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Garden Talk: Seed Starting Albumn

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
1:53 AM

Post #445840

This is our seedling room in our basement.

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
1:54 AM

Post #445844

The new double decker under construction.

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
1:56 AM

Post #445847

Geraniums growing & perennials germinating.

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
1:58 AM

Post #445851

Closeup of geraniums.

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
1:59 AM

Post #445854

Geraniums; won't be long they will need larger pots!

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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
2:00 AM

Post #445857

Perennial seedlings.

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poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


January 10, 2003
12:26 PM

Post #446127

Nice photos. You'll definitely have sturdy seedlings with all those lights! What type of bulbs are you using?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
12:30 PM

Post #446132

Just the cheapies, soft white 40W.
They give the best light, so called grow lights, all you get is to give someone extra money!
Bernie
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


January 10, 2003
12:32 PM

Post #446136

That's what I use too :)
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 10, 2003
1:06 PM

Post #446165

Bernie,
Do you grow these to sell, or for your own property? Thats a really neat setup ya got there, how much space do you use for seed starting. The plywood doesn't rot???? Hmmm think thats all my questions! It looks awesome

Katrina
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

January 10, 2003
1:35 PM

Post #446192

Which perennials do you have in there?
Very nice setup!

a

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
4:24 PM

Post #446274

We have around 160 varieties. Sell at Farmers Market & our own garden center. Adding bareroots that we pot up in larger containers, about 1000 of them. Seed perennials go into a 3 1/2" pots. Sell them for $2 each. Sold about 5500 last spring & summer. All these things are for zone 4.
Bernie
datdog
Medford, NJ
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2003
5:42 PM

Post #446323

I'm SO impressed with that set up! Great idea.
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 10, 2003
6:16 PM

Post #446351

and is this just an extra income type project or your main business? Sorry just being nosey since I'm starting one myself :)

Katrina

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 10, 2003
11:19 PM

Post #446559

Supposed to be our main income, I think we paid our employees to good, we are doing some building to make ends meet!
Bernie
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
1:06 AM

Post #446611

I am hoping to eventually make it mine at it also. We are starting this year with 550 perennials and approx 3000 annuals. Going to do them in 4", 1 gal, 8" patio containers, and hanging baskets for the first season, and then hopefully go from there! Our 4" down here don't sell for nearly what they do up there though, our market is 50-75 cents per 4" and 2.00-3.50 on 1g and around 10.00-15.00 on hanging baskets...But I can dream right!

Katrina
branka
Hobart, IN
(Zone 5a)

January 11, 2003
3:17 AM

Post #446663

That is so cool. I have a small area in my basement that I've been wanting to do that to for personal use, but I keep putting it off. You may have pushed me over the edge! Good luck to you in the upcoming season.
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
3:37 AM

Post #446671

Hahha I will keep everyone updated!!! Hopefully we'll do good :) I'll be trying my best !!! If all else fails will put my cute little 3 yr old boy out at the road with a sale sign!

Katrina

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 11, 2003
4:07 AM

Post #446695

Katrina, wish you the best in your venture. We started out very small. Just a few extra plants from what we needed for our own garden. Every year we do a little more. Needed 6 employees last year to get everything done. This year we are focusing on more sales per person hour & per acre in the garden produce. Have never sold wholesale much, but are planning on more of that also. Hopeing our 2nd year at the garden center will increase a bunch. We are going to add trees & shrubery. Sorry to hear you have all those permits & such. We have sales tax on flowers, but not on anything you can eat! We will need a permit to sell woody plants. Next year all plant selling will be licensed. Even the big boxes!! Will need to be inspected also, at least once a year. Should level out the playing field. Grower organizations are behind the new regulations. All has to do with bugs & disease things.
Good Luck!
Bernie
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
10:43 AM

Post #446765

Its really wonderful you're doing so well Bernie it gives me hope :) Sounds like you guys have a great plan! I'm so glad you have shared with me it gives me inspiration :)


Katrina

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 11, 2003
1:24 PM

Post #446828

This is the trailer we had built to haul perennials to Farmers Market. It holds 1584 - 3 1/2" pots. People love to shop out of it.
Bernie

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plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
1:33 PM

Post #446837

So you pull it open like this? It doesn't damage the plants or anything??? Thats a really neat set-up. About how many 3" pots do you avg sell on a normal day at the farmers market?

