Plant Free Seeds - Tomatoes & More

Starting a veggie garden from scratch can be overwhelming and very costly, but it does not have to be.

Yes, you can spend lots of money buying seeds from garden stores and garden catalogs, but why should you, when you throw away seeds every day. It's true, if you ever eat fruits and vegetables you throw seeds away. Not every seed is equal, and not every seed will produce, but why not give it a try? What do you have lose?

We start most of our seeds inside on a small table in front of a south-facing window. It provides the perfect starting base for plants such as peppers and tomatoes. It is also a great way to start any type of fruit trees, but let's be real, you need food for your family now, not in four or five years. So for the purpose of planting free seeds in 2020, let's focus on some easy-to-grow seeds that will help out the grocery budget.

If you are a fan of tomatoes, you are in luck. Tomatoes are some of the easiest plants to grow, and they are especially easy to start from seeds...and so are peppers of all kinds.

Whether you prefer eating organic foods or not, you can plant whatever seeds you feel best about growing. We recommend that you stick to an organic growing process to help the environment, wild life and yourself, but you can start with non-organic seeds, if you don't mind doing so.

Growing grape and cherry tomatoes as well as mini peppers will mean that you will get your harvest sooner, and you do not need any fancy containers.

When we were in college, we lived in a second-floor apartment, and we had a small veggie garden growing in containers on the fire escape. Until this year, we've only had a small garden spot at the south side of our house to grow in, but where there is a will there is a way, and this year we are so excited to have a big garden plot at The Land.

Now, we use any kind of food-grade plastic container to start our seeds in such as sour cream and yogurt containers, cut milk containers and even the big family-sized ice cream containers work well. Just remember to make holes in the containers, if you use them outside.

Easy Plants You Can Grow With Free Seeds:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Watermelon
  • Melons
  • Papaya
  • Corn 

How To Plant Free Seeds From Grocery Store Produce:
  1. Add some fruits and veggies to your grocery cart
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies
  3. Save the seeds in containers or paper bags
  4. Fill a container with dirt
  5. Put it in a south-facing window (Or another place with good light)
  6. Once peppers are 6 - 12 inches tall they will do well in your garden spot, or split them up and leave one plant per container.
  7. Tomatoes are best planted out when they are more than a foot tall.
  8. If planted in the garden, it is helpful if you add organic mulch or wood chips around the bottom of the plants to prevent hard rain to get dirt on the underside of the leaves.
  9. Stake up tomatoes and small pepper plants for better growing conditions
  10. Compost is a gardener's best friend, and we always load up our beds before planting as well as throughout the growing seasons. (Check out how to make your own free pallet compost bin here)
Our tomato garden at The Land mainly consists of mystery tomato plants, meaning we have no idea what type they are. One day before heading over to the land, I went around our house and picked up 10 tiny tomato plants that had self-seeded in the compost I had put around the plum trees, the blueberry plants and the banana trees.

Take a look at our tomato garden at the house. About 75 percent of our tomato and pepper plants have been grown from seeds from plants that we have eaten. If we're not ready to plant out immediately, we simply dry the seeds in a paper bag, write the name of the plant, its origin, whether or not its organic, and the date that we got the seeds on it. Corn seeds need to be dried first, but the rest can be planted out immediately.

We have figured out how to have three tomato harvests a year here in zone 9. We start seeds indoors around Thanksgiving, so that we're ready to plant out in January. Then we start sowing seeds indoors in March/April for midsummer planting in a part shaded spot and again in June/August for planting out in late August.This basically means that we always have tomato plants growing indoors and out, but it is important that we rotate our crops so that we do not ruin the nutrient bases in our small garden beds. This is why we're extra excited to have a bigger growing area at The Land, and this year we hope to get plenty of tomatoes to freeze for stews and tomato sauces.

Stay tuned for more frugal gardening - the only kind of gardening we do here at Dancing Treetops.

Have you ever grown plants from grocery store produce? If so, we'd love to hear about your experience.