Last year we decided not to buy potted plants for our garden, but to start from seed. We tried this before, but crashed and landed flat on our faces. Starting mass quantities of seedlings requires DILIGENCE. Sure, after the first week I could have easily turned DILIGENCE into BACK BREAKING DILIGENCE to keep every plant alive, but really, it’s very rewarding and much cheaper than buying potted plants from a green house.
Some of the challenges we encountered were as follows:
When the seedlings first come up, DON’T OVER WATER THEM. Babies are tender, and over watering can drown them. Make sure the soil is nice and moist, and they will be fine. When they get bigger, they will naturally need more water. Don’t skimp, but be careful. You know if you start seening pubddles that it's too much.
Second, as the plants get taller, they will start leaning more towards the area where there is the most sun. If they lean like this long enough, they will start to have a weak point in their stem. To prohibit this, just turn the trays around the opposite direction as needed. As far as what to start the seedlings in, we used bio-degradable egg cartons. You know, the kind that is stiff and looks like it’s made out of pressed brown paper. These worked great and were easy to cut into individual sections and transplant once the seedlings out grew them.
Another interesting thing that we tried was recycled newspaper pots. We had so much fun folding these as a family in our living room. These are our heirloom tomatoes that we grew in the newspaper pots. Aren’t they lovely? We grew four kinds, Brandywine Pink, Burpee’s Super Steak, Black Krim, and Big Rainbow. Aaaaah. The Fruit of my labor.
These are some herbs that we were experimenting with. We planted basil, dill, cilantro, and mint. We had different success with the herbs. Mint was a failure, and the cilantro did pretty well when we put it outdoors, but the dill and basil got absolutely huge! Success!!!