Starting Seeds

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Last weekend, because the windchill was a very nice 3 degrees, we decided to begin working on Spring. First we potted some bulbs in the hopes of a few flowers coming up around the house in the next few weeks. And then, we began on a few seeds. We will begin our real big seed push a bit later for the garden, but we decided to start working on our indoor plant life right now. While we're freezing and impatient and need a bit of green in our days. Normally, we've used jiffy pots as seed starters, but this time I decided to try making our own. At first I was considering getting a pres to make tiny newspaper pots, but then I saw a tiny seed pot made out of a toilet paper roll and decide that was our best best. It may not be very glamorous, but it works. It also give our vast supply of cardboard rolls a use in life. And, even better, they aren't constantly being fished out of the recycling for use as telescopes and binoculars only to end of a shredded mess on the living room floor or a soggy glop in the sink when the telescope turns into a funnel. 

It's really very easy. I just cut the tubes in half and then cut 4 slits half way up one end. To make it easier to fold the ends in, I flattened one end a bit so that I could cut 2 slits at once. With 2 squeezes, I had 4 nearly equal slits that lined up well. Next I folded the ends under in turn, and then inserted the last flap edge back under the first, just like closing a box. That's it. I quickly made 16 in just a few minutes. I also tried paper towels rolls, but, being narrower, they were much harder to fold together at the end. 

Once all 16 were folded, I turned 12 of them over to my helpers, who filled each with dirt and planted the seeds. Because 4 of my helpers are 7 and under, we placed the mini-pots in a low plastic container which we're leaving next to our kitchen window. We wanted a sturdy, stable container that my children can easily watch, but we can also easily move if needed. (Personally I wish it were a bit more attractive, but it's doing it's job.) . In a perfect world, we'd mix up our own seed starting soil concoction, but instead we bought a small bag of seed starter pouring soil to give the seeds a good start. We dropped a few seeds into each pot, lightly covered then with more of the soil and misted the lot. We'll continue to mist them as needed and hopefully soon, we'll have a few spouts. We are covering the container loosely with a bit of plastic wrap until they get going.

Next, we're working on propagating from cuttings- Cilantro, Sage, Basil & Mint so far- and planting some lemon & avocado seeds. As soon as it's a bit warmer, we're going to attempt to take some Budleia cuttings to root as well. I'll post updates on how it all works out.