Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow….
I know it’s February, but I’m already a bit behind on the seed sewing process. I wanted to plant my first seeds indoors Feb 2nd, but the budget kept it from happening. No worries. All in good time. Having to wait for my seeds has only increased my joy and anticipation of their arrival. And they have arrived!
I’m not certain I’ve ever been more excited to get a package before. I almost tackled the mailman (poor guy looked a bit stunned.) The dog had barely gotten his mouth open to bark at the mail truck before I ran out onto the porch to gather my goodies. And can you blame me? This package had three books on urban farming (!!!!), 18 packets of organic seeds, a soil ph testing kit, AND a seed starter heating pad. Hello! Best. Package. Ever.
After my daughter was tucked in bed last night, I spent the rest of the evening planning and charting when and where to start my seeds. I’ve not received my full seed order yet (I’ve got heirlooms coming from High Mowing and Seed Savers Exchange), so I had to sort through what I had, identify what should/could be started now, and prep for managing the rest of my order once it arrived. Because until last year I knew nothing about growing veggies I’ve done a lot of reading to do this prep. I’ve read countless articles online (many of which can be found in my stay-at-homesteading Pinterest board), but there have also been invaluable books including The Week-by-Week Vegetable Farmers Handbook and Rodale’s Successful Organic Gardening.
This morning I didn’t even let my little one get out of her PJs before I dragged her downstairs, so we could start planting our seeds.
In the name of recycling and reusing, I followed some suggestions I’d heard before for using egg shells, egg crates, and plastic boxes for seedling ‘greenhouses’ and created these little beauties below.
The steps I followed are listed below:
1) Wash well and save 1/2 eggshells once egg is used for cooking
2) Place 1/2 egg shell in each section of egg crate
3) Cut egg crate in half to fit plastic ‘greenhouses’ if necessary. Cut off lid of the egg crate.
4) Added peat pellets to 1/2 eggshells
5) Fill eggshells with warm water and watch peat expand
6) gently tamp down peat with fingers to fill the egg shells, then fill again with warm water, so peat is damp to the touch
7) Sort seeds and plant them accordingly in individual eggshells
8) Label seeds
9) Place in a clear plastic container in a well lit room and on heating pad or under grow light as necessary.
I had some leftover seeds from last season and I wanted to see if they would germinate this season too, so I labeled my seeds by type (Chives, Basil, Thyme etc), but also as ‘old’ or ‘new.’ I’m hoping I’ll get growth from both, but even if I don’t I’ll have learned something about how I stored my seeds last year and what I can keep season to season.
Well, we’ll see how this experiment works, on all accounts, both the reused eggs and old seeds. I’ll share photos and growth along the way! Sending good growing luck my way and I’ll send your way too :).