For people who care about their food

Win free seeds to grow your own vegetables

Are you interested in growing your own vegetables from seed? Here’s a chance to win some seed in a free-to-enter competition.

Philip Hunt, owner of Garden Plants By Post, tells how to win seeds and other prizes in his latest competition.

You may be thinking about growing your own vegetables, and there are many advantages of doing this. Here are some of the benefits of growing your own food.

  • You know how it has been grown, and what chemicals (pesticides), if any, have been used.
  • The taste is far better than shop-bought produce.
  • You can practically harvest as you need with some vegetables, which means that they will be nice and fresh.
  • It is cheaper to grow your own than purchase from shops.
  • You will also get some exercise.

It won’t be all easy all of the time, and you will have some failures, but the success and enjoyment far outweigh the failures. There are plenty of online sites and forums which offer you advice on growing vegetables. Country Talk and Tips is a good one.

It’s not too difficult to grow your own vegetables. Here are a few tips:

  1. What plot size to choose depends on you, the grower. Think about how much you want to grow, and if you don’t have a big enough garden then consider renting an allotment. In some areas there are plenty of allotments standing idle.
  2. To begin with, if you are renting an allotment, listen to the man in the next plot. He may have been growing vegetables for years so he will be a wealth of information. He will know the soil conditition and the best time to start sowing in your area.
  3. Get a good book which has a seed sowing calendar in it, which will give you a rough idea for when to start sowing your seeds.
  4. Decide on a crop rotation before you start, and whether you are going for a three or four-year rotation.
  5. Don’t sow your seed too early outside. Any late frost may kill any seedlings that you’ve started to grow. Always try to keep on top of the weeding whilst your plants are still young, otherwise the weeds may smother them.
  6. Decide if you are purchasing young plants of vegetables or wish to grow yourself from seed. If you don’t have a greenhouse you can use a window ledge in the house to start the seeds off. Growing what you can from seed is the cheaper option and, I feel, more enjoyable than just buying a bunch of plants and putting them in the ground.
  7. All plants need water to grow, but be careful that you don’t over-water when the seeds are germinating as too much water may just rot the seeds. Simply keep the seed tray moist.

I could keep on going on and on but, at the end of the day, the best bit of advice I could give you is to buy a good book which explains all about crop rotation and how to grow and store vegtables, and a seed sowing calendar, if possible, or a book that gives you a rough idea of when to start sowing seeds.

OK, so you have your patch of ground and, if you are lucky, a greenhouse, so to start you off here at Garden Plants By Post, we are currently running a competition. We have three prizes up for grabs. To enter, all you have to do is simply register on the site (link below). The competition closes 31 December 2010. The winners will be notified by email in the first week of January 2011. The competition is only open to residents of Ireland and the UK.

1st prize is any 10 packets of seeds from the list provided on our website (subject to availability at time of competition end);
2nd prize is a Magic Seeder;
3rd Prize is a garden weed/rubbish collecting sheet.

Further information on the competition can be found here.

Good luck, and happy vegetable growing!
Philip Hunt
www.gardenplantsbypost.com Discount Online Plant and Seed Shop

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