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Posted: 6/12/2009 10:50:02 PM EST
Overall I'm still going to come out WAY ahead if I were to buy my produce from the store rather than raise it in the garden. I have 24 tomato plants, 12 pepper plants, 2 zucchinni plants, 2 cucumber plants and 8 broccoli plants. I spent $60 on the lot and figure between bartering with the family and trading for a beer or two here and there I should come out way ahead.


I finally broke down and bought seeds after I planted all the above. For example I paid $2 for 1 zuchinni plant at the nursery, where I ended up with 20 seeds (20 plants) of zuchinni for $1.50. Same with the cukes, peppers and broccolli. Sure I'll have to plan them earlier, but I can also rotate and still plant cukes and zuchinni the rest of the year rather than have one plant now and done in a month. I should have a TON. I couldn't find tomato seeds at the store but imagine I can find them online (big, better boy, roma, early girl, etc...)?

Next year I plan to use rain buckets and no nursery for the plants and start them from seed like I would corn or beans. I figure I could have the same garden I have now that cost me $60 for less than $10 dollars and also have extra seeds so I can keep planting through our growing season.


Don't know how everyone on here gets their plants but just a heads up for now and the future that the seeds that come in the tiny packets are as good as the stuff that is sprouted and marked up 100% at your local garden store/nursery.

Should have a few pics in a few days.


Good luck!!!!!
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 11:04:24 PM EST
I've planted seeds the same time i've planted store bought plants, and the plants grown from seed were healthier and produced fruit at the same time- -in other words no real benefit, and you pay more for plants (tomato's in this case). Seeds seem the way to go, just start them in the garden where you want them. Plant 2-3 seeds, then only let the best one live.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 11:24:08 PM EST
You can find tomato seeds at Wall Mart, Home Depot, Farm & Fleet ect. I usually start my own plants from seed. It is cheaper and fun! If you start them indoors though, learn the art of "hardening" them off. It takes a little practice but it gets you a head start on the tomatoes and peppers. Everything else I just sow into the ground liberally, then thin the plants out as they come up.

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 11:26:55 PM EST
I will pay $5-$10 every couple years and stock up on seed. If I get bored and want something to tend to, or if the plant is a pain to start from seed, is the only time I buy transplants.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 2:14:03 AM EST
The boys really enjoy starting seeds in cups and the cost is much better. That's how I roll.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:09:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By walther1978:

I finally broke down and bought seeds after I planted all the above. For example I paid $2 for 1 zuchinni plant at the nursery, where I ended up with 20 seeds (20 plants) of zuchinni for $1.50. Same with the cukes, peppers and broccolli. Sure I'll have to plan them earlier, but I can also rotate and still plant cukes and zuchinni the rest of the year rather than have one plant now and done in a month. I should have a TON. I couldn't find tomato seeds at the store but imagine I can find them online (big, better boy, roma, early girl, etc...)?


don't for a minute think you'll get 20 plants from 20 seeds
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:35:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By Wipeout:
Originally Posted By walther1978:

I finally broke down and bought seeds after I planted all the above. For example I paid $2 for 1 zuchinni plant at the nursery, where I ended up with 20 seeds (20 plants) of zuchinni for $1.50. Same with the cukes, peppers and broccolli. Sure I'll have to plan them earlier, but I can also rotate and still plant cukes and zuchinni the rest of the year rather than have one plant now and done in a month. I should have a TON. I couldn't find tomato seeds at the store but imagine I can find them online (big, better boy, roma, early girl, etc...)?


don't for a minute think you'll get 20 plants from 20 seeds


Yeah, that's true. I usually put three to a cup when starting, then thin them to the best one. 20 seeds = about 7 plants. I'm sure you can get more if you wanted, but if the seed doesn't germinate, you wasted more money in starting soil and cups than it's worth IMHO.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 4:49:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 4:51:20 AM EST by nhsport]
Originally Posted By Bearsfan:
You can find tomato seeds at Wall Mart, Home Depot, Farm & Fleet ect. I usually start my own plants from seed. It is cheaper and fun! If you start them indoors though, learn the art of "hardening" them off. It takes a little practice but it gets you a head start on the tomatoes and peppers. Everything else I just sow into the ground liberally, then thin the plants out as they come up.




Yes-There is some skill and timing involved with raising plants from seed.
I am not saying you should avoid it , just that there is some fine print.

You have little to lose though because if your seed grown plants tank or look poor you can just go get professional grown ones.

My experience is that local grown and started plants do well and the huge operations that ship them from long distances to the big home centers (where they are mistreated) don't do so well.
Cut out the middleman and search out your local grown stuff and you might be better off

All gardening skills learned are valuable
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 5:13:11 AM EST
I start everything from seed and replace plants that don't make it with nursery plants.

If you start tomatoes indoors, you will need to harden them off before planting. I usually never find time to do it properly and lose plants.

I ended up losing several plants when I transplanted my peppers.

I went to a small nursery and bought 6 Bell pepper plants for $3.00 ($0.50 ea).

Went ahead and bought 4 more tomato plants for $1.49 ($0.38).


