The seed catalogues have started to arrive and I am trying to select the seeds I will grow this spring. I know I need to wash out all my plant pots and just the thought has me procrastinating. It’s such a messy job. Last night on twitter someone said they placed their plant pots in the dishwasher. What a great idea but I can just see hubby’s eyes roll if I even suggested using the dishwasher. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to have one for outside use only? I know I would certainly use it a lot. Its time to plan the summer garden and that means getting my supplies ready for growing seeds.
Last month I received my first seed catalogue as I was wrapping gifts for Christmas. I was too busy wrapping to really do any planning then but as I emptied rolls of wrapping paper, a lightbulb went on. Couldn’t I reuse the old paper tubes from the gift wrap as planters?
Of course I could! I had heard lots of talk about using empty rolls, filling them with soil and planting seeds in them. I will give it a try this year. I used scissors to cut each roll into short tubes about three inches long. Out of each wrapping paper tube I was able to get about eight short tubes for planting. I will stand them in a tray in the greenhouse, fill them with a lightweight potting mix and sow a seed in each one. The good part about using the empty rolls is they can be planted directly into the garden. This method would be best used for those plants that dislike transplanting. Flowers such as Nasturtiums, Peas, Squash and Basil come to mind as I think about plants that don’t like to be moved. You can use paper towel tubes as well. By planting in the tubes, you will have less risk of shock when transplanting and the cardboard tube will decompose in the soil. What’s not to like about that?
For those of you who don’t have a greenhouse, why not save some of those plastic containers we buy at the grocery store. I happened to buy this large container of salad for Christmas dinner. Yes, I took the lazy way out for my dinner for sixteen guests. I rarely buy this type of packaging so if I can repurpose it, then that’s a good thing. Use the lid as a mini greenhouse. Wash it out and use the larger part of the salad container as a mini greenhouse by flipping it over. You can start your seeds in pots and place the dome over top. Be sure to ventilate the new plants by lifting the dome regularly. Once your seeds have sprouted, they no longer need covering.
Another very important garden item you will need when growing seeds is plant tags. Buying new plant tags each year can be expensive. Why not save your yogurt and margarine containers to make plant tags? Just wash them well after emptying them. Using a good pair of scissors, cut the sides of the containers into 1/2″ strips to be used for plant tags. You can use a marker to write on one side of the plastic and just insert them into your soil as you plant your seeds. There is nothing worse than forgetting to label your seeds.
Using things that we would normally recycle for other purposes is good for the environment. So think twice about what you are tossing out. Can it be used for something else?