It's an annual event that lots of Allotment holders love and wait for, especially those of us that are Seedaholics and that is the Wyevale 50p seed sale.
Now I have to say that Wyevale appear to have got their act together and over the last two years are not over stocking seeds, which may be a good thing for them as obviously seeds are not bought from their suppliers on a sale or return basis, but is not so good for the Allotmenteers because there is not the choice nor the quantity to pick from.
Historically I have been to Wyevale when they have many large tables with packets on them and you can spend quite a time over buying seeds as they are only 50p a pack, they have a couple of years on them according to the use by date, and I'm still using some that were best before 2015, yes you just sow more as the germination rate declines.
Now five years in from getting my first allotment and with three tool boxes of seeds, including all those I get with the magazine which I have stopped subscribing too as the mags are just taking up room, they really don't have much in them that I don't have in the vast array of books that I have and I really don't need seeds for things I will not grow.
I have a different outlook on the 50p seed sale. I'm only going to pick up seed if I have a real need for them or it's a variety that I have not tried before. I hear a voice in the back of my head saying "Really!" OK Ok I will try and not go overboard.
So if you are about to get an allotment, don't buy seeds at full price buy them in the Wyevale 50p seed sale, from Wilkinsons at the end of season or Lidl at the start of the season next year as they can be purchased at a fraction of the price from gardening centres.
There are a number of Facebook groups that just publish seed suppliers offers and flash sales some where you pay the post and packaging and the packs of seed at 1p per pack.
There are suppliers via ebay shops that again sell seeds at very reasonable rates, whatever you do shop around when you buy your seeds or take advantage of offers when they happen.
Lots of suppliers like Dobies, Marshalls, Mr Fothergills etc have 3 for 2 or 4 for 3 offers, free postage offers but these are normally fear close time limited offers.
I recently I bought a pack of Mr Fothergills Eiffel Spring Onions for my overwintering Onion in Buckets SoilFixer experiment with a RRP £2.35 in the half price sale as they only had 3 packs left at Wyevale and I didn't want to chance not getting them in the 50p sale, Today the Mr Fothergills web site is selling them off reduced by 57% but I would have to pay post and packaging unless its a weekend where they are offering free delivery.
My Mr Fothergills Evergreen Bunching Spring Onions which normally retail at £1.99 a pack came with my Grow Your Own magazine subscription for free. And my Thompson & Morgan Lilia Onions with a RRP £1.99 but today on their web site are being sold at 99p a pack were purchased for 50p in last years Wyevale Seed Sale.
So my job in the next couple of weeks is to do the annual audit of my seed stocks and make a list of what I have and what I need and hopefully be more focused in my seed acquisition and expenditure.
I nearly forgot to say, heritage seeds and seed saving circles are a great way to acquire seeds, I have shed loads of tomato seeds last count 75 varieties, I've managed to acquire a load of them from seed circles but this year I bought Rapunzel Tomatoes at a premium because at the time I could only find one supplier in the UK. A month after I bought them a source on ebay had them at half the price and I was a little gutted especially as they were expensive and the germination rate was extremely poor.