We started from scratch over the winter with a compost. There are plenty of composting options out there, but we chose to build one that had direct contact to the ground to optimize decomposition. It was built with leftover material from the quick fence we had to put up to keep Logan from running into the woods, something he did often! A flexible plastic fence wrapped around four metal posts. Simple as that.
The first method was to plant seeds in egg cartons. With cartons donated from friends and family, I poked drainage holes in the bottom of each one, and planted one seed per cup. The carton was covered in plastic wrap to hold in moisture, and placed near a heat lamp, since seeds prefer warm soil to sprout. This method, while simple, was the most ineffective. The seedlings grew too big before they were able to be transplanted, and once they sprouted they didn't get enough light to properly grow.
|The egg carton method|
|The tp tube method.|
|The tubes made transplanting the seedlings very easy.|
|Holes poked in the bottom of the jugs.|
|9 seeds in each|
|Greenhouse jugs ready to go outdoors.|
|Tomatoes starting to outgrow their container.|
All in all I had a successful start to my first year gardening from seed. Next year, I'll combine the second and third method to perfect the seed starting process, by putting the toilet paper tubes in the jugs so the roots don't tangle. I'll also start them a little later so they don't grow too large. Starting them in mid March will ensure that they're perfect for planting in mid May.
|My garden assistant, Logan.|
I didn't start everything from seeds. Some plants can be propagated, like leeks and celery. Just cut the plant an inch or so from the bottom and replant. So easy!
|Leeks grow on the left, celery on the right.|