Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The seed should sprout and grow...Mark 4:27

A few weeks ago I started my annual seed starting extravaganza. No seed cataloges this year. Last fall I hit the clearance sale at Walmart. All of their 10 cent seed packets were on sale for 2 cents each. I felt sorry for the cashier who had to scan each and every one of the seed packets. At that price, I let the kids pick out anything they wanted. We used some for our botany projects and the rest I sealed in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Of course, I had to buy a few more packets this spring, and then there is the collection I have stashed away from all the years when my eyes were bigger than our garden space. I do have some packets that are marked for 1995 (that was the year of the ground hog).

Our botany book had the plans for a light hut to grow some herbs. They did so well that I made a few bigger ones for our seeds this spring.

All you need is a big box, aluminum foil, plastic lid, light socket, bulb, the dirt, seeds, and somewhere to put them.(That is M sitting there behind the box dutifully doing his schoolwork.)

I love using those clamshell packages to start seeds. We mostly save the ones from our strawberries. It doesn't matter what they are from, as long as they have drainage holes in them. We save all one type to make storage easier in the off-season. The lids keep the soil from drying out and protect the seedlings if I happen to be starting some outdoors. I simply open them up when the plants reach the top.

I lined the bottom holes with a piece of newspaper to kept the dirt in, but still allow for water to pass through.

Here are two of the boxes in the utility room. The one on the right contains two old cookie sheets with 6 clamshells on each tray. One tray has 6 different kinds of tomato plants and the other has various pepper plants and eggplants. The box on the left is various herbs I'm starting for the window sills.
Inside the tomato hut...Beefsteak tomatoes...The plants seem more robust than when I try to start them just from natural sunlight. They don't get too leggy reaching for the light since the light is all around them, even bouncing off the foil on the sides. These are reaching slightly toward the light, so I just added the foil "door" to give more light on the front side. The directions do say to do this, I just hadn't done it yet.

I'm about ready to snip off the excess plants and probably within the next week or so I'll replant the tomatoes we wish to keep in individual spaces.

J actually didn't get his high pull headgear yesterday. He was supposed to get it a few weeks back but the office called me the night before to tell me that it hadn't arrived. We re-scheduled for yesterday. Yesterday when we got there they told us it STILL hadn't arrived. It seems he's getting some highly-specialized type that happens to be back ordered. The orthodontist went ahead and put the brackets on his back teeth and adjusted everything so as soon as the headgear arrives we can go in and get that fitted.

The purpose of this part of his ortho treatment is to move his top jaw back. If we didn't do it now, he would probably have to have surgery to fix the problems. We do want to avoid that if we can! The ortho office was relieved to hear that we homeschool. They said they can expect much better compliance with homeschoolers as many kids don't want to wear their headgear in public/to school.

1 comment:

Shereen said...

Wow, that is really impressive. What a great inexpensive way to get your seedlings going. I didn't learn until recently that you can save seeds. I always saw the dates on the seed packets and thought they would expire after that year. lol You can beat .2 for seeds. Great find!! Thanks for sharing all the pictures. I can't wait to share with my children.