Yes, you can get seeds cheap or free. Everyone is thinking about starting gardens and becoming more self-sufficient, but how do you do it on a budget?
Many of my seeds this year, and in gardens past, have come from Dollar General or Family Dollar. While we’re all confined to our houses for COVID-19 — except for buying essentials — you may find yourself the designated shopper in your household needing to run to the store to get toilet paper or laundry detergent. If you have a Dollar General or Family Dollar nearby, those stores are often far less crowded than grocery stores or big box stores so you can pick up your necessities, and while you’re there you might pick up some seeds if you don’t already have some.
This year I purchased many of my seed starting supplies from our local Dollar General, including a seed starting tray, a bag of potting soil, and a wide variety of seeds.
Our local Dollar General stores sell packets of seeds under the American Seed brand. Other stores carry that brand, as well. I was curious about the company since it says on the seed packets that the company has been around since 1897. Turns out it is a brand from Plantation Products, the same company that produces Ferry-Morse seeds, as well as Jiffy planting products.
Get seeds for free
Did you know if you want to grow dry beans, you can literally just plant the dry beans that you may already have in your kitchen? You’ll want to soak them first to make it easier for them to sprout, but unless they’re several years old, they should grow just fine. If you have a 15-bean soup mix you’ll have a whole variety of beans to grow!
Many fruits and vegetables we eat are going to have seeds you can plant, however know that if the food items have been imported from out of the country, they will have been irradiated to ensure they are disease-free and so they may not sprout.
There is a viral video that has been going around on Facebook, Instagram and some other sites that talks about easy ways you can take seeds from various foods and plant them. The only problem is that video either over-complicates what you would need to do to plant those seeds anyway, or they are misleading about what you’ll get when you do attempt to sprout any of those things.
It’s best to just think about what you’d like to grow and then look up the best way to grow that particular fruit or vegetable from seed. Keep in mind that some will take quite a long time to produce anything from seed. For example, store-bought strawberries can potentially produce viable strawberry plants from the seeds on the fruit, however it will usually be the next year before they are mature enough to give you anything to eat.
This is a great video that can give you an idea of produce you can grow from grocery store foods.