Sunday, February 28, 2016

Paper pots for planting seeds!

This is my second attempt at starting seedlings indoors.  When I did it once before, I thought I could start seeds under the light of a south window.  Not so.  It wasn't nearly enough light to get seedlings to grow stocky enough to plant into my windy garden spot.  So this year I've been doing a little research and found a dandy article on the methods of starting seedlings at Mother Earth News.  I used to pick up that magazine at the library in the front entry where folks would leave their magazines to share for free.  Here is the article I learned so much from: Best Tips For Starting Seeds Indoors.  One of the tips was to make your own pots from paper cups or from newspapers, and since we have lots of newspapers, I opted for that.  I spent a good hour rolling pots and ended up with 63 pots for my seed planting.  Here's a video for a very simple newspaper pot

I bought a 4 foot hanging shop light that has florescent bulbs.  I'll put that above my trays of pots and hope that I will have plenty of light for young seedlings to get a good start.  I'm planning to plant tomatoes:  Sweet 100s, Heirloom Beef Steak, Better Boy, and Early Girl.  We have such a short growing season that I like to have some early tomatoes as well as some that take a little longer just in case we can get a few huge tomatoes late in the season.  I'll also be planting:  broccoli, Brussels sprouts (experiment), cabbage, peppers, and maybe some cantaloupe.  I want to start some flowers too:  moss rose, snapdragons, marigolds, and petunias. 
(Illustration By Elayne Sears)

Another great tip I found was how to make your own liquid fertilizer  for young transplants.  Since I have chickens, I can use some of that manure mixed with wood shavings and add in grass clippings and a few other things into a bucket of water.  I had always heard that chicken poop was "too hot" to mix into the garden directly, so it makes sense to make a "compost tea" with it to use as fertilizer.  I've also read that some people take their weeds, throw them into a bucket, add water and sunshine, and let it steep into a tea that works as fertilizer.  Not even the weeds need to go to waste!

I will wait until about March 10th before I start planting my seeds because our last frost date can be as late as the end of May.  By starting my own seeds, I will have more choices for the types of plants I can grow instead of relying on the greenhouses to make those choices for me.  I hope to save a little money on my garden costs too.  Wish me luck!

Do you have any seed starting tips to share?


  1. Good for you! This is so exciting.... My daughters are always starting seeds, with or without lights, with mixed results. But your plan sounds so well thought out and logical.

    Now that I have my greenhouse I might start growing my own plants from seed the way I used to when I had a cold frame (long ago!), but I don't think this year... and I'm not sure that it even gets enough sun during this season. But maybe there is a kind of light I could put in it, so that it can be more than a potting shed during the winter.

    Thanks for the tip about the cute seed pots!

  2. Boy, good luck Jody! That's a lot of work. I know you'll have a beautiful garden though. I'm giving up on veggies this year -- they just haven't worked well for me, so I'm converting my little veggie patch into a flower bed -- we'll see if that will work any better. ;-D Keep us updated on your growth!

  3. Last year my seedlings were just okay. Your plan is sure to bring a bumper crop!

  4. Thanks for that video link, Jody. I shared it with Adam. Pots are expensive to buy. I like the idea of making our own. He also started a lot of tomato seeds in his barn office with florescent lights above them. They did not germinate as quickly as the ones that were in our little homemade greenhouse, which I found interesting. Evidently the amount of sunlight they get in there (even diffused by the plastic) is more than what he was giving them under those lights, all day long. Not sure why. Good luck with your tomatoes!!


I love reading your comments. Thanks for stopping in. Sorry, but due to spam, only registered users can comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...