Country Living & Penny Pinching

Getting back to "Little House on the Prairie" living

Tag: gardening

Starting Eden Part 2

I’ve got some bad news… I killed my seedlings. All of them! It wasn’t my fault though, out of sight out of mind right? Ok, it was totally my fault. I put them outside because I was tired of trying to find sun in the house. Remember how I complained about moving them twice a day everyday? It got to be too much.

seedlings in the wheel barrel

seedlings in the wheel barrel

I kept them in a wheel barrel. It had wind protection, and I was using the soak up method to water them. Well seedlings aren’t supposed to dry out at all…during the heat of the day and three Littles who would need me to put their shoes on for a 3 minute venture just didn’t sound worth it. The seedlings dried out faster than a run away train.  Obviously I did not use good judgement, next year will be different.

There has been some debate about just buying grown plants but…there has been no wiggle room in the budget and this blog is about penny-pinching so…we are not going to buy $4 plants.  By the way the bell peppers never sprouted. I googled the brand and it turns out they were an all bad batch. So for now we are waiting until we can plant straight in the ground.

If I till it, seeds will come! (I’m a big movie buff, so get used to movie references)

How did your seedlings turn out?

Planting Eden (Part 1)

As you know my seed starting abilities are just awful, so I’m hoping this planting straight in the ground will help m out. I know that my tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber and lettuce should not go directly into the ground but whats it going to hurt if i try? Along with all those seeds we are adding corn, strawberries, pumpkins, and watermelon today. I am super excited for the last two!!! Not too sure about my spacing, because all of my research has shown needing A WHOLE LOT of space but for testing out my soil I have decided to go with about 3 feet between the watermelon and pumpkins.

2015.3.30 46 gardening

lines of twine where we planted

While my Littles were helping me, we decided to five them their own garden. So we quickly ripped out the weeds and grass, dumped two wheel barrels full of “compost” (the previous renters never cleaned up under the big tree out front and now there’s a big pile of dirt, more on that later), sprinkled a little fertilizer and they got to plant one of everything minus the strawberries.

 

Unfortunately they have no fence so this makes me worried about the ground squirrels and bunnies since they have the biggest population here.

In about a week or two we will have some seedlings to report on…stay tuned 🙂

How was planting your seeds straight into the ground? What did you plant?

Ways to Start Seedlings

2015.2.18 5 seed startingStarting seeds inside is not as easy as everyone makes it sound. Unless you have a designated spot and tray and lamp and an easy method for watering. Most beginners do not have any of these…just like me!

So after pinterest-ing and pinterest-ing I finally came up with a few homemade ideas for starting our seeds. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for going and getting the pre-made seed starters, especially if you have the money and do not want to store the materials for months leading up to it. We were not in a position to go out and buy those items and a sun light for growth.

2015.2.18 4 seed starting

So we went with orange peels, tuna cans, egg shells, crushed egg shells and an egg carton. This is where we started the experiment and started taking notes so we would know what to NOT do next year. My theory was that “If I used different containers, then the oranges will do the best.” My rational for this was because oranges are biodegradable and would become food for the plants…or so I thought.
2015.2.18 2 seed starting

The experiment went as follows, all of the factors were the same, the only thing different was the containers. I watered them all from the top and kept them all together. Eventually the tomatoes came up, a few lettuce, none of the bell peppers (bad batch of seeds), a spinach, and no peas (next time I will soak them first).  We also used a heating pad under them during the night because our house has awful windows and it’s practically like we are sleeping outside. The make shift green house was made out of tape and Ziploc for the two on the left, and Saran wrap for the box on the right.

all bagged up ready to grow

all bagged up ready to grow

Conclusion, the orange peels grew moldy and rotten within days (this became a well duh moment for me after I realized I watered them and then wrapped them up with heat), the tuna cans should have had a hole in the bottom for water to drain, there was no real difference between crushed egg shells and just the carton. For the half an egg-shell I felt there should have also been a hole in it to drain water and after a couple of days of growth it seemed way to small.

Next year I will not try any of these methods again. I will attempt the toilet paper rolls and newspaper cups. Hey, I have the rest of my life to figure out which method works best for me.  Also another note about the egg carton…it turned to mush every time I watered and it would steal all the water from the soil. I’m assuming the same will happen with the toilet paper rolls and newspaper so I will be using thick rolls and doubling up on newspaper.

What has been your favorite way to start seeds indoors?