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#DIY #Gardening #organic-January 31, 2019 Seeds Going into Seed Starters 🎉

Today’s post is about organic food from seed packs.

A common feedback topic that I receive is about the high price of organic food.

Here is a post to prove just how INEXPENSIVE organic food can be AND to prove how it is NOT time consuming to get started. 👏

Step #1. Buy seeds.

The majority of my seeds are purchased at the end of the season. Most, of not all stores are left with flower seeds, fruit and vegetable seeds that are not sold by the end of the season. 

Most of my seed packs are purchased from these sales. The $0.99 cent seed packs are discounted to $0.25 and then down to $0.10 before they’re removed from the floor at the Dollar Tree store.

Step 2. Buy items for planting.

These “Seed Starters” are sold for $1.00 at the Dollar tree store. They contain 3 pieces. There’s a draining dish, a perforated seed container and a top lid, to keep moisture in.

The Dollar Tree also sells a pack of popsicle wooden sticks. A pack of 100 sticks is sold for  $1.00. Because the sticks are quite long, for my seed starters, I cut them in half, to end up with 200 sticks. They’re used as labels for each row or for each cell.

The pink water bottle was also a $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. If you try to water any other way, the dirt and seeds will drain out. By using the bottle and spraying the dirt, the small seeds are not bothered in their placement. Some seeds require a 1/16” in depth. Trust me. These seeds are practically on the surface.

The white container was also a $1.00, yes, at Dollar Tree. The container holds a small bit of dirt and I placed my micro greens in here đŸ„Ź.

If you have small chip clips at home, then you don’t need to buy more clips. I saw a pack of 6 clips on sale at Dollar Tree for $0.50, so I purchased them to keep my seeds organized. (More on this layer)

The large bag of dirt was purchased for $4.00 from a small local store that carries gardening tools, supplies and also sells Non GMO, organic seeds. Some of the seeds that I purchased here were $3.25 for one pack that had just a few seeds. I am looking forward to my artichokes!

The last ingredient that I used were leftovers from my cooking. By leftovers, I mean, I am a vegan. My diet consists of A LOT of raw fruits and raw vegetables. When I wash, peel and cut these, I keep all of the scraps. The scraps are then added to the dirt as compost. So, technically, there’s no charge for this 💮.

Step 3. Prepare for your garden.

After you purchase seeds, containers, spray bottle, dirt, seed starters and sticks, you’re ready to PREPARE your garden.

Before I explain further, let me ask my readers, has there been anything in life that, when you did the first time, you were an expert? I know the answer for me is no. Maybe some of you have, I honestly haven’t. In my life, I’ve always had a learning curve. 

In order to minimize my learning curve, what I do is research. By researching experts at the subject that I’m looking to learn about, I have found my learning curve to be much more gentle, plus allowing me much more enjoyment by feeling like I am better prepared for my new venture.

Now, the reason why I mention this is because you may choose to go out, by your ingredients and start, but if you do not research what I’m about to share with you, chances are that you will also learn what I’ve learned. However you may learn by having your seedlings not sprout and may end up being discouraged all together from starting your own garden.

With the spirit of having you enjoy your first garden, here are some helpful tips.

Step 4. TIPS 👏 

Once you do this once, the process becomes second nature. 

TIP #1. Have paper, pen, scissors, transparent tape and something to write on.

TIP #2. Organize your seed packs. If you purchased dozens of seed packs, just one pack of seeds or just a few packs, you still need to organize. I organized them by leafy greens, roots, veggies, fruit, spices, flowers, etc. Organize them in a way that makes sense to you.

TIP #3. Research which plants grow well with each other. This is an entire science of its own. I researched, downloaded and printed several charts that have the “best companion” pairings. Example, oregano doesn’t play nice with many plants. However, cabbage does well being paired with oregano. Lavender keeps bugs away. Beets, sunflowers, lettuce and snap peas grow well together. 

TIP #4. Read EVERYTHING behind your seed packs.  My lavender plants have been planted EARLIER, to make sure that I have lavender plants ready for my fruit and veggie plants, which sprout A LOT faster than lavender.

TIP #5. Make a label with the information behind your seed packs and tape to the transparent top of your seed starters. I simply used rules paper, wrote the info and taped it to the lid.

TIP #6. Label a stick for every seed pack that you purchased. 

TIP #7. Several of these steps you will only do ONCE. The paper label on the lid and the stick are two steps will not need to repeat. Next time that you plant the same seed, you will not need to create a new label or label a new stick.

TIP #8. Organize your seed packs. Pick which seeds will be planted in which seed starter. Once you have your seeds picked out, cut the tops of the packs, making sure all of the packs are open. With all of the seed envelopes together, fold top and use a clip to make sure the seeds don’t come out.

TIP #9. Organize your seed starters. Place your clipped seed packs with your seed starter. Tape your ruled paper, hand written labels to your seed starter lids and place your labeled sticks in each seed starter. 

You’re ready to head outside!

TIP #10. Dirt placing matters. Each seed pack explains the depth that each seed should be placed. (By now you read the back of the seed pack AND you hand wrote it & taped it to the seed started lid.) Fill your seed starters with dirt. Use your labeled stick to make a small hole in the dirt. Make sure that you water each cell. When all of the dirt is moist, place your seeds and cover with your labeled stick. Once you’re done with all of the cells of the seed starter, the water should’ve have lowered the dirt level. Place more dirt to cover all cells and then water again until all dirt is moist.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just created your very first seed starter! đŸŽ‰đŸŽŠâ˜€ïž

The more you do, the process becomes second nature🌾

TIP #11. 

Because I started while the ground still freezes out, my seed starters are on my window sills during the day and on tables, off the windows at night.

Picture above is of my water bottle and left over sticks from today’s planting.

The picture below shows my left over seeds clipped.

TIP #12. 

The seed packets that were planted together are bundled together for storage. The clips are removed and the packs are lightly taped to keep seeds in. I then clipped all 4 seed packs with one clip to remind myself which packs were planted together. Looking forward to your comments below. Leave your tips!

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