tomatoIf you are like me, you are always looking for ways to reduce your family’s grocery bill. And you’ve probably thought about growing your own vegetables to achieve this goal. But maybe you just didn’t get around to planting your seeds early enough this spring, and now it’s too hot to start them. Well, you’re in luck. You have a second chance this year.

Because it stays warm for so long down here, we in Texas have access to a little thing called “fall vegetable gardening.” After the heat of the summer begins to wane, you can plant vegetables in your garden and enjoy them throughout October, November and December – right up until it freezes!

Paying $5 or more for a young vegetable plant at Lowes, however, is a frugal no-no. To save the most money, you will need to start your plants from seed.  Experts recommend that people in our area start them in seedling containers around June 15, and plant them in your garden around July 20.

So what’s the point of this post? OK. What’s the most popular veggie for home gardens? Yep, you guessed it – TOMATOES. And you can get 6 packs of seeds for just the cost of a self-addressed stamped envelope!

Click this link and visit WinterSown, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating the public about growing things from seed. Print out their form, select the six types of seeds you want (plus 4 alternates) and they’re yours. Include a $5 donation in the envelope and you’ll get your first six choices, plus the 4 alternates for a total of 10 packs. If you don’t know which kind to choose, leave the spaces blank and they’ll pick for you according to what grows best where you live.

Don’t forget – plant the seeds in containers by June 15 and you’ll be able to enjoy fresh tomatoes from your garden until Christmastime!