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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Growing vegetables
...Timing your veg
...In heavy Soil
...In light Soil
...With Organic Manure
...Your enemies & friends
>..After germination
...Presenting the product
...Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
...Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

When you look at the price of a packet of seeds you can instantly see the potential profit.

A few pence produces pounds of crop. That is assuming that you are able to help the seeds along and also that the seeds are worth planting in the first place. There are always great differences in the price of seed on offer. The only real advice to follow is to choose seeds from a reputable company, buy them where you are sure they have been kept correctly and choose a suitable variety for your conditions. Last year we did not buy courgette seeds until the season was quite advanced. There were very few packets left in the shops and it was clearly too late to buy by mail order. We bought a brand that we had never heard of, the packets looked a little crumpled but the dates were still correct. The seedlings made a disappointingly sparse appearance and the plants had nothing like the vigour we had hoped for. Next year we shall order early; there is nothing more disappointing than labouring away at something that will never come up to standard.

If you are planning to plant a wide variety of standard crops, try to buy the seed by weight. There is not much point in going out and paying for dozens of pretty little packets when you are growing commercially. Seeds are usually tiny things (unless they are banana seeds), but they need warmth anyway. Do not be tempted into sowing too thickly: it makes thinning unnecessarily time-consuming and is wasteful. There are all sorts of tips on how to plant small seeds. You can mix them with sand and sprinkle the lot along a row, you can sprout the seeds in wallpaper paste and put that into an icing bag and dribble it along the row. If you have a steady hand, you can simply deal with them by hand.