Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We hit upon a dynamite system for seed starting this year. No fancy tricks or gadgets, just a slight tweak on the mini-soil block system. The biggest problem with the mini-blocks last year was keeping them moist long enough for the seeds to germinate. The solution? Take-out containers!
That’s right, we started saving heavy duty reheatable plastic food containers. You know, the kind marked as recyclable #6 that no facility seems willing to accept and will probably outlast the human race. Anyway, thanks to an inundation of take-out Thai food on Kate’s birthday, we ended up with six of these abominations. Turns out they’re ideal miniature greenhouses for the smallest sized soil blocks. In conjunction with a heat mat, these babies create a virtual sauna for seeds to germinate in. The evaporated moisture collects on the lid and can easily be dumped back on the blocks. The small size of the mini-blocks enables them to warm up to the optimal germination temperature for heat-loving plants. We sprouted tomatoes and peppers in as few as four days, basil in about two. Germination rates were also impressive (Genovese Basil sprouted 19 out of 20 seeds). Best of all, the containers are ultra-durable and free! (well, sorta free) It’s always super-gratifying to find an unexpected second use for trash. Now, if we can only put all of that used cat dirt to good use...

1 comment:

William Rose said...

Looks likea good system. Nice work - thanks for sharing!