Pansy The Prudent Homemaker

January and February are my busiest months in the garden.

February 15th marks our official last frost date here. Our local nursery gets tomato plants in on Valentine’s Day, and will have a large variety of vegetables and herbs by the third week of February.

The leaves fall from the trees in December, giving us a short dormant period, a few chilling hours for my low-chill trees, and a short time to do the work that needs to be done while the trees are dormant. The weather is warm enough that the roses must be forced into a short dormancy by pruning and stripping off the leaves in January.

Despite working around four hours  a day in the garden most days, and all day every Saturday in January, I still have a lot of pruning to do in the garden this month, along with my other garden work. Consequently, my garden goals come first, with all other goals taking a back seat to work in the garden. The buds are already growing on the branches and I’ll need to work quickly to finish pruning so that I can spray them before the blossoms open. The heat will come quickly here (in April we’ll have temperatures above 90º), so if I want great harvests (like last year’s salad every day all spring), I need to work now before it gets too hot.

I really want to get more from the garden this year, so I’ve been working hard at preparing and planting to make sure the space is used well.

I’ll make a few trips to the nursery, for some terra cotta pots, a few annual flowers for the center circle, manure, and tomato plants. For the last few years, I made it a habit to go to the nursery on Valentine’s Day to pick up tomato plants the day they came in. I may or may not do that this year; they tend to have a few more varities if I wait a week longer. I’ll be watching the mail for their $10 off coupons that they sent out last year; hopefully they will have those again this year. (Note: Locals, Star Nursery already has the gallon size tomatoes in stock).

Primrose The Prudent Homemaker


1. Finish pruning fruit trees

2. Finish pruning 2 climbing roses

3. Spray fruit trees, roses, grape vines, blackberry bushes, and hedges with Neem oil. Neem oil is an organic spray that can be used as a dormant oil, and it also gets rid of powdery mildew and black spot, as well as getting rid of overwintering bugs

4. Fertilize roses (our soil is very alkaline–8.2 ph–so the soil sulpur is included to lower ph. If you have acidic soil, you do not need to use sulphur. I substitute triple the amount of bonemeal for the superphosphate. I’m also going to add a banana peel under each bush.)

5. Fertilize fruit trees (I substitute blood meal or cottonseed meal for the nitrogen, and substitute triple the amount of bone meal for the superphosphate for an organic fertilizer.)

6. Fertilize blackberries (I use the fruit tree mixture, with extra soil sulphur and some iron. The soil sulphur helps lower the ph, as berries prefer acidic soil, and the iron helps combat the iron deficiency that is common in our area because of the high alkalinity.)

7. Fertilize grape vines

8. Prepare grass to be overseeded by removing dead grass with a strong rake

9. Overseed and manure lawn (I’ll rake in the manure with a leaf rake after seeding. It feels like the opposite of vacumming a carpet!)

10. Dig holes for new rose bushes

11. Plant bareroot roses when they arrive

12. Plant hellebores when they arrive

13. Sow flower seeds in the garden: delphinium, larkspur, poppies, and violas

14. Sow cool season vegetable and herb seeds in the garden: lettuce, carrots, parsnips, spinach, parsley, beets, green onions, leeks, radishes, Swiss chard, chives, plus more wild strawberry seeds (Some of these, like lettuce, should be planted every 2-3 weeks for a continuous supply)

15. Plant tomato plants the second half of the month

16. Plant warm season vegetable seeds in the garden when the soil reaches 65º: cucumbers, squash, and long beans

17. Pot 2 tiny olive trees when they arrive

18. Dig and pot small euyonomus bushes I started last spring by tip layering in the garden

19. Pot lavender

20. Dig out reluctant apple tree roots and plant female Kerman pistachio tree in their place

21. Dig out unproductive espaliered apple tree and plant male Peters pistachio is its place

22. Take cuttings from roses

23. Take cuttings from pomegranates

24. Take cuttings from rosemary

25. Mend water lines where female pistachio will be planted

26. Fertilize broccoli and artichoke plants with bloodmeal

27. Dig trenches and bury the second trash can full of compost (that isn’t fully composted after over a year) in various places in the garden

28. Move beet seedlings that have self-seeded in clumps into rows

29. Plant nasturium seeds in pots, and transplant nasturiums that self-seeded in the strawberry bed

30. Plant violet plants when they arrive



1. Sew dress for Elsa

2. Sew new pillow and pillow cover for my chair (using an old bed pillow cut to size for stuffing)

3. Sew aprons that I didn’t sew last month

4. Dye some kitchen towels grey and embroider an “S”  and a wreath on them in white



1. Update garden calendar

2. Complete and publish 8th grade page

3. Share recipes for lemonade, puff pastry, eggless chocolate cake, and lemon meringue pie

4. Take photos and write more posts


Cooking/Food Preservation:

1. Juice lemons from the garden that I picked in December. Freeze juice. I only have a few hundred left on the counters . . . and another hundred plus still hanging on the trees. . . .

