So you want to start your plants from seed?
First off congrats this is a big step that will save you hundreds and give you the satisfication of knowing that tiny seed you planted turned into this huge green growth that is producing the fruit of your labor.
Here's how you save $$... take a average pack of tomato seeds... let's say it has 25 seeds in it (and normally there is more) that pack will cost you about $2... now let's say you go to your local nursery... a single 6 inch tomato seedling runs about $3...
Let's go back to the seed pack for a minute let's say 20 of those 25 seeds sprout and become healthy little seedlings... you know have 20 plants for less then the price of that single tomato plant from the store..
That's how you save money but how do you start these seeds? Well there r many ways but here are the 2 most popular direct seed or seed tray.
Direct seed: where you prepare your garden bed and plant the seed directly into the soil. The are pros and cons to this method. Let's start with the pros... there are some plants that hate being moved so direct seed is the best option, less stress on the plant (anytime you transplant you will bother the roots cause stress), and less costly (no trays, seed starting soil, labels, etc)
Cons: the seeds must fight nature for surival. Just think there are birds and other animals ready to scratch up your seeds and eat them also if you have a heavy rain it might wash your smaller seeds away.. this is a ongoing battle that is sometimes lost.
Seed Tray: starting seeds in a tray of some sort.. sure you can buy those black trays with the little dips that you stick in a soil block and water but I use any tray that has sides of about 2 inch or more and I fill small cups with seed starting mix after I poke holes in the bottom. I set the cups in the tray and pour water into the tray. I do this because the best way to water seeds is from the bottom it encourages strong root growth. Make sure you give your seedlings plenty of sunlight!
What ever way you start your seeds have fun and enjoy : )