Seed-Savy Savings Tips

Good day to you, readers! ‘Tis the season we’ve all been waiting for: planning and planting time.

Ready to gear up with your gardening weapons of choice? I personally am dusting off the ol’ trowel, nice thick gloves (a find from the dollar store), and scissors. And…the free stuff ends there, it seems. Gardening Pinterest might have you pulling out a depleted wallet for “the perfect’’ plant. I have had difficulty not adopting plant babies whenever I go to a plant store (darn those amazing front-of-the-store displays).  Reflecting upon this during the cold winter months left me curious and eager to learn from my overspending mistakes.

I was surprised to find a bevy of ways to save on plants and seeds. While I still need to work on the ol’ impulse buying, I’m eager to share (and implement) these tips to save on seeds this season!

Do the Research

It seems like a “no duh,” but I have certainly bought plants that looked like they would yield tasty veggies, only to see them wilt away. I failed to do my research about how they would take to the climate, when the plants might bloom best (and making sure to help them get comfortable before then), and how well they would do with other plants. It’s important to research which plants could be friends and reside in the garden together, and which plants could be deadly foes. Find out which plants are invasive, and which ones will love being back in their native land. And, read the little tags that plants come with! They have well-detailed planting, timing, and other instructions. If tags cannot be found, scour the internet for sunlight details, soil acidity needs, and fertilizer needs.

Make a Grocery List

Make a strict grocery list of plants seeds and seedlings you’re going to look for and have a few dollars for something extra. Be sure to examine your schedule. Will you be able to commit to an intensive plant, or do you need something you can simply water once a week?

Be honest with yourself, as hard as it can be.

Seek Out Veggies

Seek out veggies that you and your family or friends will actually eat. I grew a hearty stock of tomatoes, but I only like them in sauces. As a result, we had to find anyone we had a connection with to take the ‘maters that took up a considerable portion of counter space.

Buy Local

Buy local—not just to support local businesses, but because they will often have the plants and soil that do best in your region. Even if it’s more expensive, it will be worth it, as the transfer (from pot to soil) will go well and most likely increase the longevity of the plant. You can also keep an eye out for local plant swaps and markets, like what the Thurmont Green Team offers ( Catoctin High School also has a lovely and extensive plant sale each year in the spring.

Best Time to Buy Seeds

This is more of a retrospective tip. The best time to buy seeds is early summer and the end of fall. Spring does offer more selection, but usually at a steeper price. Along the same vein, seek out the clearance section, and particularly seek out perennials that will often be dehydrated or done blooming. After watering, they’ll be perfect and ready to bloom for you next year!

The smaller and earlier in development the plant is, the more likely it’ll be cheaper (since you’re going to input your labor instead of paying for the nurseries to grow you a baby squash).

Self-sustaining Gardner

Become a self-sustaining gardener! Let your plant grow and reproduce, then collect seeds and cuttings for the next season. These seeds will be more compatible with your garden, as they have adapted to those specific conditions. Propagate cuttings in water, then after a considerable root system is created, transfer to soil.

Try implementing one of these tips and see what happens! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to use those extra savings for something fun! Or maybe the Leprechaun will give you a bounty of gold to grow more plants… you never know!

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