Monday, March 12, 2012

Starting plants from seed

Growing a garden is definitely thrifty. Starting a garden from plants you buy can be quite an investment, though. Of course, it is still cheaper than buying produce at the store, but if you want to be ultra-thrifty when you garden, starting your garden from seed is the way to go.

Starting your garden from seed does take some planning. Depending on where you live, you should probably be starting to plant when its still technically winter. (Look on the back of your seed package or on your seed supplier's website for information specific to your growing region.)

I've started some salad greens in my window sill.

Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce mix

Even though I plant a few containers with edibles, my primary way of starting plants from seed is the rolling greenhouse that my old neighbor gave me. I keep it in our southern facing picture window and my plants seem to like it pretty well. The first year I grew things from seed I used a grow light, but this greenhouse works better and uses no electricity.

My greenhouse

I've seen these greenhouses at garage sales and at home improvement stores. If you are serious about starting your garden from seed, I highly recommend investing in or making a greenhouse of some sort.

Here are some of the seedlings that I started. I planted quite a few things, but so far what's come up in my greenhouse are tomatoes, cabbage, onions, celery, and basil. I planted about fifteen varieties of both tomatoes and peppers since they are the things I like most!

A close up of my white currant tomatoes, with purple tomatoes and cabbage in the background.

A couple of basil plants

 So where do I get my seeds?

Above is my absolute favorite seed catalog from Baker's Creek. Secondly, I like to get the catalog from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. But I recently learned the real heirloom seed bargains can be found at FEDCO.

If you have never started things from seed, you should give it a try! It is so fun and frugal and, when you order from heirloom seed companies like those above, you can get all kinds of interesting varieties of plants that grocery stores don't carry. It is important that people help preserve these varieties.

Growing your own food also gives you and your family an appreciation for food and a connectedness to the food you eat. Kids will often try new foods if they helped grow them. Gardening also makes a fabulous educational activity for kids. There are too many great things about gardening to name them all!

Do you garden? If so, do you start things from seed? Are there some things that you think just aren't worth the trouble of growing?


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