This is the time of year when many of us are buried in seed catalogs. Those of us who are forcing starts in many cases have already started, or will start soon. So if you have not inventoried your saved seed, and filled your seed order locally or by catalog, and plan to have robust starts by the time the ground warms up, get going.
Anna and I will start propagating mid February for robust starts to go into the ground in May, weather permitting. We use the rubberized heat mats to hold the soil temperature constant, and hang 10” pots off the upper purlins, the warmest natural place in most greenhouses or cold frames.
Friends who raise a lot of food like us, have gotten good results using a warm spot in a south window, you don’t have to have a greenhouse to enjoy growing your own starts, but if you raise a lot of starts, say over 200, then south window frames are not going to be the best choice.
Our Dealers carry most everything you need to help starting from seed. We re-use our pots, flats, most everything plastic, because it is fairly easy to sanitize, and not get put into the landfill. We save our seed in empty prescription drugs vials, their dark brown, often air tight, and are easy to label until you can begin to recognize seeds by sight.
As frugal gardeners we are anything but cheap. We grow food, many of us raise lots of food, and more of us all the time, are re-learning the skills to can, freeze, dehydrate, pickle, and using root cellars to hold food long into winter, like our grandparents did.
Yes there needs to be an investment of sweat equity to enjoy this bounty, but those of us who practice intensive gardening or small farming, reaps the rewards of food that tastes great and keeps us more healthy.