Why Start from Seed

Why start from seed instead of buying starts? There are a couple of reasons.

  1. You get to choose the varieties.
  2. You get to time when you’d like to plant.
  3. You control the inputs.
  4. Plus you save money!

Visit any nursery and you will see that they have no where near the variety that a seed catalog would have. The choices in the seed catalog allow you to pick and choose which one would be best for you. Do you want an English cucumber, a pickling cucumber, or a slicing cucumber? A nursery may have only one or the other, starting your own allows you to pick the best of all three!

When you start your own seeds, you are thinking of when you want to plant them as well. When you get the starts from the nursery, you are working on their clock, not your own. With nursery plants, you don’t know whether they arrived yesterday or two weeks ago!

You get to control the inputs. You know what you put on your seeds when they were growing.  You know whether they were given fertilizer or not, and when. Can you say the same about those you get from the nursery?

And finally, you can save money. Even with a light and heat pad setup. Here’s the math.

  • Grow Light: $50
  • Heat Pad: $20
  • Seed Starting Setup: $16
  • Five packets of seed: $15
  • Spray Water bottle: $1
  • Total: $102 for 50 or so plants (plus extra seeds for the next wave).
  • You would spend about $175 for the 50 4″ pots of starts at the nursery in the first year.
  • In subsequent years, the cost would drop to about $25 (Seeds and replacement soil mixture). You can reuse the starting setup. That’s a savings of $150/year. Plus the savings of growing your own food!

Well there you go! These are my reasons for starting from seed. Are you going to try to start some from seed?

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