Introduction: Sensitive Seed Starter
Some plants are just impossible to find at a greenhouse. BUT you can probably find SEEDS ONLINE! The problem with seeds is you never know the age or condition of them. And sometimes they require very stable and protected conditions. This Mimosa Pudica (also known as the Shy Plant because it closes it's leaves when touched) for example has seeds as small as a grain of salt. The second they germinate they are just a few minutes away from drying out and dying right before your eyes. They need protection. Add a normal job on top of that and they got almost no chance. Like who has time to mist dirt every twenty minutes for a week straight? Add a job where you travel and you're totally out of luck. That is where the bottle starter comes in.
Step 1: Get Your Stuff.
Drill, drill bits, scissors, pop bottle with cap, seeds and COTTON mop head strings. Literally just went to the dollar store and got a mop head. I took it apart and stuck the strings in a jar, one mop yields dozens of strings when cut apart. Dirt, not the cheap stuff. Spend a little here, you won't regret it. An elastic and marker too.
Step 2: Pick a Bit.
9/32 seems to be a good size. You want the string to go thru the hole... don't overthink it.
Step 3: Drill.
Keep the cap on the bottle to drill it. DON'T HOLD IT LOOSE IN YOUR HAND! For obvious reasons.
Step 4: Ta Da!
Step 5: Snap the Elastic Around.
An inch or two past the top section.
Step 6: Marker Time!
Draw around the bottle by the elastic.
Step 7: Ta Da!
Guide line done.
Step 8: Snip Snip..
Cleave it in twain.
Step 9: Add Cotton Mop String.
Pull about 6 inches thru and tie a loose knot on the inside side of the cap so it can't fall out.
Step 10: Put on Cap.
Inverted the knot holds the string in.
Step 11: Stick It in the Base.
Step 12: Add Dirt.
An inch short of the final dirt height coil the cotton string around then cover it with the rest of the dirt. Add your seeds now.
Step 13: Add Water.
Plain tap water will do but if you have a rain barrel even better.
Step 14: Tent It Up.
I put a large Ziplock freezer bag over it and put the elastic back on. Part of another pop bottle would work too but I didn't have one.
Step 15: That's It!
These seeds popped in about a week. Thin as a hair and brittle. They stayed in there till I found a glass dome they could hide under. I never had to add water and they thrived on neglect. The wick keeps the soil perfectly moist. The roots even grew into the wick and when I transplanted I simply slid it out with the plant. I even left town a few times. I hope you found this useful. Good luck with your seeds!
Participated in the