Paul Nickerson

Condiment Seedlings

In Propagation on December 8, 2010 at 2:08 am

Recycling seems to be one of the most common talking points of Envi Sci students. In regard to cycling, I have found a great way to reuse the plastic condiment containers from the restaurants on campus.

I am a collector (not a hoarder!), and as a result, I have gathered a small stack of black, lidded, condiment containers. After having been thoroughly washed out, without soap, I have found a way to put them to good use.

After poking three small holes in the bottom of the containers, I filled them about three-quarters full with highly nutrient potting medium. Using the tip of your finger, gently press the media flat along the top, creating a nice, level growing area.


Depending on the seeds, you will need to determine how deep they should be planted. I planted cucumber seeds in my containers, so it was easiest to use a pencil to make a small hole in the soil. I then placed the seeds into the holes, and covered them over.

Next, water the soil thoroughly, and cover it with the clear lid. This will maintain a highly humid environment, perfect for germination. Place the containers in an area where they will receive the light necessary for germination.

Final Germination Container

Once the seeds have germinated, remove the lids. Leaving the lids in place will restrict growth and will not allow for sufficient air circulation for the seedlings. Once true leaves have formed, the plants can be transplanted outdoors, into larger pots for container gardening, or into your aquaponics system.


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