It’s all about opinions and good friends

A bumble bee on lavender.
A bumble bee on lavender.

We gardeners are happy to share any excess of young plants or produce.

The local garden club is a shining example of this, with members bringing any spares to the monthly meetings.

This also happens amongst gardening friends.

Alan generally has seedling onions or chrysanthemums to give, Tony specialises in tomato plants, and George often has a surplus of greens.

Anne, who is a keen floral artist, recently came up with a new Dianthus Green Trick. What can I offer that they haven’t got at this time of year?

Looking around the garden there are masses of bumblebees on the lavender and oregano, so those particular plants might be an idea.

But we only have tiny seedlings of the former and the latter cannot be divided up successfully until autumn.

Perhaps the simplest solution is to fill a bag with courgettes, take it to the weekly pub quiz and tell them to help themselves!

Whenever we open a packet of seeds there’s an urge to sow the lot in one go to avoid waste – ending up with more plants than we can use.

In cases where you don’t always get many for your money, an herbaceous perennial for example, that’s fine, but there are several good reasons why a large residue of seeds should remain in the packet for another day.

So much useful information is offered in seed catalogues and on the packets that you should know in advance of sowing, at least the average contents and sell-by date.

Many vegetable seeds will remain viable for the following year if the packet is resealed and kept in a cool, dry environment. But there’s no need for long storage with lettuce and radish, they are sown little and often throughout the season for crop succession.