2. Can cranberry juice using the cranberries I bought on sale in November and stuck in the freezer

3. Dry cranberries after making juice with them in my dehydrator

4. Make yogurt 

5. Make a special dessert for Valentine’s Day



1. Organize desk

2. Organize two drawers in my bedroom

3. Organize one drawer in bathroom

4. Take care of income taxes

5. Clean refrigerator



1. Two to three trips to the nursery (I’ll watch their website for sales on what I want)

2. Redeem Pinecone Research survey points for Paypal credit, and use that to order wild violet plants from Ebay

3. Order schoolbooks from Memoria Press

4. Order schoolbooks from Christian Book using free shipping code WINTER16 (expires 2/08)

5. Trip to Sam’s Club

6. Trip to Smith’s

7. Trip to Target

8. Other grocery store trip(s) depending on sales



1. Print some Valentines from my Valentine’s Pinterest board

2. Have at least one date with my husband every week. We’ve been doing really well this year at making sure we have a date every week. We are using gift cards that we’ve been given to go out, and also having dates at home.


It’s a good thing there are 29 days this month. . . . 

I’m excited to get lots done!




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  1. I am so looking forward to the egg-less chocolate cake recipe! We have egg allergies in our home, and baked goods are always a challenge!

    Thanks so much for all the work you put into this site — we make your Rosemary Olive Oil Bread every Saturday!

  2. You will love having pistachio trees! We always look forward to harvesting the pistachios! They’re delicious!

  3. Hi Brandy and as always your goals are amazing to see in print ! and hello all from Australia :).

    My goals for the month of February are –

    In the garden –
    – plant some more lettuce seeds, winter broad bean seeds, sugar snap peas, some more snow peas, some beetroot seedlings I have been propagating.
    – Amend areas of soil where plants have finished with compost and more manure before replanting.
    – Next week pick more Thai and sweet basil, sage and parsley & hang to dry in our undercover front veranda.
    – Separate & crumble already dried parsley, Thai & sweet basil, parsley & sage and put into clip seal bags and seal above seal with our heat seal machine to keep them airtight.
    – Fertilise all vegetables once and corn & herbs twice this month.
    – Process all seeds being beans, dwarf beans & red capsicum drying on the veranda once all dried and put in airtight screw top containers I have washed and saved in the house.
    – continue to weed and mulch all vegetables to protect from summer heat.
    – Pick blanch and freeze any excess produce we have to build up a good winter vegetable supply in the freezer.

    Internet hobby sewing & gardening businesses –
    – Sew & make more curtain tiebacks in various colours to replace ones that were sold.
    – Sew & make more 5 layer eye masks “.
    – Sew & make more journal covers in various sizes, designs & colours to replace ones that were sold.
    – List all excess seeds I have collected from the garden for sale on the internet.
    – List all excess dried herbs for sale on the internet.
    – My husband time permitting will cut out some more sets of coasters out of reclaimed and decking timber & varnish and list for sale on the internet.

    Internet shopping –
    – Purchase some more medical supplies as craft funds earned become available to top us up to 12 months supply.
    – Purchase boleros, summer cotton skirts, beanies, water filter bottles & sawyer mini water filters, kitchen timers as craft money becomes available.

    Grocery shopping –
    – Just replacing essentials this month based on what we have used in the pantry.
    – Now that we have most supplies at a 12 month storage level reduce grocery spending to reign back some overspends we have done to stock up & keep within budget.

    House organisation-
    – Keep reassessing areas in the home where I can re-organise and make more room to store groceries , medical supplies & clothing we have purchased or are about to purchase to top us up to 12 month supply on everything.

    Maintenance & home beautification –
    – Hammer back down nails sticking up on front & back veranda decks to make them safe and easier to walk on. The person who built the decks should have used screws and not nails as it is now. A never ending task to go around and hammer them all back down after they lift up and out of the timber every month.
    – Mow lawns every 2nd day with the ride – on lawnmower as the rains are coming in every afternoon at the moment making the grass grow like wildfire.

