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Lid from large plastic tub filled with planting soil and vegetable starts. Seed starts are labelled. Several yogurt containers used with vegetable starts are also shown.

Starting SeedsMarch is a great time to start your vegetable and flower seeds indoors. You can use any container. Here is how I am doing mine.

 

Test Seeds For Viability

Test Seeds For ViabilityAs I write this, there are still nineteen days until winter actually begins. It will be another two to three months before I can start my indoor seedlings. It's hard waiting.

 

A bag of potting soil, seedlings in plastic containers and a nursery tray with TP tubes

Toilet Paper Rolls for SeedlingsI had been saving all sorts of toilet paper rolls - I think mainly it was a habit from when we used to have a fireplace. This spring when I decided to start my seedlings I realized I could make life a lot easier for myself if I just started the seeds in the toilet paper rolls!

 

Several used tea bags next to a package of sunflower seeds.

Used Tea Bag to Sprout SeedsRemove the staple and string and snip a tiny hole in your used tea bags and place your seeds inside. Keep moist and in a few days your seed will sprout. From there, you can place in a small pot or directly into your garden. No need to remove the bag. It will protect the young root from any disturbance and pests and break down naturally.

 

File Flower Seeds to Help Sprouting - packet of nasturtium seed and a nail file

File Flower Seeds to Help SproutingYou can file the flower seed a little bit to help germinate the seed if there is a thick coating like this, nasturtium. By filing down, it'll help the water absorb. I soaked the seeds 24 hours prior then planted in soil.

 

Toilet Paper Tubes for Seedlings - small plant in TP tube pot

Toilet Paper Tubes for SeedlingsToilet paper tubes make excellent biodegradable plant pots for seedlings. All you need are the tubes and a pair of scissors. Make four cuts about an inch long at one end and fold them in. There should be a small hole for drainage. Fill with compost and sow seeds or plant a seedling.

 

Starting Seedlings In Kitty Litter - seedlings sprouting in crystal type kitty litter

Starting Seedlings In Kitty LitterIf you're looking for a non messy way to start seed, this is it.

 

Save Money On Pansies - pansy seedlings in hanging baskets

Growing Pansies From SeedI have saved lots of pansy seed from store bought plants over the years. Force of habit, I guess. I never planted them, though. What a shame. That wasteful practice has come to an end, as of now.

 

A compact seed starter tray, made from recycled materials, filled with dirt.

Compact Seed Starter TrayI am in the process of planting several thousand pansy seed. This being my first time to grow pansies from seed, I really wasn't prepared. I have various trays and flats about, and just about anything else that will hold the seedlings until they're ready for transplanting.

 

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Toilet Paper Tube to Protect Seedling RootsBeans and peas do not like their roots disturbed, and may not do well when transplanting them. Use an empty toilette paper roll to plant. When you are ready to plant in the ground keep them in the cardboard. It will disintegrate on its own.

 

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Soak Pea Seeds Before PlantingPeas and sweet pea seeds have a hard coating on them and may not grow properly. Soak your seeds the night before planting in lukewarm water. That way you will not lose any seedlings.

 

Easy Seed Tape - two dish mats clipped together with the paper taped to them

Easy Seed TapeI thought of this just today. It's a bit time consuming, but it does have its advantages. It's another one of those 'knit one, purl two' thingies, meaning you can pick it up when you have a few minutes and stop at any time.

 

Growing Pansies From Seed - seedling

Growing Pansies From SeedSome varieties of pansies do best in late spring and early summer, while others do best in fall and winter. I have been buying plants in early fall, as soon as they are available in garden centers. I have a nice display in fall, all but the coldest parts of winter, and then, spring and the early part of summer.

 

Faster Seed Germination - sprouting seeds on paper towel

Faster Seed GerminationTo ensure your seeds will grow, you could expedite seed germination by placing your seeds on a piece of paper towel. Write the type of seeds on the paper towel and lightly dampen the seed area with some water. Place your seeds in a Ziploc bag. In a couple days, check up on your seeds.

