Friday, April 29, 2011

Seed Starting - an experiment

This time of year I think serious gardeners have all started up this years prize annuals and perennials from seed.  I have typically not been one of those folks.

I really hate starting plants from seed - and probably because of that, I'm terrible at it. I've never invested the time to get it right. This year I tried two new things - one was the seed bomb that I recently posted about. The other was starting seeds indoors.

Even after making seed bombs, I still had plenty of old sees around to use for this little experiment.  Plus you know I didn't want to invest in any special trays or pots for my seed starting - so I used leftover plastic from take-out and frozen food containers and similar sources. Reuse, recycle and repurpose!  I took items that were exactly the same size and punched holes in one tray, then nested them together.  These are pretty shallow - but I think for seeds that isn't an issue.

Then I sifted some potting soil to create a very fine "seed starting" mix.  In the bottom of the containers I did put in a small layer of regular potting soil, then topped it with my mix.  Next I placed the seeds and then covered with another layer of the mix - per instructions on the packets.  I made sure they were all moist and happy, covered them with plastic to retain the moisture, and then set back to watch the magic happen. Every few days I add water in between the two plastic containers to keep them all moist.



5-10 days later and I do have a few seedlings appearing.  Here you can see some decorative grass starting.  This perennial grass costs over $50 a container at the store.  If I can get this going - it will have only cost me a few dollars!

A girlfriend came over last night (a real seed starter!) and shared some tips to improve my success. First off I need to continue to maintain the moisture - so that there is always condensate on the inside of the plastic. Secondly the trays need more light and heat.  So I have to work on that.

Nonetheless - I'm calling it a success for now, I have some little plants growing. Whoo Hoo! 

Meanwhile - I'm making a list of the plant sales that I want to hit in the next few weeks!