Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net

Growing vegetables is something I've fallen in love with. It kind of makes me feel like a wizard, or magical witch. I put a tiny seed in the earth, treat it with a specific set of rituals, and one day it turns into a big plant that you can eat. What's not awesome about that? It's so rewarding, and a fun way to get your hands back in the dirt during the cold end of winter (when most gardeners are anxiously counting down the days until spring.)

Have you tried starting your veggie plants indoors when it's too cold to start them outside? The task seemed daunting to me at first.  In fact, I figured it would be years before I grew all my veggies from seeds myself, or that it would take a few years to learn to do it successfully, but the first attempts I made were super successful! I didn't have much space at all, just a sunny window, and some floor space. It was almost too easy, I couldn't believe I hadn't done it before then!

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net

1. SEED STARTING IS EASY!

I picked up a little seed starting kit including the tray, the soil pellets, and a lid. Then, I decided to get the heat mat, and a small grow light to get everything going really well.

I made sure the tray stayed moist, and the plants stayed warm and got plenty of light. I monitored them regularly for any signs of sprouting, and once they had, I vented the lid.

Once they started to show roots out of the bottom of the soil pellets, I potted them up in disposable cups and set them on a sunny windowsill to get lots of sunlight. If they needed to move up in size at all from there, I would upsize them to small nursery pots. Then, once the days started warming above 50°F, I dragged them outside for several hours a day to harden off and brought them back in at night.

It's a labor of love, really. The tasks aren't hard, they're just the type that require patience and diligence. You have to monitor your plants daily until you pot them, then every few days after that. When they need to go outside to harden off, you have to drag them in and out of the house every day until it's warm enough for them to be planted out.

Here's what I use:
72 Slot Seed Starter Kit (including tray, soil pellets, and greenhouse lid) - $8 at Home Depot
+ Grow light with stand, for the seed tray - $39 at Home Depot
+ Heat Mat for the tray - $26 at Home Depot

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net

2. YOUR PLANTS ARE HEALTHIER

Growing my own plants from seed has rewarded me with plants that are strong, and don't get shocked by being trucked to a store, allowed to be root bound in their little nursery pots before I take them home or diseased from who knows where or what.
In my experience, veggie seedlings I buy at garden stores often get sick and die on me, but plants I've grown myself from seed thrive consistently and are much healthier.

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net
Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net

3. IT SAVES YOU MONEY

A packet of flower or vegetable seeds generally costs about $1-2.50. A vegetable seedling at a garden center costs anywhere from $2-$7. Flowers and foliage plants cost even more, including some perennial seedlings that are $15-30! When you grow your own plants from seed, it's really just pennies on the dollar.

The soil pellets are extremely cheap, and the trays and hardware for growing can be reused every year. You don't even have to use soil pellets either, you can just use your own garden soil if you're really trying to be frugal.

Growing Your Own Veggies from Seed + Why I Recommend It // www.thejoyblog.net

Growing your veggies from seeds is a fun, money saving experiment. The best part is, you get to reap the benefits of your hard work, and see your plants from birth to death and every step along the way. It's a beautiful thing to be so connected to your garden. I highly recommend giving it a try.

++ What have you grown or what would you like to grow from seed?



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