Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bargains Galore

Don't you just love a bargain? Last Sunday, I got a text from hubby's auntie telling me that Wyvale had their famous seed sale on. Around this time of year they reduce all their seeds to 50p per packet. This includes packets where more than one variety is included, such as a herb collection of five different herbs, and a sweet pea collection which includes five different varieties, so there are some real bargains. Of course, I couldn't miss out, so we jumped in the car, and an hour later my purse was down by £8.50. I had purchased 17 packets of seeds ready for next year. You would think that they would be selling off packets of seeds with a short 'use by' date, but this isn't so. Some of the seeds don't have to be used until 2012, so it really isn't false economy. One of the packets, a cucumber which is all female flowering, should have cost £4.45, so there are some real savings to be had. Then on Friday, I had to take the kids to the dentist. There is a Wilkinson's store near the dentist's, so I thought I would pop in. They too were having a sale, and I managed to pick up some Felco secateurs which should have been £39.99, for a tenner. They had been reduced by 50% and then 75%. I had a look around to see if there were any more, as they would have made a nice Christmas present for hubby's uncle, but they were the only pair. I think I have done rather well this week.

It was a lovely sunny day yesterday so it was spent in the garden. I have had a good tidying session, trimming back lots of plants which were threatening to take over, sorting out the greenhouse again, and generally cleaning up. Hubby cut the grass, which is no easy task since my daughter got a 10 foot trampoline for her birthday last month. The garden is now looking spick and span again.

Last year, I planted Nasturtiums in the garden. Never again! I should have really tidied them up sooner than I did, but it was left rather late and they set seed. This year I've got literally hundreds of them, not only in the flower bed, but self seeded all over the garden. They're even popping up in the raspberry containers, and in the cracks in between the paving. At first I thought I would leave some in the flower bed to add a bit of colour, but they've grown huge so they've had their chance, I pulled the lot up. A word of warning if you've got Nasturtiums in your garden, don't let them set seed.

The tomatoes are ripening slowly. I came home from my holidays last weekend to about a dozen ripe tomatoes on the plants, and I've had another handful this week, but although there's plenty of green tomatoes, they don't seem to be in a hurry to ripen. I've pinched out the growing tips this week, as apparently, if you do this, instead of the plant putting it's energy into growing, it will put it's energy into ripening the fruit. Let's see what happens.

It's the same story with the peppers. There's quite alot of fruit on the plant, but they're well and truly green without a hint of them changing colour. I'll give them some more time to change to orange or red, but if there's no sign in a couple of weeks I'll have to pull them green.

Now that the garden has once again been sorted out, I should have some time on my hands to concentrate on the allotment. I hope the weather holds out.


  1. I bought the same secateurs as you from wilkinsons and I have also started buying my seeds for next year...I just love a bargain!!

  2. Nasturcians - NIGHTMARE!!!! They grow everywhere! I've even got one plant growing in some wood chips in the veg patch that have never even seen a nasturcian plant! There it is, in all its little round leafed glory. Nice plants, taste a bit like rocket, but a bit of a pest and a thug!

  3. It's so nice to get a bargain!
    I will start to look at seed catalogues soon with a view to planning things for next year. It's such a nice thing to do, sitting in front of the fire on a winter's day - but not yet - we still have a little bit of summer left, if yesterday was anything to go by!


  4. Hi, A tip someeone gave me that i do..If you remove some of the leaves on your tom plants {are they bushy} as well as removing the growing tips,it will also help with ripening.. Thin them out a little..Keep the leaves that shade the toms from above, remove others.
    It does help :)

  5. It is good to get things when they are very cheap..... But the danger is when we buy more than needed..

  6. I love nasturtiums, I grow them in the shady north facing patch of my garden, where they provide brilliant hot colour from July to first frosts, and I wouldn't be without them! They all self seed, but stay in one patch in the shadiest part of the bed, in fact I've actually tried to grow them on the sunny south side of the garden and they don't thrive.
    Are you feeding your tomatoes and peppers regularly? That can help them to ripen more quickly. I usually use a seaweed feed, you can see the plants green up the day after it's applied (exciting!), and the fruits colour fairly soon after.

  7. How spooky - I was only thinking yesterday about when the Wyevale sale might start. Will have to persuade himself that we need to take a trip in that direction later this week but I am off to Wilkos in the morning :) Glad that I read your post Jo!

  8. I'd probably forget where I put the seeds before next year but the secateurs I want a bargain like that.

  9. I am so impressed with your bargain hunting skills! And yes, nasturtiums are a bit of a pain. I don't think I'll bother growing any for home next year, just the gardening club!

  10. There's lots of sales on at the moment, Tanya. The tricky bit is only buying what you actually need.

    I've never tasted Nasturtiums, Kat, though I do know they're edible. They're lovely and colourful, they just procreate far too easily for my liking.

    I'm waiting for the seed catalogues to start coming through the letterbox too, Jeanne. I love looking through and choosing what I'm going to grow.

    Thanks, Dee. Yes, I have already removed some of the leaves and the tomatoes are starting to ripen a little quicker now.

    Very true, Bangchik. We certainly have to show some restraint.

    I wish my Nasturtiums would stay in one patch, Scattered Gardener. I love the flowers, but they seem to self seed everywhere. Yes, my tomatoes and peppers are getting a regular feed. I'm using organic liquid tomato food.

    Let us know if you find any bargains, Anna. Wyevale seem to be more organised this year. They've got their seeds hung up on racks so that you can see them properly, rather than dumped in buckets like they've been in previous years.

    Keep your eyes open in Wilkinson's, Re. I'm going to pop into another branch to see if I can get a second pair. I know my hubby's uncle would love them as a Christmas present.

    I'm sure Nasturtiums are brilliant for the gardening club, Deb. They're a bit like sunflowers in that they grow quickly, keeping the kids interested.

  11. Hi,
    But nasturtiums are pretty and edible! You could try making nasturtium capers to get rid of all those pesky seeds - I'm going with the River Cottage preserves book recipe, but there's this online too:

  12. The problem is that I didn't clear the seeds last year, so they ended up getting buried in the soil and germinating, Frugilegus. I've found out the hard way that you really do have to clear up before the seeds fall otherwise you have Nasturtiums popping up all over the place.


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