Starting Seeds Without Buying More Plastic

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The amount of plastic in the world depresses me. Lately I’ve been trying to buy less of it, instead finding ways to re-purpose things I already have or find more durable, less toxic alternatives. I used to always buy those cheap plastic seedling trays, and though I had every intention of reusing them for as long as possible, they would inevitably crack right down the middle over the course of a few back and forth trips between home and the community garden.

I also used to use those little biodegradable peat pots for my seedlings, but I never really felt great about using those either. Much like how though using a paper grocery bag is theoretically a little better than using a plastic grocery bag, I think we can all agree that its really better not to use a disposable grocery bag at all. I think its really better to just not use the little disposable seedling containers, whether they be made of plastic or paper or peat.

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So this year I’m trying some alternatives. Continue reading

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Ordering Seeds

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This past weekend as the temperature rose and the snow began to melt, we were completely engulfed in the densest fog I’ve ever seen. I’m sure the temperature will drop again, but for now it feels a bit like spring and I’ve been doing lots of planning. I’m still not sure how it will all fit, but I’ve managed to narrow down my wishlist a bit and my seed orders are all in. Continue reading

January in the Garden

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The weather New Year’s Day was as it should be, bright and cold with plenty of snow on the ground. We had more snow here in the last week of December than we had all last winter. As much as I think we all enjoyed the break from shoveling last year, it just didn’t seem right. So there’s something reassuring about some proper winter weather. Continue reading

Starting Seeds with a Homemade Heat Mat

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We are about six weeks out from the last frost date around here, which means it’s time start seeds for a lot of the warm season crops. Last weekend we started seeds for 11 varieties of tomatoes, 8 different kinds of chile peppers, and 2 types of tomatillos. Looking at the hundreds of varieties of heirloom tomatoes in the seed catalogs, its hard not to get carried away. Continue reading