By Fredrica Syren:
It’s hard to imagine that soon prime planting season but believe it or not, it’s fast approaching. Now is the time to plant seeds and set them in a sunny window indoors until they grow into plants ready to transplant outside. I like to plant my seeds in recycled household items instead of store bought plastic trays and soil blocks or even pots. Instead of wasting money and creating more trash, I suggest inventing your own seeds pots. It’s easy.
Growing plants from your own seeds puts all the control into your hands and will save you lots of money. You will know which seeds are being planted, and in what kinds of soil and fertilizer. It’s the only really safe way to know it’s all organic. Plus, your budget will go much further than if you had to buy seedlings. Also, my kids absolutely love the whole journey of planting a seed, watching it grow and nurturing it until we have herbs, fruit and vegetables that we’ll harvest.
Old yogurt cups – On the occasion my kids get individual servings of yogurt, I would save the empty cups to use for crafts. Now I also save them to plant seeds in. Just be sure to make a couple of drainage holes in the bottom of each cup.
Old milk or juice cartons – Lay the carton on its side and remove one of the long sides. Make drainage holes in opposite side. Fill with soil. You can grow more than one plant in there.
Egg cartons – The best part about using egg cartons is that, since they are bio-degradable and compostable, they can be transferred along with the seedling right into the ground/soil/pot. Fill each cell in the carton with soil and plant a few seeds in each one. Once the seeds have sprouted, divide the carton into individual cells; and plant, cardboard cells and all.
Toilet paper rolls – Everyone uses toilet paper, and these little paper tubs are the perfect size for seed planting. All you have to do is cut your toilet paper rolls in half and place them all tightly on a tray and fill with soil. Since the bottoms are open, they already have a natural way of draining water. When the time is right, plant them outside – toilet paper roll and all. Just like the egg cartons, they will compost, and the plants will already be off to a great start.
Take good care of your seedlings and make sure they get plenty of sunlight, or consider investing in a grow light. Keep soil moist but not over watered. When you’re sure the last frost date has passed, it is time to transplant your seedlings into the garden. Happy gardening!