Every year, I really enjoy when it gets warm enough to move the garden from being starter plants inside to being able to grow to full size outside. The Wife and I (mostly The Wife) start most of our plants that have longer growing times earlier and earlier in the spring so we can guarantee that they actually grow tomatoes/egg plant/squash or whatever we expect from them before it freezes… or in the case of last year continues not to freeze.
The process of watering all of these plants from germination until they are ready to plant does take materials, lights, and patience. No matter how well you prep and take care of the plants they never seem to end up looking as the starter plants that they have in the stores. Every year, I seem to consider whether it’s worth my time and the created mess from raising seeds, instead of simply buying the starter plants from a hardware store or a big box store. Unfortunately, every year I am reminded when I even dare look at a Bushel Boy Tomato or something shipped in from else where how grossly expensive garden plants are. Being $3 to $5 for a single plant hardly seems justifiable when you can either buy seeds for less than a dollar and get whatever enjoyment comes from growing them or even better just going to the store and buying a single cabbage for 1/3rd the price you can purchase a smaller one for. I for one, am permanently stuck on the using seeds.
Do you ever buy starter plants instead of starting a garden indoors? What seems to win out being cost/enjoyment when dealing with gardening?