 

Store Seeds in the Fridge - romaine lettuce seeds in a bag on fridge door with condiments

Store Seeds in the FridgeMake sure your seeds are completely dried. I have my seeds stored in a sealed Ziploc bag. By keeping your seeds in the fridge, you will not have to keep purchasing new seeds for every season, and the seeds will germinate better when it is time to plant them.

 

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A long pipe pointing to the ground, for use in planting seeds.

Pipe for Planting Seed in GardenYesterday, my husband and I planted string beans and butter beans in the garden. He dug the holes while I dropped the seeds. After bending over 3-4 times, I knew my back was not going to take it. I had to think of another way to do it.

 

Winter Sowing Part 2 - seedlings in plastic bag

Winter Sowing Part 2If you are lucky, your seeds have germinated in the bag. All you have to do now is to plant in your garden at the appropriate time (take out of the bag, of course). This is a Million Dollar tomato plant. I use the Square Foot Gardening method, which allots one square per plant.

 

Use a K Cup for Seed Starter

Use a K Cup for Seed StarterTo start your new plants use a K cup after drinking your coffee. Add a little dirt to your K cup and add your seed. The cup already has a hole in the bottom which is perfect for draining.

 

Starting Seeds in the Snow - planted milk jugs in the snow

Starting Seeds in the SnowA class showed us how to start seeds in the snow! Simply punch holes for air and drainage in an empty gallon container, slice it partially open, but not completely. Leave a small section as a 'hinge' (See photo.) Fill with seedling soil and seeds, tape lid closed.

 

Organizing Seeds - lots of seed packets

Organizing SeedsI try to keep my seeds handy and in order. I've never been able to do just that. I have paper bags of seeds. I have jars of seed, lots of baby food jars from when I raised a robin. There are large plastic bags and more. The only ones I've managed to corral are the smaller seed. I have hundreds of packs of them.

 

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Buying The Right Seed for Corkscrew VineThis flower is beautiful. It has a delicious fragrance somewhat like the lilac, though much heavier and sweeter. A light breeze will bring a concentration of perfume from this flower to the nose. So, what is the name of this pretty and sweetly scented flower?

 

Plastic Food Containers for Seedlings - examples of containers

Plastic Food Containers for SeedlingsMany food containers can be kept and reused as plant pot propagators and drip trays.

 

Winter Sowing (Part 1)

Winter Sowing (Part 1)You can sow your seeds outdoors in containers. Those seeds that sprout, and there will be many, will be hardy plants that produce well. I did this last year, and am doing it again this year. I used ziplock bags, but you can use any vented container.

 

Saving Hibiscus or Daylily Seeds

Saving Hibiscus or Daylily SeedsTo get the identical plant, you actually need to divide the plant. If you save the seeds, the flowers may be different than the parent plant.

 

dried seeds on napkin

Saving Tomato SeedsYou will save money by saving seeds from tomatoes you grew this year, rather than buying plants already started next spring. It is easy to do.

 

cucumber seeds in plastic bag

Saving Cucumber SeedsLet the cucumber remain on the vine until yellow. Cut it and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds into a small container of water for a few days.

 

toilet paper rolls in drink carrier

Recycle Cardboard for Starting SeedsI discovered that empty toilet paper rolls fit perfectly in the cardboard drink trays from fast food restaurants. Just put the toilet paper rolls into the drink tray, fill them with soil and plant your seed.

 

viola

Keep Pictures For Saved Seed ReferenceEven though I'm frugal minded and sometimes pay as little as 10 cents for a 6 cell pack of flowers, many of my discounted purchases turn out to be quite nice. Sadly, there's no guarantee I'll be able to find those same flowers next year, even at regular price.

 

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Toilet Paper Tubes as Seed StartersTake toilet paper rolls and tuck in one end to close. Fill roll with potting soil and plant seeds. When seedlings are large enough to plant outside, untuck the bottom and plant in hole the size of the tube. The tube will break down in the soil and feed the plant.

 

Make Your Own Seed Tapes

Make Your Own Seed TapesSeeds have different spacing and depths (it's on the package). Rather than digging individual holes and having inconsistent depths and distances of my garden plantings, I created my own seed tape for a neater prettier look. It works great for flower beds too.

