There are a lot of benefits to start your own seeds – having a wider variety of plants to choose from is one of the major benefits. Plus, it can save a lot of money if one uses energy-efficient lighting on a timer.
I have personally been starting seeds for the past 4 years – graduating from an old laundry basket to a ghetto shelf and ultimately this year a seed starting tower that I am making from old ceiling lamps that I scored for 5 Euros a pop.
A big cost in the past was the containers for starting the seeds. The plastic trays are not that durable and they are only big enough for the seedlings for a couple weeks. This year, I am ditching the plastic. I don’t want to pay for something I know that is going break. Plus, I want it to be environmentally friendly.
To do this, I am using soil blockers and wooden seed starting trays.
I will need four sizes of soil blockers. I was lucky enough to receive two soil blockers for Christmas (thanks mom!). One produces 4, 2” cubes (~ 5cm). The other produces 20, 3/4” cubes (~ 1.9cm). I will then build an additional 2 blockers. One will produce 3x3x3” (~8cm) cubes and the other will produce 4x4x4” (10cm) cubes.
My seed starting trays are made from reclaimed/recycled wood . The trays will be in plant starting towers that I am making using some posts that were left in the apartment when we moved in.
I am making the following sizes of seed starting trays (per plant tower, so actually there will be double the number of boxes):
- 2 boxes that are 12×12” (30x30cm). These boxes will be for the microblocker. This size is primarily used for germination – especially for plants that require the heating mat. Each box will hold 120 microblocks. I still need some of the parts for finishing up this box.
- 8 boxes that are ~10×12” (25x30cm). The boxes that are this size will be for the ¾”/~2cm blocks. Each box will hold 24 blocks.
- 3 boxes that are ~26×12” (65x30cm). These boxes will hold the 3”/4” (8/10cm) cubes. Each box will hold approximately 18 plants. I also need more wood for this part, or at least to cut the wood that I already have. Additionally, I need to build the larger soil blockers, but that is a project for next month.
As you can see, I still have quite a ways to go, but I am getting there and quite pleased with my success thus far. My next steps are:
- Cutting the last of the lathes for the seed starting boxes and attaching them
- Planning which seeds to start and when (space on the heat mat is a valuable commodity)
- Finishing the seed starting tower (stay tuned)