Katrina

Oh and do you ever do any annuals?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 11, 2003
4:09 PM

Post #446920

Sorry the covers are up in the photo, they are down for transport. 1000's of annuals! You can see some of them here.
Bernie

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plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
4:16 PM

Post #446927

You start all of these from seed? Thats amazing they are so wonderful! so the sides just pop back down?


Katrina

We don't have a trailer or anything, but we'll start deliver and selling out of back of truck haha something is better than nothing though right? How far are you from Minneapolis? I might be visiting a friend soon and would love to come by!

Katrina
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 11, 2003
5:06 PM

Post #446945

I got your message on IM, but a bad accident happened in front of our nursery (where I work) and I had to call 911 and go check on everyone, they are now cleaning it up, but we are closing the nursery. Will email you when I get home sorry I missed you would have loved to chat!

Katrina
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

January 11, 2003
10:53 PM

Post #447180

no problem; was in just a short while; wanted to ask how you were doing with the zone change.
TLC
plantsdirect
Old Town (Gainesvill, FL
(Zone 8a)

January 12, 2003
1:21 AM

Post #447257

Ahhh no news as of yet, will call to the courthouse monday and find out when the next zoning meeting is so that we can attend. The daycare where our son goes said that they just require us to go to 3 town meetings and no fee!


Katrina
Prism
Saint Peters, MO
(Zone 6a)

March 15, 2005
2:44 PM

Post #1339827

Awesome, Bernie!
Wish I had that much space.
This is only the second year I've started from seed. I am trying to do better this year. Made lots of mistakes last year.

Have some tips? Since you're up north, how do you get them to bloom for spring sales?
I have petunias, lisianthus, impatiens, coleus, & lots of others started. Last year they didn't seem to want to bloom very early. I started everything at the maximum time from last frost. If it could be started 10-12 weeks early, I've started them 12 weeks early.

When do you start fertilizing them & what do you use? What size pots (cells?) do you start them in & do you pot them up to a bigger size as they grow? What do you use for a watering system?

Sorry for all the questions. It's nice to see someone successfully doing what I want to do.

Thank you so much for sharing your setup & your info!
Pam

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 15, 2005
11:45 PM

Post #1340835

Boy, I forgot about this thread.
To save a lot of typing, on my part, go to my member page & then to threads I have started. Somewhere in there you will find all the answers.
I think I am going to put all this in a book next winter.
Seems like people would rather get their information from an active grower than some book wrote many years ago.
E-mail me if you don't find the amswers in the threads.
Hacve a great day!
Bernie
Prism
Saint Peters, MO
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2005
12:52 AM

Post #1340939

Thank you so much!
Sorry about that. I got here from the link in the other post & didn't pay attention to the date.
I'll check out your threads.

A book sounds like a great idea!

Thanks again!
Pam

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 31, 2009
5:23 PM

Post #6345503

People keep asking the same questions about grow lights.
Review this thread, it gives lots of information.
Bernie
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 13, 2009
5:18 AM

Post #6402225

I mix cool white bulbs to provide the whites and blues and warm whites to provide the red shades. All cool whites are good for starting and the mix is good to help produce flowering.

This message was edited Apr 13, 2009 6:32 AM

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 13, 2009
11:04 AM

Post #6402588

I will answer any questions. I don't know what this person is talking about. I am willing to help anyone at any time!
Have a Great Day!
Bernie
tubbytee
Ames, NE
(Zone 5b)

October 6, 2009
9:47 AM

Post #7140219

CountryGardens...Wow love your set up in basement..My basement is very warm in one room might be better for starting plants..Just never thought of using it before. Old basement I have duck a little.LOL
Glad I seen this.

Tubby
Flicker
Covington, LA
(Zone 8b)

November 4, 2009
5:45 PM

Post #7240949

Can you tell me about your lighting fixtures?
I have searched for reasonably priced hanging fluorescent fixtures that do not have to be wired into the wall. Everything that I've found is very expensive. I am setting up shelves for tender plants brought inside for winter.
Any suggestions???
Johanna

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 4, 2009
6:44 PM

Post #7241220

These are called shop lights. They sell at Lowes or Home Depot for around $10.00 each. Bulbs are cool white, 2 for maybe $2.50.
carminator1
mobile, AL
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2010
4:13 PM