  4. Living in Seattle, I had to chuckle at how you fertilize your blackberries. They grow like weeds here, even in the most urban areas. People are always trying to get rid of them. I love having free pickings throughout the summer just as I go about my day. Hard to grow good tomatoes here though, especially when we have wet summers.

  5. I read this morning that lemons will last much longer if stored in water in the fridge. I know you don’t have room for several hundred lemons in your fridge, but I wondered if storing in buckets of water in a cool place might work. Have you ever tried that?

  6. That’s quite a list you have this month, Brandy! I hope you will keep us posted on how you did at getting it all done.

  7. I love reading about your garden. I wish I could be out working in mine, but this February I have things to take care of since my father passed. My goals for the month are:

    Work overtime as I can when it’s available.

    Clean out my father’s workshop/garage, laundry room, attic and his bedroom. Sell what we can and donate the rest. We are still looking for the will so I am going through things carefully before selling/donating.

    Find a home for my father’s dog.

    Go to dentist, eye doctor, and get my lab work done.

    Sell a few things of my own on ebay and the facebook garage sale page (2-3 items per week).

    Get to bed earlier.

    Start logging my food in myfitnesspal again and lose 5 pounds.

    Exercise 5 times per week (stationary bike and hand weights).

    Five nights per week play card games (with real cards, not on the computer) or work on a brain games puzzle book I ordered (my father had end-stage dementia so I am trying to be more aware of what I can do to prevent it).

  8. Whew…I’m tired just thinking about all you are going to accomplish!! My list is much smaller. My mom is coming into town so I try to really enjoy our time with her and not focus on getting things done, but here is my list:

    1) Get 1 month ahead in posts for both blogs
    2) Get 5 guest post articles written
    3) Figure out where we are camping over spring break (my heart says the mountains, but my brain says make it easy and go to a State park)
    4) Help my daughter finish thank you cards and valentines

    Thanks about it! Your list puts mine to shame! ha!

  9. It’s still hurting, but less than before.

    I’ve heard from a lot of people who told me they have had pain for years, and I have even heard that it may be a permanent injury.

    I can certainly move better, and I have a LOT to do in the garden this month! Thankfully, I can kneel to plant now. It’s sitting that causes me the most problems.

  10. Brandy it sounds like you have a VERY busy month ahead! Why do you think your compost isn’t decomposing? Maybe not enough water?

  11. My mom used to have tailbone issues… Many, many years ago. She never knew what caused it. She had x-rays, and still was unable to find the source of the pain. In the end, her doctor at the time suggested that she have it removed (I would throw it in the category of know one really knows the true purpose of the tailbone, somewhat like tonsils). That being said, after much deliberation, she decided to go throw with the surgery. When the tailbone was removed, the doctor was able to see a hairline fracture that was so small that x-rays wouldn’t have picked it up. The thought is that she might have even gotten the fracture when she was in high school and went skiing. The healing from the surgery wasn’t that great, but afterwards, she felt like a new woman. I hope you get to feeling 100% soon. Just thought I would share about my mom’s tailbone experience.

  12. I’m always inspired by your work. And thanks for the gardening tips! I’m pretty sure that our fruit trees aren’t doing well because they are too shaded. This spring we hope to get a driveway done to our barn, and eventually I hope to line that driveway with fruit trees. We don’t have a lot of sunny spots on our property.

    Here are my goals for the week:

  13. I’m ready to get my garden started this year!! I have had a garden for 4 years now. The 1st was great and two past years have been dismal. I’m in south Arkansas. Any advice from readers in this area. I do have access to plenty of 5 gallon buckets and have had success planting in those.

  14. Just a guess, but it sounds like your regular garden soil needs to be amended. If you can bring in some manure and fertilize, I think you’ll see some improvements. You amy even need to bring in more good garden soil, if you don’t have much. Most success lies in the soil. The saying I learned in classes here was that if you have $1 to spend on your garden, spend $0.90 on dirt and $0.10 on seeds. It’s that important!

    It’s hard to spend money on dirt (we brought all new dirt in here and then I still amend it) but oh so important.

  15. Brandy, when you juice the lemons, do you zest & dry the peels? I have started doing that with every lemon we use. The zest dries quickly on a plate set out on the counter, & gives off a nice lemon scent to the house while it does so. Drying only takes a day or two, depending on how much peel is on the plate, & it stores very nicely in a mason jar with a lid. It makes a nice lemon tea (sort of like a hot unsweetened lemonade) that is good for you, & can be sweetened with a bit of honey if you prefer. The dried zest is also easy to use in baking.

