I thought I would share with you , what I have been up to this week, especially Thursday, when the sun was shining, and I decided it was finally time to plant my seeds.
I am all for cheap cheerful and recycling, so here is where I combine it all with gardening. Firstly the seeds themselves I have been purchasing some of my seeds in the end of season sales in shops, seeds generally have a few years shelf life , but check on the packet to make sure they are ok or the following year. Another good source of seeds if you are in the UK are "The 99p Shop" and "Poundland" I have recently bought some 6 in 1 packets , with a variety of seeds in these are ideal if you want an inexpensive way to give growing a go without too much outlay.
Now this is the recycling bit, collect together empty plastic fizzy drink bottles keeping the lids on , 2 litre ones are best and clean them out and take the labels off. Now cut the bottles in half approximately ,doesn't have to be accurate half way between the lid and the base. I find it easiest to start the cut off with a sharp knife in a sawing motion so it doesn't crack, then use sharp scissors to cut around, be careful as the cut plastic is sharp.
You now have two halves of a bottle, you will need one bottle for every two plant pots.
Fill your plant pots with compost and follow the seed instructions for planting , try to make sure you only plant in the pot in an area that can be covered by the bottles cut end, water as instructed .
Now place your plastic bottle halves cut side down in the compost over where the seeds have been planted, make sure you stick a little stick in the pot labelled so you know what you have planted, please don't think you will remember which is which plant, trust me from experience you won't and you will be quite surprised by your long spicy chilli like item growing on your carefully grown tomato plant :-)
Voila you have just made propagators, your seeds are protected from the elements. You could leave them in windowsills to grow , or I put mine in my cold frame outside , or green house especially now the weather is getting warmer. Just check a few times a week to make sure the soil is damp, if not add a little water. Check your seed packet to see when the seeds are ok to be moved on.
Here you can see my tray of seeds I prepared.
I think I have covered everything, if I think of anything else I will add it later, and I would be interested to hear of any tips you have
Oh and nearly forgot last year Autumn time my son wanted to grow apples from the seeds in his eating apple , we dried them out on a tissue in the windowsill for a month and planted them in a pot using the pop bottle propagator method as above, I was feeling a bit dubious about it ,but he was insistant. I forgot about them till I was clearing out my greenhouse last week, only water they have had is from the atmosphere and what has blown in through the green house window and tada look what we got, we got free apple trees, well I hope they are , they look like the ones in my book but only time will tell.