Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seed Containers from Scratch

It's time.  Time to mow the lawn for the first time this year.  Time to amend the soil in the garden.  Time to plant outdoor cool weather crops.  And time to start seeds indoors.  One of my favorite times of the year!

We've been collecting empty toilet paper rolls for a while now because we wanted to try an experiment.

We wanted to try to make containers for starts.  So we grabbed one roll.

And cut it in half.  Then cut four equidistant slits about 3/4" deep in each roll.

Then we pushed the first tab in, rotated the roll a quarter turn, pushed the second tab in so that it overlapped the first tab.

Repeated.  When we got to the last tab, we tucked it under the first one, as if closing a big cardboard box.

When done correctly, it should look like this.

Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

Repeat ad infinitum.  Or at least until you've gone through all your TP rolls, as we did.  Thank goodness for little helpers.

I then filled each container with good potting soil

and then got my seeds ready.

I planted summer vegetables this day - one week ago today --cherry and pear tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.  I have a nagging feeling I've planted too early.  But then again, the weather forecast for this upcoming week actually has us hitting 87 degrees on Wednesday.  Time will tell.

Once the seeds were neatly tucked into their new home, I placed five or six containers on a small seed starting tray from last year.  Then I wrapped them in plastic bags, hoping to create a greenhouse effect.

I put the clusters of seeds on larger trays to help move them around as needed.

Then I put the trays in front of a heater.  Which I really wasn't very good about turning on.

One week later, here's what I've learned.  Mold.  In this cool, damp and enclosed environment, my toilet papers sprouted mold, not seedlings.

So this morning, one week later, I took the seedlings out of the plastic bags, wiped off the mold, spread them out on each tray, placed them on the heater and gave them a little positive talk.  If I keep the heater on low and make sure the seedlings don't dry out, I should have some seedlings popping up this week.

At least I'm hoping they will.

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