It's the start of the gardening season, the time when seeds need to be planted if you want results in time. I've been thinking of what kind of flowers I want this year for my little balcony garden and haven't decided yet but today I saw an opportunity and bought some seeds.
I love running plants because are beautiful, fill up the space vertically and because my space is limited, I need to choose wisely. My first choice is always petunia because it's a running flower and it's very common here. Today I paid a visit to the seed shop in my neighborhood and saw these running petunia seeds. Till now I've been buying seedlings from the farmers market as it's easier to buy them ready but today I said let's try out something new. Besides, if this comes out right, I can save some money as well.
These two packs of seeds costed me around $1 and if I'm buying seedlings, I pay $1 for one seedling. I don't see why not try to grow them myself, it's like a DIY project. It's a lot of fun watching plants grow and taking care of them.
This is the most important step as if you do it wrong, you get nothing. That's why you need to learn as much about your plat as possible and respect the indication from the package.
Most of the people go wrong when they thing you just buy some seeds, plant them in soil, water them and that's all. Unfortunately that's not true. You need to respect indications if you want results.
You can see on the package that this type of flower needs soil rich in humus. Why? Don't ask me as I have no idea but trust those who are distributing the seeds.
And voilà, soil rich in humus, perfect for my running petunia seeds. This type of soil costs a little bit more than the regular soil but it happens for a reason.
In the past I've been throwing the seeds in the pot and that was all. Today I'm smarter than that and want to do it right. There are special trays for this that you can buy in the shops.
They come in different sizes, depending on how much you need. there are smaller trays like the one above or bigger ones like the one below.
This has 104 compartments. My dad has a few of these but he has a lot of seeds to plant, so he;s using them all. Me on the other hand I have only just a few to plant, so I don't see the need to invest in such a tray. Instead I came up with an idea that suits my needs very well and it's recycling too.
Egg holder boxes made of recycled paper. This is double recycling or recycling and repurposing if you like it better. I've seen other using these and thought why not give it a try. As I've mentioned before, there's no selective waste collection in my city, or it's very limited, so I need to be smart and save what I can. These boxes usually end up in the garbage anyway, so why not find a purpose for them first.
You are probably asking why these egg holders. These are shaped in a way that it's perfect for my purpose. Each box has 10 holes that is small and just how much soil I need. The best quality of it is that it's made of paper, thus absorbs excess water and also releases the water that is not needed. This way you can avoid overwatering your seeds. How many I have seen watering their plants all the time thinking that is good. Well, it's not.
First I cut each box's top and placed under the bottom of each.
Next, 60% of the holes were filled with soil.
Now comes the fun part. Normally one seed needs to be placed in each hole but these seeds are so tiny, even smaller than poppy seeds, so basically it's impossible to pick just one seed, unless you are using forceps. So I picked up a few and put them in the hole. Then covered with more soil and watered them well. This is important as they need plenty of moisture at first to start to germinate. Also had to find a warm place for them and when they start to come out, they need a sunny place, with plenty of light. This is also important as in a dark place they grow very fast without getting strong.
And voilà again. This is my little nursery. Now I need to take care of them, check if they need water and monitor their evolution till I get them grown enough to be planted in the big pots that will be reused water bottles this year again. When they grow a few cm tall, I can repot them already. Just need to take out each one from the hole and the roots will be enough to grow in the new pot.
I don't know about you but I love to do these things myself and enjoy the results. It's fun and rewarding to care for flowers and plants.