Post #7599617

Bernie, I just came across this thread and really like it, I understand it's been a long time since you started it but I have a question, I understand you grow a little of everything flowers and veggies etc... what brings you the most income? Do people prefer flowers over veggies?
I am thinking of growing a few more veggies and maybe flower starts out of my house for a little income next year and also to help me with the expenses of expanding my growing space and also buying seeds etc... I thought it would be like a small job out of my house. Any good advice on how I can start this?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 2, 2010
5:25 PM

Post #7599781

We only grow veggie transplants for our own use now.
Wal Mart & the other big box stores put us out of plant business. They give them away.
Also Minnesota now requires a license to sell perennials.
Good luck!
carminator1
mobile, AL
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2010
5:57 PM

Post #7599871

Bernie so the only thing you guys sell are annual flowers? I understand about Walmart, they put anybody out of bussiness, but I am sure they don't grow as good quality or as many varieties as you guys. I for once have never seen any OP tomato plants sold in any of my retail stores here or even nurseries.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 2, 2010
9:58 PM

Post #7600414

No annuals either.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

March 3, 2010
12:54 AM

Post #7600836

Bernie, I am sorry that you lost your fun in growing and selling plants. You have the knowledge. Maybe you could give classes on how to grow your own and charge the students.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 3, 2010
2:53 AM

Post #7601155

Nope. There is a big garden center doing that already. They opened their new store about 6 or 7 years ago. They sold hundreds of acres of land for housing development. A DIL wanted to increase her garden center business. I imagine they spent at least a million on it & don't really care if they make money!
They charge very high prices for their plants, but they get all the high rollers in to buy plants.
Mankato has a huge University & also a large hospital system that is tied to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. So lots of well paid people around. (Helps out are Farmers Market, too.)
I'll just grow the veggies. Big boxes can't do that no matter how they try!
We are going more pesticide free this year. Nearly like organic except you don't need the government involved.
Bernie
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

March 3, 2010
3:23 AM

Post #7601224

Thanks for the chat. I am mostly organic except for some fertilizer and I am changing that with my worms and worm casting tea. You are around a large fishing area. Anyone there specialize in Euro worms for fishing. I have a DG friend that is going to grow them in Montana to supplement his income and enhance his own fishing. I grow red wigglers just for worm castings. I am thinking about the euro worm for fishing. I am going to look into the market and see who and where are supplying the worms for Lake Mead fishermen.

I have a very dear friend who is very wealthy. Her son is in his late thirties and he built a greenhouse on one of the golf courses they own the land under. Very lovely size about 100' x 80'. Has water, electricity, fans, the whole bit. Well he has changed it from hydroponic to seedlings, to growing in buckets and now worms and whatever. I was suppose to help him because he knows nothing about gardening. I am sure they are already in over $200,000 and nothing. He called me the other day and wanted to know when i was coming over to help him. I explained I had a lung infection but he needs to decide what he wants to do before I can get excited again. I am too old to be getting to excited to many times. LOL. Sharon, Las Vegas, Nevada.

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2010
3:45 AM

Post #7601259

Bernie:

I was wondering where you got those trays that you were using as your set up? If you would mind to share the source, as those are just what I'm interested in. Or was it something your put together?

I too am so sorry to hear that WM has done it to another small business again.

Janet
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2010
4:24 PM

Post #7602350

"what brings you the most income? Do people prefer flowers over veggies?"

Carmin...fortunately people are of different natures and your goal would be to attract both, people who love flowers and the people who love veggies. I do both, sell veggies as well as plants (veggie seedlings, herbs, shrubs, perennials, fig trees, etc). I also don't compete with Walmart and Big Box stores even though they are everywhere here. One of the markets I sell at is in a Home Depot parking lot with their garden center 300 yards away from my truck, a Walmart is in the same shopping center in the other direction. People come to me because I offer what they (Walmart/BB stores) don't offer PLUS they enjoy the hands-on communication with a real grower and the source of those plants, how to care for them, grow them out, de-bug them, etc. There is no doubt you can find a niche.

There is a small window of time for selling plants though. Once people have their gardens in, and/or once super hot weather has set in people don't care to be out planting flowers/shrubs, etc in 85 temps. When plant sales slow down then I rely more on produce and herb sales to cover the gap, and that continues into October/November here. With your warm climate I imagine you could also find something that will grow and bring in some income. I think your excessive heat will halt many plants from producing but with a little research maybe there are some tried-and-true veggies that'll produce in your area, as well as fresh herbs. And don't forget those special holiday plants people love to buy on occasions, Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, even Easter and the 4th of July. Potted plants, house plants, cut flowers will do you justice for those dates.

