Do any of you use "discount seeds"? [ Gardening (General)] : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I see many posts from folks that order all their seeds from the seed companies. I was just wondering if anyone else plants using "discount seed" packs from the dollar stores for five or ten cents a pack? Lynn and I have been doing this for the last 3 seasons and have had the best yeilds ever and are saving quite a bit on seeds. I am beginning to believe its not neccessarily the seed, but the technique that counts. Something else that I discovered about our cheapie seed packs is that not all are hybrids, we have a couple of seed packs that actually advise saving some for seed. We also get a kick out of the "lets see" aspect of trying new seed varieties.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 07, 2001


Jay, why don't you try out the forum at can't beat trading or SASE for seed.Lots of variety there too.

-- JT in Florida (, February 07, 2001.

Thanks JT. I'll check it out. Call me cheap , but when I see a pack of tomato seeds marked 3.49, I freak.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 07, 2001.

I use 10 and 25 cent discount seed packs with lots of success. Some are from end of season sales from the previous years and some are current sale items to get you into the store. Never had any bad packs.

-- Bob Johnson (, February 07, 2001.

Yep, I've used them. Especially good when you want just a few of something, zucchini or hubbard squash, for instance. Not sure that they are as good a value when you want a lot of a variety, like peas or carrots, corn, etc. Have to sit down and figure it out. I got the best yeilds ever a couple years back on my tomatoes, from the "20 for $1" seeds. Go for it-you don't have a lot to lose this way! Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 07, 2001.

Yes we use them every year. Wife bought forty packs of seeds last week for 10 cents each. They seem to do just as well as a 2dollar pack. Go figure

-- David (, February 07, 2001.

I love the cheapy seeds! That is how I have such a huge variety of flowers in my flower beds. It looks like a jungle in there come Spring and Summer! Lotsa perennials too! I buy most of my veggie seeds in bulk at the feed store, but the pepper plants I have started from seed that I got for 10 cents! I have had great luck with broccoli, tomatoes and a few herbs(never seem to have a big variety of those for 10 cents) I wouldn't mess with corn or beans or something that is heavier like that. It actually ends up being more expensive for the 10 cent packet. The prettiest ones I have ever had were the giant Zinnias and the Snap Dragons!

-- Nan (, February 07, 2001.

I know most of our cheapies are hybrids and not suitable for saving, but the more I have read about seed saving, the "heirloom" seeds are suppose to always be the same and hybrids usually change or dont 'go to seed". One of the books said you could plant a hybrid seed a couple of seasons running and turn it into an heirloom, just not exactly what it was, it may minaturize as tomatoes do or have a crazy gene that may or may not surface. I have never tried saving hybrid seed before, have only seen next generation tommy toe tomatotoes, may be interesting.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, February 07, 2001.

Jay, I use the bargain seeds all the time. But, I like some of the seed catalog seeds for special things like Park Seed Better Bush tomato, and several types of crisp head lettuces, and Burpee's Ambrosia cantalope is too delicious not to grow. But beets, leaf lettuce, zuchinni, acorn squash, etc. are all the dimestore 10 cents a pack seeds.

-- karen (, February 08, 2001.

Sure, we buy up a few dozen 10 cent packs of turnips, usually, and plant them in wide rows like DR does..... Then when they grow 3 inches across, or so, we'll tow the pig tractor over them, at a couple rows per week. Hattie and Mel love 'em. (Short for Hatfield, and Hormel...You gotta name 'em somethin')

-- Action Dude (, February 08, 2001.

Action, you let your pigs eat your greens!!!!! Save me some! A friend of mine and I have our greens feast and hot rolls at least once every summer for a meal! She eats a greens sandwich with the hotrolls! I like to sop up the greens juice with mine! YUMMY! I buy my turnip seeds at the feedstore in bulk. Turnip greens are great for you! OINK OINK OINK OINK

-- Nan (, February 08, 2001.

I use them, but only for veggies that I don't care about the purity of the seed. Spinach, turnips, lettuce, basil, parsley, sometimes broccoli or cabbage. When I consider how much a few pounds of tomatoes would cost, and that I'm buying an heirloom variety that I can save seed from, I don't mind paying a couple dollars for a packet of the seed. I like supporting the people who bother to carry the heirloom varieties. Besides, I can use that one packet of seed for about 5 years since I never plant all the seeds in one season.

-- Rebekah (, February 09, 2001.

I use both. I like the fancy seeds for fancy things, like special melons or something, but I buy gobs of the cheapy seeds and have always been pleased. This is my first year to think about saving seeds, I am glad to see that saving seeds was mentioned. I was going to try to save some seeds from the cheapy ones as well.

-- Cindy in OK (, February 10, 2001.

We have used a combination of both for years. I am very sparing in what I order from the seed companies, like has been previously mentioned, I value the companies that continue to make heirloom seeds available and want to support them when I can. We feed garden waste to our pigs, we have the equivalent to the chicken tractor for our pigs and really move their pen around. One year tomatoes came up in a spot that were the best, most disease resistant, tomatoes we had ever grown. I save seed from them and have named them "pig pen" tomatoes and we grow some every year.

-- diane (, February 10, 2001.

I have used the "excel" brand cheap seeds several times , one nice thing about theses seeds is for seed savers , most of the ones i came across are open pollinated and several are heirloom seeds , sold in other seed catalogs for $2-3 per packet!!! i have never found a problem with them

-- Beth Van Stiphout (, February 10, 2001.

Nan, I love turnips! They are one of our most used crops. First you get greens and then lots of great roots. Turnips really feed our family well. Plus my kids love to harvest them. Has anyone ever tried pickling turnips? I would love a recipe.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, February 10, 2001.

I also buy the 10 cent ones and they do very well. I get mine at the Dollar General Store and Big Lots.

-- Lynn (, February 10, 2001.

Let's be realistic here! "Cheap" seed is a lottery. Some great, some good, some poor, some useless. Now, let's look at the cost. If you buynthe very best seed from an established seedsman (not the yuppie outfits), then you may pay a dollar as opposed to the 60 cents from a discount outfit, or 45 cents from the really off brand, or maybe even 10 cents from Walmart. Now let's look at your time invested, and the results of your labor! You spend several hours planting, weeding, cultivating, picking, and preserving the produce. Maybe 5 or 6 hours for 100 lbs of food, if you are very, very good! And if you saved 75 cents on seed, this was good because? Buy the best seed, get the best crop, and spend the least time! Cheap seed is the most expensive mistake you can make! Been there, done that, now smarter! GL!

-- Brad (, February 12, 2001.

Little bit, don't forget to try turnipkraut. Its a big favorite in my area and a way to preserve your turnip harvest. I have had pickled turnip and enjoyed it but have no recipe, sorry. I have used discount seeds with varying success. Its always worth a try. I have also paid 4 bucks for a pack of seed and gotten NADA! Zip! Nothing at all.

-- Alison in Nova Scotia (, February 13, 2001.

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