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04/11/2010 19:29:00

A Very Seedy Interview - Interview With Seed Parade

Seed Parade is a discounted online seed sales site set up by a small team who have both horticultural qualifications and many years experience in gardening. They pass on growers prices and use less packaging to keep costs low and save waste. Lajos from the Seed Parade answered my seedy questions.



What are the benefits of growing from seed?

Growing vegetables from seeds is much cheaper than buying plug plants. And as the seedlings start life in your own specific environment they generally adapt better, as opposed to the plug plants which are often grown forced in a strictly controlled environment before coming to you.

Why are so many people nervous of growing from seed?
Many people are afraid because they have never done it before and they think is a bit too much like rocket science. Actually it is very easy to grow veggies from seeds. If you have never done it before, the best is to start with something easy and fast growing, like rocket or lettuce. And carrots and beans are very easy too. In our blog and on the product pages you can find lots of growing tips. In nature it just happens, so imagine if you take care a bit of those poor seeds and seedlings, it just cannot go wrong

If someone has never grown anything from seed before and doesnít have a propagator or greenhouse, just a window ledge and a patch outside to plant on into, which five plants would you recommend as their first experiment with growing from seed?
Basil, courgette, dwarf beans, rocket and lettuces.

What are the two most interesting seeds which you think people might like to know about?
Ricinus communis - the castor oil plant is wonderful and makes a great display well into the autumn. I have to mention that the entire plant is poisonous but never heard of any kid trying to eat it!
Hamburg parsley - this is as easy to grow as the normal parsley and you can use the leaves and the large roots too, wonderful in soups, winter stews.

What tips would you give someone about the best way to choose seeds and how to choose a supplier?

Choosing is not easy in todayís market as there are just so many varieties available. The best is to go for your tried and tested favourite ones and then try one or two new things each year. A fun thing for the kids is to have some unusual varieties like the purple carrot or the black cherry tomato, these could encourage them to eat more veggies. It is always better to have more varieties than lots of plants of the same one. And if you donít use the whole packet up then the seeds will be fine for the next growing season too.

How should seeds be stored and how long can seeds keep for?

Seeds should be kept in a dry and cool environment. Different speciesí seeds keep for different lengths of time. For example parsnip and parsley 2-3 years, tomatoes can keep for 7 years and many flower seeds up to 10 years. The seeds lose their germinating ability slowly with time, so even when you have an old packet of seeds, some will still germinate.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island which had fertile soil but only one type of seed washed up to shore from your ship, what would you want it to be?

Courgette seeds, because it is easy to grow and fairly quick too. One plant can produce many fruits, and I think it would be really delicious with some fried wild birds eggs!

What are your tips for avoiding some of the common problems with veggie plants?

Lots of people complain that parsnip seeds are hard to get started - start parsnips inside on a wet roll of paper, and use fine seed compost for best results. Another big problem these days is tomato blight, it's really hard to avoid. If you got infected then burn all the affected plants and treat the soil. As for the classic bolting spinach, try to grow it in a cool and wet place, if they dry out on the direct sun they will bolt more easily.

How do you avoid spending a fortune when the gardening magazines arrive?
Gardening on a budget is more important than ever before, do not be fooled by the expensive things that are out there. If you grow from seeds, make your own compost all year around and make your own feed using stinging nettle and comfrey tea, then gardening costs only your time really. Oh and save your own seeds, very important!











26/11/2010 09:58:00 by Chris Cook

As someone that's looking to turn a little of his garden into a veg-patch next year, genuinely found the advice of the first few things to try useful (Basil, courgette, dwarf beans, rocket and lettuces) ... though may consider some potatoes first to get the soil moving, everyone tell me they're the first things I should plant, but I love basil and courgette so we'll see.

27/09/2011 20:54:00 by christa buttolph

i have used seed parade and the prices where brillant packinging was great well organized and labelled i love their site with info on each seed or plant i am spreading the word to any gardening veggie grower i know ,just to bore you a little this was my first year after reinventing an old dog run 10 x 13 into a greenhouse with grow pods for sweet potatoes plastic planters for tomatoes pots of peppers aubergine courgettes wood planters for cabbage out side sprouts and beets all aquired as small seedlings or small plants my little boy of 5 loves it we stepping it up next year by growing seeds ourselves and had a great mixture of seeds of seed parade some absolute bargins hope they stay around happy growing everyone

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