Caregiving means so many different things to so many different people. It can mean total care, it can mean providing food and shelter, it can also mean caring for someone while they’re not feeling so good, it can mean little acts of care; the list could go on and on. I like to think of it as encompassing various responsibilities and activities that are a part of daily life, as well as activities that enrich our lives as a family. Part of caring for our family means trying to make sure we’re all eating healthy foods. That means when spring comes, making our annual seed order (and this year an order of a rooster to protect our growing flock), so we can set our garden in motion. Seed starting is a family affair.
By the time we’re done, our dining room will probably be filled to the gills with trays of seedlings waiting to be planted.
We recently started the process of planting all the seeds that need to be planted indoors prior to placing them in the ground outside. We started with peppers and tomatoes. Dan had learned, in one of our gardening groups, that newspaper makes great little seed pots… Not only that, but it’s a great way to re-purpose newspaper. We actually don’t pay for a newspaper, so we ran to a convenience store in town and picked up a few papers for 50 cents apiece – much cheaper than seed pots would have been for all the seeds we need to plant.
Supplies You Need for Seed Starting
You really don’t need that many supplies; in fact, it’s more affordable than people think. With a little creativity and re-purposing, you can save a LOT of money.
- Seeds – We prefer heirloom seeds because then we can harvest our seeds and re-plant the next year.
- Newspapers – How many depends on how big your garden will be.
- Seed starting trays, with or without lids – We picked up plain seed starting trays, no lids, at our local hydroponics store.
- 1 regular-sized tin can
- Scissors or box cutters
- Potting Soil Mix – This will probably be the most expensive item on your list.
How to Make Newspaper Seed Pots
Making newspaper seed pots is so simple. If there are a few of you working together, you can start an assembly line and help each other, making the process go by even more quickly. Dan and I worked at making pots while the boys played with Scout.
Making your seed pots… Take a regular-sized tin can and use that to measure and roll the newspaper into a sort of pot. Fold your bottom end up, closing it in. Then fold your top down over the top, creating a crease so it’s easier to fold down once you remove the can. Unfold that top fold and remove the can from your seedling pot. Following that crease, fold the top back down. Fill each newspaper pot with dirt, and place in an empty seed-starting tray. You can fit 21 pots in one seed starter tray; you definitely want the tray, so when you water the seeds, it can hold the excess water.
Once you have your pots made and filled with soil, it’s time to plant your seeds. This is where our boys got more involved.
Follow the instructions on the back of each seed packet for this step.
Then be sure to water and place in a sunny spot indoors.
Dan has another seed tray set-up in the garage underneath a grow light. He’s already got some lettuce coming up. We have so many plans for this spring and summer… These little seedlings get me so excited for the season ahead.
Speaking of care…
Whirlpool® has launched The Every day, care™ Project, highlighting simple acts of care that can change or light up your world. Little acts, like gardening and seed starting so you can feed your family healthy foods, laundry, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading a good book together, playing together outdoors… It makes a difference in the lives of those we care about and love. Click here to take a look at The Every day, care™ website to see how daily acts of care can change your world.