Commentary

EGG SHELL SEED STARTERS

How To Plant Seeds Using Eggshells 

Here’s a fantastic, easy idea we just came across – how to use eggshells to plant seeds. I love this one. There are numerous benefits to this idea:

1) You don’t have to uproot the seeds when it comes to time to plant them out – simply crack the shells and the roots will grow through! This saves you from potentially damaging the young seedlings – and the shells will break down.

2) The eggshells are biodegradable, so there is no waste.

3) The seeds benefit from the nutrients in the eggshells. Eggshell contains a good quantity of bioavailable minerals – especially calcium; a mineral that is not only essential for humans, but essential to all stages of plant growth.

4) You don’t have to use plastic pots, so it’s eco-friendly! Another win for the zero-waste home ;)

5) It’s free!

6) It’s fun!

This is a great tutorial with lots of pictures. Why not give it a go and let us know how you get on. Here is the link to the full tutorial:

http://www.17apart.com/2012/01/how-to-plant-seeds-using-eggshells.html

Courtsey of http://www.herbs-info.com/

NEWSPAPER POTS

DIY Seed Starting: Newspaper Pots by

Issue 104 · Best of 2013 · December 28, 2013

Newer

Late winter is the time of year when gardens in New York look their worst, but when hopes for their future are at an all-time high. It’s the season of seed catalogs and bed planning, and when we get to the halfway point in the month, it’s time for seed starting. It might be ambitious for a gal already sharing 240 precious square feet of space to also endeavor to start seeds in her city apartment, but I’ve got big plans for my window box, and I wanted to try my hand at doing everything from scratch.

See more of Erin's DIY Adventures.

Photographs by Erin Boyle.

Above: In the spirit of do-it-yourself gardening, I decided to make my own pots from last Sunday’s paper. If you have an urge to begin a garden project of your own, consider these pots.

Here's what you'll need:

Materials

  • Newspaper.
  • Scissors, such as Clauss 6-Inch Scissors ($12.95 from Knife Center).
  • Straight-sided glass.
  • Twine (optional).
  • Potting soil.
  • Seeds, such as Heliotrope ($3.25 per packet from John Scheeper's)
  • Tray with a handle, such as a Metal Tool Tray via Etsy.

Above: To begin, find yourself some good black and white pages from your weekend newspaper delivery (or your neighbor’s recycling bin). Avoid densely colored or shiny papers as they could leach dyes into your soil. Unfold your newspaper and tear one open sheet along its center crease so you’re starting with a long, narrow half sheet. Next, fold that sheet in half, lengthwise, and in half again—also lengthwise—so you’ve got one long and skinny strip of newspaper.

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PAPERWHITE NARCISSUS

Many of us enjoy growing paperwhite narcissus during the Christmas season.  We force them to bloom inside in many mediums, soil, stones, plain water.  Now what do we do with them?  I did a little searching and this was the best information I could come up with.  If you have more information that you can share regarding forced bulbs please shoot me an email via our contact us page. Posted by Jacki Brewer

"Storing "spent" paperwhite bulbs is far riskier than just planting them outside.  DO NOT cut the leaves or you'll destroy any chance of the bulbs recharging. DO cut the stems of the spent flowers, however.

If you happen to have forced these bulbs in shallow pans of soil, then there's a good chance of their recovery in the garden, but many people don't force them in soil, so the bulbs wear themselves out blooming and sometimes never perform well a second time.  If they do recover outdoors, they could still skip a year flowering outdoors, or flower poorly for a couple years before being fully restored.  If forced in soil they can be planted out at the first sign of spring.  Or let them go dormant in their pots & plant them out in autumn (in zone 8 --
plant them earlier in warmer zones where they bloom autumn & early
winter). At the time of planting, give them a high phosphorous fertilizer
just that once. Paperwhites unlike other narcissus don't require (but can
usually survive) a chill period, but they do require a summer dormancy.
Keep them a little moist when first planted, so that the leaves delay
their die-back as long as possible. If the ground dries out entirely
they'll go into summer dormancy before the leaves have recharged the
bulbs.

Read more: PAPERWHITE NARCISSUS