Thursday, April 27, 2017

Saving Money With Seed Starting

I realize I haven't given you an update on my seed starting experiment

Sorry about that, there are so many things I want to share with you, and yet only so many hours in the day!

I'm a little behind in my seed starting, once again because I need 30 hour days. 

Or a clone. 

Either would be helpful. 

Until that happens, I plug away, doing what I can, when I can. 

Last night I headed to the lower level to continue with my seed starting. The tomatoes were clamoring to be planted asap!

The process takes time but is so worth it, believe me. 


After about an hour and a half, I had 6 varieties of tomatoes planted, as well as some bok choy, hyacinth bean, zinnias, and marigolds. 

I am delighted with the results of this experiment, using last year's seeds. 

The seed companies would have you believe that last year's seeds are not viable.

However, if they are stored in a cool, dark place (in the downstairs fridge for me) they retain their viability year after year. 

I think I have about a 90% germination rate for this year, which I believe is about the same as last year. 

And, I still have some seeds left for next season!

Last year I did a cost analysis of starting your own seeds vs buying seedlings. You can check out the full post here, but let's just say the savings really add up. 


I'm lucky to have the space downstairs to dedicate to seed starting in the spring. 

The seeds start out initially in the nice warm utility room, and then are transferred out when they outgrow their plastic covers. 


I set up a folding table right outside the utility room door, in the downstairs family room, which is significantly cooler than the utility room and perfect for the next stage of growth.


These are the seeds I started a few weeks back, and as you can see they are quite happy!


I planted 5 or 6 varieties of peppers, and they are starting to get their second set of leaves at this point. 


Same with the eggplant!

And the basil is starting to look...and smell....well, like BASIL!

But the most amazing are these: 


In the back I have Castor Bean, which is an ornamental and quite showy plant. I am planning to use it in the center of some of my big planters, I think. 

Via
Last year I put it directly into the garden and it never took off. I think it got overwhelmed by all the mature perennials.

The plant in the front is Balsam. 

Via
Balsam is an old fashioned plant, a relative to our current Impatiens. 

We'll see how they do once I plant them out, but they sure are happy in here!

I think I may keep them in pots in the hope that the animals may leave them alone. 

After I finished off downstairs, I came back up to check on dinner and found this. 


She's such a little Monkey, and absolutely obsessed with her favorite squeak ball! 


After she wore her little self out, she settled in with her ball for a nap. 


And this is exactly why she's always covered in my lipstick - she's so amazingly cute, I just can't stop kissing her little face!

22 comments:

  1. omg! she is so cute, holding her ball like a purse!

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  2. She is adorable! I envy you those lovely seed starts, about half of mine died for no good reason and I had to start over!

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    1. Wow, Carole, that's too bad, I wonder what happened?

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  3. Monkey is so cute! I wish my dogs would play with toys. I have a huge bin of them in the closet I've collected over the years and they don't seem to know what to do with them. If I had your set up I would grow more from seed. But then I don't have the yard space to put out a lot of seedlings.
    Brenda

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    1. I share the seedlings with my sweetie and a few friends, depending on how many I end up with. Last year I gave my dad a bunch potted up for Fathers' Day as well.

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  4. Your seed starts look awesome! I just started seeds out in my greenhouse this week, and am curious to see how they do without any extra heat. Little Monkey is so precious, what a cutie! We sure do love our furballs :)

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    1. That will be interesting, to see how they do, Marilyn. I guess it depends on what type of seed.

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  5. I have been saving seeds too! In fact, I compared my saved seeds with the germination rate of store bought seeds and saw no real difference, so I will be saving my seeds from now on. Unfortunately, until we get our house built, I don't have a warm place to start seeds, so mine are going to be a bit late this year. Oh well, better late than never! Give Monkey more kisses for me, she is just too cute!

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    1. I have not saved seeds from my own veggies yet (much) - these are seeds I bought from Johnny's Select Seeds last spring, and I decided I wasn't buying more this year, I was going to try to use the ones that were left from last year. I'm so happy it worked!! Perhaps it's time to try saving more of my own seeds from the veggies....hmmmm, you have given me food for thought, my friend! Have a fabulous weekend!!

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  6. awwwwww...I think I would be kissing her all the time too! Those pics are absolutely irresistible of her :).

    Last year all I did was use seeds, but I didn't start anything inside at all. I just took my chances outside from the get go and it worked out fine. You're right about the $ savings. It's huge!

    xxx

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    1. I don't think I'd get any veggies at all if I didn't start inside, Doreen - our growing season is so short up here. As a matter of fact, I should have started them two weeks ago, I've just been too busy!

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  7. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You have a pretty living room and the sweet little dog is adorable! Have a nice weekend. ~Cheryl

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    1. Thanks, Cheryl! She's a little punk but I love her to bits!

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  8. Hi Debbie, Your little monkey is adorable. It is great that you can start so many seedlings! I don't know how you work and get it all done! Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy - sometimes I wonder also how I get it all done, but the answer is....I DON'T get it all done! There are a million dandelions that have taken over my yard....as well as that darned Tansy and other weeds...I seem to be fighting a losing battle with them.

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  9. You have a nice setup for starting plants. Hubs has the same light and used to use it before we got the greenhouse. We have been pulling green onions and radishes...so good... Monkey is just adorable.

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    1. Nice!! I'd love a greenhouse, but it's not in the cards just yet. Maybe someday!

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  10. Oh that sweet pooch! I am intrigued about harvesting my own seeds. I did use commercial seeds this year and am having a bit of a success so far.
    May your spring be filled with lovely flowers.
    Happy May Day!
    Laura

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    1. Yes, happy May Day to you also, Laura! I think I'll have to do a little more research on saving seeds and see what I can find out. I guess if they don't sprout there's always going back to commercial!

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  11. I love all your seedlings. I would love to set up one of the guest bedrooms to start seeds in but since the only way we heat our home is with our pellet stove and would have to keep the door open, it would just serve as an all you can eat buffet and scratching place for Doofy! ;)

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    1. Ha ha so true, you would end up with nothing but a mess!! Dirt everywhere, no seedlings left, and a dirt covered Doofy!! :)

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