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Here it is, six weeks later, and some seedlings have s-l-o-w-l-y begun to sprout. The spinach has been up about a week and a half and is only now putting out second leaves. This past week some carrot and kohlrabi sprouts began to show.  At least this give me some hope for the seeds remaining underground—they might spout yet. So okay, up here in north central western Michigan, you can plant as soon as the ground can be worked, but the results, like the weather, might be mixed.Six wees to sprout? Really? Kale, a very cold tolerant plant has shown no signs of germination, neither have the beets, radishes, or Swiss chard. It might work out better for me to plant some of these in late August and grow them through the fall, and just wait until about now to put other seeds in the ground. On the other hand, the annual seeds of camomile and parsley are all over the garden! They have literally turned wild and are competing with the Veronica peregrina, in other words they’ve joined the weed community. I don’t really want to pull any of them out. Perhaps the veronica would make a good ground cover on the walkways between the growing boxes? Gardening is an adventure and an experiment!

My daffodils. scilla siberica, and hyacinth  are all blooming, and in the wild, so are the Amelanchier trees, so I can state spring is well underway here. Doesn’t mean we won’t have more snow! However, the blueberry plants from White Flower Farm arrived last Friday and I planted them Sunday. Hope they survive.

It hurts to spend time growing seedlings and then do something stupid. I had a nice crop of Roma tomatoes growing and have been putting them out during the day to harden off and get more light, then bringing them in at night. One night I forgot to bring them in, and yep, inevitably, that was the night we had frost. Five survived the cold. They look a little sad. Of course it is going to set their growth back. Still, five surviving is better than none.

Last day in tubes.

Last day in tubes.


Well, here they are several weeks from the start and one cat attack yesterday. Nothing malicious on Bert’s part, just crawling through looking to find anything edible. Not pretty, but there are healthy seedlings. I’m about to put them in larger more stable pots. I don’t think the paper tubes will last until planting time. They are falling apart now. So my verdict, good idea, and in a pinch I might to it again, but I prefer yogurt cups or commercial seedling containers.

tube experiement 2

tube experiement 2


Here is a second photo of the seed started in paper tubes as a recycling project two weeks ago. As you can see the tubes are holding together and there are seedlings sprouted. What worries me is the mold on the paper tubes both on the outside and inside. Will this affect the seedlings? Waiting to see.

waste cardboard tube seed starters

wast cardboard tube seed starters


I’ve seen seeds started in cardboard tubes and decided to try the process for myself. Since it snowed yesterday, this might be as close as I get to gardening for several more weeks — although the weekend is supposed to be in the forty’s.
I’ve already seen other gardeners posting photos of their garden, crocus, daffodils and tulips. We lag so far behind Southern springs; and like the sap rising in the Maples, my gardening drive is going into full gear.
So here’s my experiment. Cardboard tubes cut in 3 or 4 inch sections. I saw a video where they folded it in half and then in half again to make four corners which might make it easier to place the tubes tightly together, but I just packed them with potting soil.
Planted Scabosia seeds, ‘Oxford Blue’ from Thompson and Morgan.
What I like: reuse trash materials that eventually are composted back into the soil when seedlings are planted, sides are porous so more air gets to the roots.
What I don’t like: Unlike my plastic yogurt containers, there is no lid to hold moisture until seeds sprout, containers are soft, squishy. Will this characteristic harm roots? Don’t know. I wait and see.

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