One way our family has saved quite a bit of money is to have our own vegetable garden. Not only do we enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the summer but I also freeze vegetables to enjoy in the winter. I am very serious about putting vegetables up in the freezer - we have 3 chest freezers and by this time of year, they are almost empty! So, with the end of last year’s bounty almost gone and the very warm spring weather, I am planning the garden.
To further the savings, we try to start many plants from seeds. Right now we have tomato, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and eggplant seeds started.
Starting your own plants from seeds is much more economical that buying plants. It is also alot of fun to watch them grow! It really is very easy. We use egg cartons, plastic ones that will not dry out so quickly. Simply fill the egg cups with potting soil, sow your seeds and lightly cover with soil. Don’t forget to mark the carton with the type of seed you planted!
We put our cartons in front of a sunny window and keep them watered. I must confess, though, we had 3 more cartons to begin with than we do now. They were all planted and resting comfortably on a table outside. The days were warm so we would open the tops to allow the sun in. At night the cartons were closed to protect the seeds. Unfortunately, a west Texas wind storm came up and blew 3 cartons away – never to be found – and two others were turned upside down! But, our quick thinking 12 year old merely flipped them back over and brought them inside. They are now healthy bell pepper and jalepeno plants! I have ordered more seeds to replace those “gone with the wind”.
Seeds are available in many local stores. There also are several online companies from which you can order seeds. I have purchased tomato seeds from both Tomato Growers and Territorial Seed. I really like the San Marzano and Principe Borghese varieties from Tomato Growers. San Marzano is great for making tomato sauce and very tasty just to eat. Principe Borghese is a good grape/cherry tomato which also dries very nicely. I use Territorial Seed for most other seeds. With shipping, both are comparibly priced to the seeds available locally and I think they yield more produce. Territorial Seed has also sent replacement seeds for some pumpkins that never germinated!
Soon, we will be transplanting the seedlings to a larger area for further growth before subjecting them to this west Texas wind.
If all goes well, by the time they must fend for themselves, they will be much larger.
*I am in no way affiliated with either Tomato Growers or Territorial Seed – I am just a satisfied customer and wanted to share my experience.