necessarily one when planting seeds is at the forefront of your mind, but the more you do in the garden at this time of year, the better-prepared you will be for the months ahead. Indeed, good planning of how you would like your garden to look over the coming year allows you to make a better choice of flower, herb or vegetable seeds.

You might be lucky enough to get a nice thick plant encyclopaedia for Christmas to give you early ideas, in-between bites into a mince pie, on all of the plant varieties that you could incorporate into your garden over the next year. As for what you can do outside right now, consider the areas of your garden that the weather could most adversely affect. Check that fence to ensure that nothing has worked loose amid the harsh winter winds, and have a covering of some kind to protect your outside water pipes, which can be damaged by ice at this time of year.

Attentive and seasoned gardeners are also aware of the havoc that can be wreaked on trees by rainwater, which can end up in cracks in the wood, subsequently freezing and expanding, widening the cracks. Branches can fall off your trees due to this process, so scrutinise them carefully. Much the same problem can arise with cracks in plant pots, so if you have recently used yours to plant flower seeds, you may opt to move them away from the vagaries of the weather. If there’s no obvious shelter available, take advantage of the ‘rain shadow’ of walls – normally sufficient – or cover the pots with bubble plastic.

Remember that the birds, too, can struggle during the festive period, possibly becoming dehydrated if the water that has been left out for them is frozen – so check on this periodically, keeping feeders full. As much as birds appreciate having food left out for them all year round, the winter demands a particular high-fat diet. Other good actions in your garden at this time of year include moving established deciduous trees and shrubs to other areas of the garden, planting a rose hedge for a bit of winter colour and investing in a cold frame or mini-greenhouse for the growing of edible crops and overwintering young annuals.

Plus, there’s nothing to stop you putting up a Christmas tree… or buying a couple more seeds online with Seeds By Post (http://www.seedsbypost.co.uk). From the finest flower and herb seeds to the extensive ranges of sought-after manufacturers like Unwins Seeds and Mr Fothergills Seeds, we have every product that you could need to inspire your planning of next year’s garden.

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As far and wide as we are proud to say our customers come from here at Seeds By Post (http://www.seedsbypost.co.uk), we must admit that the Moon is one place that we don’t deliver mail order seeds to. But that could change one day, with the news that NASA plans to bring basil, turnip and cress seeds on its next mission to the Moon so that it can grow plants there for the first time.

This first ever attempt to germinate plants on another world will doubtless have imaginations racing about the possibility of we humans one day taking up residence there, although for now, the mission will doubtless also fascinate the gardeners who shop for vegetable and herb seeds with us. Just in case you’re wondering about the atmosphere issue, NASA has said that a specially constructed canister will be used to house the seeds, with what has been dubbed the Lunar Plant Growth Chamber carrying enough air for 10 days.

The air in the chamber would be adequate to enable the sprouting and growth of the seeds for five days, NASA has stated, amid hopes that the experiment will eventually lead to astronauts growing their own food while in residence on a lunar base. The mission, with a launch date of 2015, forms part of a commercial Moon landing project, the Moon Express lander.

Anyone who ever grew cress seedlings on filter paper at school should be able to understand NASA’s basic plans, which will involve the use of natural sunlight to germinate the plants inside the chamber, with the seeds growing on pieces of filter paper laden with nutrients. In a statement, the NASA Ames Research Center said that the growth of plants on the Moon would also assist its assessment of the suitability of the lunar surface for supporting life, with the long term goal being for human beings to live and work there.

It said: “As seedlings, they can be as sensitive as humans to environmental conditions, sometimes even more so. They carry genetic material that can be damaged by radiation as can that of humans. They can test the lunar environment for us acting as a ‘canary in a coal mine’. If we send plants and they thrive, then we probably can.”

The statement added that colonists not only required the life support – “food, air, water” – provided by thriving plants, but that plants were also a source of psychological comfort, as shown by how popular greenhouses had proved in Antarctica and on the Space Station show. Indeed, it was experiments on the International Space Station that demonstrated the ability of plants to grow in low gravity environments.

We’re certainly excited here at Seeds By Post (http://www.seedsbypost.co.uk) to learn more about the herb and veg seeds‘ fate when the mission finally happens, but in the meantime, we’ll remain a little more ‘down to Earth’ – by continuing to provide all of the very finest seeds, of the leading brands, to our loyal customers.

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