Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Sow Sunday

While the majority population was rapt with watching the premier sporting event of the year, I joined a group of gardeners and participated in a twitter chat celebrating the kick off of the 2012 gardening season in the northern hemisphere. This is Super Sow Sunday, a special online event of the popular garden chat forum hosted by BGgarden. It does seem to be a bit early to think about gardening, but it is realistic to start seeds indoors and then transplant them after the threat of frost. Although, BathroomFarming is independent of the cycle of the seasons, this is the time of the year to buy seeds in retail stores and a little community spirit doesn't hurt either!

Last year, I started seeds in toilet paper cores well in advance of moving back into my renovated room. This year, I decided to try something different and make seed starting
containers from upcycled milk jugs to put on the wall of my BathroomFarm. I was inspired by Susan Klatz Beal's article:

I, however, wanted to make changes in the design to be able to hang them on my wall.

Many other people were getting their hands dirty with gardening activities while chatting so working on my garden seemed really natural. First, I cut the side open on the jug, leaving the handle intact. I also punched some drainage holes in the bottom as well as a few holes around the opening to loop paperclips through to be a closure. The original design is to cut the top all the way off. But this compromise gives me an easy way to hang the little greenhouse as well as an easy way to open it for watering and tending the plants.

Then, I kept true to the original design and lined the interiors of the bottoms with wet newspaper. I like the idea of being able to use the newspaper to easily extricate the seedlings for transplanting. If I am very clever, I can design wall pocket containers that will make transplanting easier by planning ahead for the shape of the bundle to be removed. It won't be difficult to cut the soft milk carton plastic apart with scissors when I'm ready to do that. I can go ahead and plant the newspaper along with the seedlings in the wall pockets and the newspaper will biodegrade gracefully adding carbon to the soil.

Then, I got my hands dirty and filled the newspaper lined milk carton bottoms with wet potting soil mixed equally with perlite and peat moss. Since I fluffed up my dollar store dirt, at the suggestion of Susan Klatz Beal, my garden has been doing much better! I started some cherry tomatoes and spinach first. The nice thing about BathroomFarming being independent of weather and seasons, is that I can add crops gradually. I think this is my best strategy because container gardening is more challenging than I had anticipated. It would be best to master it slowly and have better results in the long run.

The final step was to close the little greenhouses up and hang the handles over nails on my wall. I edited a picture of my project for the evening and posted in the chat. What an interesting and fun thing to do!

I was also surprised by winning a great gift basket from BBB Seed containing wildflower seeds and heirloom vegetable seeds as well as some personal care goodies! How awesome is that?

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