|My house in 2010. It became rather unmanageable- and dinner was eaten in the living room.|
This is the time when our house decor models that of a jungle. It's a disorganized, poorly lit greenhouse, without enough surface space to manage all the growing (soon to be leggy!) seedlings. This year I have stayed true to my goal of control in the planting stage: I planted 2 butternut squash, not a flat, just 8 tomatoes, not 3 flats. My problem is that in my anticipation for all things warm, green and delicious, I forget that seeds will grow into seedlings which will require transplanting which will require FOUR times the space of the initial planting cells.
If you are wondering about my pots in the above picture- they are newspaper pots. I first got the idea of make my own transplant pots (instead of buying peat or coir) while browsing the Lee Valley Catalogue. For about $30 you could buy a wooden mold "for newspaper pots"! Thankfully I resisted buying the mold and rummaged for a plastic cup in my kitchen. It proved to work fantastically.
Rolling each pot adds about 8 seconds to my transplanting time per seedling. In return, I save about 10-15 cents a plant and reuse materials that are renewable (peat is a non-renewable resource so why use it when not necessary?). I also find that the newspaper pots decompose way faster than coir or peat pots when transplanted out in the garden...
For me, it's been worth the extra time. Here's how I do it:
|Cut a 4-6" section of newsprint or a large newsletter (like below).|
|With two layers, roll the strips around a plastic cup or mold that's 3- 5" tall|
|Place top-end down and fold the bottom like the ends of a present- I usually begin folding the loose edge.|
|Squash the boom flat with the mold or cup.|
|Add soil immediately (which helps to weight down the folded bottom).|
|Then add your seedling.|
|If you have yet to start basil and parsley, these can be yours to baby. I have no room for these little gaffers. Email me if you want them.|