Hope this is helpful. Keep in mind, Walmart/etc has been a thorn in the side of many Mom-n-Pop stores but doesn't necessarily run us all out of business. If we try to support the small family operations as much as possible that sure helps quite a lot of people as well as the local community. And on those times when you need to go to the big chain stores, remember they, too, are providing a job for some locals who need the income so don't feel like you are giving up on the community by shopping there.

Best to all!
Shoe (heading to the greenhouse to pot up several thousand plants and sow tomato seeds!)

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2010
5:20 PM

Post #7602475

Shoe

great outlook you have.

I'm turning to selling perennials and herbs and some vegetables this year. Husband lost his job and due to his health hasn't been able to find any other job and since my job doesn't cover our expenses I'm turning to a second job in doing something I love, which is growing and talking with people about growing...LOL

I'm reading and reading the threads here for extra information that will help me to make money this year.

thanks to everyone who so freely gives of their time, information and your life experiences as we all weather the rough days ahead for our country.

Janet

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 3, 2010
8:46 PM

Post #7602895

Janet,
Good Luck in your endeavor.
Part of the reason we quit was because of the weather. So many times we would be all set to go & it would be raining or wind blowing or just plain cold. Those things turn people off from shopping in open air market. Month of May is only selling season here for plants. People wouldn't think of planting Hostas or perennials in the fall.

The trays are 801 inserts for the 1020 series planting trays. 1020 is most popular for bedding plants. All kinds of sizes of inserts.
Stop by a mom & pop type garden center. They may have a bunch laying around. I got over 300 flats from a garden center when I first started. They last forever. I still have some of them.
Go to http://www.farmtek.com
Click on seed germination. You will find all kinds of things.
The 1020 lightweight flats are 69 each when you buy 50.
Inserts are 69 each when you buy 100.
They also have coir pellets & cow pots.
I've bought things from this place & they are very good!
Bernie

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2010
8:53 PM

Post #7602909

Bernie

thanks so much for all the directions.

I'm only planning to sell for a little over two months end of april (provided the weather breaks here) all of May and some June as we have wonderful summers, this is the only good thing about living where we do.LOL

I'll check out farmtek.

Janet
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2010
8:56 PM

Post #7602916

Congrats on your choice and I hope you meet your needs. Between you and your hubby I bet you can do well. Your first year will be a great experience with a big learning curve; keep that in mind and you won't get frustrated or disappointed.

Visit the Market Growers forum for lots more topics and suggestions. Bernie is loaded with great ideas and has excellent advice and pictures over there, too! Multiply that by quite a few other growers and you have all the info you'll ever need!

Best!
Shoe

carminator1
mobile, AL
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2010
10:53 PM

Post #7603213

Thank you Shoe, Bernie great info, I am very grateful. I really don't want to make this into a big buss enterprise like you guys have going on but thought of maybe a small sort of thing to see. I have a yard sale comming up and thought maybe trying to sell some plants and herbs would be nice as well as extra income just to see if people are interested or not.

It does get really hot here during the summer months so I do agree that people might loose interest during those months, same thing happens during the winter months, friends and neighbors were just could not believe it when I showd them that you can plant things here even in the winter months, they just thought spring was the only time to plant anything.

Right now I am more focused on growing enough veggies for my family and maybe growing a few more plants on the side so I can get a little bit of $ to help with seeds purchasing and different other projects to expand my garden size.

Thanks again for all you wonderful advice.
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

