Friday, February 24, 2012

More money, more problems

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Just like I knew it would, this seed starting project has gotten way more involved and expensive than I wanted it to. I picked up some cardboard pots and some potting soil so I can transplant some of my tomatoes. This brings my total expenses to about $80 bucks. At around $3 per seedling, I would have spent about the same amount to just buy seedlings. So this year there was not really any cost savings, but I had to buy everything from scratch. Next year my expenses should be very low now that I own everything.

I transferred 9 tomatoes to larger pots. I will probably only use six of them, but I did three extra just in case some don't make it. I will probably trash (gasp I know) or see if my neighbor wants the remaining tomato seedlings. I am still waiting on the jalapenos, habaneros, bell peppers, and eggplants to germinate.

Here are my costs so far:
Light and bulbs=$32
Seed Starting Greenhouse=$8
Cardboard Pots=$5
Potting Soil=$7

This has been a fun learning experience, thanks everyone for your advice.
Hopefully they will stay alive.


Annie's Granny said...

Rather than purchase cardboard pots, you can fold your own out of newspaper. I don't care for the newspaper or cardboard pots myself. I much prefer to use plastic. I know it's not "green" to do so, but I buy 5 oz. and 16 oz. Dixie cups. I can start the seedlings in the small cups, then transplant them into the large size if they get too big. I also like the 4-pack and 6 pack cells, like the ones you buy plants in from the nursery. The thing is, I buy these once, and use them again year after year. If you don't mind spending a bit of time and about a dollar, you can make your own soil block maker. It only makes one block at a time, but they really go quite fast. I've been using mine for three years, and all that costs for seed starting is the cost of a bag of potting mix. If you want to try that, or any of my other suggestions, just email me for pictures and directions.

Annie's Granny said...

The 4 oz. & 16 oz. plastic cups are made by Solo, not Dixie. They sell for about $5 for 50 16 oz. cups, and as low as $2.99 for 100 5 oz. size.

Kris said...

I thought about you when I bought those cardboard pots tonight. I remembered what you said about the plastic cups.

What is a soil block maker? That sounds interesting and I would like to see that. Thanks for all your help and tips.

Ed said...

I agree with Granny about the peat pots and newspaper pots. Last year I tried the newspaper and had terrible mold problems and stunted seedlings. I use the 5oz solo cups and wash and reuse them. Helps to make them a bit greener. I haven't tried soil blocks yet, but I may try this weekend. Granny's directions are excellent.

Crafty Cristy said...

I have spent some money on the seed part of the garden, too. I sure am enjoying myself, though, and the kids have learned a lot, too.

Kris said...

Ed - I will have to get me some of those solo cups, just in case.

Cristy - Me too, there is definitely something rewarding about starting your own seedlings.

kelli said...

the rewards of growing our own food is priceless, and now that you've got the shelf and light, it shouldn't cost you much next year!=)

Kris said...

Kelli - Thanks for the comment and I agree with you. You can't put a price on the satisfaction of eating something you have grown with your own two hands.