Save That Carton!

I am a wannabe gardener. I really really want to be one. Every year I buy seeds and plant seeds and ooh and aah when they sprout and sigh when i kill them. Every year. I have those little cells, pictured below, with the puff up, fool proof dirt. I try to be diligent. I try to be savvy. And then I truck myself to the local nursery and buy replacements for all my failures. Those plants usually work out fine. But I want to have success with seeds. I don't know why! I guess there is something about putting something the size of a gnat into some dirt and several months later having the most amazing tomatoes you've ever tasted in your salad. I want to be able to do this. And my kids do too. Everything they eat, they want to save the seeds to plant. So, back in March, we started the saga again. This year began like all the others. Determination, puff-up dirt and our seeds.

Here are the kids, puffing up the dirt. They are so amazed every year that these tiny little hockey pucks become 1" high seed beds. Truth be told, I am too. 

And here are our seeds. A mixture of things we purchased, and things we harvested from our food. That really is the most fun part, I think.

And in a few weeks, we had the usual tender, frail crop of beginning seedlings. Now what? They needed more sun, they needed more room, but they were not ready to be in the ground. We'd gone that route before. And I didn't want to buy a bunch of pots. Now don't laugh. I have never prided myself on common sense. I just don't have it. I need solutions from other places, most of the time. Enter Pinterest, of course! And sometimes the solution is so simple and cheap, you want to slap yourself for not thinking of it on your own.
 I found this pin, you can visit the original site here,

It was the ultimate recycling project! Planting seedlings in milk containers. Genius. More dirt. More water retained. And the absolute best part is that you could move them the the shade...wherever the plant needed to be. It was a gardening miracle!!! Here are some of our plants, FROM SEED, after growing a bit in the milk cartons. Ok, so they are 1/2 and 1/2 containers. 

Eventually we moved the plants to our garden boxes. And since I didn't know if leeks needed morning sun, afternoon sun, lots of sun a little sun, I kept them in the 1/2 and 1/2 container to see how they do here. And if I messed up, I'll just walk them over to the other side of the yard. I am giddy with this development. 

Here are our full, surface of the sun needing plants. What is also good about the containers is that while you are waiting for your husband to clear more space in the rock for you to plant your plants, you can place the containers out there, gently encouraging him to help out! hee hee. 

We are 3/4 of the way through our planting, and the cartons will hold us until we're ready to get all the plants in! They were even good for transplanting the stuff we bought from the nursery while we figured out our garden layout and the sun needs for everything.

And yeah, I know, we drink a LOT of coffee. :)


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