Start Seedlings on a Budget

‘Tis the Season!  I eagerly wait for spring to arrive, pouring over seed catalogues, sharing seeds with friends, and planning my garden.

saved seeds

Over the years I start more and more of my vegie seeds indoors in an attempt to save money.   For the last few months the pile of stuff that’s accumulating on my spare table is growing steadily.  Normally this stuff goes into my recycling bins but this time of year they’ll become seedling trays.

plastic seed trays

One year when I mentioned to one of my daughters that I was planning to make pots out of folded newspaper, she suggested bathroom tissue rolls cut in half and set into trays.  No need to crimp the bottoms, just set them into a tray and carefully fill with soil.  The roots will hold everything together.

paper rolls

Take-out coffee cups work well, too.  Cut in half, I get 2 for 1.  My serrated bread knife makes cutting these easy, just watch your fingers!

2 for 1 from paper cup

These little yogurt containers will make great pots, too.  I’ll poke some drainage holes in the bottom first.

yogurt containers

I share my home with a very patient hubby and 2 rambunctious cats.  My hubby would probably let me put plant trays anywhere, but it’s a different story with the cats, so they go into my sewing room on a cleared shelf.  It’s a metal grid shelf unit, so I can easily hang a light fixture over the seedlings.

growing shelf

My light fixture is a “work-shop” light that takes 2 florescent tubes and has attached chains for hanging it up.  The chains make it easy for me to raise the light as the seedlings grow.  I keep it on for 12 hours a day.light

And, I can close the door.  Cat-proof.

I started some sorrel this way with a blue cheese container to catch the extra water.  They are very leggy from lack of light, so I’m going to start a new batch under the light in the sewing room.  This will be my first attempt at growing sorrel and the seeds came up quickly.

blue cheese and paper rolls

Do you start your seeds indoors too?  Are you going to try to grow something new or different this season?

4 thoughts on “Start Seedlings on a Budget”

  1. I too have started seeds indoors. I like its very interesting to me. I am fortunate enough to have a botanist for a neighbor. A few tips she shared with me tat are useful.
    To keep cats out use plastic mesh fencing normally used for climbingplants. I twist tie Iit around the light frame then its easy to roll back when you water. Put a small fannin the room the “wind” will thicken up stems and make the plant hardy. Line your tprolls with coffee filter, keeps soil in and when its time to plant you pull out the filter and plant filter included. Water withha spray bottle, gives you humidity! Maybe you knew these already but I thought I would share. I also start flowers to as they are hellishly expensive!
    Have a beautiful day!

  2. I start some seeds inside, and have used various containers and toilet rolls as you have. I did some tomato seeds several days ago and they are all popping through the soil. I’ve got lots more ready to start but won’t do it till towards the end of April, don’t want them getting too tall and droopy. I’ve also started off some tubers and tender perennials to give them a head start.

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