Spring is here, so it’s the perfect time to start planning your garden. If, like me, you favour organic vegetables, there’s a simple way to ensure a plentiful harvest: start raising seedlings as soon as possible. There are many tutorials on how to create sprouting pots using newspaper. But I find this simple organic gardening DIY project, using a mini muffin tin, the easiest way. And this is a child-friendly project that can involve the whole family. Except the dog, of course; definitely not the dog.
What you’ll need:
- Potting mix
- Mini muffin tin (preferably an old one as this one will be out of commission for a while)
- Cut out small squares of newspaper that are big enough to line the entire cavity of each mini muffin spot.
- Gently mist the newspaper until it is damp and press it into each cavity. Fill each of the cavities and let the newspaper dry completely before moving to the next step.
- For small seeds, fill each muffin cavity almost all the way up with moistened potting soil (your soil should be moist but not wet). If your seeds are big, fill the cavity two thirds of the way up.
- Add 2-3 small seeds in the middle of the soil but somewhat apart from each other (this will make it easier to thin them once they start growing) and then add the rest of the earth on top of the seeds.
- If your potting soil was moist when added, there will be no need for further watering. However, if you forgot that step, you will need to lightly mist it to get the seeds well settled into the earth. Do not push down on wet earth as it will stick to your fingers and you’ll risk unearthing the seeds.
- Label the rows with masking tape if you have planted more than one type of seed.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place your muffin tin in a sunny window or other sunny spot in your home (nowhere a dog or cat can reach).
Once you see the seedlings poking through the earth, remove the plastic wrap. Monitor moisture levels daily and mist only as needed. Too much water will drown the seedlings. Do not dribble water on top of them.
Once the seedlings have sprouted three to four real leaves, they may be planted into the ground if the soil temperature is suitable. If not, the seedlings may be transplanted into larger pots while they await the right planting conditions.
Happy gardening! •