Sowing an old Erin Eco Salad Seed Starter Kit

I was doing some pre-move clearing out last week, when I stumbled across a couple of old Erin Eco seed starter kits. One was for mixed Salad, and the other for Rocket.

About 7 different versions of these kits were given to me in about 2010/2011 as Christmas presents by some non-gardening friends, and some of them were not suitable for my little border garden. I gave some to my mother, as she has a bigger garden with a vegetable plot, and I kept hold of a few that I thought I could cope with.

Inspecting them, they both said ‘sow by 6/2012‘ on the reverse. I could have thrown them out, but because they’re a complete kit – compost, seed, and mini-propagator – i thought I’d just give them a chance, because in worst case scenario, I wouldn’t be losing any new compost to old dead seed. I like to let nature have its chance.

Erin Eco Salad seed starter kit
The old Erin Eco Salad seed starter kit, given to me in about 2010/2011.

So, I opened up the Salad kit, tipped the bone-dry peat free compost into the bottom part of the propagator, sprinkled all of the seeds on, sprayed it with water and shut the lid.

Within 48 hours, I had results. Within 4 days, I had a tray full of seedlings. I’m kind of concerned now about how a) I sowed the whole lot, and b) I now have a glut of seedlings (and will have a glut of lettuces).

Salad leaf seedlings in a tray
The old Erin Eco Salad seed starter kit has germinated – 5 years beyond the recommend sowing date.

The packet states that the salad varieties here are: Red Cos, Red-Tinged, Batalava, Oak Leaved Lettuce.

I hate buying bags of salad leaves, because by the time you’ve got it home, put it in your fridge, and gone to it the next day for a nice crisp salad, there’s a floppy, slimy, mess in the bag. I often think that the desperation of supermarkets to jam as many into their displays is partly to blame – with their delicate stems being crushed or bruised, and then speeding up their rotting.

If I can find the space to prick some of these on, I will, but I’m now a bit worried that my ‘it’s got two chances‘ attitude has now given me a windowsill headache.

What’s the oldest seeds that you’ve sown, and how did they fare? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy gardening!

Andrew

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