tedln
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Inexpensive Seed!

Dono recently alerted us to the low cost "American" brand garden seeds sold at WalMart. A few people purchased the seed and seem to have experienced good germination rates with it.

I went to a "Family Dollar" store today to purchase a small 1/2 gallon pump up sprayer to use to apply foliar products like diluted compost tea with. It's the only place I have ever seen these little sprayers sold. They work great and only cost $3.00 ea.

While I was at the store, I was looking at other gardening products and noticed a large display of garden seed. The seed was packaged by Page's seed company in Greene, New York. The retail price of the seed was five packages for one dollar. I checked the packs and they all seemed to have a large quantity of seed in them. The selection of vegetables and varieties was also large.

I didn't buy any, but will probably return when I have time to browse the selections and buy some for future use.

I don't think you can beat the price considering the fact that I was paying close to two dollars per pack for vegetable seed ordered online from vendors recommended on this forum. When I received the seed, I would open a pack and find only ten to fifteen seeds per pack. It was plenty of seed for this years garden, but it sure didn't leave much to save for future gardens if I really like the product.

Ted
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wolfie
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Sounds like I might need to take a trip to the family dollar.... I seem to be addicted to buying seed!!

Currently I have probably 200 packs of seeds on my kitchen table waiting to be planted.... they should last me years LOL
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Ozark Lady
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Don't ya just hate that when you get a package of seeds and go... Where's the seeds?

That is part of why I am learning to save my own seeds!
That and the fact, what I only need 5-6 of I get dozens of!
I wonder how they decide how many to put in a package?
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tedln
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I ordered my seed this year from one of the less expensive but highly reputable seed companies on the internet this year. In my order were four packets of carrot seeds. Two packets of Red Core Chantenay and two packets of Atomic Red carrots. The four packets cost close to eight dollars. In the packets, I probably received a total of 60 carrot seeds per variety. I planted both varieties on the same day in the same bed. The Red Core Chantenay germinated and is growing great. None of the Atomic Red germinated.

I went to Home Depot and purchased another pack of Red Core Chantenay from Ferry Morse for $1.29. When I got home and opened the pack, it was almost 1/3 full. I got for $1.29 at least ten times the amount of seed I purchased for $8.00 on the internet.

Ted
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shaefins
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How long do packaged seeds last? I noticed the Burpee seeds I bought at Wal-Mart have "Packaged for 2010" listed on them. I thought that meant they were only good for planting this year. Is that not the case? :?

tedln
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shaefins wrote:How long do packaged seeds last? I noticed the Burpee seeds I bought at Wal-Mart have "Packaged for 2010" listed on them. I thought that meant they were only good for planting this year. Is that not the case? :?
I've seen people post on the forum about planting seed kept in the refrigerator as long as eight years with good germination results. You have to accept the fact that as years pass, your germination rate will decline and possibly the quality of the resulting plant.


Ted
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Ozark Lady
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How you store your seeds also affects their longevity. IF you keep them on a hot shelf, near the cook stove, and they cycle warm and cool alot, they will use up energy and expire alot sooner.

A lady took some bean seeds out of her freezer, they had been there for 20 years. She planted them, and got a bumper crop!

But, keeping them in a cool location will often keep them alive until you can use them up.

I have alread packed up some of my extras for 2011, and they are in the freezer. As I start my seeds, I look at the leftovers, post some for trade, and put some away for 2011.

I want variety, not 100 of the same thing! So, to get that I ordered alot of packages, and I don't want alot of each. So, I planted 6 per variety. Some I got 6. Most I got 4-5 and a couple have failed totally. But, some that were presumed failures earlier, did germinate, caught the others and are fine. I then packed up 6 for 2011 and start trading!
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jal_ut
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There are 3 stores here locally that order in bulk seed then weigh you out some and put it in a little envelope. Most of these packs have more seed in them than the packets I see, and cost from 60 to 75 cents. It is not unusual to see seed packs for $2.50 or more online. These are no bargain for sure. Look around locally for a Mom and Pop garden store or nursery. Perhaps a farmers co-op.
Last edited by jal_ut on Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

tedln
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jal_ut wrote:There are 3 stores here locally that order in bulk seed then weigh you out some and put it in a little envelope. Most of these packs have more seed in them than the packets I see, and cost from 60 to 75 cents. It is not unusual to see seed packs for $2.50 or more online. These are no bargain for sure. Look around locally for a mon and pop garden store or nursery. Perhaps a farmers co-op.
I bought some seed that way last year for my fall garden at a farm and ranch supply store. They probably had over 100 varieties in the bins. Since it was late in the season, the bins were getting close to empty. I bought about eight different seed in the little packs which were then hand labeled. When I got home, I opened the packs and found all of the packs contained almost as much insect residue like dead bodies and excrement as seed. Most of the seed I purchased didn't germinate well.

I think if I had purchased the seed early in the season when it was fresh, it would have been fine.

