Paul Nickerson

From Trash to Grow Bed

In Propagation on December 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Stemming from my last discussion on condiment cups, I thought I would share with you all another object that I have found very useful for germinating seeds. At work each morning, one of the girls I work with prepares up to five container of strawberries for parfaits. Typically, the plastic strawberry containers are recycled; however, I have collected (not hoarded) a small stack of them to use as germination trays.

Germination Greenhouse

Having cut the lid away, I placed a shallow layer of small stones along the bottom of the container. This allows for good drainage, and keeps dirt from falling through the large hole at the bottom edges. Next, I filled the tray 3/4 full with highly nutrient potting soil. Gently press the soil evenly with your fingers. If the soil remains higher in the middle than on the edges, the depths of the seeds will vary.

I find it easiest to wet the soil prior to planting. This keeps the seeds from being disturbed during initial watering.  Finally, plant the seeds according to their prescribed depth.

To create a humid environment, cut the lid and rim off of another container. When the second container is turn upside down it can be placed over the soil, resting just between the soil and the inside edge of the main growing bed. This will help to keep the soil moist and will create a wonderful environment for germination. I placed my container on a plate, allowing me to water it from the bottom. As you can see in the picture, the seeds have already begun to germinate. I planted about 12 tomato, broccoli, and cabbage seeds on December 3rd. The broccoli had all sprouted by December 6th, the tomatoes the 7th, and the cabbage began sprouting today!

Another method is to leave the original lid attached to the container, and simply use it to close the system; however, you will quickly need to remove it, because it will hinder the growth of the new seedlings.

  1. […] planting my Strawberry Container grow bed, a number of Tomato seeds fell out of their packet and only my desk. I cleaned up what I could, but […]

  2. These are perfect for growing bean sprouts as well, line the bottom with a paper towel, put another folded paper towel on top and water(rinse) twice a day. In about ten days it is packed with sprouts!

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