Planting Seeds

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The warmer days this week have put me in a planting frame of mind. Although it’s still too early to scratch up my plot at the community garden, it’s the perfect time to plant some seeds. Last year I scattered seeds for lettuce, carrots, radishes, pole beans, and zinnias directly in the garden, but I also ended up buying a lot of plants. This year I thought I’d get a head start and grow a few of those plants from seed myself. So today I planted seeds for Brussels sprouts. This is also a good time to start cabbage and broccoli seeds.

I made my own biodegradable pots using sheets of newsprint from the Sunday paper. These pots are super fast and easy to make (Hint: This is a great project to do with kids!). Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own pots. For more complete instructions, and other fun kids gardening projects, check out my latest book, The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons.

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1. Unfold a two-page spread of the newspaper on a table and carefully rip in half down the center fold. Set one half aside.

2. Fold the other sheet in half from top to bottom and then fold in half again from left to right.

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3. Place the folded sheet on a table in front of you with the fold on the left. Use a 16-oz tin can from your pantry to shape the pot. Place the can horizontally across the right side of the paper, making sure the top 1 inch of the can extends to the right of the paper.

4. Hold the paper edge tight against the can and roll to form the pot. Secure the end with Scotch tape.

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5. Press the excess paper on the left side against the bottom of the can and secure with tape.

6. Gently slide the paper off the can and set upright. Repeat the steps to make as many pots as you need.

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Fill with potting soil and add seeds according to directions on seed packet. I suggest setting the pots on a tray to catch possible leaks. Spritz surface of the soil daily with water from a spray bottle until sprouts are hardy enough to withstand a watering can deluge. Paper pots can be transplanted directly into the soil.

Happy planting!

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