In the Event of Rain – {How to Make Seedling Pots}

For the past few weeks, we have had 80+ degree weather, but we have also been having a little bit of this. Actually, it has been a lot of this (you might have heard about it in the news). Our planting area that was weed whacked and ready now again looks like a jungle. Fortunately, our area has not been hit as hard by the spring storms, but we have quite a few scenes like this throughout our yard. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is not planting ground for anything.

This area can be seen from a window in our home. Lily calls it her rain puddle. When she wants to know if it is raining AGAIN, she peers out to her puddle and if she sees little raindrops bouncing on it, then she knows it is raining. She started doing this because you know sometimes just looking out the window into open area can be deceptive. She has been doing a lot of weather forecasting with the help of this puddle and it keeps telling her rain is here for a while.

With that, we had to make other gardening plans which included a trip to the local garden/feed/gasoline/horse supply/auto repair store and pick up some seeds. We had already planned to plant some seeds this year, but we were also hoping we would have some potted plants (herbs) already in the ground.

We have decided to grow some vegetables along with our herbs. On our way to the store where we got the seeds, we discovered that the town florist and gardening center that closed its doors last year has reopened with new ownership and they have so many vegetables that we can’t wait to plant.

While Lily and I continued to look for a few seeds, River and Canyon got a little sidetracked, way on the other side of the store, and ended up perusing through the John Deere and Bob Cat tractor toys. I was able to bring them back to the mission at hand and we found seeds we wanted and headed home.

I knew one day these tubes would come in handy. I used to save yogurt containers too, but now it is just toilet and paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, and caps from our drink products. They are so hard to throw away because I know there is at least one more use in life for all of those items.

Foil tray, toilet paper rolls, seeds, soil, bowls for soil, scissors, and spoons for scooping the soil are all you need to start building a “garden” indoors in anticipation of the day the rain stops.

The plants we are starting from seeds this year are corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and beans. I was looking at the days to germination (number of days before they sprout) which is not that bad, but it is the day of maturity that I hope I have patience for with the beans being the shortest (58 days) and pumpkin being the longest (110 days). It is because of this that most of the other things we plan to grow this year will be close to ready to use – from pot to ground to my mouth.

We cut one end of each tube about 1.5″ down each side and into about .5″ strips all the way around. Then we folded each strip across the diameter of the tube. The bottom folded nice and neat, but when we placed the tube to stand, it didn’t balance well.

River figured out that by folding the strips back into the inside of the tube, they balanced better and didn’t fall over. Before you put the soil in the tube, just push the strips down toward the bottom a bit so you don’t lose too much soil through the openings in the strips.

Canyon got frustrated for a moment while he was cutting his tube, but then…

he figured out something a little more fun to do with his tube and just like that everything was all better again.

Not missing an opportunity of making this a full curriculum project, I threw in a little multiplication and division with River figuring how many tubes we had and also how many tubes all four of us would get to fill. Folks, I tell you, I am raising a genius.

Everyone got their own bowl of soil because that is just necessary when you have three little people.

I even labeled the tubes because I knew I would get confused, which I did even after I marked them.

We put three heaping teaspoons of soil in the bottom of each tube…

…placed the seed on the soil, and then covered the seed with two more heaping teaspoons.

Before putting the seedling pots into the aluminum tray, I put an old cloth (or paper towel will do) to catch the water and help keep the pots moist without having to water each tube individually.

We placed the pots in the tray and they are ready for watering.

We added a bit of water to each seedling to get them going.

Now all we have to do is wait, and wait, and wait some more.

A little green house effect going on here.

For now, this is how our garden grows. Hopefully we will be able to put potted plants in the ground in the next few weeks and thereafter be able to add these seedlings to our growing garden.

There is nothing better than a challenge and I am participating in the HSV Garden Challenge as I weed and nurture my garden. If you don’t mind getting a little soil under your fingernails and a few rocks in your shoes, then join in the fun and grow a little something in your yard (or on your window sill).

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