Seeds can be very exspensive. I have spent huge sums of money with out even realizing I was doing so.
Seeds can be very inexspensive. When I figured out how to get seeds at very low cost I became overwhelmed with the abundance of seeds.
This is all about timing.
First lets look at the exspensive side. A person goes to a grocery store, home improvement store, or garden center. There the person finds that the store is selling seeds. These little packages of seeds can be in amounts as low as milligrams - grams. To get beyond grams is rare. Very few companies sell above gram sizes.
These little packages seem very inexspensive since they only cost .99 cents - $2.00. Up front i became aware that I could purchase a lot of varieties at seemingly low cost. Since I was working from a very limited budget I decided this was acceptable and began purchasing seed. The next thing I did was to limit how much I would spend. I determined that I would use 10% of my weekly income. This was a very fortunate thing ( I can become over enthusiastic.) I went forward and spent and spent and spent. And I planted and planted and planted. Cost $40- $60 U.S. dollars a week. 52 weeks a year. Cost for seed: $3,120. a year. I did this for 2 years Total cost of packaged seed: $6,240. roughly. This garden was turned into barren dessert when I left. I had a very successfull growing plot at real high cost. I was devestated to know that all my work, all the plants, and the productivity was destroyed with no thought to what the value was. PANIC! How was I to get new seeds, since my seed bank had just been destroyed. The idea was to gather seeds from the plants I was growing to never have to buy seeds again.
As I wandered through the land looking for sollutions I found a wild fennel plant. It was going to seed. LOTS OF SEED. AND I MEEN LOTS.
I occured to me that I could harvest this seed for free. NO COST. So I did. Over the next two weeks I returned again and again to this plant and collected free seeds. Then I went on a hunt. Where do the wild things grow? Apparently everywhere. The moral is seeds can be found where you plant them.
I have opened my eyes to the wild. Many of my favorite plants are already out there.
Another inexspensive source. The grocery market. I purchase food, mostly fruit and veggies. I then take the seeds from the fruit that I already own and replant the seed. Bulbs/tubers/root, garlic, onion, ginger,potato, yams,sweat potato, etc. are all alive and can be replanted. the dried bean and rice section has live lentels, beans, etc all at low cost like a dollar a pound. Many can be purchased that are organic. So Seeds can be inexspensive.
I have more......but it will have to wait untill tommorow.
The second way is your local health food store, greengrocer or even supermarket. I use coriander, chia you could use amaranth and all types of beans too.
Seeds in Australia cost around $3.50 a packet, I often buy in the US because it is far cheaper. And what helps too, is once you have found out which variety suits you to buy in bulk. A bulk packet of carrot seeds may cost $7 but there are ten times or so more seeds in that packet than you will find in a normal packet, the amount they sell is often pretty ridiculous.
So next time buy in bulk. spend $10 for 16oz vs $3/1oz because you are going to need more than 1oz anyway and you can give away the rest, buy it with a friend or start a "garden" on some public/neglected land.
The mighty oak was only an acorn that held its ground.
Hold your ground.
Become more prosperous.
Have a great day.
if you dont know about this site you might give it a try:
it is a lot of tedious work to save your own seeds, but i enjoy it even with the monotony. it also can take some time and effort to trade seeds...but it feels worth it to me.
every once in a while i buy some seeds, usually shipped through the mail, and often in bulk. i also harvest seeds of stuff that i find in the wild, though its a smaller amount of people who are interested in this, but when you find them they will be happy to trade for stuff that may be very common in your area.
back when i had food stamps i discovered that one can use food stamps to purchase both seeds and plants. the farmers market in the town i lived in then also had a good thing where they would give you extra dollars...you bought ten dollars in these coins with your food stamps, and they would give you fifteen dollar coins you could spend at the farmers market. i bought a lot of starts and seeds that way back then....
I found that very cheap seeds are often mislabeled and there are tiny numbers of seed per packet. Expensive ones often are not good enough for the price. I found that Baker Creek is good for me and they send overseas.
Grocery store seeds are as well goji berries.
I then took to going through the forests. I wore my shoes out observing nature. That is a lot of walking. I was not constanly in a car, or house, or building. Much of my free time became interacting with nature. These costs I have gladdly paid.
I found a stick!
This initially does not seem impressive, but it became a very valuable tool. I could defend myself against predators (cougars)vs.(eucalyptus). It helped me walk when my syatic nerve flared up. It became my primary planting tool. Dig a hole drop a seed cover seed move on. No bending or stooping. Very little effort involved. I could move quickly and quietly through a forest or public zone. Causing very little disturbance.
The stick became a source of revenue. Sanded and oiled they became valuable to others. I would go clean up the forest detritus (fire hazard). Trim the sticks with a simple hand saw, drill a hole in the top for a simple leather thong. Sand with 40 grit, 80 grit, 120 grit. Oil with olive oil. Let it dry. People would see this beautiful stick and approach me to purchase it. Cost: a walk through the woods, being a good steward of the forest.
The stick also helped me recover trash from the forest, where poison oak is really nasty. Trash clean up became part of the routine. I never realized how many smokers just throw away there trash everywhere. If you are a smoker I am referring to you. Discarding tabacco waste spreads specific fungal blights etc. the fiberglass filter can take estimated times of up to 100 years to be broken down. IT IS DAMB NASTY! SOMEONE ELSE HAS TO CLEAN THAT @$#% UP!
So PLEASE DO NOT TOSS AWY CIGARRETTE BUTTS. PLENTY OF EMPTY TRASH CANS AVAILABLE! PROVIDED BY YOU TAX DOLLARS SO USE THEM!
