Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Going to Seed

A work associate has a wife interested in gardening.  The only problem is - she wants immediate gratification.  She buys full grown plants rather than trying seeds.  But she's young and learning.  A package of seeds costs so much less than a full grown plant and produces so much more.  Plus, the plants are probably healthier when started properly by seed.  I start seeds in place outside most all year round.  The right seed in the right hole works most every time.
Nasturtiums and peppers planted May 28, 2012.
Being contrary to the last statement, I was searching for some bell pepper plants to add to the garden this weekend.  The available specimens were either pitiful or outrageously overpriced ($2.98/seedling!).  I had to revert to my original mantra and grow from seed.

Not only is it the most economical way to garden, but it's convenient too.  Whenever possible and practical, seeds are collected to use the following season.  If the variety works well in the garden, why mess with success?  Collect the successful varieties for later use or trade and share.  Don't forget to label the container.  That's a trick I'm still learning.
Sweet Peas collected in an old peanut butter tub for drying.
Radishes, herbs, beans, and squash can bring fairly fast results.  Sunflowers, sweet peas, and morning glories may grow so fast and furious that they may gain "weed" status in the garden.  What a danged shame more gardeners don't use seeds.
Sadly, Ferry Morse Seed Company is closing down it's operations around the USA.  Hope this is simply a reorganization and not an indicator of the preference of gardeners. 

Try picking up a packet of seeds and see how much more satisfying gardening can be from seed to seed.


Glennis said...

I'm with you on this, but I can see how a new gardener can be put off by the idea of starting seedlings. It takes a while before you're comfortable growing from seed.

A season of success with starts is a great boost to a new gardener's confidence - then you start to wonder, "hey, aren't there any tomato varieties besides 'Early Girl'?" I think that's the next step that makes you stretch your gardening muscles.

When I started gardening, I was afraid to try to grow bachelor buttons from seed. Within three years, I was growing bulbs, primulae and species cyclamen from seed.

Success is great positive feedback, so if a beginner is more likely to succeed with store-bought healthy seedlings, so much the better.

Lo said...

You inspired me to start some bell peppers from seed last year and they are still producing. I just started a new batch of seedlings and was going to try to send you some when they were strong enough,,,perhaps I still will even tho you ha e just planted your own. Love dem peppers.

Unknown said...

I need to be better about labeling my seed jars too! I have a few staring at me now that I couldn't tell you what they are! LOL

So sad about Ferry Morse ... I hadn't heard that.

dorothy said...

I'm a seed saver with my flowers. I collect them in envelopes and sometimes forget to label them. Then I throw them out there and see what comes up!

Jennie said...

I'm about half and half now - squashes, beans, greens, etc get grown from seed, but I always buy tomatoes, peppers & eggplants as starts. We have a pretty short summer in my area so planting seeds of those outside isn't an option, and I don't have a good seed-starting spot indoors yet. Someday.