  16. This week I bought 16 more Lodgestones for the back garden wall from Home Depot using a gift card. This is the second trip with the Lodgestones. Sixteen are what will fit in the trunk of my car, on an old towel, for one trip. There is enough left on the gift card to get 5 more then next time I am in town. I pick them up when I am in town for something else, to make maximum use of the gas. Since we are still buried in snow, winter is the season of acquisition here.

    When we had our back fence installed, they used a skid-steer to dig the holes. The operator took down part of my 3 stone high wall, & re-arranged the Lodgestones so he could drive the machine over top of them, to dig the 3 holes along the top tier of the garden. Had he broken any, I would have made him replace them, but I didn’t find out until it was already done. Once the fence was installed, I dug all the grass out of the top tier of the garden, then buried leaves & garden refuse along the entire length of the tier, topped with manure & dried grass clippings. The grass needed dug out anyway, but because he compacted the soil driving on it, digging out the grass solved both problems at once. Weather intervened before I could re-set the Lodgestones he moved back into the wall, since to do so, I will have to dig out & set all the stones in the portion. The installers also ruined the edge of the back perimeter bed between the garden & the cherry tree, so I have decided to extend the back perimeter bed another 18″ or so, to line up with the top tier of the garden, between the garden & the tree. The back perimeter bed used to be about 18″ wide, & the fence took out about 8-10″ of the bed, so it will need to be widened.

    On the down side, setting even a 3 tier Lodgestone wall is a lot of work, & is not inexpensive. When we first moved in & I did the 3 garden walls, each tier wall took about 60 stones, which was pricey, but as soon as the top tier wall was set, I planted & the food bill went down almost immediately with lettuce & onions available for “free”.

    On the plus side, I will have a lot more growing room, & space for several columnar trees along the back as I widen the bed. I can use my pine cone survey money to buy more stones a few at a time. Our son’s preferred gift to give for any occasion is a gift card, so he gives me a Home Depot gift card every year for my birthday & for Christmas.

    I had to prune the trees along the perimeter when the fence was installed, so that is already done, except for a few trees that are getting pruned one a week as the weather allows. I am waiting for a day when the temps are above 40 to spray all the trees with dormant oil for the 2nd time. I have found that spraying twice makes a big difference here.

  17. Like always, your month of goals makes me tired just to read it. We have been blessed with some really warm days. So warm that our peach tree has buds. Of coarse this morning we had a freeze. It was 28 this morning. Hope the tree does not lose it’s blooms.

    I notice in your goals of sewing for example, I don’t see any items for yourself. Do you sew for yourself much? I like to make my own tops. I can buy jeans that fit, and I do, but tops? I am always needing to make things fit better. I have made my clothes since I was about 11 years old. I am so glad I learned to sew. I took a couple of advanced classes in college too. (I was a home economics major) I loved those classes and learned a lot. It has always been wonderful to make something with my hands that fit my body and looked better than store brought.

  18. My mother broke her tailbone in a fall when she was 26 and it still bothers her, not that it keeps her from doing anything she wants though. She always uses a cushion on a hard chair.

  19. Hi Christa and good to hear you are getting your garden started this year.

    As Brandy has said soil amendment is the key to good crops. We started our gardens here a year ago from scratch on a rented property.

    Not knowing what type of soil you have I can only give you my experiences on starting a garden from scratch here, and incidentally in this first year, we have fed my husband and myself and another 70 people on and off with vegetables, herbs & fruit we have produced here on the property.

    Our soil here was water repellent and as hard as a rock kind of like sandstone when we started. So with your soil pour some water on it with a watering can and see if it soaks in fairly quickly, if not it is going to need a lot of amending. I will give you an example of one garden bed we did which was 10 x 5 metres. We first dug it with our rototiller we purchased down around 30 cm twice, we then bought in around 7 cubic metres of both cow and horse manure from a local stable that had lots of lovely broken down hay & whatever compost we had produced in it as well and dug that in twice, left it for around a month and started planting. The soil by this stage was a lovely rich medium brown in colour and really fluffy & friable.

    We planted pumpkins, watermelons & tomatoes in it and we fertilize with an organic fertiliser liquid called Seasol which is a seaweed solution with lots of other natural yummies in there for vegetables, fruits & herbs. They are absolutely thriving and now we have a huge crop of pumpkins, watermelons & tomatoes growing now. We have been picking endless tomatoes of late and have a good crop of large pumpkins and watermelons that should be ready to pick shortly.

