Monday, February 26, 2007

An Idea: Using quart-sized freezer bags to start seeds

Remember the gutsy tomato plant that had survived all of December and January? It bit the dust last week during our ONLY freeze of the year so far. The Roma tomatoes, all 7 of them, were just about the perfect size and only needed to blush up in order to pick. All in a night, POOF, the plant was reduced to a limp scraggle of wilted brown.

Being in Florida, I guess I have the longer season as a benefit, but the vagaries of the occasional frost as a detractor. Not having any fancy gardening setup, or ANY gardening setup besides the mints and dianthus and the potato plants over on the next lot, I'm all for finding the easiest possible solutions. My first project is going to be to try growing some things from seed, and I'm needing a little extra cushion of daytime heat and moisture to help things along.

I bought a box of 50 quart-capacity freezer bags at Wal-Mart the other day for less than $3.00. They're the ziplock sort. As I was using them in the kitchen this week, it occurred to me that they might be ideal for starting seeds. I'm not a pro at this, so I emphasize the word "MIGHT." :) If I were to fill some of them halfway with a good potting mix and some worm castings, plop a couple seeds into each one, and line them up in rows in a plastic flat or cardboard box-top, the plastic might just do the trick for warming them a bit if I started them outside in a sheltered place after the last chance of frost. Of course I'd leave the tops unzipped, but they naturally stay nearly shut, which I think might enhance the warmth and humidity long enough for those guys to shoot up big enough to transplant. I'm not sure, but it's worth experimenting.

If my guess is right and this is a viable way to start seeds, the bags are also reuseable! Not a bad investment of 3 bucks!

That's just another idea! I'll test it out on some seeds I already have, if I can keep the raccoons from destroying anything I set outside.

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