Starting Seeds on the Cheap

I know I’m a few weeks behind starting my tomato seeds (sorry, Liisa!), but I finally got around to doing so today.  The problem I was running into was the lack of a starter tray.  My tray met with an untimely demise last year and I never replaced it.  As I ranted in my last post, I didn’t really like it anyway.  So instead, I got a little creative.  Let me introduce you to my $1 seed setup.

The seed trays are recycled egg cartons, tops removed, on a $1 lipped cookie sheet from the Dollar Store.  The tags are from a box in the recycling bin that I cut up and made into spikes, labeled with Sharpie.  I used a chopstick to make the seed holes and the soil bin is a dish washing bin I already had.  Not too bad, eh?  I had some old pony packs running around in the shed, but this seemed like a more compact solution.  They have been settled into a cat-free room under a slightly transparent dishpan I found in the shed.  I’m letting the egg cartons soak up the water from the bottom so as not to drown the new seeds.

What is in the trays, you ask?  Well, thanks to my labels, I can tell you (and I’ll be able to remember in a week).  All of my seeds are from Territorial.  I like buying from a local-ish company because they tend to carry seeds that grow really well in this area.

The back tray is all tomatoes, all the time.  Three different kinds, four pods of each.  From left to right are Brandywine, Gold Nugget, and Nova.  In the front tray are four pods of Parel Cabbage (I found the seeds in the shed and figured, why not?) and 8 pods of Marigolds (Brocade Mix).  I love Marigolds and they’re always so expensive to buy as plants.  I figured I’d give starting the flowers from seed a shot.

My total seed cost so far this year is around the $12 mark.  I have 4 pony packs of starts sitting outside that cost me around $10.  The cabbage and Nova tomatoes were leftover from last year.  I also have cucumber, carrot, and bean seeds from last year that will be planted at some point.  Since I tend to be an extremely negligent gardener, I’m trying not to invest a ton into this year’s garden.

What are you planting?


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