March 4, 2010
7:56 PM

Post #7605309

Two summers ago I was at a farmers market in San Diego. We go there for two weeks every summer when the heat in Las Vegas gets above 110. Everyone goes to farmers market on Saturday morning. I purchased what I thought was large white round radishes. I only purchased one bunch. When I got home I tried one and OMG, this is a baby turnip and it was out of this world. I rushed back to get more and they were gone. That is the secret. Small turnips, small beets, small whatever has intense flavor and very sweet. Also heirloom tomatoes. Do not grow anything you will not eat. If you grow spinach, clean the stem down to the flesh. Saves the cook time. Post that info on the board by the spinach. Have the unusual and tell them how great you are. Bok Choy is very easy to grow and the Asians love it fresh. Take special orders. Half up front , rest to be collected when crop is available. Complete refund if not as advertised. You are not the supermarket. You can give them what they want. Think out of the box but go slowly. Do not take checks. Also do not take credit cards. They will eat up your profit. Cash only. Price everything so that change will not be necessary. I was in Maui last summer and I watched at two farmers markets. It was very interesting to see who was busy and whom was not and they were selling the same thing. I watched a women wanting Hawaiian onions. She went from booth to booth and they said they did not have them. The last booth I was with her they told her it was another name for what they had??? They lied, she bought two large bags and I just watched. Actually I was stalking her because the majority of the items they were selling were junk and my children and their children were having a good time so I stalked this uninformed visitor. Not saying this is what you should do but it was amazing how careful this shopper had been looking for Hawaiian onions and bought what everyone was buying because she was lied to. If I had a booth set up there I would have placed a sign by the onions that Hawaiian onions were out of season and this was a great substitute. Sorry this is so long, just a few thoughts. And I have extra seed if you need any. .
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 1, 2010
9:19 AM

Post #7754201

Bernie ~ Do you mean that you quit altogether? You don't even sell at the farmer's market anymore? You invested quite a bit to get this going, and it truly is heartbreaking .

Over 20 years ago I had a small retail nursery. I was unable to continue due to the fact the person I was buying the property raised the payments to double what I was paying originally, so basically due to lack of capital. Had I been able to buy it outright, I would have been still there, or then sold a successful venture, as I had it for 2 years, and was doing better each year, but just not enough to buy it outright. Still, it was a good experience. and I will treasure it.


Evelyn

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 1, 2010
3:36 PM

Post #7755061

We still raise vegetables & all our own veggie starts.
First market day at Farmers Market. So relieved not to have to haul all those plants. Today they would not have sold & wind would have made a mess of them. Other people there with plants were taking a beating.
It is to early here for bedding plants to go out in the beds. Wind was terrible.
We sold our veggies & smiled all the way home.
tvksi
Paris, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2010
5:27 PM

Post #7998873

Hi. I've been wandering all over Daves' Garden trying to find out if any one knows how to stop the leaves of a Geranium turning yellow then brown. I figured it is caused mostly by the oven hot weather here in Texas so put it in a shadier place . Waiting to see if that solves the problem but, since I found this thread and such a nice bunch of knowledgeable folks, I might as well ask all of you, and express my hopes for your success. After reading the whole thread, feel sort of a kin to y'all.
tia
tvksi
shleigh
church Road, VA
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2010
6:47 PM

Post #8069586

Hello,
I have been reading on another site how important it is to get a good seed starter soil for seeds and the one that sounds good is a "Pro Mix Bx". I would have to order it from a wholesaler and it is so large and expensive. I am wondering if many have a good recipe for mixing their own using vermiculite and whatever else. Thanks for any help that you can give me.
Shleigh
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 7, 2010
2:21 PM

Post #8199637

Last year after buying several different brands of "seed-starting mix", I thought I should mix my own. Wow...way much cheaper and you can get the conistency that you want. I checked the labels on each and every mix that I had previously purchased and they all contained peat and vermiculite, with the exception of MG, of which I would not purchase again anyway. The MG contained fertilizer! All of the "experts" say to wait until your seedlings have their true leaves before doing any fertilizing at all. And then, go half-strength, if you feel you need to use any.

So, the bottom line is that I used large bales of peat and vermiculite. Later in the season I also purchased a large bag of perlite, to add to the new garden bed as well as the 8 square foot gardens, as I sifted them all out in spring before planting anything in them. That is when I amended them all, since they had clay garden soil in them as well as weeds and roots. It was a lot of work for me as I am older now with both shoulders that have problems. Still the effort paid off. I will not go back to buying tiny bags since I like to start so many from seed. It is fine, however, for those who just can start only a few and get what they need from the small bags.

If you use a lot, it is definitely more economical to mix your own. Check out the prices for 3.8 or 4cu ft. bags compared to the largest seed-starting mix. It may vary from area to area. You might get a friend to go in with you, if you feel that the big bags are too much and the small bags are not enough. I went through 2 sets of the large bags last year and more this year.

Good luck, and happy gardening!

~ Evelyn

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