Growing Vegetables from Seeds

We have a backyard garden, and I love it. Having the ability to go out the back door and get fresh, totally organic strawberries, snow peas, tomatoes, you name it – it’s great.

In planning the garden each spring, I have several considerations: have I grown the plant before? Was it successful? Is it likely to attract troublesome pests (Japanese Beetles have always overtaken green beans for me)?

A big consideration is whether the crop is worth it economically. For instance, I would not use my valuable garden space to plant potatoes. Potatoes are pretty labor-intensive with digging them up, plus potatoes are cheap to buy. Not worth my time. On the other hand, strawberries are easy to grow (my patch is now over 5 years old and yields a lot), and they’re relatively expensive to buy in the store.

Another consideration is how to plant. Should I buy seeds, or plants? During the past few years I’ve tried getting my tomatoes and peppers started from seeds. I’ve had some make it and others not, but I think it’s worth a try. Consider that a pack of seeds is probably under a dollar and can yield about 30 tomato plants. Around here, 4 tomato plants costs about $1.79. So, clearly I’m ahead financially to grow them from seed if I can.

Growing Vegetables from Seeds

Here in northern Indiana, it’s ideal to start tomatoes and peppers from seed 7 weeks before the last probable frost – which is now.

This week, I put potting mix in a nifty tray I got for a dollar at Menard’s. I put 2 seeds (either tomato or pepper) in each cell, watered, and put the lid on to create a warm, moist environment. They are now on top of the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks until they germinate.

Growing Vegetables from SeedsThen, put them in a south window and let them grow. One important tip is not to transplant them directly from the kitchen to the garden – I’ve tried this, and they usually don’t make it. They’re just not used to the bright light, wind, etc. Instead, a couple of weeks before I’m ready to plant them, I will take the tray outside and let it sit for a few hours each day so the plants can acclimate to the outdoors.

What plants have you had success growing from seed?


3 thoughts on “Growing Vegetables from Seeds

  1. I love my garden! Last year was the first in so long that I’ve actually had a real vegetable garden, and I’m so looking forward to it this year!

    I’ve never started tomatoes or peppers from seed – and now, I don’t have room for more than a dozen or so tomatoes anyway. I can get seedlings at the public market in 6-packs for, usually, a dollar, so for me, it’s worth it to have them already established and the hardening-off process begun.

    I usually do well with green beans, and peas. . . well, I love fresh peas, but the yield is so tiny that it’s just not worth the space they take up, unfortunately. Maybe snow peas or sugar snaps. . . but not this year.

    THIS year I’m planning to try growing fennel (from seed, I think) for the first time! Yikes!

  2. I made up some little plant pots out of rolled pieces of newspaper and put them in a cute basket. I filled them with good potting soil and planted basil and tomatoes. I have been putting them outside when it is sunny and bringing them back in at night. I didn’t know you are supposed to cover them until they germinate, but I’ll just see how it goes. Maybe I’ll try plastic wrap over the basket. I didn’t inherit my mother’s green thumb (I swear she looks at a seed and a tomato plant appears, with 40 tomatoes, a week later) but I keep trying!
    I planted basil and tomatoes. I also planted some salad in bigger pots, but those are outside because it’s the right season for them. I need to set up my garden to plant my snow peas. Is there anything better than sun-drenched snow peas, right off the vine?

  3. I used to do all my flowers from seed. I’ve had really good luck with petunias, forget me nots, sunflowers, marigolds and lots more. My son did a vegetable garden from seed and had tomatoes, carrots, lima beans, green beans at least. Here we can put the little pots with seeds in a sheltered outdoor spot right away, for the most part, although a very late frost killed some of his veggies. I’ve been thinking I need to go back to seed, the flowers are so much hardier.

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