Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seed Sprouting


There's tons of ideas and even more ways to sprout seeds out there. Fancy little seed pots and plastic green house trays etc. All work as far as I know but I frequently don't have the money to buy all those things. So, how do I get my seeds sprouted? Here's what i do, it's simple and it's cheap and it's things I use around here every day. I use ziploc sandwich bags and peat pellets. I use the cheap, generic ones and buy up all the peat pellets i can find on clearance at the end of every season and just store them for use later. I just soak the pellets in warm water, put them in the bags, add the seeds, close them up and set my baggies up on a table next to my south facing windows and wait. No special lights, no special heating pads, just the table and sunlight. That is, if we get sunlight. Even on overcast days, the seeds are still "cooking". The bags work like little greenhouses. When the seeds sprout, i open up the bags. The baggies work to hold water without making a mess as the seedlings continue to grow. It also keeps them grouped nicely and positively identified, no wondering what's planted where.

Unless we have some seriously unpleasant cold weather, the seeds sprout every time with this method. For the cost of one box type seed starter green house, I can start 5 times the seeds with the baggie method and have every seed sprout.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for explaining how you do that! It looks so easy! I've never used those seed pellets, but they interest me!

    I have 2 greenhouse thingies: one I got free (coupon on the catalog), the other I got unopened at a garage sale for $2!

    Unfortunately, I don't have a good window to grow seeds in, so they have to go under lights. I don't think they do as good with lights as they do with sun. My sister's sun seeds always do better than my light seeds. In the future we want to replace our south window and we want to get a bay window, which would give me space to put seeds there. Someday....Take care, MM!

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  2. I saw this at APN and I am most definitely going to use this method. Yer a genius honey!

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  3. Thanks for the info on your mini-greenhouses. I saved it for the next planting. ~Liz

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  4. Thanks for sharing, the trouble I think I am facing is not having a place warm enough to sprout the seeds. I tried at the side of my stove, with vent hood light, but got nothing in the baggies started 3 weeks ago. So very frustrating! I have south facing windows but not much light comes in to shine on the floors. Do you know of an alternative?

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  5. Try a fish tank light. It's full spectrum. Keeping the baggies out of a draft helps more than anything.

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  6. I'm going to try something like this for my next seeds I start! Thanks!

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  7. I like your blog!

    I never buy anything to sprout seeds, either. I make a potting soil mix in the fall from our garden, old chicken manure and whatever else I have on hand and put it in the basement.

    I keep all of the food containers from the store and plant in those. Some even have clear lids and everything. I also use clear pop bottles I pick up on recycle day in the city and meat trays. I cover these with cheap dollarstore plastic wrap until they sprout.

    I have also used newspapers to make my own pots.

    You could probably plant in the baggies with just soil. That's an idea I may use next spring!

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