Buying seeds is the first step in growing your own vegetables or fruits, generally speaking, the higher the quality of the seed packets is, the higher their chances of germinating are. With that being said you can get extremely high-quality seeds from 25 cent seed packets, although there are a couple of things for which you should look out for. For the most part, I do recommend 25 cent seed packets for testing what grows well in your area, and this increases the chance of you finding the best vegetables or fruits that grow in your area.
25 cent seed packets do have their pros and cons, on one hand, they tend to be extremely budget-friendly and on the other hand, their quality tends to be somewhat lower. If you are planning to buy 25 cent seed packets then you should do it at the end of the season, mostly because even pricier seed packets will have a massive sale. This simply means that you will buy extremely high-quality seed packets for as cheap as possible.
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Established homesteaders tend to save up some of the seeds from the previous year, they will simply pick the seeds from the plant which grows the biggest and has the tastiest fruits and vegetables. This way they can actually have at least some kind of control over the quality of their crops. A lot of people tend to look down upon using 25 cent seed packets, but if you are on a tight budget these cheap seed packets can be extremely valuable. If you are on a tight budget and you want to grow your own crops then check out my recent article How to start a homestead with no money ( In 9 Steps ).
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25 Cent Mixed Seed Packets
The 25 cent mixed seed packets are not ideal if you are serious about growing vegetables and fruits. Usually, these should be used if you want to grow some flowers, this way you can have a lot of different types of flowers growing for extremely cheap. The main reason I do not recommend 25 cent mixed seed packets of vegetables or fruits is that the variety will be actually fairly low. You will get a couple of high-quality seeds but for the most part, they will fill these packets with common low-quality seeds.
In addition to this, you might also find that the 25 cent mixed seed packets have seeds that have different germination periods and that their actual shelf life is different. Basically, some seeds can be kept in a 25 cent seed packet for a long time, while others will simply fail to germinate after a while. For the most part, people living off the grid tend to use their own seeds from past seasons, for more information about the advantages of living off the grid check out my recent article Advantages of living off the grid ( Top 5 Pros ).
Old 25 Cent Seed Packets
Old 25 cent seed packets tend to offer more seeds per packet, but the main problem with these old 25 cent seed packets is that the seeds tend to be fairly old, at least older than one year. The longer the seeds are kept in storage the lower their chances are of germinating. Your main goal if you want to make a vegetable garden is to have a high percentage of seeds to germinate. There is simply no point in buying packets of 500 seeds that have been stored for years only for a couple of them to actually germinate.
Generally speaking, you will find these old 25 cent seed packets at the farmer’s market or at garage sales. Sometimes their price is so low that it is no brainer to buy them, but before you do, make sure that the actual seed packets have not deteriorated. The main things to look out for are holes in the packets, have water damage or the packets have extremely faded colors. If the packets themselves have faded colors then it means that they are either extremely old or have been in direct sunlight, and neither of these is good for the seeds.
Where To Buy 25 Cent Seed Packets?
The good news is that there are a lot of places where you can buy 25 cent seed packets, and on top of that there are even some places that do give them away for free. Just keep in mind that if you buy 25 cent seed packets in bulk to make sure that the seeds are not older than one year. The longer the seeds are in the packets the higher the chances of them being contaminated, and stored incorrectly, which means that the chance of the seeds germinating is fairly low.
By far one of the best places to buy 25 cent seed packets are at Dollar Stores, although the quality of the seeds will be different from one store to another. My personal recommendation is to visit a couple of Dollar Stores and buy from the one that has the freshest seeds. The fresher the seeds are the higher their chance of germinating, so you could buy an old 25 cent seed packet with a 10% germination rate or a fairly fresh seed packet for the same money but with an 80%+ of germination rate.
End of the season seeds
End of the season seeds or clearance seeds tend to be extremely cheap and have high-quality seeds. These seed packets tend to cost a couple of dollars during the season, but at the end of the season, their price will drop significantly. So if you want the biggest bang for your money then buy your seed packets at the end of the season. If you want to buy clearance seeds then you have to keep an eye out for them as once they are on sale they are gone in a couple of days.
Using Orphaned Plants To Grow Vegetables
In a lot of areas, you can simply not find any seeds to buy, especially for vegetables. The demand for seeds has jumped up significantly in the past couple of years and companies are having a difficult time meeting the demand. If you are in an area where you can simply not buy seeds, either because they are unavailable or their price is way too high then your best option is to use orphaned plants.
Orphaned plants are simply the plants that have not been sold, and instead of growing the plant from the seed you actually can start by simply planting the orphaned plant. Just keep in mind that these orphaned plants are not the healthiest ones, and not all of them will survive if you replant them. On the other hand, orphaned plants tend to be extremely cheap, and some stores will even give them away for free. You have to keep in mind that not all seeds or orphaned plants will grow in all areas, some of them need a lot of water, and you might have difficulty harvesting enough rainwater for them, for more information check out my recent article Collecting rainwater illegal? ( Laws in all 50 States ).
25 cent seed packets are ideal for anybody who want to start a small garden for as cheap as possible, although my personal recommendation is to try and experiment with 25 cent mixed seed packets, this way you will have a clear idea of what grows well in your area. On the other hand, 25 cent seed packets are simply excellent for growing a mixed variety of flowers.