Frugal Garden Fail

Remember my genius post about starting seeds in sandwich bags?  Oh, fail.  Epic fail.  Supernova fail.

The starts turned out great.  I was so happy that my tomato seeds grew into tomato plants.  I have never grown tomatoes from seed with much success.  (No success.)  I rounded up the kids for a morning of planting in the garden.  You know, SOME GOOD OLD FASHIONED FAMILY FUN, yuck yuck?  The holes were dug, the plants placed.  Then came the task of getting them out of the plastic bags.  There was no saving the bags.  They had to be ripped off, and then the dirt didn’t hold together.  Plants broke and roots were ravaged.  For every plant that made it into the ground, five were ruined.

This gardening thing…DIE!  The plastic bag start thing…BURN.  Not recommended.  Ever.

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Garden Time!!

A couple of weeks ago I ordered all of my seeds from Territorial Seed.  With a large seed order comes a need for lots of extra supplies.  We are on a budget.  A BUDGET.  Not a Starbucks budget either.  You know, where you are poor, but you still have money for 6 dollar lattes.  Yeah, we are about seven rungs below THAT kind of budget.  With that in mind, I had to be really careful about blowing a bunch of money on seed starting kits.  Those suckers can add up quick!

While I wandered the garden aisle and stared at the kits, I had a flash.  I remembered seeing a blog that showed how to grow starts in sandwich bags.  Thankfully I was in the big W store and could get potting soil AND sandwich bags.  Yes!  This particular store had boxes of the plain ole fold top sandwich bags.  I bought 300 for about two bucks.  A few days later I had Gideon and Jacob help me fill the bags with a mini Mel’s Mix from the Squarefoot Garden book.  Once the bags were full, I took to Pinterest to find the site that gave me the idea.  Whoops.  Wasn’t Pinterest.  Couldn’t find it anywhere.  I Googled “starting seeds in sandwich bags” and it returned with a bunch of ways to start seeds with paper towels in sandwich bags.  Uh-oh.  Did I do a typical Liz thing and remember something all wrong???  I kept searching.  I didn’t find the same site, but I found one that was just as great.  Click here for the link.

I tenderly planted about three seeds per bag, moistened the soil, and folded the tops.  It took a day or so to see the little greenhouses do their thing.  Another week, and BAM, sproutlets!!!  Even better, I have about 200 bags left that I will put to good use.  I hope the baggies don’t get ruined in the process.  I don’t want to create a lot of garbage.  I’d like to reuse them.  Starter kits at the store produce a little garbage too, so I guess I’ll be okay.


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