 

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using bottle to wate

Plastic Drink Bottle for Watering SeedsSeeds and seedlings of course need watering carefully so they don't get battered or washed about. If you don't have a small watering can you can use a drink bottle.

 

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Growing Tomato Plants from SeedAlways wipe up tomato seeds from your counter tops, after slicing a tomato, with a paper towel and throw the paper towel in your flower bed and the seeds will sprout on their own using the wet paper towel to hold in moisture. I've done this many times with huge success. It works for peppers also.

 

half a watermelon

Saving Seed From Hybrid PlantsI was sitting here reading some of my gardening notes from 2015. I made a lot of mistakes last year. Hopefully, the notes will help make this year's gardening more fruitful and with less work. One thing I like to try is planting seed from hybrid fruit and veggies.

 

Citrus Peel for Seedling Starter Pots

Citrus Peel for Seedling Starter PotsDo you start your own seeds each spring? Start saving your orange, grapefruit, Cutie, and such peels. Instead of peeling them normally, first slice them in half. Use the empty halves to fill with soil and your seeds. I have some old rusty muffin pans I use to stand them up in. You plant the entire thing.

 

labeled bottles of seeds

Prescription Bottles for Storing Flower SeedsI love to collect flower seeds from my own flowers to plant the next season or to share with others. I also like to collect from other places, but often found myself using napkins, or scrap paper as an impromptu container. Then it hit me - prescription bottles!

 

seed in soil of carton sections

Egg Carton GardeningEgg cartons are a great biodegradable way to do seed-start gardening. Simply cut off the sides and lid from your carton. Place the cut lid under the carton base to catch leaking water. Fill the holes three-quarters full with potting soil.

 

Free Seed From Grocery Store Produce

Free Seed From Grocery Store ProduceWe usually don't think of hot house tomatoes as being as good as those grown in an open garden, and in the past, that was true. It's different, now.

 

gardener's hand holding tomato seeds

Heirloom vs Hybrid SeedsGardening is not an exact science and can be very complicated. Misinformation passed along from generation to generation only adds to the complication. Most people are content to plant a packet of straight neck yellow squash, follow packet instructions, and hope for the best. This is good.

 

seed packets in organizer

Coupon Organizer for Seed StorageWhen I buy seeds for the garden they tend to get misplaced or make a mess. I found an easy storage solution that organizes them and makes them easy to grab and head off to the garden. I use a couple plastic coupon file organizers for storage of commercial seed packages.

 

man shopping for seeds

Buy Seeds at the End of SeasonEvery year store bought veggie seeds get more and more expensive. They make it sound like the seeds will be dead by next year. This is a fib to get us to buy more seeds! Yes plant seeds can die if they are years old or are stored improperly.

 

Homemade Seed Sprouter - jar lid and hole punch

Homemade Seed SprouterI made a seed sprouter to sprout my own seeds for my salads, plus I always sprout my seeds before I plant them in my garden. This reduces the need to wait to see if my seeds will start growing, then weeding out others.

 

Seed and pod.

Collecting Thunbergia SeedsIf you grow thunbergia in a pot, once the season is done, bring the plant inside and let it die. It will make a mess while it's dying, but you'll find the broken open seed pods and lots of seeds.

 

week 4

Planting Seeds With Your KidsPlanting seeds with your kids is a very rewarding project for everyone. Getting to see the seeds that they planted sprout into plants is fun and educational.

 

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Peat Pots for Starting SeedsI did not have good luck with starting plants from seeds until I started using Jiffy 7 peat soil pellets indoor seed starter.

 

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Sprouting Seeds with Coffee FilterAn easy way to sprout seeds is to put the seed on a coffee filter and fold it over. Wet it and put it in a baggie. Close the baggie and wait for it to sprout.

 

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Paper seedling pots

Homemade Indoor Seedling ContainersI find that egg cartons and pudding snack containers do not provide enough space for proper root formation of indoor seedlings. I make my own containers with no more than pages from an old phone book and masking tape.

