Humor me for a moment.
I want you to picture the cleanest, freshest piece of food you can imagine. The most unprocessed, untouched by human hands piece of food you can conjure. What is it? A tomato maybe, or a cucumber? A squash, a carrot? I’m hoping you’re picturing a fruit or veggie of some sort. Now, where does it come from? If you said the store, please know that I am currently crying little tears for you. The tomatoes there come from Mexico, even in the summer when plenty of tomatoes are being grown right here in Oklahoma. If you said your local farmer’s market, you’re a little closer. If you said your own garden, you have hit the big money!!!!
Not really, I don’t have any cash prizes. But, you’re totally on my level. I know, I know, It’s barely March. But last year I started a garden late, and had to spend big money (the real kind) on plants that had already been sprouted and grown large enough to put in the ground.
So this year I’m all sorts of organized (kinda) and I’m starting all my plants from lil’ baby seeds. Lil’ baby seeds are a bajillion times cheaper than plants. I really really really think everyone should go out this weekend and start their own lil’ baby seeds a growing.
- Garden soil for veggies and flowers (preferably organic) I bought the huge bag because I’m going to end up using it later anyway
- Seeds- we got a variety of veggies and flowers
- Something to start your seeds in- we used egg cartons because they’re biodegradable and they’ll basically compost into the soil
- A dirt scooper (aka my 1/4 measuring cup)
- A Sharpie (or any writing utensil of your choice)
- One incredibly adorable helper (perhaps not totally necessary but definitely encouraged)
- Cookie sheets or something to protect the surface where the seeds will reside (not pictured)
Have your adorable helper lay the egg cartons out ever so carefully.
Fill the egg cartons about halfway with your soil. Make sure you press the soil down a bit.
Line your seed packets up in some semblance of organization. We basically grouped our veggies with veggies and flowers with flowers. Keep in mind you likely will not use all of the seeds in your packets, so if you want more tomatoes, leave more egg carton spots for tomatoes (or beets or watermelons or marigolds…you get the point).
Take the seed packets from your first carton, and going one packet at a time, place 3-5 seeds in each egg carton.
Bigger seeds get less per egg spot, smaller get more. It’s not rocket science, don’t worry too incredibly much about the number of seeds per spot.
Before you move on to the next egg carton, label the seeds you just planted!!!!!
Unless you want to play the “what is this plant?” game for the next few months, this is a fairly important step. When these eventually go in the ground you’ll want to remember to label them again, but I’ll remind you about that when the time comes. For now, just mark it on the egg carton.
I know my labeling system is all sorts of fancy schmancy so feel free to improvise as you see fit.
After you have planted and labeled all the seeds, take a second to admire your handy work.
Make sure to save your seed packets, even if they’re empty. They have instructions as to where you will want to put the plants once they’re big enough and how much sunlight they like.
At this point your adorable little helper may have decided that his monster trucks are much more interesting than adding dirt a second time, so go ahead and cover the seeds with more soil. Fill the carton so that there is soil all the way to the edges of the carton, with dirt in the crevices between each little egg holder. We want these seeds to learn to share from an early age, right?
Place the egg cartons carefully on the cookie sheets. Commandeer the top shelf of your adorable helper’s bookshelf and move said bookshelf in front of your helper’s bedroom window, thus causing complete room rearrangement.
When your little helper discovers an empty corner in his room, he’ll totally want to carefully arrange all of his shoes. (Now we know the real reason behind this, huh?)
Now you can sit back and watch the lil’ seeds turn into lil’ sprouts! I mean obviously there’s a little work involved, you know that whole watering the seeds thing. And perhaps rotating the cartons every couple of days so they get even sunlight.
I’ll add more posts about how the seeds are growing as they continue their journey towards my backyard and eventually our bellies!!!