By Lindsay del Carlo, Trial Garden Manager
|Disposable containers can be used to start seeds.|
|Milk jug bottoms make good starting trays; Drill small drainage holes every few inches.|
Clamshell containers usually have drainage holes and a lid to hold in moisture.
Containers that are about no more than 3 inches deep are perfect for seed varieties that will be sown close together and then transplanted. I am using these to grow tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil and spring flowers like calendula, bachelor buttons, Agrostemma, and Clarkia. This will insure that I’m able to scoop up all of the roots with minimal damage when transplanting. Small yogurt cups work perfectly as individual containers to sow large seed varieties like pumpkin and squash.
|Starting Calendula, Pumpkin, Squash and Pepper seeds in disposable containers|
You can start lots of seeds in your own back yard even if you don’t have a greenhouse. There are many varieties that will germinate just fine outside in a protected location that has morning sun, and partial shade for the rest of the day, especially in hot climates.
Growing seedlings in these conditions is water wise and less stressful for plants. Note: too much shade will cause young stems to stretch out looking for sunlight, and causes seedlings to become very weak.
|Many varieties will grow well outside |
with morning sun and afternoon shade
Note: Long season, heat loving varieties like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants
are NOT suitable to start in light shade outdoors. They need a warm place inside
in a sunny location like a bright window sill or
use a grow light set up to germinate and grow well.
Stay tuned and we will follow up with the next step for these seedlings grown in recycled containers. As soon as they are big enough, I’ll show how to transplant seedlings into larger individual containers or directly into the garden bed once they are ready.