 

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Getting Tomato Seeds out of TomatoesI had an older tomato and I wanted to get out the seeds. I filled a bowl of water and squished the tomato under the water. I threw the tomato part into the compost pile and the water and seeds into my indoor growing houseplant bowls, or out into my garden area where I try to grow seeds from scratch.

 

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Start Seeds In Pots From Last YearI use my flower pots from last year that already have soil in them. When I transplant, I then use the pot for my summer flowers. Works great!

 

Medicine Cups and Tissue Seedling Starters

Tissue Seedling StartersI have my medicine in my purse so I always stuff the doser cup with toilet tissue or facial tissue. It makes these darling little seed starters. I am going to make some of these for this spring, and put a little bit of honey in the bottom of it.

 

Seeds in Pages

Seed Packet StorageI hate having all those seed packets that are always falling over, spilling the seeds, getting yucky and hard-to-read. So to fix that dilemma I searched my house for ways to store them.

 

A tray of newspaper pots with seedlings, ready to plant.

Newspaper Pots For SeedlingsA good way to extend your vegetable gardening season is to start the seeds inside while the ground is still too cold to plant, before the last frost date in your area. You can make your own pots for free out of newspapers!

 

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Saving on Vegetable Garden SeedsMy home town had a seed swap a couple of weeks back. We were able to attend and WOW, did we get the seeds we were looking for and then some.

 

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Link: Best Vegetable Seed CompaniesThis is a link to an article from Mother Earth News, my favorite magazine, and an excellent web site. It is a list of some of the very best veggie seed companies. You can send for free (usually) catalogs, or look at the on-line catalogs.

 

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Store Seeds In JarsPut seeds in glass jars with tight fitting lids. Store in cool, dry place. Seeds will last 2-3 years

 

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Use Coffee Filters To Dry SeedsLine dinner plates with coffee filters to dry flower and garden seeds. When the seeds are dry, discard the coffee filters and store the seeds in a container lined with coffee filters.

 

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Protecting SeedlingsMy sweet grandson always comes over to weed eat in my yard. He cannot tell a weed from a new plant I've put out and has hacked a few of my plants down by accident. Now I cut the top and bottom out of a tin can.

 

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Mini Greenhouses Made From Water JugsI use large, clear, round plastic water jugs from the grocery store as greenhouses. I cut them with a coping saw and leave a small attached area. I put the seeds inside in proper soil and close the top.

 

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Making Seed TapesContrary to popular belief most seeds will germinate for several years. Now is the time to make seed tapes from those leftover seeds from this year's garden.

 

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Storing Seeds For Next YearEgg shells make good seed saving pots. Simple make a hole in the bottom of half a shell, fill with potting soil, place you seed or seeds in the soil, and then place in an empty egg carton.

 

Recycled spice jars for storing garden seeds.

Save Spice Jars For Storing SeedsDon't throw away your empty spice jars or stock powder jars. I keep these to store seed that I have collected from my plants and flowers, The seeds stay nice and dry and easy to store and label.

 

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Seed StartersI stopped using peat moss discs for seed starting many years ago. Instead, I save my eggshells throughout the year and fill them with my own homemade compost.

 

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Lessons From a SquirrelIn April, the rains came and came and wouldn't stop. Beginning May, everything is drenched in rain, including my hanging baskets. I started reworking the soil in my hanging baskets and planted nasturtium seed that I had soaked overnight.

 

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Toothbrush for Planting SeedsWhen planting seeds in the garden, an old toothbrush makes a very helpful tool. Use the end of the handle to dig little grooves for the seeds, then us the brush to gently cover the seeds with soil.

 

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Toilet Paper Roll For Fragile SeedlingsAnother use for toilet paper rolls. If you start plants that produce fragile seedlings (like sweet peas) that don't like transplanting, plant them vertically encased in a toilet paper roll.

 

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Start Seeds in Take-Out Coffee CupsSave your paper or other take-out coffee cups to plant seeds in if you start seeds for the garden in the house, as we do here in upstate NY.

