We purchased some seed starting mix from our local Meijer and had saved some of the 2 dozen sized egg trays which we will be starting our seedlings in. Since our garden has become smaller over the years by making the raised beds, we don't need as many plants as we used to so we start off small. This also allows us to plant at different times to allow for different harvest times for most of the produce. We started by direct seeding some herbs to refresh our herb garden. I find it difficult to find the herbs I desire at the nurseries when I want them so prefer to start them myself. I have Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Sage, and Common Thyme started in the round container (yes, that is a cake container) which is easy to seal and hold in moisture and let in light as well. I have Four rows of Four herbs with several seeds in each "hole". I keep it moist with a spray bottle and it lives in the Toy Room Window for now.
In the larger container, which is another cake type container from the deli/bakery at Meijer; there are 6 rows of 6 "holes" with seed starting mix keeping moist and ready to plant peppers and Black cherry Tomatoes that have had the seeds soaking. I love the Jerry Baker book I picked up at a yard sale and his tips for solutions and potions are awesome. I mixed up the seed soak solution to speed up sprouting and put seeds in my old pill bottles and labeled each bottle so I'd know which variety was in which bottle. The solution is very simple; 1 Qt warm water, 1 tsp dish soap, 1 tsp Ammonia, and 1 tsp instant tea granules. Let that set awhile to dissolve the tea and store in a sealed glass jar. I put a bit in each pill bottle with the seeds and let set for 24 hours (overnight). The following night, I had taken an old nylon stocking and cut into sections, tying off with knots to make little hats to go over each bottle and hold in place with a small rubber band (the kind used for little girls hair work great! also use those to hang and dry my herbs). This allowed me to drain the solution and set the bottles on their sides in the egg tray to dry for 24 hours. Tonight, we will be able to put the seeds into the moist seed starting mix.
Meanwhile, I did the same thing wit h my Spinach and Broccoli seeds the following night, they will be drained tonight and hopefully put into the "soil" tomorrow. Once these begin to sprout, and have begun to get their first leaves, they will hopefully be ready to go out into our cold frame in the yard to continue to grow. At that point, we will transfer them to their own larger pots which will be their home until they are planted in the raised beds at the garden.
One other thing I did to get ready for planting was made my own seed strips for my carrots, radish, and green onion. As these are things that we plant throughout the season and the seeds are so tiny; I like to have a strip I can just lie down and cover with soil to plant rather than try to see where the seeds are going... It is really simple..
Cut strips of newspaper approximately 1 1/2 inch wide in the length you desire. Fold the strips in half length wise and run a small bead of NON TOXIC White Glue the length of the crease. Place your seeds along this bead of glue, keep in mind the placement of seeds will need to be proper for each plant... you don't want to crowd your root vegis! Lie flat to let these dry overnight. I pinned them to the cover of my ironing board over night to keep them from blowing off or sticking to one another... When they are dry, LABEL them with a marker so you know which seeds are on which strip, preferably at the end of the strip. Roll them up and store inside a toilet paper tube to keep from getting crushed and keep in a sealed container with your seeds. When it is time to plant, just loosen the soil as you normally would, place the strip - seed side down - and dampen it with warm water and then cover with 1/4 inch of loose soil and mark your row as normal. Keep this moist for the first week or two to allow the paper to disintegrate and the seed to germinate.
We'd love to hear from you with ideas that YOU find work good for YOU. If you try our suggestions, please share your results as well... We hope to be able to interact with our followers... so don't be shy! Let us know you're here : ) That's all for today, it's time for me to go wash some dishes and watch the birds play on the feeder. I'll post again in a few days hopefully with some new photos of the newly seeded trays.
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