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DIY Indoor Seed Starting System

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Step 2: Pots and Planting

Picture of Pots and Planting
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The first thing I did was decide what containers I wanted to start my seeds in.  On Instructables you'll see everything, from pop bottles to egg cartons, to bio-degradable options.  I did not have egg cartons or a sufficient amount of pop bottles, so I took a trip to the dollar store, and found small, thin, plastic pots.  I got twelve in a pack for a dollar, and bought six packs. 

I took a trip to the garden store after that, and told the employee there that I needed a bag of dirt.  I bought the MiracleGrow stuff in the picture below.  It occurred to me later that actual seed-starting soil/pellets are sold, and could have been better for this step.  However, the soil I bought worked fine as well.

I then set up in my garage, planting seeds of each variety, making sure to keep everything organized by species.  I ended up with 70 plants, and used that number to help decide how large of a frame to build to hold all of the small pots.  I wanted to have a fairly high number of plants to account for seeds that may not work, and plants that die early.
 
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Beergnome2 years ago
I don't really care for the seed starter pellet thingies.
the seed starter soil to a certain degree, but, Best results Ive ever had starting seeds is using a 5-5-0 manure.compost blend.
I good commercial brand is called "Black Cow" composted cow poop with other organic compost mixed in.. no, it's past the point of stinking so don't worry about that. lots of nutrients.

the miracle grow dirt you got there is potting soil and its best used for already established house plants. overall, it has a lot of nitrogen in it. and not much of anything else.

the lights, just because they are bright, dont mean they are right, as said earlier, a full spectrum bulb, just get a "grow light" type of bulb and the plants will be much happier. general purpose CFL's just don't cut it.

where will the seedlings be going once planted?

sunflowers and tomatoes both demand full sun, Tomatoes really really want a good composted soil to grow in. An old country trick is for when you are digging your planting hole is to drop a chunck of cow patty in the hole before planting.. I can attest that this works VERY well, but admidt that in our modern times, cow patty is hard to come by. once again, back to the Black cow gardening dirt.
fozzy13 (author)  Beergnome2 years ago
Hi there!
Next year around I'll definitely have to look some better soils to plant in then.
Most of the sources I looked at suggested CFL's as an alternative to expensive High-Pressure Sodium bulbs, and that the CFL's would suffice, but there's undoubtedly better out there.
The tomatoes have been going into hanging pop bottle planters, and the sunflowers into bigger pots.
Haha.. No cow patty in Suburbia : )

Thanks for the comment!! : )
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