 

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Egg Carton Seed StarterUse the inner plastic lining from a biscuit tin or an egg box to sow seedlings before transferring out of doors or into larger pots. Saves a few cents.

 

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Save Seeds in FreezerDo you save your seeds? Ever year label them and put them in your freezer. It will be fresh and damp. Just thaw and you are ready to plant. They will come up sooner.

 

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Mother Earth News for SeedsThe snow and ice are still thick on the ground in my area, but it's time to plan my spring garden. I know that a lot of people are doing the same thing. Planning the garden is almost as much fun as harvesting it!

 

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Recycled Seedling ContainersFor many planting zones, it is close to time to start your seedlings indoors. Be creative-you don't need the expensive jiffy pots. I like to use the cardboard egg cartons, and cut down used Styrofoam cups.

 

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Paper Tube to Mark SeedlingsWhen you want to grow a small amount of seeds, and know exactly where you've planted them, use a toilet paper tube.

 

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Start Seeds in Egg CartonWhen you buy your eggs, some of the containers, like Eggland's Best, are clear plastic containers. Buy those and save them for starting seeds. They have a clear plastic cover that covers where the eggs sit.

 

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Mark Where Seeds are PlantedAfter my garden is tilled, quite a few rocks get dug up. If they are about the size of a fist, I put one at each end of each row of seeds planted or in the middle of a hill of squash to mark the spot. They can easily be removed once the plants come up.

 

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Link: Seed Ambassadors ProjectI have just found this great site about seed saving and sharing. It is called The Seed Ambassadors Project and is based in the Pacific Northwest of the US. Here is the link to their free downloadable and printable seed saving and sharing guide.

 

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Egg Cartons For SeedlingsWhen growing small flower seeds use biodegradable egg trays. When the seedlings are ready for planting in the garden just pop the whole tray in the garden and cover tray with soil.

 

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Preserving Seeds From Butternut SquashInstead of buying butternut squash seeds one year, I bought a butternut squash plant. I peeled it for cooking, opened it and saved the seeds.

 

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Paper Towel Rolls for SeedlingsI save the cardboard centers from toilet paper. These are excellent for starting seeds for my garden in the early spring. When the conditions are right for planting, I simply plant seedling in its cardboard core.

 

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Strawberry Container Seed StartersI use my strawberry container, or any type that has a clear top, to start my plants and veggies in. This acts as a mini green house for free. It keeps the moisture in and is able to get plenty of natural sun. This way you can get a head start on your gardening

 

How Long Can You Store Seeds?

How Long Can You Store Seeds?A word to those who have just found a stash of seed packets from last year or seen seeds on sale at a knockdown price at the garden center and want to know whether they're likely to grow.

 

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Planting Small SeedsAn easy method for planting smaller seeds over a large area is to use a "fan" or leaf rake to disrupt the top of the soil, sprinkle the seeds over the surface of the area, and then gently re-rake to combine the loose soil with the seeds.

 

Gardening: Paper Pots - making the pots with completed ones in a plastic bag lined container in the background, closeup

Gardening: Paper PotsI start by folding one page in half. On the folded side (to make it neater) I roll the paper around the bottle. I fold the rough end down and put the cap on the bottom. Then I pull the bottle free, leaving the cap on.

 

Starting Seedlings

Garden: Starting SeedlingsI used a discarded zip container that a comforter was in and an unused Rubbermaid container to start an indoor greenhouse. I used peat pots and seeds gleaned from last fall's bounty.

 

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Keep Seedlings From "Damping Off"When trying to start seeds for this spring, if you have trouble with your seedlings dying after they come up, called "damping off", run a small fan on low. That way if you overwater them, you won't have the trouble with mold growing and your seedlings dying.

 

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Start Seedlings In Recycled TraysIt's March. Time to start your garden seedlings! You know the clear egg cartons and the clear croissant or cookie containers with clear lids that you get at the grocery store? Don't throw them away! Buy seed starter discs and soak them in these containers.

