Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Frugal plants: Chilli's - saving home grown seed

One of my terrible confessions is my addiction to plants, anything edible or pretty - infact anything with a cholorplast gets my vote. If they could talk - they'd have me at hello..............

If I've anything I will spend money on (and I do need to stop in these frugal times) it's plants/seeds/bulbs - garden centres/plant catalogues and ebay are like mecca to me. (And it does need to stop). I'm generally not much of a shopper - but I'm more likely to be the one pulling a packet of seeds out of the drawer and say 'Oh this old thing, had it for ages..........'

Anyway I've not really much of an excuse to buy plants - given the extent of my debt due to studying plants - I really should 99% of the time, be growing my own - so I figured after buying my experiment/market research chilli plants from ebay earlier this year, as my great foray into the unknown world of selling plants online - I've been harvesting some of the plants I bought - a few chillis I let get a bit riper than others as I wanted to keep some seed.

Here is a very ripe Jalapeno................I'm going to see if I can grow my stock from this next year.

Now you can't always save the seed of everything, but things like chilli's I don't see why not - this plant wasn't a hybrid (F1) so I'm giving it a go.
1 - sharp knife and a board - select your chilli victim

2 - carefully cut the length of the chilli - trying to avoid any fingers - gloves a good idea!

3 - there we are - 12 chilli seeds for next year from one chilli - they are all plump and look viable except the first one of the second row (left) - its a bit flat and empty looking - but I'll keep it and see.

Well I hope it works - the plant cost less than 50p - I've got  a lovely harvest from them and I'm going to have a lot of seed too - I've done this for all of the chillis - so if I can get it to grow and sell on the tiny plants to happy homes for 50p-£1 each - then my work here will be done - means a bit of income for me, I'm going to sell plants by post - we've an excellent postal system up here as everything is flown in and out  - and perhaps an excuse to buy more plants/seeds - you see its not an addiction - it's a potentially viable internet business! When I buy plants and seeds - it's really an investment. (Honest!)


  1. OK, I buy it. You've just been investing in your future! How do you package plants up to send by post without it costing more to send that you'll get? And what do you do about pots? Its the pots that puts me off, I always end up growing more plants than I need, and like you, could really do with a little extra income stream to cover the gaps, but couldn't see how to make it economical when I factor in having to buy extra plant pots... And I'd rather make my own if it was possible to do them large enough...

  2. OK - plant packaging was something I was researching with the things I bought on ebay - mostly I tend to post plants bare rooted as cuttings or small seedlings - that way the cost is kept down - in a jiffy bag works well - I wrap the plants in a damp kitchen roll and put air in the zip bag they are enclosed in - like a micro-climate - also protects the plants in the post.

    Other good ways I've seen things posted to me are in jiffy 7's (those little net pots) you can get coir ones and they are good for root development/also fit rather cunningly into a decent small size plastic box/takeaway box...

    toilet roll holders are also good for plant protection if they are bigger plants - or cut in half as mini plant pots filled with compost in

    Also old egg boxes also make good individual little pots - bit like the peat pots - you can divide them up and use them as single little pots.

    The key is to keep them light, damp but not wet and ideally quite flat, but protected - keeps postage down and gets things to places speedier if they are in the letter post.

    OK I've blabbered enough now - email me if you want any more of an explaination!!

  3. Ps - I never buy pots or packaging - the local garden centre up here gives them away in a bit of the centre (might be worth asking where you are) - or I get them on freecycle. If I want a clean pot/tray I give it a wash out or put a batch into the dishwasher if I want something almost sterile.

    Also - wrapping individual rootballs in clingfilm/black polythene/ a bit of bubblewrap and using an elastic band to keep them secure works (wrapped up a bit like a sausage). Or newspaper works too.

    I also never buy packaging - I shred paper if I want to pad anything and I recycle every single box and envelope that comes into the house. Before spring time I'm normally over loaded - but after a good set of sales I can manage to get through it - good luck!!!!

    PPs Very sorry about the ramble!

  4. That was no ramble, that all makes perfect sense, thank you! I use loo rolls to grow lots of plants in already, and once I find somewhere to store them will go back to saving jiffy bags. I have LOADS of packaging from saving it for out next move, so that's no problem, and can get huge quantities of shredded paper whenever I want. Seems the trick will be to sell the plants before they grow too large, and that means knowing which ones I can sell and which ones I need to keep in case I need them myself... Thank you for the helpful tips, I may be back for more...

  5. The scenery which is given in the starting is very beautiful as o like all the things which are related to the nature and the environment.