This is my first year with a yard, which means it's my first year with a real vegetable garden! Last year I grew a tiny vegetable garden on my porch, but I failed miserably at starting seeds. I think I didn't water them enough, because anything that actually sprouted ended up dying. After that I vowed to only buy vegetable plants from the nursery.
But then a year went by and my confidence recovered. So I went out and bought lots of seeds!
I decided to make my own seed starting cups out of newspaper. I saw the idea for little newspaper seed pots on the Backyard Farming blog. I liked this idea better than going out and buying plastic seed-starter trays. So I got to work.
First I had to find newspaper... Borrowed some from my neighbor. Christian brought some home from work.
I forgot to take a picture of the beginning of the process, so here are two pictures from Backyard Farming. You cut the newspaper into strips, wrap them around a small jar (I used a medium size spice jar--one with about a 2-inch top).
Tuck the extra newspaper into the opening of the jar, pull it off the jar, turn it over, and smash down the tucked-in newspaper to create the base.
Then fill the cups with dirt! I saved various plastic trays to put them in (the bottoms of milk jugs, cookie trays, cupcake containers from the cupcakes I took to my ESL class...). I also cut some of the leftover plastic into tabs to label the plants.
I'm not going to lie--rolling the newspaper and filling the little pots with dirt was time consuming. It wouldn't have been nearly as time consuming if I had counted my seeds correctly. Somehow I calculated that I needed 50 little pots. So I made 50 little pots. When it came time to plant the seeds, I planted 20 pots and was done. I sure felt dumb that I had been so off in my calculations! Turns out I included all the seeds I planned to plant directly in the ground. Oops! So I gave the rest to my sister.
I planted more seeds than I would need, expecting some of them not to grow. Want to see how well my seeds are doing?
The chives are not doing so well. I failed with these last year, too. I guess I'm not meant to grow chives from seed.
The peppers are making an appearance! Some bell peppers, some habanero peppers, some piquillo peppers, and some sweet yellow peppers. I read a tip to cover them in a plastic bag to keep them warm. When everything else started growing except my peppers, I ditched the bag, and now they are starting to grow.
The tomatoes are like a forest! (Note the orange int he picture for scale.) Almost all the seeds grew! Cherry tomatoes, big purple heirloom tomatoes, and tomato seeds I harvested from my CSA last year. We are going to have lots of tomatoes.
Last, but very much not least, are the watermelon and zucchini! 3 decent-size watermelon plants and 3 HUGE zucchini plants! I need to get these bad boys in the ground stat, but the never-ending rain is making that difficult. So I guess they will just keep growing!
Now if the rain would just stop, I could plant everything...
3 years ago