Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Starting Seeds

Starting seeds is a good way to make those last few weeks of winter pass a little quicker. I use a variety of recycled containers for seed starting. The sturdier nursery containers can be used over and over again; I just wash them with a mild solution of bleach water before planting. I also use clear plastic berry containers and pint sized ice cream and whipping cream cartons. I like to make homemade ice cream so I probably go through a lot more whipping cream than most people... Last year I made newspaper pots, and while they worked great, it took a long time to make as many as I needed and I kept running out of paper! It seemed like they were a good alternative to peat pots though, which never seem to break down for me so they always end up killing my plants.

Tomatoes

Peppers

Tomato

Oh, and I start my seedings in regular old potting soil. Lots of people say that you should use a special seed starting mix but I've never had a problem with potting soil, and I figure if the seeds have a hard time sprouting in soil, they're going to have a real hard time growing once they get out to the garden. Survival of the fittest I suppose... 

Flowers

Indoor set-up

Moonflowers

Coleus

Once my seeds are planted, I group the smaller containers together in cardboard flats (mostly saved from buying things in bulk at Costco), which makes it easy to carry them outside on nice days. When it's cold out, they spend their days in my sunroom listening to The Current. They get a lot of sun from the south windows, but I also have grow lights to add a little light when needed and give them a few extra hours of light after the sun goes down.

Outdoor set-up

The weather this spring has been unusually warm so I'm itching to start planting early. I've already started a bunch of seeds in my garden, and in a couple weeks I'll probably be planting my peppers and tomatoes outside. I'm curious to see what a few extra weeks of warm weather does for my garden...

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