Seed sowing season is in full swing. The lounge windowsill is cluttered with all kinds of pots and punnets and smatterings of seed raising mix, and puny seedlings attempting to live despite my amateur efforts to nurture them. I am having an issue with my tomatoes not germinating (perhaps I am doomed to not being able to grow tomatoes after all), or at least should I say, the organic catalogue acquired from a well-known seed company's seeds are not germinating - I've not had any trouble with the seeds given to me by a friend from a tomato she grew last year.
Last year I bought a windowsill propagator, a long, elegant-looking punnet and dish and lid set that kept the temperature and humidity stable enough for most of the seeds I sowed to germinate. It was expensive - $18 - and the punnets crapped out pretty much immediately, being made of paper-thin plastic.
I used punnets from other things I've bought in there now which are a bit more sturdy. I'm wondering if the cold at night has slowed the germination of my seeds, and as I have many more things to sow than can fit in the propagator, I've been thinking about how to make my own safe little snug houses for my seeds and seedlings. And I've come up with this:
On the right is a 2L milk bottle with one side chopped out, which can act as a tray under the punnet. I've got echinacea going under there - though, having bought the seeds from the well-known seed company and only one having germinated, I'm also writing a letter to said company to complain.
The other huckery looking thing houses more tomatoes which I have sown in desperation to make up for all the others that haven't germinated. The bottom is made from an old sampler biscuit box, back when they were plastic, and the top is from some microwave contraption - both were bought at the dump shop for $1. They double as cloches when the seedlings are planted out in the real garden.
And as I'm sitting here staring at a yoghurt container, I've just had an amazing idea - those wee punnets that you can buy hummus and cream cheese and such in with the clear lids would make a great little seed tub - punch a few holes in the bottom, fill with seed raising mix halfway up, sow your seed and pop the lid back on loosely, allowing some air flow in and out of the punnet. Light and air get in, and warmth and moisture stay in. Perfect.
What are you germinating your seeds in? What ideas have you had to save money in the garden?