Investing in Seeds

Investing in Seeds

If you are like me, you impatiently wait for seed catalogs to arrive in the winter, and then eagerly immerse yourself in the colored photos of beautiful flowers and mouth-watering fruits and veggies.  (I also look at seeds online and I do my ordering online, but there’s just something so special about getting those catalogs!)

I browse all the seeds that interest me, including sales and clearance, loading up my virtual cart until it’s brimming.  Then I look at the total.  O_O

Sometimes, seeds can seem a little expensive.  However, I like to think of it in the long term.  If the seeds are not hybrid, I know I can save seeds from each planting and keep that initial “investment” going for years.  If we have some extra money, I’ll go ahead and order a few extra seeds.  I’ve used seeds that are 4 or 5 years old and gotten excellent crops, so I’m comfortable in getting ahead of myself and having a nice sized “stash”.

I also consider that starting my seeds and selling some plants can bring in extra money that can be “seed” money for the next year.  (Pun intended!)

Thinking of all the possibilities, seeds are really a bargain!

When I look at all my seeds, I see life; beautiful flowers, delicious veggies, nutrition for us and our animals, and the promise of food, in good times or bad.  🙂

Investing in Seeds

Investing in Seeds

Investing in Seeds

BENEFITS:

  • Inexpensive, nutritious food
  • Stockpile of potential food
  • Flower seeds that can be grown and sold
  • Veggie seedlings that can be sold or bartered
  • Saving lots of money on groceries

MONEY SAVED:   I’m not sure how to quantify the savings on this.  The cost of the initial pack of seeds goes down each year you save seeds and replant.  If you sell enough plants to cover the cost of buying more seeds, your cost can go down to zero.  It is a self-sustaining venture!

🙂

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Garden Journal

Keeping a Garden Journal

The longer I garden, the more I believe in the importance of keeping a garden journal.

By keeping a garden journal, you not only keep financial track of what you’re growing, but you also keep track of your favorite seed companies,  favorite plant varieties, yields, planting times, etc.  It makes gardening just a little bit easier.

Garden Journal

I started out by using a composition notebook that I bought at a thrift store for 10 cents.  However, in anticipation of expanding, I am going to be moving my data to an Excel spreadsheet for easy access and the ability to make graphs.  (I’m a bit of a graph nerd)

Garden Journal Spreadsheet

I’ll be able to track every variety of plant each year, the days to maturity, the yield, and the costs.  Then, I should be able to extract each plant variety into a graph to see differences between years and if they are consistent performers, etc.

I like having a “Comments” section, because gardening has so many variables, it’s good to keep track of them.  I’ll make note of things like diseases, pests, weather, any difficulties with seedlings, and so on.

Gardening is a lot of trial and error, but by keeping tabs on what happens, as it happens, it takes away some of the guess work.

I hope this helps you and please feel free to comment about any additions you would make to a journal!

BENEFITS:

  • Tracking what works and what doesn’t
  • Remembering the varieties you like the best
  • Keeping track of costs
  • Having a lot of knowledge and experience at your fingertips
  • Being able to pass your knowledge along to others

🙂

seed-saving-and-frugal-gardening

Seed Saving and Frugal Gardening

Seed saving is a frugal and empowering way to garden.

You plant a seed, care for it, watch it grow, enjoy your bounty and in the end, you are presented with more seeds, to start all over again.

You hold in your hands the circle of life!

Seed saving and frugal gardening

For the price of one packet of seeds, you can continue growing that variety for years to come, just by collecting and saving the seeds.  After the first year, I consider the seeds for each following year to be free because of the money I saved growing that veggie and not having to buy it in the store.  Between saved seeds, free seeds and seeds I find on sale, my veggie garden costs me next to nothing every year.  Plus, I can grow way more plants than I could afford to buy.

I have been saving peas and beans for years.  The peas and beans are eaten by us and put into my homemade dog food recipe Doggy Stew, so those free seeds are paying big dividends.

You may also have friends, family or neighbors who grow outstanding varieties you might like to try.  Trading seeds is an even cheaper way to garden!

Seed saving can also be done with flowers, of course.  I grow a TON of Zinnias every year from saved seeds.  I enjoy the bright, cheerful Zinnias and they attract lots of bees, that in turn, pollinate my veggies!  I also grow Geraniums and Petunias from seed.

Seed saving and frugal gardening

Seed saving and frugal gardening

Seed saving and frugal gardening

Some seeds need to be started indoors, prior to planting outside. Starting seedlings is a bit of trial and error, as anyone who has ever tried it, will know.  In spite of a few failures and disappointments, it is the most amazing feeling to collect tomatoes from a tomato plant that reaches up to your chin, and know that you started it from a tiny seed!  That feeling is worth a million bucks!

Speaking of tomato plants; they can be really expensive too.  I saved big money this year by starting mine from seed , plus I had extra plants to give away and sell.  So, I’m not just saving money, I’m also making money!

There are many good websites explaining how to collect various seeds, so I won’t go into that, but  if you are excited to try, start with something easy like Zinnias, beans or peas. Beans and peas are easy to collect seeds from; just let them dry on the plant.  When they are dry, crack open the pods and keep the seeds.  Zinnias are easy too.  Just cut the heads off the plant after they have lost their brightness and start to turn brown.  If they feel a little moist, lay them on a screen (like in the photo below) until they feel dry.  I keep mine in paper bags over the winter and come Spring, I break the heads apart and collect the seeds!

seed-saving-and-frugal-gardening

Take note:  Hybrid plants are a cross of two different varieties.  The seeds will not grow true to the parent.  Save Heirloom or standard seeds to get the same variety you started with.

I hope I’ve convinced you to try some seed saving.  I go a bit overboard with it, myself.  I find it hard to throw dead plants when I know there are seeds there, free for the taking.  I think to myself, “I can’t throw these, they will grow!”

Seed saving and frugal gardening

BENEFITS:

  • Saving lots of money
  • Learning a valuable skill
  • Creating varieties that grow the best in your area
  • Sharing seeds with others
  • Sharing plants you grow from your seeds

MONEY SAVED ANNUALLY:

$235.00!!!

🙂