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Despite my earlier protestations, and with much appreciated assistance, I not only planted what turned out to be an overfilled garden, I har...

March 3, 2010

Garden Planning & Seed Starting

I am so excited and passionate about our 2010 garden.  After such a hard winter my daughter and I are so ready to get started with everything. But alas we had to slow ourselves down and begin the process of planning and now executing our plan for the upcoming season. First we started out by creating a list of inventory. Our inventory consisted of 1 through 3 year old vegetable and flower seeds. The seeds that were past expiration were tossed and the remaining seeds were categorized by type and the dates we can start them in-doors.  We then purchased new heirloom seeds locally from Mother Earth Garden Center and mail order from RH Shumway. From there we decided to bring back the process of seed starting in an aquarium, which we found on GardenWeb last year. This process worked so well for our family. It will protect the seedlings from snoopy puppies, and small children who walk by and want to repeatedly take the lids off of the plastic seed starter kits you buy at the store.  The following 6 items are all you will need to start your own in-door temporary aquarium garden:
  1. 10 - 20 gallon fish tank with standard UV or Fluorescent aquarium light 
  2. Seed Starting Mix or Potting Soil (you can make your own or purchase in store. I do both)
  3. Toilet Paper Rolls, Water Bottles cut in half, or other small containers
  4. Spray Bottle
  5. Aluminum Foil
  6. SEEDS of course!!!!
The first thing you want to do is make sure to place your aquarium in an accessible. Then you will take the aluminum foil and line the inner sides and bottom of the tank with the foil. You can tape down the sides or just fold them to make sure they are stable. Next you want to line the insides of the tank with the "pots" of your choice. This year I am using used water bottles AND toilet paper rolls. The nice thing about the toilet paper rolls is that you can just pop the whole plant into the ground with the roll around it. It's biodegradable and won't hurt your plants at all, and your root system will have a chance to establish itself without interference or damage from grubs or other parasites. Check out our pictures below to see how it started last year. Do you have any cool tips on seed starting or growing green?