Used peat pellets and planted pepper seeds on 4/5. Using my heating
pad I was able to get half of them sprouting after 10+ days. Now 24
days later they still don't have the true leaves yet.
Since I keep my house at 60F or less and don't have grow light system
set up, they grow very slowly. Guess I need to really put some money
into a germination system or else turn up the heat to get a good
seedling crop. So it's much wiser for me to just buy from the
nursery. Even if i buy the mail order bare root plants from southern
nurseries, I would still save money and have bigger transplants. That
is until high gas prices make shipping too expensive.
In general, in the US it probably doesn't *pay* to grow peppers at
all. By the time you can grow them in a garden the local farmers
market is practically giving them away. Same with tomatoes.
It is probably cheaper to buy good plants locally, too. But a good
reason to grow them-- and a good reason to start your own- is so you
can have varieties unavailable at the market or greenhouse.
Do what you enjoy. Treat gardening as a hobby and enjoy it-- If
you look at it as a business or work- then you'd be better off working
part time a few hours a week and buying from the market.
Ah, a cup of coffee and a good morning rant.
Jim, have you ever tasted a grilled red bell pepper minutes from the
garden? Have you ever tasted fresh-picked home-grown lettuce? Have you
ever tasted fresh-picked parsnips? I find it hard to believe that you
have. Super markets aside, even the farmers of farmers markets have to
grow for quantity. Fast grown plants just don't have the flavor of
plants that have been allowed to develop in a more natural environment
e.g. home grown lettuce has a bitter edge which you won't find in fast
grown lettuce. Growing at home allows you to have vegetables, when you
want them, in the quantity you want. As you correctly noted, home
gardening lets you pick the type of vegetable or fruit you want, which
leads to comparing and contrasting and, good dinner conversation which
is the sine qua non of good dining. (I think we've all had enough
conversation about those bar-sinistered types at 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave.)
Additionally, the provenance of our food has lately intruded into the
headlines. If you produce your own fruit and vegetables, you will have a
much better grasp of the quantity of escherichia coli (= fresh manure),
organophosphates or, glyphosate, in and on your food, than if you buy
them from a friendly stranger. At the very least, during the summer
months you can give your liver a rest from detoxifying the vegetables
that you eat.
So, yes Jim, from a strictly bottom line appraisal (future health costs
aside), gardening doesn't make much sense. Esthetically, though, there's
not much that can compare except music and, visual arts.
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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