Growing vegetables from seeds & gardening tips

Hi friends! It’s officially time to plant the garden and I couldn’t be more excited.

If the forecast is accurate (is it ever?) we should have a sunny weekend in Chicago. Perfect weather for planting the vegetable garden. We usually buy adult vegetable plants, but we decided that growing vegetables from seeds would be a better option this year. Below lists some of our gardening tips.

I have a confession – I completely suck at gardening. I wish I could say that I have a green thumb, but in reality I’m awful at keeping plants alive. Gardening thankfully comes naturally to hubby, so he’ll be taking the lead this year.

Here’s the thing – I desperately want to be good at this whole gardening thing, but I don’t exactly have the best track record. We planted a ton of flowers last year and I killed probably 75% of them. Needless to say, Ben will be doing most of the planting. I clearly need to refine my gardening skills, so maybe I’ll have Ben supervise me during the planting process. We’re banking on this veggie garden growing a TON of produce, so I’d be pretty bummed if I killed everything.

Based on my gardening track record, you’re probably wondering why I’m writing a post on growing vegetables and gardening tips. Don’t worry – Ben proof-read everything so the gardening tips are legit.

Why grow your own produce?

When Ben and I decided to create our own backyard farm, our main motivation was growing our own food. Most of our grocery budget goes towards produce each week. I try to buy organic options as often as possible, but I don’t always have the time (or energy) to go to multiple grocery stores to make sure that everything is organic. It’s hard to find a balance. While we want to make sure that our diets are as clean as possible, we also don’t want to drive ourselves crazy in the process. Plus, even organic produce is sprayed with something. Our solution? Plant our own veggie garden and grow our own food

Seeds versus Plants

In the past, we’ve always purchased adult vegetable plants from a local hardware store. It’s super convenient and a great way to cut down on growing time. Depending on the size of your garden, adult plants are really  expensive. Our garden will be about 600 sq. ft. this year, so we would be spending a small fortune purchasing all adult plants. Here’s an estimated cost breakdown:

  • Full grown tomato plant (depending on size): $5-$10
  • Packet of 30 organic tomato seeds: $4

If you hope to have 20 tomato plants at $5 a piece (which is on the low range for cost), then you’ll be spending $100 instead of only $4 if you were to plant your own tomatoes.

With that being said, if you spend a significant amount of money on organic produce each week, then you’re going to save money regardless of whichever route you decide to take.

Planting and growing vegetables from seeds obviously takes far more time and requires some additional equipment. Not sure where to start? Here’s all the info you need to get started.

Growing Vegetables from Seeds

growing vegetables & gardening tipsFirst, you’ll need to purchase the items below. We purchased our items from a local hardware store, but the items linked are basically the same thing. Fill your seedling trays with organic seed starter and follow the directions listed on the vegetable seed packets.

growing vegetables & gardening tips

We decided to purchase an artificial light and a heat mat to increase soil temperature to help with germination.

growing vegetables & gardening tips

Our little plants quickly started to grow in the basement…

growing vegetables & gardening tips

Next step? Transplanting our vegetable plants outside in the raised beds this weekend. Wish me luck that I don’t kill anything!

On a side note, this picture makes me so happy. I got home late from work this week and found Ben outside working on the raised beds while our toddler was playing in the dirt. She yelled “mommy!” when she saw me and then said “mommy, happy?” I’ve been trying to soak up all of these cuddles before baby # 2 arrives. Yes little one, you make mommy very happy.

Gardening Tips: Question of the Day

What are your tried and true gardening tips? Any preference for seeds versus adults plants? Have a great weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *