For a year I saved all the plastic bottles, paper egg cartons, towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls for such a time as this:
When most of my seedlings got up with their first leaves, not yet with their "true leaves", I was in the midst of mixed weather, having to bring them in and outside a lot. To eliminate the toll to each tiny transported seedling, I cut each cardboard roll into the appropriate height and carefully placed it around the fragile seedling, providing further support and conserving it's moisture.
One must keep in mind that in carrying each seed tray, wind and touching are the most likely factors to break a tiny stem. The other is some sort of pest that has invaded the tray while they were outside. These protective collars can wick moisture away from the seedling, so be careful to keep the seedlings evenly moist.
After using the soil from a trench near the compost bins for composting, the 12' deep empty trench will be filled with both sifted compost, soil and sand to make a bed to plant the root crops for my first adventure with them. Do all sifting on a still day gently and be careful not to inhale any of the debris, soil dust, or to get too close to the sifting process. I got in a hurry and forgot, breathing a quantity of the sifted materials and got pneumonia from it. It was an expensive lesson which I am now recuperating from, I hope. It came right after I was attacked by the neighborhood flu bug along with many others. Use extreme caution with garden supplies and allow plenty of time to think things through before taking on a new project.
Save and recycle those cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towels. Their diameter is perfect for the average paper egg carton planted with seedlings. Make certain they are firmly set into the surrounding soil so that their roundness can buffer winds. If done just right, all the same height, you can paperclip each one to the other to keep them stable.
The necks of plastic bottles are coming in handy for all of my lettuces by turning them upside down over the stem to offer all sorts of "dish-like" support for the heads until they are big enough to cut off. It discourages bugs from cutting the stem as well. I then cover the growing plants with the remaining gallon plastic bottles until strong and near harvesting. They seem to really appreciate the protection. If the plastic neck collars are trimmed slightly before placing around the plant, they will more easily fit well into the bottle for support as the lettuce head matures and the sun warms up.
Remember to poke several small nail holes in the bottoms of each gallon jug to allow moisture to escape, but not bugs in. I plan to use plastic bottle halves with tiny punched drain holes under the vine crop fruit to keep them from rotting on hay straw while I wrap each piece with nylon to discourage mice, rats and birds. This is one reason it's called a "nursery".
By Lynda from TX
did you come up and see my garden in Maine as I do the same thing ,maybe we are twins lol
You have given a good tip to not only help the environment, but to get started. Thanks, I will try it.
You know, our city has been on the highest alert for water conservation, so all that I have done in this report has truly saved these seedlings since we FINALLY had a barrage of back-to-back rain, even some unseasonal for our area cold snaps, which forced me to bring many of them in and out of the house again. The whole idea is not only to protect sut to protect until strong roots have developed. Right afte I plant a few, deciding to remove some of the bottles on sunny days, some creature/rodent
ate three of the brocolli plants. Now I'm preparing to organically spray some suggested tonics to discourage them from the garden. The rains, although badly needed for our city water supply has truly delayed more planting and drowned a lot of seedlings. Luckily I still have time to reseed except for the Okra, and the dwarf Larkspur flowers, IF it
stops this severe weather, otherwise I will have to
delay until the rainy season passes. I got a tip that
red paper placed all around my tomato plant will
increase/encourage it to bloom. I just did it, so I have no report yet, but it's going a bit bananas! lol
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