vegetables from seed


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I have a vegetable garden every year. Usually tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc...
I have limited space and sunlight, so this year I signed up for plots in a community garden...I'm doing it all from seed, to cut down on expense, as I have a lot of space to fill...I've always bought the plants...I'm hopeful but nervous.
I'm wondering how many of you plant your vegetable gardens from seed and how successful you are with it?
Thanks for any input and advice.
 
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Meadowlark

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I'm probably 60/40 seeds over plants. I use plants for low volume applications , e.g. zucchini squash, certain melons, etc. but for volume e.g. beans, corn, tomatoes I use seeds. I see no discernible productivity difference except the convenience of plants.

For potatoes, its seed potatoes so not sure how to count those and for onions, I use the fresh young sets.
 
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I grow everything from seeds, all of the regular vegs, plus I always like to experiment with new vegetables. This year it is Portuguese Cabbage/Kale. On most things I start the seeds 1-2 months before the time to set them out with the exception of corn, beans, peas and okra, all of which I direct sow. I rarely buy plants, perhaps some tomato or pepper I have never heard of.
 
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I have a vegetable garden every year. Usually tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc...
I have limited space and sunlight, so this year I signed up for plots in a community garden...I'm doing it all from seed, to cut down on expense, as I have a lot of space to fill...I've always bought the plants...I'm hopeful but nervous.
I'm wondering how many of you plant your vegetable gardens from seed and how successful you are with it?
Thanks for any input and advice.
I grow everything from seed, often from seed I have saved.
I even save my own seed garlic & potatoes.
I grow leeks & onions from seed to avoid the danger of white rot.
 
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Thank you all for your replies. I have always planted flowers from seed, but not vegetables, except for radishes. I appreciate your input and I'm excited to get this started. I will post pictures later (if it's a success. Lol)
 

CAP

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I think i enjoy seed starting almost as much as the gardening part. Also depending on how far north you live there's alot you can (and probably should) direct sow in the ground.
Good luck, have fun, in a few seasons you'll be a pro at it!
 
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I start my annual veg from seed. (But I do breakdown and buy a few peppers or eggplants each year)

Onions are either or - buy the plant start the size of a pencil or start seeds back in the first week of February.

I buy some herbs like chives, rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano as plants.

I buy perennial trees, shrubs, and vines.

@Cindi - Illinois zone 5b is close to where I used to be in Rockford. This is what worked for me:
Tomatoes and peppers around April 15
Lettuce around April 15
Kale / Broccoli around April 1
beets start around April 1
pea pods around April 1
onion / leek / shallot February 1
Beans and carrots direct sow
 
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I'm with Medowlark. What are you going to do with 75 tomato plants or 75 zucchini plants once they start producing? There aren't enough porches around to leave all the vegetables that you will end up with. For vegetables that you can only use a few of buy the plants. For things like beans that you can freeze then buy the seeds. But even then only plant what you can use. Don't forget putting the seed in is easy it's everything else that follows that is the work.
 
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I prefer the bush variety tomato plant. It is a bit easier to prune and work with in a smaller space. The basic bush variety tomato plant will grow somewhere between 2′-5′ tall. Dwarf varieties will grow around 2 to 3 ‘ tall and other varieties can grow a foot or two taller. So the less room you have, the more likely you will want to go with one of the dwarf varieties. Once again, ideal for the indoor grower, and for those outdoor growers not open to managing a growing vine that needs more laborious stabilization. I wrote about the differences between bush and vine varieties here if interested.
 
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I pressure can most produce for off season use, about 400 one liter jars. I have enough experience to choose the correct quantity. About three plant suppliers are visited and purchases are made. I transplant into plastic cups individually and get well established plants then plant out about 1 of June. My frost free growing time is June, July and August.

I seed carrots and beets. Corn is sprouted before planting seeds. Most other planting is from the plastic cups to get a good start. I use seed potatoes and check the produce from each plant about 40. The area is excellent for growing and plants I don't grow can be bought economically.

Example of my general method
11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale
Posted on May 11, 2019 by Durgan
http://durgan.org/2019/May 2019/11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale/HTML /11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale
Four kale were planted in the outdoor garden. These plants produce all Summer and the leaves are always pleasant to eat.
 
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This is a controversal matter IMO. Much related to your individual requirements. Here in the UK perhaps the average cost of a packet of veg seeds is around £2. Seed quantity can be in the high hundreds per packet. Now if you have an allotment etc, and you intend to sow directly into the ground. This can be a very cheap method. Seeds sown thus, will produce strong seedlings and plants. When large enough, the seedlings will need thinning out. Time and effort. Purchasing plants. Whether veg or garden plants. Here the hard part of production has been done for you. So that polystyrene pack of six cabbage plants or whatever. In the case of you trying to get an early start. So you get your seed. Make room in the greenhouse. Now start counting the cost. Seed/cell trays. Compost. Actual ongoing time spent, watering, pricking out, perhaps potting on.........................Yes for many of us. Sowing a seed and doing all the follow-up can be an experience, even fun. At the end of the day. The choice is ours. Your's and mine.
 
