Dig for Victory Monthly Guides

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How Many Vegetable Seeds do you Need?


Vegetable SeedsSeedsmen, like most traders, are working under difficulties due to the war. Before the war many of our seeds came from countries that were until recently under enemy control, and while we can still get most kinds, certain varieties – perhaps your favourites – may be short.

If you cannot get just the variety you like, trust your seedsman to supply the nearest to it. If you deal with a reliable firm, you will be safe to leave matters in their hands. But order well in advance of sowing time and give the seedsman every chance to do his best for you. If you are in any doubt about varieties that do well in your district, your seedsman will be able to advise you – or you can consult an experienced neighbour.

Estimating your seed requirements is fairly easy, once you have sketched out a rough plan of your plot and worked out the number and length of the rows of each vegetable you intend to have.

One pound of shallots contains about 25 bulbs, and 2 lb. should be about enough for an ordinary allotment row of 30 feet.

Half an ounce of turnips or swedes will sow 100 feet. A quarter of an ounce of leek will give enough plants for six or eight rows thirty feet long.

One pint of Longpod broad beans will sow a double row 50 feet long. One pint of Windsor broad bens will sow 40 feet of a double row. Half a pint of French or Haricot beans is sufficient for 150 feet. This enables you to sow 2 seeds every 9 inches to allow for failures.

Half a pint of runner beans will sow one row 50 feet long.

One ounce of beet will sow 90 feet of row. Half an ounce of carrot is enough for 100 feet. A small packet of 1/4 oz. of each variety of lettuce should be enough for successive sowings to give summer and winter supplies.

One ounce of onion seed will sow 150 feet – by sowing very thinly you can make it go still further.

Half an ounce of parsnip is enough for 100 feet.

One pint of peas will sow 90 feet of row – if you sow very thinly; for very early sowings you should allow a little more seed, as some may rot if the soil is cold and wet.

One ounce of radish will give you all you need.

As late as the early 1980s you could still find the odd seedsman selling some seeds like beans and peas by the pint or half pint but not now, I fear. There are still some garden centres selling ‘pick your own’ loose bean seeds, onion sets, seed potatoes, etc. by weight


Make sure of your fertilizers now, so that you will have them at hand when needed. 42 lb. of “National Growmore”, the Government approved fertilizer, is enough for a 10-rod (300 sq. yds.) plot, and on page 4 we have told you how to use it.