Sunday, May 1, 2011

Take Out Seed Starting Tray

I picked up a few new packs of seeds the other day.  I didn't really need anything new, but I was at the garden center and I can easily be swayed to spend a few dollars for another variety of summer edibles.  It's getting late in spring and I wanted to get the seeds in the garden in record time, so I grabed some take out containers to use as mini greenhouses.  The only things I used were:
take out containers with sealable lids
paper towels
small stones
potting soil
vermiculite, sand, perlite (optional)
I started by placing the paper towel in the tray.  I topped the paper with some small stones.  I find that the paper towel and stones acts as a drainage system when I water the soil, keeping the roots from rotting.

I topped the stones with some potting soil, filling the container close to the top, and pressing down gently to make sure there are no air pockets or clumps of soil. 
I planted my seeds, covering them with a layer of vermiculite.  You can also use perlite, sand or more potting soil, but I get good results from vermiculite.
After watering the soil gently, I placed the cover on tightly and placed the greenhouse in a sunny spot in my yard. 

These mini-greenhouses should produce seedlings quickly. 

Once the seeds sprout, be sure to keep the lids off during the day so the plants don't burn.  After the plants get their first set of real leaves they can be gently lifted out of the tray with an old fork and transplanted elsewhere in your garden. 
Be well and Happy Gardening!

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