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I start my annual veg from seed. (But I do breakdown and buy a few peppers or eggplants each year)

Onions are either or - buy the plant start the size of a pencil or start seeds back in the first week of February.

I buy some herbs like chives, rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano as plants.

I buy perennial trees, shrubs, and vines.

@Cindi - Illinois zone 5b is close to where I used to be in Rockford. This is what worked for me:
Tomatoes and peppers around April 15
Lettuce around April 15
Kale / Broccoli around April 1
beets start around April 1
pea pods around April 1
onion / leek / shallot February 1
Beans and carrots direct sow
Thank you. This is helpful!
 
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I pressure can most produce for off season use, about 400 one liter jars. I have enough experience to choose the correct quantity. About three plant suppliers are visited and purchases are made. I transplant into plastic cups individually and get well established plants then plant out about 1 of June. My frost free growing time is June, July and August.

I seed carrots and beets. Corn is sprouted before planting seeds. Most other planting is from the plastic cups to get a good start. I use seed potatoes and check the produce from each plant about 40. The area is excellent for growing and plants I don't grow can be bought economically.

Example of my general method
11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale
Posted on May 11, 2019 by Durgan
http://durgan.org/2019/May 2019/11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale/HTML /11 May 2019 Planting Garden. Kale
Four kale were planted in the outdoor garden. These plants produce all Summer and the leaves are always pleasant to eat.
I have canned in the past but nowhere near your level...it will be my goal! I love buying a bunch of corn at farmers markets and I cook it on the cob, slice it off and freeze...
 
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I prefer the bush variety tomato plant. It is a bit easier to prune and work with in a smaller space. The basic bush variety tomato plant will grow somewhere between 2′-5′ tall. Dwarf varieties will grow around 2 to 3 ‘ tall and other varieties can grow a foot or two taller. So the less room you have, the more likely you will want to go with one of the dwarf varieties. Once again, ideal for the indoor grower, and for those outdoor growers not open to managing a growing vine that needs more laborious stabilization. I wrote about the differences between bush and vine varieties here if interested.
Thank you for the article. very informative!
 
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This is a controversal matter IMO. Much related to your individual requirements. Here in the UK perhaps the average cost of a packet of veg seeds is around £2. Seed quantity can be in the high hundreds per packet. Now if you have an allotment etc, and you intend to sow directly into the ground. This can be a very cheap method. Seeds sown thus, will produce strong seedlings and plants. When large enough, the seedlings will need thinning out. Time and effort. Purchasing plants. Whether veg or garden plants. Here the hard part of production has been done for you. So that polystyrene pack of six cabbage plants or whatever. In the case of you trying to get an early start. So you get your seed. Make room in the greenhouse. Now start counting the cost. Seed/cell trays. Compost. Actual ongoing time spent, watering, pricking out, perhaps potting on.........................Yes for many of us. Sowing a seed and doing all the follow-up can be an experience, even fun. At the end of the day. The choice is ours. Your's and mine.
Avoidance of soil borne (and in the case of onion sets root borne) disease is the best advantage to starting with seeds.
I usually grow cordon tomatoes, apart from the Maskotka cherry toms (got their first tiny flower buds that you can only just see, this morning), but this year I'm trying some Super Roma tomatoes, for processing in a number of ways, & they are semi=determinate.
With standard slicers, my aim isn't just high yields, but the number 1 priority is to start the season as early as possible (without throwing money away with lots of heating) and finishing as late as possible, as supermarket tomatoes here are truly awful.
 
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So, all my seeds are started...I have green onion, rainbow carrots, rainbow beets, oregano, basil, sage, parsley,spinach,brussel sprouts, beans, mixed color bell peppers, sweet long peppers, hot banana peppers, tomatillos, rainbow heirloom tomatoes, jamestown tomatos , and I will get a few cucumber and zucchini plants...I'm excited :)
 
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Avoidance of soil borne (and in the case of onion sets root borne) disease is the best advantage to starting with seeds.
I usually grow cordon tomatoes, apart from the Maskotka cherry toms (got their first tiny flower buds that you can only just see, this morning), but this year I'm trying some Super Roma tomatoes, for processing in a number of ways, & they are semi=determinate.
With standard slicers, my aim isn't just high yields, but the number 1 priority is to start the season as early as possible (without throwing money away with lots of heating) and finishing as late as possible, as supermarket tomatoes here are truly awful.
once you have a garden fresh tomato, it's nearly impossible to enjoy one from the supermarket! I usually go for roma in the grocery store because they seem to taste fairly decent.
 
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@Cindi did you start the carrot seeds in pots to transplant out? The tap roots are not fans of this and it can create some very weird shapes.

I start my carrot seeds in rows in the bed and place either a board or a cloth strip over them to keep them moist until they germinate.
 
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@Cindi did you start the carrot seeds in pots to transplant out? The tap roots are not fans of this and it can create some very weird shapes.

I start my carrot seeds in rows in the bed and place either a board or a cloth strip over them to keep them moist until they germinate.
Yes. I did start them in pots to transplant, but I have a ton of seeds, so I will do more seeds in the bed as you suggested. Thanks for the tip
 

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