Seed Starting: The Cheap Way to Start Your Garden

Seed Starting Garden Cheap Gardening Seeds Home gardens are a source of so many benefits. They’re therapeutic, plentiful, and they can save you a lot of money. Find out how to start your seeds today!

When I used to think of gardening, I would think of the obvious fact that I could save money by not going to the grocery store to buy herbs, fruits and vegetables. I used to go to the nursery in late Spring and drag my poor husband along with me and buy already grown herbs to plant in my own garden.

Then, I learned about seed starting and everything changed – I could save even more money by not purchasing pre-grown plants. I could grow my plants from seeds.

Interested in Gardening? Check out our Gardening Pinterest Board & be sure to Follow School of Saving on Pinterest!

Here’s How to Start Plants from Seeds:

1. Purchase Seeds

You can purchase seed packets from your local nursery, your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, or buy them online.

I found a deal that’s expiring on March 31, 2017 from Gurney’s Seed & Nursery Co. for 50% off site-wide. For reference, you can get approx. 150 basil seeds for $1.49. 

Buying your packets online? Check out our article about Saving Money When Shopping Online to save even more!

Now, not all 150 seeds will germinate, but chances are you won’t need that many plants. Ask a friend or family member if they want the seeds and give some to them, or even split the cost.

Also, when you’re purchasing everything, be sure to purchase some seedling mix!

2. Figure Out When to Plant

It’s best to plant 6 weeks before the last frost in your area. Use the Farmer’s Almanac website to see the best time to start planting.

3. Gather Your Planting Materials

You’ll need a just a few things to get started:

  • Seedling mix (NOT to be confused with potting mix)
  • A large bucket
  • Planting containers – see below
  • Plastic wrap

Here’s where you can save even MORE money. 

You really don’t need to go out and spend more money on planting containers. You can use things you most likely have around your house and Do-It-Yourself ! Cut up an old toilet paper or paper towel roll or even use an egg carton for a quick and free  DIY.

4. Plant Your Seeds

The seed packets will contain specific instructions about how exactly to plant i.e. how deep to plant within the soil, how many days it will take to reach maturity, etc. It’s important to follow these instructions when planting.

Here’s How to Plant your Seeds:

  1. Put the seedling mix in a bucket and make it damp.
  2. Spoon the mix into your planting container of choice.
  3. Label each container so you remember what you’ve planted.
  4. Plant the seeds in your container according to their instructions.
  5. Cover the entire planting container with plastic wrap and poke holes in it so the seeds can breathe.
  6. Find a space in your home that is between 65 and 75 degrees not in direct sunlight. If you can place your container on a space where it can receive heat on the bottom, even better!
  7. Water your seeds according to their instructions.
  8. When you see a sprout, it’s time to remove the plastic wrap and bring your plants to a spot in the sun.

When your plant gets big enough, it’s ready to be transplanted! Don’t plant it immediately outside though, there are some crucial steps to take before your plant will get used to being outside. Check out the Farmer’s Almanac Guide to Transplanting for more in-depth information.

Good luck! Let us know how you did with your seed starting! Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below!


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