Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Frustrated Gardener or (What to do on a snowy day in Spring?)

Alright, maybe it isn't really spring but I have been trying to push it. I have even been out in the garden weeding and cleaning it up and just trying to get ready for when I can really do something serious there. So today? What to do? Make paper pots for starting seeds. Really very easy.

First find a can of something with a diameter the size you want to make your pots. It shouldn't be more that about six inches since that would probably be more of a challenge than you want to deal with. In fact if you need six inch pots use the bottom half of a paper half gallon milk container with the top cut off.

 My favorite size can was a can of pineapple. Take one sheet of newspaper and lay it flat on a table. Don't unfold it.  Fold it in half again length wise so it is about 5 inches wide and 30 or so inches long. Take your can and set it on the paper so there is about 1 1/2 inches of paper hanging over the bottom. Roll the paper up jelly roll style around the can until the paper forms a tube. Tape it together to hold it. Fold the overlap over the bottom to form a pot and dampen the paper. Set the can upright and push down on the paper bottom to get a good crease. Now you can either slip the paper pot off the can or leave it on until it drys.  When dry, fill with potting soil and plant your seeds. Make sure you set your pots in a water proof tray so you can water them without ruining your window sills or where ever you have them setting. When your plants are ready for the garden, just plant them paper and all. It will decompose and add to the compost of your soil. You can open up the bottom of the pot if you want to just to give your plant easier access.

So I am sitting here watching the snow come down and thinking maybe I should go start a new jar of sprouts. At this time of year it is the closest thing to having fresh produce as I can think of since I don't have a greenhouse. Simple to do too if you have a wide mouth canning jar. Make sure to sterilize the jar. You can get the sprouting seeds in the bulk food section of many grocery stores or your local food co-op. Soak 1 1/2 Tbls. of seed in water over night. Drain the next day and let them sprout in your window. Just make sure you rinse them 3-4 times a day to keep them healthy to eat. They will take about 5 days to grow. You can get a screened jar lid from your co-op store or just use a paper towel rubber banded to the rim of the jar between rinses to keep dust out. When they have reached good size you will want to dump them into a big bowl of water and skim off the hulls and unsprouted seed.

Maybe next year I can convince the man to build me a greenhouse.


Spencer said...

Well, Sista, mine. You didn't mention that it is a good thing to sanitize sprouts by using one cup hot tap water and one teaspoon of bleach as a ten minute bath and then rinse them again before you start an overnight soak. I always feel better knowing that the sprouts probably aren’t contaminated. –Big Bro!

sista said...

You can do that if it makes you feel better. I don't and have not had a problem. I would rather limit my exposure to chlorine but you surely can do that.