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Monday, April 5, 2021

My Tomato Seedlings Grown from Seeds



I started a bunch of tomato plants the last week of February and have been growing them under lights indoors ever since. This is what my six-week old plants look like now. I'll be able to transplant these out to the raised bed garden, under plastic tunnels, after the 22nd of April. The Farmer's Almanac says I could transplant these out around the 12th to 18th of the month in my area, but my particular microclimate is a bit cooler than other parts of my zip code, due to lots of tall evergreen trees all throughout my neighborhood.

Anyway, just updating. The plants are looking healthy. I hope they will size-up a bit more before planting time.

So, a cost analysis -- I bought seeds this winter, spending about $3 for enough seeds for two seasons, so estimating $1.50 for the seeds for this batch of plants. I also bought potting soil in which to start the seeds and have been using electricity for the grow lights. A high estimate for a batch of 10 seedlings (some to give away and some to plant) is around $2.75 to $3.00, or 28 to 30 cents each plant. In some past years, I've bought a 4-pack of small seedlings for around $2.50, or about 60 cents per plant. And in other years, I've bought the much larger plants for about $2.50 to $3.00 each plant. 

Starting from seeds -- 30 cents each. Buying small seedlings -- 60 cents each. Buying large plants -- $3.00 each. 

The happy side bonus is that I get to watch the plants grow bigger and bigger with each passing week. You can't put a price tag on happy moments, can you?


12 comments:

  1. Happy Easter Lili! To save even more money, grab the seeds when cooking up some of the ripe tomatoes. Prior to putting them in the pot, slice and squeeze the seeds out. I wash the seeds in a strainer then dry them on a coffee filter. I use the filter as an envelope after fully dry (week or so)... and ta-da... seeds for next season! I store all my seeds in a Ziploc or plastic carton in a cool dry place. Haven't bought seeds in years. Btw, your tomatoes look great, I have weeks before I can even think of putting anything out. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      I do save some of my seeds from my plants. But I don't save the hybrid seeds. I've read that seeds from hybrid plants don't come "true" when planted. (My tomatoes are hybrids, and the best variety for my microclimate.) That's wonderful for you that you can save your tomato seeds so easily. My beets and kale this year are from seeds I collected. It does make me smile to see my beets from home-collected seeds sprouting already.
      Thanks for giving your tips on collecting your tomato seeds!

      Delete
  2. Your plants look very healthy and I like to watch things grow, too. We're about a month behind you in when we can put tomatoes out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      it's really satisfying to watch plants grow.
      My guess is your weather will improve long before ours gets a good start. Cool rains seem to linger in the PNW when the rest of the country is warming up.

      Delete
  3. That’s a good looking tomato plant! Mine are about 3 or 4 inches tall so far, but are doing well. I can put them out in my little greenhouse the end of May, so I have plenty of time yet. I also have broccoli and zucchini started but they just popped up. My experiment of growing spinach and green beans in the house is going very well. I’ve cut spinach once and it’s about ready to do it again, and my bean plants are loaded with beans. I told my husband that if I had 10-12 plants I think it would be perfect for 2 people. I only have 6 so it’s going to be difficult to have enough ready to pick at one time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diane,
      That's really interesting about your indoor-grown beans and spinach. Thanks for sharing your success. Good luck with the greenhouse veggies this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

      Delete
  4. Now I'm hungry for tomatoes. Your plants look great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kris!
      Just the smell of the tomato leaves made me smile this week -- so summery!

      Delete
  5. I bought a vertical planter for this year. I bought a few seeds and I'll try to get a few plants or seeds from my dad. And most of the planter will have my beloved herbs. I can't wait to see how it works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice,
      Oh, that's exciting! I hope you can grow a lot in your vertical planter. Fresh herbs will be so nice to have handy. I bet they do very well for you.

      Delete
  6. Your plants are looking very healthy! Are y'all in a zone 7 up there? I ask because our planting date here (SW Oklahoma) in 7b is mid-April, which seems similar to yours. We fudge it a bit the other way, but are prepared to cover them if necessary. No temps below freezing anywhere in the 10 day forecast, so I think we're good barring a freak cold front. Ours, also grown from seed, went outside just over a week ago. It's exciting to go out and check the garden each day and see what's now up (especially potatoes, which so dramatically pop through the soil!). Good thing we have a privacy fence, or the neighbors would think I'm whacko, out there looking around every day, often twice a day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      I believe we are zone 7. I can transplant tomatoes out under a plastic sheeting row cover the third week of April, if it isn't abnormally cold. I'd have to wait until the first week of May without the row cover. That's great that yours are already planted out and your potatoes are now up. My potatoes are in the ground but nothing showing yet. I'm the same way, checking to see if anything has sprouted yet on a daily basis. I once had a bench next to our tiny pumpkin patch, just so I could go out there and sit with the pumpkins. My beets are up and so are a couple of turnip leaves. Watching plants grow -- I'm easy to thrill!

      Delete

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