What’s up, everyone? Its been so long, too long! I hope you are all doing well.
Now is about the time that anyone wanting to plant cool weather crops, namely broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and cabbage, will be wanting to start their seeds. I thought I would pass on something I learned about making inexpensive seed starters.
Many people just go down to their local Wal-Mart and buy seed starting kits. Some are plastic trays that you then fill with soil and seeds. They usually come with a clear plastic cover. The cover is important because it traps heat and moisture. Other trays are meant to decompose; you can plant them directly into the soil, and they will break down, adding to the texture of the soil as they do. Some are made of cardboard, some of pressed earth. You can make the pressed earth ones yourself IF you have the press. I think the most cost-effective method is to buy a large count of eggs, in a cardboard carton. They sell them in large flats of 30 eggs here. If you can’t find them that big, or you don’t want to start that many seeds, just cut the top off of a standard 12 count of eggs. The cardboard will breakdown in the soil. You want individual cells because the less you disturb the seedlings the better for them. As this stage in their life cycles, they are very delicate.
The only other things you will need are some plastic. I am using plastic grocery bags but you can use plastic wrap, used bread bags, basically anything that is lightweight. I am using one bag underneath to protect the surface and one on top. Seeds are best started between 70 and 80 degrees F. Be careful because the covers can potentially raise the temperature inside by 10 degrees. If you want, or if your house stays on the cool side, like mine, you can add a heating pad underneath the starter. I ordered a heating pad from Amazon, but as of this post, it has yet to arrive.
My seeds were started 3 days ago and I already have sprouts! Remember to water your seedlings daily, and when they start to develop leaves make sure they get plenty of sun.