I enjoy gardening. Although my schedule is full with raising sheep and taking care of our place. I still make time to have a small modest garden. My garden consists of vegetables and flowers.
I should start the tomato and sweet pepper plants inside during February, but I always seem to be late. I was determined this year to have me seeds planted indoors in February. Once again I am late with planting them in March.
I learned of a low cost method of starting seeds inside from Next Level Gardening on youtube. From this youtube channel I learned to plant my seeds in solo cups. My method is a little different as I do not have trays for the water to drain into, so I use an additional solo cup with a small rock to capture the water than runs through the soil, containing the excess water.
To start, I get a solo or any plastic cup. Since I like to repurpose items instead of throwing them away, I use togo cups from restaurants and fast-food places, or food containers such as sour cream containers. I drill or poke holes in the bottom of the plastic containers, three or four small holes are sufficient. The holes need to be large enough to let water out, but not let the soil out, 1/8 of an inch works good.
For nightshade plants, these include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, I only put soil in 1/3 of the cup. As the seedling grows I will had more soil. The stem covered with the soil will form roots. Also, these vegetable plants can be grown indoors as they do not need bees and insects to pollinate. When the plant has blooms, gently shake the plant and it will self pollinate.
After I put in the soil, I plant the seeds at the depth stated on the package. I always put in three seeds, do not really know why, just what I do. Then I place the plastic up inside the cup I have put a small rock in the bottom. The rock in the bottom allows for space to collect the excess water. Then I water the surface of the soil a little at a time, letting the water hit the edge of the cup to prevent disturbing the seeds. I use this method of watering with the seedlings first sprout through the soil as to not injure the young tender plant.
If I am planting herb seeds or other vegetables that are not nightshade plants, I will fill the cup with soil, leaving 1/2 an inch from the top for watering. I place the cup in another cup with a rock just like before.
The plastic cups can be used over and over. The cups in the pictures I have used for three years. When the plants are ready for transplanting into a container or spot in the garden, gently squeeze the outside of the cup, and the soil, roots and plant easily come out, ready for planting.
This sweet pepper plant did not get planted outside or into a container last year. The plant has produced several small pepper that I used to season food. The peppers are small as the roots are constricted in the cup. I do have a sweet pepper plant in a small flower pot that I have inside the house. This spring I will be planting that plant outside.
Below is my apple tree. I was making an apple salad, when I noticed the seeds in the apple core had sprouted a root. I placed the apple core in the soil in a small plant container and gently watered it. This little tree has started to grow. I will need to get another apple tree, as apples and most fruit trees will not self pollinate, they will only pollinate when the pollen if from another tree.
Yesterday, I planted radishes outside. Radishes are tasty both raw and cooked. Radishes sprout and grow fast, usually 21 – 25 days after planting the seeds you have fresh radishes on the table. So I plant radishes every two weeks, providing a consistent supply of the fresh vegetable. Radishes can be grown inside as they do not need any pollination.
These faded orange window box type containers are perfect for radishes. I get two rows of radishes in each container. These containers used to sit on the rails of our deck. But since I removed the deck, I have placed them on the ground in the front yard. I have also grown onions in these two containers. Although they are faded for six or seven years of use, I keep using them as they work well with growing ground vegetables like onions, radishes and beets, all I have grown in these two containers. If a water tray is placed underneath, these containers would work well in the house or on a balcony.
Decide where you want to place your little container garden. Make sure there is light or provide a light for them to grow. Then think “outside the box” for items to use as containers in the space you have. I have used small flower pots, whipped topping containers, and even large metal cans covered with wallpaper for plant containers inside and outside the house.
You say you do not have a “green thumb”, people can learn to have a “green thumb”. Most often the difficulty in growing plants in watering. Some water too much and others water too little. Test the soil before adding water. Put your finger in one inch or up to the first joint, if the soil is dry on top, but damp or wet at the tip of your finger, do not water. If the soil is dry all the way to the tip of your finger, give the plant a drink.
Enjoy growing things in your home, balcony, or yard. If the plant dies, start over again. I used to kill my gardens for years, I would by plants, put them in the ground I had spent days preparing, only to have them die due to lack of wate r or too much water. Today, I still will have a plant die, usually I get in a hurry and over water without checking the soil first.
Each time you plant you gain experience, and soon you will have a rainforest to relax in.
8 thoughts on “Starting My Garden”
I am still shocked that little pepper plant actually produced that huge pepper right from that cup!
I was also surprised. I have gotten 5 peppers from this little plant this winter. If I would gently shake the plant when there are blooms, I would have more.
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What are nightshade plants?
Nightshade plants is a classification. Tomatoes, all peppers, sweet and hot, and eggplant are classified as nightshade plants. They can be started, grown and pollinated the same way.
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Nightshade plants contain the alkaloid solanine. Potatoes are also nightshade, but not sweet potatoes.
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You are correct when you say you can “learn” a green thumb…it took my son 40 years after never ever growing anything not even pulling a weed up to find his and now he grows beautiful Habaneros and makes lovely sauces from the crops 🙂
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