The great thing about home gardening is that people have been doing it for thousands of years and even better writing about for at least the last few hundred. Fortunately this provides us with a great amount of knowledge of from many generations back.
What’s even better many of these get gems are under the public domain so they are completely free gardening books to have as a resource to read online and is even available in EBOOK format to take with on your favorite. To check out these great books yourself check out Google Books with the public domain filter enabled.
Currently I am checking out “The home vegetable garden” by W. R. Beattie in printed in 1906. Sure it doesn’t have a real catching marketing title but provides some great tips and makes use of low cost solutions to the same problems we come across today. One of my favorite finds was this handy Planting table:
Update: Max mentioned in the comments of another great resource your local Cooperative Extension Service just go to Bing.com and type “Cooperative Extension Service” and then your zip code to find your local office and get some great local info.
So check these out and let me know what treasures you find in the comments.
Free Vegetable Seeds
- Ask your coworkers: Are any of your coworkers gardeners? Setup a seed swap at lunch and/or see if they want to go in on a seed order and split up some seed packets for varieties you only need a few seeds.
- Harvest your own seeds: I typically grow at least one or two cilantro and pea plants to collect seeds from for the next year . Notice your neighbor has some neglected plants going to seed? Ask if you can get some they may even look at this as free weeding (important part is to ask though)
- Get seeds from the grocery store: Before putting those vegetables in the compost bin, set the seeds aside to let them dry and you got some free seeds. The riper the fruit/vegetable the better results you may have on fertility here so shortest time between picking at getting up for sale will yield the best results. So look for local fruits and vegetables or even better visit your local farmers market.
- Get free vegetable seeds from the US Government: Have a little experiment or study you want to conduct and report the results on your blog? Check out the National Plant Germplasm System from the US Department of Agriculture. Within a database of over 10,000 species of plants you are sure to find some vegetables for your experiments. Even shipping is included though can be time consuming to find what you are looking for.
- Check your spice rack: In many cases you can plant seeds from your spice rack. Just look for words like “raw” anything that has been “roasted” will probably not yield positive results. Some ideas, mustard seed, dill seed, coriander, poppy seed, celery seed. If your spice rack is lacking you can pay a few cents buy a teaspoon of organic spices in bulk, last time I bought dill seeds got about 100 seeds for $0.05 which is a significant saving over paying $2-3 for an envelope of seeds.
- Seed swap web sites: Below I have listed a few links where you can share seeds with others. This is a great way to find some heirloom seeds you might not be able to find in stores/seed catalogs. In many cases people will offer seeds for free by just sending a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) Just remember to pay it forward when you come into a plethora of seeds yourself after this years harvest.
If this is all seems like too much effort you can just buy some very inexpensive seeds online where you can check out some of my personal favorites in my “Cheap vegetable seeds” post
I previously reviewed the WetCircuits water resistant power strip and risked death by electrocution to prove the products worth. In acknowledgement of my valiant bravery they have agreed to provide another power strip for me to giveaway to the great readers of CheapVegetableGardener.com
If you haven’t heard of the WetCircuits power strip it built to be shock resistant so pouring water on it, pushing tweezers into the outlets will not shock you. This may seem like a pointless feature but if you have ever spilled coffee (or dumped a watering can of water) on an outlet you will appreciate these features greatly. Now I must say it is much more entertaining to see this in action so check out the video from WetCircuits.
If you think their video was done with camera angles and expensive video editing, here is my own independent recreation of one of their experiments.
So if you are in the continental United States, just enter a comment below and I will pick a winner at random on 04/23/2011 Midnight PST.
There are multiple ways to enter: