10 March 2008

Seed Starting Containers

Starting seeds is as much science as art and I'm still learning how to use science to perfect the art of the perfect seedling.
If you have any tricks, I'd like to hear them.
Continuing to plow ahead, here is what I'm doing now

The seed starting containers are
blueberry boxes that were well washed. The bottom of the container is filled with sterile potting soil for annuals. Seed starting mix is put on the top and then seeds are planted in rows. Then, more sterile seed starting mix is put on the top according to the needs of the specific seeds.
Once the seedlings emerge, the top has to be lifted. The same identification tag of a plastic knife written with paint in a pen stays with the container.

Another method that's good for some seeds is to use a thoroughly cleaned Styrofoam egg carton. Several holes are punched in the bottom of each cup for drainage. The top of the egg carton was cut off to use as the saucer to catch the drips.

Some seeds come up well and others disappoint. Arugula and chard are going gangbusters and are about to set their first true leaves. The spinach I planted in a 72-hole container did not germinate very well. Less than half of the seeds germinated.

What works for you?


Oh, and yippee, Blogger is functional again. Thanks Google.

4 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Molly,

I really like your blueberry containers. I need to save some before next spring. I've used everything from egg cartons to egg shells to start seeds, but what I have trouble with is hardening off. I always forget and leave the little seedlings out in the garden, and their either fry or freeze.~~Dee

Molly Day said...

My only complaint about the egg cartons is the cups are so shallow.

The blueberry boxes work better because they have holes in the bottom and the top.

I just ordered two cold frames from Harbor Freight and Tool - on sale right now and fairly low cost shipping.

Hopefully that will help with the hardening off.

I should take a photo of our current hardening off scheme. It's pretty primitive.
Martha

Ben said...

I use newspaper pots that I make from the local newspaper.
It's quite easy to do, and only takes a few minutes per pot. I compost the pot when the seedling is planted out into the ground.
Thanks for your blog!

Martha said...

Hi Ben -
Would you please tell me how to make those paper pots?

Either you can describe the process or tell me where to find the directions.

They seem so sensible.

Do the bottoms get soggy before you plant them in the ground? That's the only thing I was concerned about.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. I always wonder if anyone is reading it.
M