Seed are the future. The seed can be physical, mental, spiritual, metaphysical, imaginary, etc. Just keep planting what you want to see grow. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY! HAPPY HAPPY JOOOY! PLant where you want to be happy, Plant where you want your family to succeed. Plant In the schools, churches, businesses, public spaces. PLANT PLANt PLAnt PLant Plant plant .........
LEAVE NO TRACE.
Thing is, I have come across the term heirloom seeds lately, and my ears pricked up.
Can anyone tell me if it would be wizer to collect just heirloom seeds rather than ordinary hybrids. What is the long term benefits of heirlooms/? I have found them to be more expensive in the uk, but I don't mind paying if it turns out better
fiona. ex-seeding the perimeters.
If you plant a hybrid seed, there is no telling what will grow from it, but it will not be the same as the plant that you saved it from. Saving hybrid seed is kind of like buying a lottery ticket. You might get an edible plant, or you could end up with something that only the hogs would eat.
Heirlooms are old traditional plants that have been handed down for generations. Often, brought from the 'old country' by immigrants back when your grandmother was a child. There is much interest in saving seeds from these heirlooms partly because they are 'old family favorites', and also since many of the larger seed corporations are beginning to patent their seeds. If collections of these seeds are not preserved, the human's future food supply could be jeopardized due to the loss of diversity, and monopolies by the seed giants who want to own even the seeds that provide our food.
Not all plants are best propagated by seed, but most annuals and vegetables are.
Heirloom seeds are varieties that have been propagated by people for generations, and as long as you don't plant them near (and thus let them crossbreed with) other varieties of the same species, you can keep their seeds again and again.
Hybrids are seeds made by carefully crossbreeding two varieties of the same species to make a selected type of offspring. The seeds planted from a hybrid plant or usually not going to be any good, but occasionally can be. Breeding hybrids is also an ancient traditional practice, not necessarily high tech, but nowadays seed companies have developed more specific hybrids. If the name of the seed in a catalog says F1 or F2 it's definitely a hybrid. Do not confuse hybrids with genetically engineered varieties. Hybrids can be organic, no problem, but some of them are selected to be high producing or long-storing, at the expense of flavor and nutrition.
Some plants are better propagated vegetatively, basically low tech cloning. One traditional old fashioned example is to graft desired fruit twigs onto a trunk (of the same species, either a chosen root stock or a sturdy random seedling). Another is cuttings, just as you have done with houseplants, but it can be done as well with many species of trees and plants.
fiona smith wrote:Can anyone tell me if it would be wizer to collect just heirloom seeds rather than ordinary hybrids. What is the long term benefits of heirlooms/? I have found them to be more expensive in the uk, but I don't mind paying if it turns out better
Others have covered the hybrid thing (don't even bother trying to save them unless you're doing complicated breeding stuff)
Over here, 'heirloom' and ''heritage' are pretty meaningless terms.
For example, green zebra tomatoes are nearly always called heirlooms in catalogues, but were bred in the '80s, not saved by someone's Italian great-grandma
(That's not knocking green zebra, they're a great tomato!)
I look for 'open pollinated' (OP) varieties.
Not all OPs are heirlooms, but all heirlooms are OP...
Does that make sense?!
*edited to add 'heritage' *
pitching in with others on these bulk seeds, then splitting them up when they arrive is cheap and rewarding.
like the original poster said, the best way to get seed for cheap is to collect it yourself. or propagate it yourself.
An heirloom could be a variety that has had its genome passed through the eye of a needle so many times that almost no variation remains and it is a dead-end without crossing in some fresh genetics. An heirloom can also be an OP variety that was an F4 generation just last year and got picked up by an heirloom seed catalog. An heirloom variety may be different from every outlet that sells it, due to poor control of cross pollination or simply due to adaptation to local growing conditions over multiple generations. Many heirloom seeds are grown by big outfits in specific regions (one is the Willamette Valley in Oregon) and have become acclimated to the regional climate. Seed saved from an heirloom will be much like the parents if you are careful, but will quickly become something else if you aren't.
A hybrid is generally a cross between two open pollinated varieties. You can save seeds, but will get a mix of varieties. In most cases, many will still be similar to the hybrid and very good; some won't. But, if you save seed from the best for a few generations, you can generally stabilize the hybrid into a new OP variety. There are details that can make hybrids tricky, so many people just avoid them. One trick is that one of the parent lines is often male sterile and confers this sterility to the succeeding generation. Those types are bad for seed saving. They are very common in plants that are outcrossers like umbellifers and brassicas. Another hybrid trick is that many varieties sold as hybrids really aren't. Many are OP varieties or later stage F3 crosses that are basically stable. They are sold as hybrids so that the company can charge more and so that you don't bother saving seed.
Both heirloom and hybrid marketing tactics have been very effective at getting people to behave in certain ways. Many heirlooms sellers would have you run from hybrids and save seeds as if you were a curator in a seed museum. Many hybrid sellers would have you buy their expensive seeds every year because you can't possibly match their expertise. The truth is, you can save seeds from most OP and hybrid varieties and that some crossing introduces variation that will usually benefit you if you make trait selection part of your seed saving procedure. If you do that, you will develop your own mixes and varieties that will often do better in your climate than anything you can buy from a seed catalog.
I have been checking out some seeds sites, and stumbled onto a page where the EU are trying to impose a ban on unregistered seeds, even as far as trying to ban seed swapping!!!
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. All I could imagine was black suits knocking on my door with a rather timid looking police officer pulling up my plants because they couldn't measure the hairs on their stems!!
Life gets stranger by the moment. And so do I
the EU are trying to impose a ban on unregistered seeds
Yeah. I've read about that as well.
If it ever becomes a reality, perhaps you could call the 'Seed Cops' to come to your house and do your weeding for you.
This will take every ounce of my mental strength! All for a tiny ad:
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