Ted
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Joyfirst
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It also depends what you want. If you want specific or heirloom varieties, then you will have to pay more and probably will get less. Like I wanted to try West Indian Burr gherkins, so I had to order it online. I didn't get that many seeds, but I hope to save my own as they grow. I am just wondering - won't they cross with regular cucumbers and produce something in between? My garden is small, so I can't separate them far away from each other.

tedln
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I'm not familiar with the gherkin you are planting. If you are concerned about cross pollination of the different cucurbits, I suggest you plant a cucumber variety which is gynoecious. That simply means it only has female blooms and can't cross pollinate. One variety that I grow simply because it makes great cucumbers in abundance is "Sweet Success". You will probably have to order the seed, but it won't cross with your gherkins. Do a google search for gynoecious cucumbers and you will probably find other varieties which may be available off the rack.

Ted
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gixxerific
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Way to go Ted now I'm gonna have to go get more seed that I don't need, but would like to have so that I overplant my garden. It's all your fault now. :lol: :P


:EDIT: The cheapest place I have seen so far is Baker Creek Seeds for heirlooms by the way. Plus they are local to me.

tedln
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Joyfirst,

I forgot to mention the fact that Sweet Success as a gynoecious cucumber does not require a plant with male blooms in the vicinity. It produces fruit in the total absence of male blooms. Some vendors advertise a variety as gynoecious and then include a few seed of a different variety which produces some male blooms for pollination. If you don't plant the entire pack of seed, it is possible none of the female blooms will be pollinated and you will get no fruit.

Ted
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tedln
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Sorry Dono! :D

Ted
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AndrewH_TX
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I actually purchased the $0.20 packs from Wal-Mart. I'll double check tonight which were which because I also purchased a few of the $1 packs, too.

So far I'm experiencing about 90-95% germination. Being $0.20 I didn't expect such great results (to be honest I expected 0-5%). I planted them evenly and in rows within a tub that I keep in the house, so I should have an extremely accurate on total seed count and germination counts once I sort out which is which price.

The $0.20 were labeled as 1992, so depending on how W-M and the packaging manufacture store their unsold seeds, it seems they last a long time (YMMV ;)). And I'll be sure to post the manufacturers/growers with the results.

The selection on the $0.20 weren't the best, but I got everything I could. I didn't try W-M online, nor did I try other W-Ms in the area (probably 5-6 W-Ms on my way to/from work). I'll report back if I get more and their results.
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Ozark Lady
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Wal mart does not store unsold seeds. They are decreasing the back room/ inventory that they keep. What you see on the shelf is very often what they have available, until the next truck arrives. The days of vendors keeping inventory are gone. I don't know if the middleman keeps seeds and stuff over or not.

When seeds or anything go out of season, they mark them down, and after a period, either give them to charity, or throw them away. It sounds crazy but with today's real estate costs, and heating and cooling costs, it is cheaper to throw stuff away for vendors.

And before you think of dumpster diving and saving them, they don't have dumpsters, they have compactors and things that go in, are destroyed. Been there, done that.
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Joyfirst
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Ted, at first you made me happy(thank you!) and then you confused me-so how do I know if I am getting true "Sweet success"? I don't know, if even that would help as I garden in the community garden, which means a lot of people are growing cucumbers all around me. How far they supposed to be apart?
I will tyry saving seeds anyway and see what I get. I love experimenting.

tedln
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About the only way to have a little guarantee of getting "true" seed of any kind is buy it from a reputable seed dealer. If you check around on this forum, maybe do a search, you can find one. It may be a little hard to find the "Sweet Success" seed. Since it is a hybrid, seed producers sometimes have a hard time producing the seed. A few sites I looked at who advertised the seed then said they were out of the seed for various reasons. It is more expensive than most cucumber seeds. One dealer advertised it as the "Cadillac" of cucumbers. Another variety that is very similar to Sweet Success is "Sweet Slice", but it does have some male blooms which means production may be a little lower.

Since most cucumbers require pollination (not sweet success) which in most cases require flying pollinators such as bees, you can't in a community garden. I can't imagine bagging the gherkins to protect them and I think they probably require pollination. I would say enjoy your gherkins and plan on ordering some seed for next years crop.

Good Luck.

Ted
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Dixana
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This was my first year with seeds but I bought all Ferry Morse seeds from Fleet Farm and I won't ever buy everything else!!! Every single seed I planted came up!! At most I paid a dollar per pack for the seeds.

tedln
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I really like Ferry Morse seed. They usually have displays at Home Depot and other big box stores. You may have to look hard to find them because their displays are usually much smaller than Burpee displays.

What I like about their seed is the fact that it has been very high quality and they give you generous amounts compared to other seed companies. I rarely use a full pack of their seed when I am planting my garden. That means if I am happy with the plant, I can save some seed for next year if I have a hard time finding it.

Ted
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