|Seedlings in a tray (1)|
That's not true. I did buy one, one year, and while it worked just fine it didn't work so much better than my usual methods that I'd bother doing it again. Instead, I re-use items from around the house that would otherwise get trashed, for starting my seedlings in!
|Plastic tray from the swap shop|
Don't forget about small sour cream containers, and the ones your single-serve yogurt comes in. Any small plastic container can be used to grow plants in, and some metal ones too! This year I'll be adding a few herbs to my windowsill in the cleaned out tins my Hungarian paprika comes in.
|Egg carton planter|
|A plastic bag holds in moisture|
|The necessary tools|
|Mark 1.5" from the end and cut|
|Fold in the flaps|
The major difference between the egg cartons and toilet rolls, and the plastic containers, is that the former can go right into the ground without ever disturbing the roots of your seedlings. Plastic containers should be tipped upside down and tapped or gently squeezed to release the plants and dirt from the plastic. Plastic ones work better for larger plants like squash and corn, if you happen to be starting them indoors.
When it comes to seed starting, you can even start a handful of seeds indoors that you might normally put right outside. Cucumbers, for instance, normally just go outside in June and are planted in the soil directly. However, by starting two or three seedlings indoors, you can have vines already growing when you put the rest into the garden as seed. This gives you a handful of slicing cucumbers weeks earlier than you'll get the in-ground ones. The same can go for any plant, really.
It's economical and educational to start your own seeds, indoors or out. A packet of seeds costs less than a dollar in many stores, and not much more than that even for open pollinated or organic seeds. The same plants as starters, purchased from a nursery or other store will cost you at least that much per plant! Starting those seeds at home gives you the opportunity to be a part of the life cycle of your plant, and lets you teach your children the value of life. It gives you control over what your plants grow in, and what pesticides and chemicals they are introduced to. Add to that, there is a definite feeling of accomplishment you get when you pick a tomato or eggplant that you've nursed from seed to fruit. You can taste the love, the freshness, the glory in it as you eat it.
Shared at the Backyard Farming Connection Hop #20!
Shared at Eco-Kids Tuesday!
Shared at The HomeAcre Hop #7!
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1) Image by mrmac04 / morgueFile