Find a cheaper nursery.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 9:24:23 AM EST


















After you figure in your water and electric, not to mention time, it may very well be a wash.
Consider the initial equipment cost a capital investment. I've used the same trays, lights and timer for years.
You can start in straight vermiculite or make your own 50/50 peat/vermiculite mix for pennies.
When I pot up, it's just Walmart drink cups with holes poked in the bottom.

What it does afford you is economy of scale.
You can also get seed for a lot of exotics or uncommon strains that you'll never find in garden stores.
Comparatively speaking, seed is cheap.
It will last through a couple of seasons and between cuttings and seed saving you might not have to buy it again.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 11:29:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 1:30:02 PM EST by Winn]

Sweet setup ...

Are those just regular fluorescent tubes, or some special type of "grow lights" ?

Also, if fluorescent, do you alternate one cool and one warm lamp ... or use some other method ??

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:20:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 1:22:18 PM EST by ColonelHurtz]
I think at the moment it's a mix of cool and warm tubes.
It doesn't really matter, the plants aren't going to live under them.
K.I.S.S. and go cheap. The fixture in the middle is from the basement of my sisters store.
The others are $7 Walmart specials.

When you're starting, the clear lid/domes are on the trays and the lights are right down on top of them.
Max light and helps to warm the trays too. Speeds up germination.
After sprouting, the lids come off and as the plants get taller, I slip in another 2x4.
At a certain point, one end can be higher than the other.

At another house I was set up on shelves in the laundry room.
The fixtures usually come with hanging chains and "S" hooks.
You can use those to raise the lights.
Just rig something up.

That whole setup is in the junk room of my dad's house.
All of those plants are in the ground now.
I just pack all the stuff up and put it away for next winter.
Some of the seeds I started this year were packaged for 06'-08', some were ten years old.
New stuff too.

If you are doing flowering plants or annuals it's really the way to go.
You can get an entire flat of say, Impatiens, for $2.99 for the seed.
With the veggies, I keep the leftovers as backups and once everything is going in the ground I give them away.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:58:55 PM EST
why would you guys buy seeds every year when you can get them from the veggies you grew last year? win-win
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 2:29:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 2:30:06 PM EST by ColonelHurtz]
Originally Posted By str8-shoe-tr:
why would you guys buy seeds every year when you can get them from the veggies you grew last year? win-win


Most hybrids don't breed true.

It's easy to collect seed from some plants, not so easy from others.
The marigolds and Nicotiana growing in the pictures above are seed I collected.
Some plants are hard to grow from seed.
I take cuttings and utilize other propagation methods as well.

Seed is probably the cheapest part of the equation.
For the size garden I plant, one standard packet of seed usually lasts several seasons.
You also have to let some of your plants go to seed to get seed.
This usually alters or ends their fruit bearing phase or affects flavor.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 10:41:45 AM EST
I see, thanks for the info and that's a nice set up you got there.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:03:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
I think at the moment it's a mix of cool and warm tubes.
It doesn't really matter, the plants aren't going to live under them.
K.I.S.S. and go cheap. The fixture in the middle is from the basement of my sisters store.
The others are $7 Walmart specials.

When you're starting, the clear lid/domes are on the trays and the lights are right down on top of them.
Max light and helps to warm the trays too. Speeds up germination.
After sprouting, the lids come off and as the plants get taller, I slip in another 2x4.
At a certain point, one end can be higher than the other.

At another house I was set up on shelves in the laundry room.
The fixtures usually come with hanging chains and "S" hooks.
You can use those to raise the lights.
Just rig something up.

That whole setup is in the junk room of my dad's house.
All of those plants are in the ground now.
I just pack all the stuff up and put it away for next winter.
Some of the seeds I started this year were packaged for 06'-08', some were ten years old.
New stuff too.

If you are doing flowering plants or annuals it's really the way to go.
You can get an entire flat of say, Impatiens, for $2.99 for the seed.
With the veggies, I keep the leftovers as backups and once everything is going in the ground I give them away.


how many hours of light do you give per day?

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 3:43:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 3:43:16 PM EST by ColonelHurtz]
12-14 hrs.
It's like the solstice every day.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 11:39:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Wipeout:
Originally Posted By walther1978:

I finally broke down and bought seeds after I planted all the above. For example I paid $2 for 1 zuchinni plant at the nursery, where I ended up with 20 seeds (20 plants) of zuchinni for $1.50. Same with the cukes, peppers and broccolli. Sure I'll have to plan them earlier, but I can also rotate and still plant cukes and zuchinni the rest of the year rather than have one plant now and done in a month. I should have a TON. I couldn't find tomato seeds at the store but imagine I can find them online (big, better boy, roma, early girl, etc...)?


don't for a minute think you'll get 20 plants from 20 seeds


you might get lucky you never know. I bought 2 packs of 20 seeds ( actually turned out to be 24 in both packs) and came up with 48 plants. I started them a little too early this year so when I planted them I broke off a few of the lower suckers and stuck them in the ground as well. Ended up with 62 plants for a little over a dollar.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 7:20:57 PM EST
Thanks ya colonel. I have a new project for this winter now!

Great job!
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