Homemade Seed Starting
Tomato Starts using Clamshell Packaging
Here's one idea for reusing those fruit and veggie plastic containers that get discarded. Find some without holes and use them for greenhouses as your own homemade greenhouse kit for seed starters.
We got a tip from a friend on how to use discarded fruit & veggie clamshell containers as mini
greenhouses for seed starts. The ones that do not contain holes are said to work best. Air can seep into the gaps from the space between the lid and bottom of the container. However, they need to be as enclosed as possible to keep the heat and moisture inside the growing area.
We decided on an apple container from Costco. It contains 10 different circular areas we thought we could grow individual tomato starts.
We had a couple of setbacks. Placing the tomato starts outside to get some sunlight ended up being too hard on the little plants. A slight breeze did not help. We moved those back inside but still lost several plants.
Here is the video on the process:
We used a plastic tea bottle with the top cut off and set it upside down over potted blackberry cuttings. The blackberry starts appeared to be healthy as well until we took them outside. Oops. You think we would have learned. We had to try again with three more cuttings. It’s interesting that the leaves don’t wither with the plastic covers over them. They still look the same as the first day we put them in the covered pots. If all goes to plan, they should root in a few weeks.
It was surprising at how well these little greenhouses worked. It starts with good seeds. The plants that did not make it outside were mostly from Rome tomato seeds, which were not organic. The other seeds were both organic and heirloom and were clearly the better ones. We are sticking to either our own seeds & cuttings or organic seeds in the future - preferably one of the heirloom varieties.
We will definitely do this again when we need plant starts.
We later transplanted the tomato plant in the middle of our circular self-water container (raised garden bed) with potato starts. This plant bed was added after having success with the other two beds we put together last year. We used a kiddie pool for the self-water reservoir (click here to see last year’s self-water containers).
Thanks for watching and reading :)