I just got the first of my seeds started last weekend.
If you’ve downloaded the PDF of my Organic Gardening Checklist (located in the sidebar), you know that I’m a little late. *sigh*
But I’ve mentioned before that the checklist is the ideal, and well, I hardly ever live up to the ideal. Like, never. Seriously, I’ve never kept to the dates on that list in the five years I’ve used it. But it’s a goal and helps me plan what I am doing, even if it’s late.
And if you wonder why I even do this, remember my post waxing poetic about starting seeds and the four great reasons to start your own. And only one of them is about saving money.
I could spend a lot of money on special seed-starting cells, water reservoirs, and grow lights, but I choose to keep it frugal by buying $5.99 plastic dome kits and reusing them for a few years, along with reused 6-pack and flower pots. I use a normal, cheap, fluorescent shop light with one cool bulb and one warm bulb.
I wrote about the steps I take to start my seeds, as well as what I use, last spring and these new pictures look very similar. The one new thing I spent money on this year is a seedling heating mat. With coupons (of course!) and discounts, it cost about $13 dollars and I’m hoping it will improve the germination rate for both my sweet and hot peppers. I can usually get good hot peppers consistently, but since I wait for sweet peppers to get ripe and sweet (it was such a revelation to discover that green peppers were unripe- that’s why I never liked the bitter things!), it’s hit and miss as to how many I may get in a season.
I’ve been told that some people in my area leave the peppers on heat mats until it is nice and warm in the garden, and even then they grow them under greenhouse-like plastic. I’m definitely going to experiment this year with the peppers to see how I can increase their yield. I might’ve gotten five ripe peppers last year (out of six plants!) if I was lucky, so anything should help.
The broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuces and even some of the tomatoes are up already. I just never get over the thrill of seeing the little green shoots coming up out of the dirt. I’ve had great germination so far, even from some seeds that were five years old! I just dumped a lot of the seeds in a cell because I wasn’t sure if any would come up, and I think they all did.
Have you started seeds yet? Have you ever? There are many reasons it’s a great idea, and frugality is only one of them!
This is linked to Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom.