Friday, March 29, 2013

Cheap seeds for growing feed plants

At Walmart this week I found a bunch of seed packets on sale. They were $.10 each. The downside is that they are last years seeds. However, many seeds are viable for at least 2 years. After that they don't all just die...but your germination rate will drop. The upside is that whatever seeds do germinate and grow, produces plants just as healthy as their non-expired counterparts. More details on seed viability in my other blog: Are sale priced seeds worth it? I picked up several packets when I was there. The flowers are just mainly to replace some that the flock have dug up. The pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, lettuce and cucumbers are for feed plants.   




Saving money, chicken feed


I plant a garden just for the chickens. It still gets taken care of but admittedly, it doesn't get weeded nearly as often as the regular garden. Everything I put in this garden is stuff I will feed the chickens. I buy cheap seeds or replant volunteer plants into this garden. I let a few of the lettuce plants go to seed so it re-seeds itself. I've gotten fresh lettuce crops all the way into fall that way. Occasionally I will let a few chickens in to peck and play. They usually do a number on the weeds and take a bite out of every tomato, but hey...it's their garden! Mostly I pick the veggies and dice them up to throw in the pens. This is a great way to get produce for chickens that aren't free ranged. 

By buying the seeds on sale at the end of the season or just choosing the cheap ones at dollar stores, I save a ton of money over buying transplants. If I pay $.25 for a packet of tomato seeds and only a few germinate and grow, I will still get several pounds of feed from each plant. I could buy the name brand seeds like Burpee for $2-$4 a packet. Granted a higher percentage will probably germinate and grow, but I still only need a few plants of each per year. That means the rest of the seeds in the packet are waiting till next year where you're now getting germination rates similar to the sale priced seeds...except the original cost was higher. I'd rather spend the same money on a variety of seeds and maybe try a few new things while I'm at it. 

By using discount seeds and with minimal work, a chicken garden is a great feed bill money saver!

~L

3 comments:

  1. Having a garden set aside purely for the chickens is a great idea and has given me food for thought, as we are coming up to planting time soon. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. It works out well for us. Especially with plants like zucchini that I can let get huge, then just split lengthwise. They can spend all day pecking out of a halved zucchini! Certainly helps with boredom too!

      ~L

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  2. Great idea........Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!


    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete

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