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Growing Flower and Vegetable Plants from Seed Saves Money

By Jessica Ackerman

Gardening can be a great way to save on your food and home decorating expenses. Instead of paying high prices at the store to purchase vegetables, fruits and flowers, you can simply pick them in your own backyard. However, springtime can be an expensive season for gardeners. If you purchase flower and vegetable plants for your garden at home and gardening centers, the cost can really add up in a hurry. Additionally, you are forced to choose from a rather limited assortment of flower and vegetable varieties. If you want to grow the plant varieties that you really want to try while saving plenty of money at the same time, growing your own plants from seeds could be the answer.

Supplies Needed to Grow Your Own Plants

It's actually quite easy to start your own plants from seeds, and you won't even need a lot of supplies to get the job done. Essentially, all you really need are some containers, some potting soil, a good source of light, and some flower or vegetable seeds. If you have saved some of the pots and containers from previous years when you've purchased garden plants, these can be used. Before using them, it's a good idea to wash them carefully, using a mild bleach solution, to avoid any potential problems with plant diseases or insects. You should also purchase potting soil instead of using regular soil from your garden. Potting soil has been sterilized, which can prevent diseases and other problems with your small seedlings. When choosing a source of light, standard fluorescent tube fixtures such as the utility lights commonly used in garages and basements will work fine. Although some people recommend special "grow lights," standard fluorescent lights can also work well. Of course, you'll also need some packets of seeds. Depending on the seed variety, you'll probably find that you can purchase an entire packet of seeds for less than the price of one small multi-pack of vegetable or flower plants.

Getting Started

Working on a protected surface, pour some of the potting soil into a large bowl. Add some water to the soil, mixing until it feels uniformly damp, but not too wet. Fill your planting containers with the moistened soil. Then, following the instructions on the seed packet, plant your seeds. In most cases, you'll want to place the containers in a warm area of your home until the seeds sprout. Then, move the containers to a table positioned under your light. By suspending the light from chains or cords, you can easily position the light just a few inches from the leaves of the plants. As they grow, continue to raise the lights. It usually takes approximately six weeks from sprouting in order to grow garden-ready plants. Before planting them in the garden, place them outside for increasingly longer periods of time each day, so that they can get accustomed to outside growing conditions. This process, known as "hardening off," will help to produce strong and healthy plants. Once the danger of frost has passed, you can then plant your new flower and vegetable plants in your garden. Not only will you enjoy a great garden, but you'll also enjoy knowing that you've saved money.

This article was written by Jessica Ackerman of WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, a unique wall art store, and your best online source for kitchen wall metal art.


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