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is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Posted by hogan_nj NJ (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 28, 10 at 23:53

I was thinking of growing some annuals for a window box. Most likely petunia's or daisy's. Now would it be cheaper for me to buy them at a nursery or home depot or to start from seed. I do not have anything at all,so I would need to buy whatever is needed to start.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Well, that depends! If you plan on starting them each year from seed, it could be cheaper to grow your own. The setup does not have to be expensive, you can pickup a cheap shop light from one of the big stores like Wal Mart or Home Depot. It will probably run you around $12 or $15. And if you have a farm type store near you (like Agway or something) you can get all the soil/peat mix and pots you will need to start your own! I bought a huge bail of PRO-MIX for about $27, and that will last the normal person at least two seasons!(I go through about 3, but i grow a lot and do a lot of containers!!) If you don't have the little cell packs, you should be able to get them there, and it would cost you very little depending on how many you want or need. Plus, you can't beat the rewarding feeling you get when you grow your own flowers from seed!!! I think that if you have never done it, you should try!


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Hello hogan nj,
The cheapest way to grow from seeds is to Winter Sow. There is no need for any indoor light set up. You only need seeds, potting mix and a clear/semi-opaque container such as milk jugs, pastry or salad containers. My favorites are these:
Photobucket
Please check out the Winter Sowing forum. It is fun, easy, cheap and produce great results like so:
June16
July14


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Indeed starting from seeds is way cheap but you have got to put more attention then in order to get most out of seeds
Google the correct ways of sowing and all the measures you have to take later on and then seed sprouting also takes more time.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

I second pitimpinai.
There is no cheaper, easier way to do annuals than WSing.
I'm more of a milk jug/pop bottle girl, but everyone has their favorites.
Annuals work a peach this way - tons for pennies.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

I agree with you girls that WS is the way to go! I live in Georgia (Zone 8) and my concern is when I should sow my annuals in the containers. As Spring comes in, the temps begin to rise and what happens if the plants have sprouted and put on leaves and we have an unexpected frost? Do I need to wait until later, possibly late February, to sow the annuals?


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

daisyb,
I am not sure how soon you should sow annuals. Please go check out the forum. There are several WSowers living in your zone. I sow my hardy annuals such as Petunia is February - March, tender annuals in April. Unexpected frost usually does not kill hardy annual sprouts. But it does affect tender ones such as Morning Glory or Dahlia. I would wait to sow those only a few days before last frost date.

Please go check out the forum. You'll get better answers. Folks there are very friendly and helpful.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

pitim: Pretty flowers! =)

hogan: It can be cheaper and more fun to grow from seeds (and also sometimes, more challenging!). If you aren't worried too much about buying some $20 fancy pots or some crazy expensive potting mix, then things should run a bit cheaper for growing your flowers.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Thanks for the winter sowing suggestion. Eager to start. Can you also sow tomatoes and other veggies this way. Seems to easy?


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Yes, veggies can be grown this way too. But please check out the forum for much more detail. I don't sow veggie until later.

Thanks, tn veggie.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Once again the debate begins starting indoors or WS. I have done both and find perennials do better for me then annuals. Last year I lost some annuals because they germinated and started to grow and along came mother nature with a cold spell and they were toast. The perennials were fine. I like starting seeds indoors people make it sound like its a chore and a costly investment. My investment for my setup was $50. This was for some lights.Since then I have expanded with more shelving but its my hobby.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

I have used both methods, and for flowers prefer the wintersowing method. I do use a cheap Jiffy greenhouse ($6) from Walmart to start some tomatoes and peppers in. That way I tend to have early tomatoes that peter out at the end of summer, and tomatoes that last through the first frost.

I figure, to buy annuals you would pay a few dollars for a few plants. For a few dollars, I can buy several different packs of seeds (or trade for lots of different kinds), and grow hundreds. If you use the wintersowing method all you have to pay for is the potting soil and seeds!


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

I think sowing from seed is indeed ultimately less expensive than buying plants, as long as you don't overbuy seeds like I do. Also, there are times when it may make sense to buy the plants instead--like when you want lots of impact fast, like early-season containers and the like. The wintersowing thing seems to work well for many, and I use it for various perennials. For tomatoes, most annuals and perennials that like to germinate with warmth, I enjoy starting them under shop lights. There's definitely some pleasure in working with small green things when it's still cold and snowy outside.


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

Well, since I started my veggies indoors about 2 weeks ago, during Winter, does that mean i've taken part in Winter Sowing? =) Aren't they one in the same quite often?


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

  • Posted by trudi_d 7, Long Island (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 11, 10 at 22:36

No. Winter Sowing is a genuine propagation method for starting seeds outside. In vented containers. During winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Thesaurus 'Winter Sowing Method'


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RE: is it cheaper to grow from seed?

This pertains to indoor seed starting:

If you are only starting seed to save money, I don't think it will be worth it for you.

Becaue you are only filling a window box with pretty common flowers I bet it would run you $10-$30 to fill it with plants from a garden center.

Lights, soil and seed will cost you about that.

I am sure you want nice large plants come time to plant because it is such a focal point, and seedlings will be smaller than nursery bought plants (but will quickly catch up).

So I would say you start saving money on starting your own seed when: 1. you start at least 30-40+ plants 2. you plant things that are hard to find 3. you plant things that are more expensive (such as tuberous begonias, wave petunias...3" pots ect.)

Plant seeds for the experience and the enjoyment...not just saving money, it is much more valuable in the long run.


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