Wednesday, 21 March 2012

How Long do Seeds Last

You have in your drawer since Candlemas Day,
All the seed packets you dare not throw away,
Seed Catalogue cometh as year it doth end,
However, looking ye drawer before money you spend.

Throw out ye parsnip, it is no good next year,
And Scorzonera if there is any there,
For these have a life that is gone with ye wind
Unlike all ye seeds of ye cabbagy kind

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sprouts, Cabbage and Kale,
Live long like a farmer who knoweth good ale:
Three years for certain, maybe four, or five,
To sow in their seasons they stay in ye drawer.

Kohl-Rabi last with them and so does Pei-Tsai,
The winter ‘cos-lettuce’ to sow in July,
However, short is the life of ye turnips and Swedes
Sow thinly and often they will never be too strong.

Last years left lettuce sows three summers more,
And Beetroot and Spinach-beet easily four, But ordinary Spinach, both prickly and round,
Hath one summer left before gaps waste your ground.

Leeks sow three Aprils and one has gone,
In addition, this is as long as your carrot will last,
Onion seed keeps till four years have flown by,
However, sets are so easy and dodge onion-fly

Store Marrows and cucumbers, are best when they are old,
Full seven summers sowings a packet can hold.
Six hath ye celery that needs frost to taste,
So hath celeriac before it goes to waste.

Broad beans, French ones, runners, sown in May,
Each hath a sowing left before you throw them away,
In addition, short peas tall peas, fast ones and slow,
Parsley and Salsify have one more spring to sow,

Then fillen ye form that your seeds men has sent,
For novelties plenty, there is money to spend,
Good seed and good horses are worth the expense,
So, pay them your poundies as I paid my pence.

Lawrence D Hills,

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