    After any crop is finished here we then dig in more manure and compost, leave around a week and then plant our new crops. It works for us and we do get very good crops here and I hope this helps.

  20. My goals right now are to sort, sort, sort in anticipation of putting our house on the market. I am trying to fit in a few minutes every day, no matter how busy life is, and to put in several hours a day on my days off of work. I am slowly starting to see progress.

    I’m having some sad feelings about NOT doing my usual activities of starting seeds for my garden in my little greenhouse, but I know life has its seasons. I know I won’t grow a garden here this year, but my sister has offered to let me garden there with her if we are not moved in time for me to grow one in my new place. I can buy some starts this year either way. So, I’m going to enjoy reading about your garden, and others’ gardens, just for this one year.

  21. I keep a box of Ener-G egg replacer in the cupboard for whenever I need to bake egg free. It lasts a long time and the box is small.

  22. Deb, I pray you feel at peace and have many good memories while you do this needed work for your late father.

    Yes, everything says we need to keep exercising our brains to keep them from deteriorating.

  23. Marivene, I’m having trouble picturing your Lodgestone wall…I did google the Lodgestone and they show me bricks that are textured on the front and smooth on the sides and back, sometimes angled, so maybe they can form a curve. Is this what you are using? Are you making tiers up a slope?

  24. 1. We are almost done with updating our garage apartment. My nephew lived there til he married and it was kind of bachelor-y. He ate most of his meals with us, so it only had a dorm sized refrigerator and a microwave. Then for December and January we had a church family there who were waiting for their house to be ready mid-Jan. The baby was small…it is only a one bedroom, kitchenette, bath, living room plus storage and parking in the garage. A newlywed couple will start living there the 16th ( wedding is the 12th) after a long weekend for a honeymoon. They are very very frugal…they hope to have their own house in 2 years or less. They both work full time, he in a factory and she at the University, where she saw our ad on the bulletin board. Kristi is only a year older than my youngest girl Olivia so they are becoming friends and will even carpool when they can. Mike (he) found remnants of vinyl at the carpet outlet that opened and carpeting….it needed new and he is willing to install them himself, so we bought them. We checked with the appliance store in town that takes appliances in trade to see if they had appliances we could add…we found a smaller sized stove and a no frills smaller fridge…it still has an actual freezer compartment though. They are also doing their own painting after we supplied the paint and rollers/brushes etc. We are not charging them rent for February since they are doing so much work. They have still more things they will fix and update…all things that we know will only improve the place. With Levi being busy helping his sister get their house ready it is nice we don’t have to do any of this ourselves.

  25. Goals……
    Get to bed earlier so I don’t feel the constant need to go back to bed and then sleep half the day away (it’s just a product of the dark dreary winter and already having depression issues)
    Get the trailer cushions completed for the trailer we are flipping.
    Get my car cleaned out, detailed and listed for sale.
    Get as many feed sack totes sewn up, listed in lots and sold so I can clear out the HUGE inventory of feed bags which take up a tremendous amount of storage space even when cut down into the pattern pieces I need.
    Start the recovering process on the 30+ year old couch my husband REFUSES to let go of……..I have been tempted to “accidentally” drop a match on it! The foam is still okay surprisingly, so I will be covering each cushion in cheap vinyl (we learned years ago to keep all cushions covered in trash bags under the slip covers – that way any pet accidents don’t ruin the foam – but that makes the couch crinkly sounding when sat on) THEN I will be making new slip covers from drop cloths so everything can be easily washed.
    I will be trying a new way of starting perennials in milk jug “green houses” OUTSIDE against my East facing garage wall and along the south side of the house. I’ll let you know if it works – supposedly this works better for perennial type plants in our type of area.
    Ordering another bit of my seeds + my Dad’s potatoes. It’s still a bit early to actually start them yet but I will at least start prepping the trays and get the little indoor greenhouse set up.

