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Forum: Article: The Thrifty Gardener: Cheap tricks for seed startingReplies: 0, Views: 43
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Kansas City, MO

April 14, 2008
5:01 PM

Post #4807408

I have tried the pellets in the past. I always got good seed germination along with leggy plants that died. Not enough light. So I added the shop lights with some success put for as many seeds as I start each year it just was not efficent and very expensive. building all the tables I need and adding lights etc. So last year I went a different route. I build a cold frame outside. I dug a hole in the ground about 18 inches to the botttom. worked the soil with my tiller at that level. (Pass 2 " in my soil and it is nothing but clay.) Added a mixture of mature (from my friend's horse barn, composted leaves, and some black dirt (got it from the woods behind my house). Then I bought a bag of pro mix (25 pound) and put on top of the dirt. I purchased some landscaping timbers from Home Depot when they had them on sell ($1.27). I build the frame two timbers high added a 1 x 6 x 8 laid on it edge down the middle on top of the timbers to create a ridge for the plastic. The distance between the I planned the seed in the pro mix in the middle of January (we had one nice day) and cover it with plastic. I got the seed a one of the local hardware stores for $.20 a packet. I had so many plants I did not know what to do with them. No cost of extra lighting, building of tables or worried about the house getting to cold. No repotting. Just transplant the plants from the frame to the garden. The plants were larger than most nuseries sell for planting.

I addes to my design this last summer by purchasing a few mister and 1/4 tubing with a garden hose attachment. I ran the line out form underneath the plastic so when they looked a little dry, I could just hook up the hose and water. Last fall I plant some seeds in the same bed adding a little more pro mix and left them in there for the winter. The pansies I planted were 6 inches tall and blooming in Feburary. This was just after we had three weeks of temperature in the teens.

This has been the easiest way I have found to grow seeds and each year all I usually need to due is add some seed starting mix and a piece of plastic.

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