Seed Starting

Oh my, what a busy time of year this has been.  I blogged here about the newspaper starter pots I make each year to start those first seeds.  After the long, cold winter we’ve had, I was eager to get started but the first pepper and tomato seeds I started in the pots were apparently too early and did not sprout.  Two to three weeks later I tried again with far better results.

This year I came up with a great solution for a way to organize and store my starter pots: the plastic tubs that we buy spinach and salad greens in from the grocery store.  I call these my mini-greenhouses.  Here is one:

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I use popsicle sticks to label each pot, writing on both sides of it even though it takes longer, so that I can see it from either direction.  In order to avoid mistakes, I make the pots, fill them with potting mix, stick the labeled popsicle stick into them and only THEN do I get out the packets of seeds and plant.

The mini-greenhouses are easily portable and are easy to carry outdoors during the day to get sun and back in at night when it still gets below freezing here most nights.

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They worked great like this for the first couple of weeks, but once the seedlings started to grow, I had to remove the lids to give them space to grow.  Unfortunately this led to the loss of several seedlings whose vulnerable little stems could not stand up to the winds.  So I came up with this solution:

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By cutting out the base of a second plastic tup and inverting it over the first, then securing with clips, I was able to continue to carry my seedlings outdoors to get sun by day, protect them from wind, and also keep them from getting too warm, as excess heat was able to rise through the open top.  This also made watering them easy.  In fact, watering in the my mini-greenhouses couldn’t be easier.  Rather than try to water each individual seeding, I simply pour water directly into the tub and allow the seedlings to draw up what they need.

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One thought on “Seed Starting

  1. Pingback: Garden 2014 | Self-Sufficiency and Assorted Hijinks

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