  26. My husband was at a job this week and the Mrs. of the house was putting lemons in jars with SALT??? Have any of you heard of this method. He didn’t feel comfortable about asking her about it and figured maybe I knew about it……:/

  27. Athanasia, those are the Lodgestones I am using. I only need a low wall, so I am using the 8″ size, but they also come in a larger, heavier 12″ size. The sides are angled, but the back is flat, & on the underside at the back is a projection that fits over the edge of the stones laid beneath, so the “wall” moved back slightly less than 1/2″ every tier. The stones can either be laid straight or make a curve, as you noted. I sink the first row so that 1/3 of the stone is below ground & the top is level in all directions, then set 2 more rows of stones on top. The walls are low, but very sturdy when completed. This is how I made the 3 tiers of our garden, since our back yard is sloped up in back. Along the back perimeter, I am extending the perimeter bed, which had a slight slope, out about 18″ further, to the same width as the top tier of the garden. Eventually, I will lay stones to widen the bed the entire length of the bed, but I cannot afford to do that much in one year, so it will be a work in progress for a while. Lodgestones come in grey, red & tan. Ours are tan. We also used a 3 Lodgestone-deep wall to make our raised bed for the strawberry bed.

  28. I don’t sew clothing for myself as much as I used to, but I do plan on making 2 aprons for myself this month, and the pillow is for me, as are the dish towels (though not exactly clothing). I never did get a chance to make a couple of dresses that I wanted to sew last fall for myself, but they are for summer, so I will try to sew them this spring.

  29. Hi Beth and we are in a rental, if it was our home we would do that. Unfortunately however we have to consult the real estate before we do anything and they usually send out tradesmen to do the work. As it is a very old home I doubt that the owners would spend the money to do the work needed.

    For us to do replace the nails with screws would be very expensive as there are a lot of verandas and a heap of nails to replace. They would have to be stainless steel decking screws to withstand the weather outside and they are rather pricey.

  30. For this month I have set up only a few goals (since my office work seems to be a bit busier this month than I anticipated).
    – get to my sewing pile and fix at least 3 things (for my friend’s mom)
    – iron (I have a huge amount again)
    – clean the over (really well, not just wipe it)
    – organize photos
    Let’s see what happens, fingers crossed I will do all of the above!

  31. Wow, the last frost date in my country is on 15 May (Poland, Europe). I envy you that you can start gardening so early.

  32. Anna,

    Many of my readers in the U.S. have the same last frost date.

    I can garden year-round, but warm weather plants that neeed warmer soil, like tomatoes, beans, and squash, need to wait to go in until then.

    Many things can go in earlier than that date, such as spinach (in fact the seed packet says to plant only BEFORE the last frost date), radishes, lettuce, and others. In colder areas like yours, the rule is always “as soon as the soil can be worked.” The ground does not freeze here, and the soil can be worked all winter, but it is too cold for many things to germinate in December. Because of our warm weather, it makes sense to just direct seed in the ground.

    To give you an idea of how warm it is getting, this week we will see temperatures of 22º and 23ºC. Since it warms ups so quickly, I have to work fast to get everything done.

  33. Brandy saw how many lemons you were dealing with. Have you put up a barter/trade post on craigslist, your home school group or even the church newsletter. I would be specific in the offer of what you needed. I always have fresh eggs for trade and I have traded for produce, pet food, grocery items, garden plants, and tools. Since you have pesticide free lemons be sure to list them as well.

    Good luck,


  34. You may have addressed this in another post, but one way that I save a good deal of money in the garden is by starting my own tomato plants. I use the plant light from an old Aeorgarden that I purchased at Goodwill for $10 and a seed starting tray that I reuse every year. I live in zone 7 and started my seeds this Monday; I’ll have 36 tomato plants ready to plant around April 15th for a total cost of around $9 ($2.50 for the seeds + $6.50 for peat pellets to plant them in). My children love to help me plant them, prune the baby plants, and water them each day. I’ve started growing my own seedlings for many other plants because it’s such a cost savings over buying the plants at a nursery.

  35. I actually buy plants for tomatoes.

    Including germination time, I would have to start my seeds in November or December.

    Also, I have zero success with starting seeds indoors. I don’t have grow lights, nor do I have a good place for them inside. They never want to grow taller than an inch, even after months, and then they die while still indoors (usually from mold). Because of that, I felt like I was wasting my money on seeds and starter dirt. I can buy a six-pack of tomato seedlings for $2.29 at the local nursery (and I can usually find one that has 8 in there if I look for it). If I want bigger plants, they have that option too for a bit more. I need my plants to be big enough to set fruit in April or May; if not, it will be too hot and they will stop producing. It gets so hot here that they will stop flowering at the beginning of June (we can see 100º temperatures starting in April) and not flower again until the second half of October.

    For just about everything, I direct seed outside in the garden. Tomatoes are an exception.

    (And I wish I had the space for 36 plants! We could use them if I did, but I don’t have that much room. This year we’ll do 10 plants.)

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