So I decided to do something risky this year with my gardens.. So many new things are being tried and tested this year, and one of those things is using nothing but seeds to start everything with!
No buying already grown transplants at the local store, no letting my grandmother buy flowers to transplant into her gardens, and no more waiting way to long before I start seeds! Now, I may not have a Greenhouse this year (RIP Greenhouse #1), but what I do have is a nice warm front porch and a little imagination..
While my family has been sick these past two weeks, I decided ‘what a great time to start planning my seeds’! So I grabbed my seed calendar (a huge calender my grandmother got me just for keeping track of my seeds), I pulled out the tote of seeds from the basement, and started looking through my seeds and planning when I would plant everything.
This year, I tried buying seeds from two different magazine’s and from the store (VS last year when I only got them from the store). I wanted a good variety of seeds and places because this year sounded like a good year to experiment with seeds and where I will be getting them from in the future. (More on that later)
So back to seed starting.. When I went outside to get the seed starting trays from around the side of the house, I noticed that I hadn’t looked closely enough at the containers, and that all of the containers were really just holders, or containers that were way to big to start seeds in. I brought them in anyways and was looking at the trays trying to decide what seeds would fit in such strange trays anyways, some ideas popped into my mind..
The first was the supply of egg shells I had been trying to save all winter to start seeds in this year. And you know what? They fit PERFECTLY in the odd round little holes of one of the trays!
The next step was to find things to start seeds in for the bigger trays..
I then thought about all the news paper in the basement that my grandmother and I found while cleaning out the basement. My grandfather had stockpiled that stuff like gold when they used to heat this place with wood! So I went downstairs, grabbed a few newspapers, and went to work making boxes. I had learned to make these a long time ago when I was very little, and I always seem to surprise myself with them. No matter how many years it has been since I’ve made them, I can still make a perfect box no problem. A few sick day movies later, and I had over 20 boxes made and stacked in a box.
I added them to the trays (with some plastic bags under them of course) and to my surprise they fit perfectly! Putting the boxes in the trays reminded me of when my brother and I used to play an old game called ‘don’t break the ice’. Before you played the game you had to put all of these little plastic ‘ice cubes’ in a square game table thing and they all had to fit perfectly. All of my boxes fit in nice and snug without to much complaint. Then came the dirt and the seeds..
I’ll admit.. I was a little worried that the ink on the newspapers would cause the seeds not to grow.. But so far I haven’t had any problems and all of my seeds are starting to pop up! I’m so happy! The only real problem I’ve had with my seeds so far are that the cats are way to interested in them.. I found a few paw prints in them on the first day, and when I stuck them up where the cats couldn’t get into them, this happened:
I’ll post an update once all of the seeds are a little more ‘up and noticeable’. I’ve been so jealous of everyone else starting seeds already and getting gardening stuff done, and I’m over here in the Michigan just waiting for the weather man to stop saying ‘chance of snow’. It’s nice to finally get seeds started and to feel accomplish! I even started feeling better the other day and got both of my gardens cleaned out!
Has anyone else started seeds yet? Where did you get your seeds from this year? Are you starting all your plants from seeds? Or getting transplants?
Happy Spring everyone! And don’t forget to talk to your plants (they make great listeners)! 😉
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Clever! I just start seeds in bigger “start” containers that I reuse every year, and put a plastic tray over them. We have a hothouse of sorts (shed with windows on 3 sides) which turns it into a toasty microclimate (during the day at least) and it’s made seed starting a LOT easier! I do have warming pads for tomatoes and peppers which I’m about to start today. I get organic seeds and try to get as many heirloom varieties in whatever I grow. We started carrots, leeks, onions and peas outdoors already (peas are SO easy that it really makes no sense to buy starts financially), and I started poppies for the first time from seeds we saved from our old house along with my usual calendula that I put in with the potatoes as a nice companion plant. I’m always more paranoid planting seeds directly outdoors instead of growing them initially indoors, but 75% of the time it seems to still turn out OK – probably because I throw the whole packet out there, haha 🙂
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I plan to use my bigger start containers for my pepper plants that I start next week, I’m excited to see how they do in those. I’ve never had much luck with organic seeds, but that’s what experimenting is for right? 😂 I’m always paranoid about planting seeds directly too, the chipmunks around here never seem to leave my seeds alone! This is actually my first year growing transplants, before now I’ve planted everything directly (not really the best game plan when you’ve got a short growing season). Sounds like you’ve got a great setup with your hothouse! Can’t wait to hear how your poppys turn out! I was excited to see how well the seeds I saved last year would grow and so far I’m impressed.
I never had luck with tomato and pepper seeds until I use the heated mats underneath and the little plastic toppers to create a greenhouse effect, then I slowly introduce them to outdoor temperatures. Here at the coast I’ve also got row covers over hoops to protect them from the wind and add a few degrees as well as I noticed my neighbors all have greenhouses for theirs. by the way I’ve also started saving seeds over the last few years which seems to work nicely as well. It’s not the organic that makes it hard to grow, it’s really the combination of choosing seeds for varieties that fit your climate and of course how well you nurture them. For me I have to have reminders on my calendar to check on them regularly otherwise I totally spaced out and they dry out 🙄
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I just started saving seeds last year with my flowers and I love it! I’m kinda still geeking out over the fact that one seed can grow so many other seeds. Good to know I don’t have a black thumb with organic seeds and that I may just be trying to grow the wrong stuff. It’s so hard to have things like row covers and tent greenhouses here, 30-50 MPH winds is pretty normal around here and it destroys a lot of stuff like that pretty easily (although I have yet to have problems with the wind hurting my plants).
Not sure where you are but we have terrible wind issues as well here on the Oregon Coast (Astoria) which is why I connected row covers to my PVC hoops – I invested in several bags of 4-inch “snap clamps” to attach the cloth to the pipe and they are AWESOME, surviving every wind storm we’ve had so far and keeping my peas from flying off into never-never-land. 🙂 Yeah we couldn’t have any kind of tent greenhouse, heck even when we lived in the city and used plastic cloches those would go flying out of the back yard and down the street during the winter, haha…
Way cool on the flower seed saving – I’ve done it with sunflower seeds for years (although here on the coast with deer and wind I’m curious how they’ll do…) and want to get more into it. My husband can propagate all kinds of ways, he’s way more scientific than I 🙂
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Wow, sounds like you’ve got just as bad of winds there! I live in southern Michigan surrounded by miles of corn fields with farmers who like to cut down all their trees. So there is literally no wind block here! 😝 Good luck with your sunflowers. I’m growing them for the first time this year and I’m hoping I can save some seeds from them (if all the deer and birds leave me any that is).
Reading your posts and comments is encouraging me to save more seeds, something I did in my homesteading days but haven’t done in a few years. I’m in north central Indiana, zone 5a-5b and grow nearly all my own transplants or direct seed. I do pick up a few plants I can’t resist or that don’t grow from seed, or just are too slow for my deck containers each spring…lantana, special petunias. Hope your season is a great success!
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Oh my gosh thanks so much, I hope your spring is a great success as well! My grandmother has a habit of buying pretty flowers too when she’s out and bringing them home to plant in hanging baskets. She’s to impatient for seeds. 😂 I think that it’s amazing so many people like us start from seeds and transplant them into their gardens. I’m loving seed saving, I got so many seeds from my zinnias and marigolds last year!