Nothing quite says summer like fresh fruits and vegetables, and nothing says spring like new annuals for the front porch and young daffodils making their appearance in the flower beds. But making that trip to your favorite nursery can be costly, especially when planning a small (or large) garden for your family.
Vegetables are often purchased after they have grown to a size safe for transplant, but besides the expense of an established plant, buyers are also not certain where the plant originated.
Growing your own vegetables from seed may seem intimidating, but can really be fairly simple as well as rewarding.
Start with shopping for seeds. Any nursery will have a large variety, and discount stores are known to stock them as well. For specific heirloom varieties, purchasing seeds online can yield impressive results and prized vegetables. Organic seeds are the best route to take, but they are not always available.
Follow the directions on the package to sow your seeds indoors. Not all seeds require sowing inside, but most can be started indoors with ease.
I begin with containers that may otherwise end up in the landfill: milk cartons, eggshells or cartons, styrofoam cups, soup cans and the like. Be sure to poke small holes in the bottom for drainage. Adding rocks to the bottom of the container aids drainage and helps prevent fungus from growing.
Using soil specific to growing vegetables is a good idea, and my experience has been that using this type of soil produces vigorous, healthy plants. According to the package, sow the seeds as recommended. Keep seeds in a bright, sunny location with good air circulation.
Remember to keep your seeds indoors until they have sprouted with two sets of leaves and the danger of frost has passed.