 

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Starting Plants from SeedWinter is breaking, Spring is around the corner, and once again, I'm looking at all of the garden catalogs, but one thing is different this year. My husband lost his job, and we can't buy anything we want. Thank goodness I love starting plants from seed.

 

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Recycle Coffee Pods For The GardenI love my Keurig coffee maker and the mess-less perfect cups of coffee they make but I have a problem throwing away all those empty little cups.

 

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Matchbox for Spreading Small SeedsWhen you are handling very fine seeds for planting up. Select a dry matchbox (empty) put the seeds into it, add some silver sand (very fine sand you will buy in any gardening store). Give box a little shake, mixing seeds with sand.

 

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Share Seeds and Plants With Your FriendsFind a friend you can exchange seeds or plants with and watch your garden grow without any outlay of cash. To know that that wild geranium came from your good friend can bring a content smile to your face all season long.

 

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Polystyrene Containers for SeedlingsMy tip is saving all the polystyrene cups you get at take outs, and use them for potting up seedlings. The take-away trays can be used as mini propagators sitting nicely along a sunny window; no need for a big glass house.

 

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Growing Cardinal Vines From SeedThe cardinal vine seeds are hard. What I do is rub the seeds with some sand paper, instead of nicking them. Also soak in warm water overnight.

 

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Reuse Plastic Cupcake Trays to Start SeedsUse cupcake trays from the grocery store bakery for mini greenhouse to start plant seeds in. Each cake compartment holds a peat seed starter pot nicely.

 

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Freebie: Tomato SeedsGet a free pack of tomato seeds when you enter info located on the bottom of any Campbell's Soup can. Your request will also help Campbell's donate seeds to communities and schools through the National FFA organization. Expires 6/21/09.

 

Starting Seeds Cheaply

Starting Seeds CheaplyI am going to start this by saying, "My husband is the best." He helps me with everything and he is always encouraging me to find new things that I love and enjoy.

 

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Color Seeds With Flour for PlantingWhen you are about to sow your vegetable or flower seeds, you will find that the colour of the very small seeds, blends in with the colour of the earth.

 

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Reuse Take Out Containers for Starting SeedlingsAnyone every wonder what to do with those hard plastic containers which hold a roasted chicken? I get salads with these hard plastic containers too. I just couldn't see throwing them away.

 

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Use Masking Tape to Make Seed TapesI empty the packet of seed on a plate. I unroll masking tape in front of me. Sticky side up, I dampen my index finger. It helps, to pick up the seeds. I then place two seeds, down on the tape, then two more seeds down on the tape, six inches apart.

 

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Share Seeds With Your FriendsIt is mid January and already the seed catalogues are coming in the mail, the packages of seed are in the store and anxiety begins of what are we going to plant. Sometimes when wanting to try something different, I know my little spots of trial produce won't use up the whole packet.

 

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Save Deadheaded Annuals for Next Year's SeedsIf you have annual flowers that are blooming now, such as zinnias, black eyed susans, asters, four o'clocks, etc., they will bloom better and longer if you deadhead them every few days.

 

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Can't Get Seeds To Start GrowingI am trying to grow seeds and am having no luck. Any suggestions? I can't even get herb seeds to start in potting soil in egg cartons.

 

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Ask City Parks For SeedsTo acquire new and unusual plants, most city run parks will give you seeds if you ask. Just tell the gardeners (when you visit the park) what seeds you want. They will tell you when they will be collecting the seeds.

 

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Use Colored Gelatin When Planting Small SeedsIf you are planting very fine seeds, such as carrot, lettuce, or wildflower; mix the seeds with some colored gelatin powder. It really helps to spread the seeds evenly and makes it very easy to see where they've been sown. The gelatin seems to help them grow too!

 

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Buy Garden Seeds On eBayThis year for my garden I decided to save some money buying seeds. What I did was go to eBbay, find a seller that had a large supply of seeds, and who offered free shipping on every order after the first is placed.

 

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Save and Start Tomato Plants Using a Paper TowelWhen saving tomato seed for growing your own plants, simply put the wet seed on a paper towel and let them dry. When you are ready to plant them. Cut the size you want to plant and cover with soil.

 

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