I have finally started my tomato, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper seeds. It has been on my mind for a week and a half now, but unfortunately, life got in the way. Now that it is done, I fill like spring is a little bit closer to being here in all of it's grand glory! I was going to give you a step by step tutorial, but my sister in law Shannon, has done a fabulous job describing the basics on her own blog (great minds think alike). Therefore, I am going to cheat (I hope you don't mind, Shannon, I owe you one!) and LINK you to her blog for the particulars!
Since I have started the Waste Not Want Not Challenge I thought I would show you some cheaper ways to start your own seeds.
Egg cartons are great for starting seeds in (they can be planted directly into the ground because they are biodegradable). Just poke a hole in the bottom of each well with a large nail for drainage.
Plastic yogurt cups are a wonderful, too and free. Just poke a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage.
Peat cups are also good and usually cheap. Watch the clearance tables at the end of the summer. You can nab them for next to nothing.
I also have saved the black plastic pots from previous years trips to the green house. Lots of times if you can get them for free by checking the trash or asking a salesperson at the nursery if they have any they are going to throw away. If so stock up and save them for later.
I was a lucky duck last year and I was able to salvage 4 large black plastic trays (the kind that they use to set the displays of plant starts in) out of an abandoned cart in the Walmart parking lot. The trays are great for catching the water overflow when you water, and for when you are transporting them to the garden.
Watch for sales on potting soil or seed starting mix. I usually use potting soil, but the starter mix was cheaper (the small bags came from Family Dollar. They were $1.50 each. Each bag filled 5 medium sized pots).
This is the part I am proudest of! I have been saving deli containers (it's a weird fetish, I know). Usually, I use them to transport food items to church or family functions, or when I take meals to a friend or neighbor in need. That way I don't stress if my dishes don't come back. I digress! Anyway, when I was reading my sister in laws blog (see you inspire me Shannon) I thought, self, those containers would make fabulous greenhouses for your plant starts! When the seedlings get tall enough, I will prop the clear plastic tops up to give them more room. Also, notice the shelf in front of the French door. That particular window gets sun from about 1:00pm until the sun sets; making it the perfect warm, sunny place for little seedlings to grow. The shelf is metal which also helps keep the plants warm.
So far, I have started 10 Early girl tomato plants, 10 Beefsteak Tomato plants, 10 green pepper plants, 8 jalapeno plants. I am heading to back to Fred Meyer's (this week their seeds are on sale Buy 2 Get 1 Free with in store coupon) to get a few more seeds to start (broccoli, cabbage, and banana squash). Hopefully, they will all grow, and with any luck we will be producing major quantities of vegetables this summer!