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Hello, seedlings. Spring is coming!

2011 February 19

Today is an absolutely stunning, even if blustery, day in Seattle. Blue skies and birds chirping. Suddenly, I can taste Spring. This week I’ve been getting all my ducks –er, seeds– in a row for the garden I’m dreaming of. Last weekend I planted seeds and this weekend I’ve filled in my garden journal. Now all of my garden calendar dates and essential planting details are bundled in one easy to navigate place.

My previous organization system–the box of loose seeds packages– just wasn’t cutting it. I know it’s still a bit early, but I was starting to really stress, feeling like I was missing out on essential planning and planting. Now I’m totally on top of things.

I've filled out the Plant Analysis pages for all my new plants, and taped in my seed packets.

Here is what I’ve planted so far:

  • Tomatoes (3 varieties)
  • Italian Pepperoncini
  • Sweet Corno di Toro Pepper
  • Mixed Bell Peppers
  • Jalepeño Pepper
  • Baby Romaine
  • Broccoli
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Radish
  • Beet
  • Peas
  • Various herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley, basil)

My seeds have been planted in newsprint pots. Technically, the plants can be transplanted directly into the ground with the newsprint; However, since I made my pots quite thick, I’ll probably compost the newspaper when I plant. This is a really easy and free way to plant your seeds, so if you’d like to try it, a tutorial is below.

1. Here I've cut out six sheets of newsprint from a phone book.

Fold the sheets in half.

2. Fold the sheets in half.

3. Wrap about 2/3 of the paper sheets around a cylindrical vessel (not tapered).

4. About 1/3-1/2 of the paper should extend beyond the opening of the vessel.

Fold paper into opening of the vessel.

5. Fold paper into opening of the vessel.

6. Now when you remove the paper it should resemble a pot. Place the bottom flat end of the vessel back into the pot to press the folded base flat.

7. Fill pot with moist soil and plant your seeds!

I had an assembly line system going and made about 25 pots. Free and easy as that.


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7 Responses leave one →
  1. February 19, 2011

    newspaper pots, what a clever idea! i’ll have to try those out when i plant my seeds. :)

  2. Justine permalink*
    February 24, 2011

    Thank, Britt. They’re working just dandy! Seedlings are looking lovely these days (even though it’s snowing outside today.)

  3. March 1, 2011

    Cool idea! Do your seedlings have to be under lights or is a sunny window enough to get them going?

  4. Justine permalink*
    March 1, 2011

    Good question, Carla. I keep mine in a sunny window, then direct light on them for about 12-16 hours per day. Since I only need this setup periodically, I have set up portable desk lamps which use incandescent plant/aquarium bulbs (like this on a timer. You don’t need a timer if you can remember to turn them off. Or, you can use florescent shop lights for a more permanent setup. This post talks a bit about seed starts and lighting:

    I’ve also got my seeds in trays with clear lids to keep the temperature nice and toasty for their introduction into the world. I’ll post a seedling update soon, but everything has germinated except broccoli and eggplant so far!

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