Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wooden Seed Trays

I have run out of the seed trays that I bought and still have more seedlings to start. So I scoured the internet and found that wooden seed trays were used before today's modern plastic seed trays.  You can build the seed trays out of almost any material, but a rot resistant variety will last longer.  Some of the better rot resistant woods are: cedar, cyprus, red wood, and teak. These woods also cost more and are more difficult to scavenge for free, so I built mine out of Pine and Oak.  I got my materials from old pallets that were broken.  If you are going to "scavenge" pallets, be sure to ask since many businesses have to pay $5-35 per pallet if they are not returned, but they can not return broken ones.  Other times the pallets come with a shipment and the business has to dispose of it themselves.  The more time and effort you put into your boxes will make them more showy and you more proud of them, but it will not make plants grow better.  The wood I used was rough on one side and did not always have straight edges.  But like I said the plants will not mind. Leave small cracks in the floor boards up to 1/4".  This will allow water to drain if you over water.

Once the seed box/tray is built fill it to the rim with half screened compost or peat moss and half garden soil that you have screened to remove roots and rocks.  Mound the dirt in the center, when it settles it will flatten out.

Sprinkle your seeds directly into the dirt and lightly cover with compost or peat moss.  When the plants come up pick the strongest plants to plant in the garden.  Some plants like mesculin greens can be harvested directly from the planter box.

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