little messy missy

little messy missy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Playing In The Dirt!

I make my own seed start soil. It is so expensive in the stores and really I can't buy dirt! I won't buy dirt, rocks etc it is just wrong. Anyway to make your own seed start you need really nice dirt. We compost year round, so I go into the compost and find some of the soil that has been good and hot. (Hot meaning that during the summer months it is actually warm to the touch- filled with all the right kinds of bacteria and bugs.) Okay so if you don't compost just find some dirt, not too much clay just some nice old dirt, out of last years garden is good. Next your gonna cook it. I know, I know it sounds way crazy but you need to sterilize it kill all the bad bacteria and bugs and their eggs. So I use the tinfoil baking dishes. So here is the set up: fresh dirt in wheelbarrow, baking dish of some kind and then a nice big clean Tupperware for the mixing and cooked soil to go into. Start cooking preferably not on a night when you will be having quests over because it stinks to high hell. Fill the backing dish with a good amount of soil, next get the soil wet. Not muddy puddles wet just moist. Then bake for 20 minutes at *400. When it is done put into the Tupperware. You just keep on baking until all the dirt is done. Next you run your hands through the cooked dirt making sure to remove rock, roots, sticks etc. Then you add Perlite. You can also you peat moss but if you do it has to be boiled for at least 10 minutes.There needs to be quite a lot of the Perlite in it, enough to make the soil loose and light. I then sprinkle in a little Osmocote, the first and only time my garden will have any store bought plant food. I have to say Osmocote is a great product but having free range chickens I do not want them or my family eating chemicals. There you go now you should have a big old batch of seed start soil for about $5.00. Keep you newly planted seeds dark and moist until they sprout, then place a grow light as close to the plants as you can get. Raise the lights just before the seedling touches it. If the light is too far away the seedling can become leggy. Keep the seedling water and before long you will have beautiful plants.


Chicken Boys said...

I have zero luck with starting my own seeds. Plants have to wait til after the last frost. They always die on me.

Callie said...

Those are beautiful little plants. You have your own Springtime inside. Making your own potting soil is a great idea. And the photos show the wonderful job it does.

Chickens in the Basement said...

Oh my gosh! How did you ever figure this out. Your plants look great! I figure I'm messy enough without bring dirt in intentionally. I must admit, your starter plants look fabulous!

Congrats on winning the necklace at two dog pond! I won one a few weeks ago and wear it all the time. Rachel is such a generous girl!


Yarni Gras! said...

I love this idea. Before we had kids I would start my own seeds. I loved watching the little seeds sprout up and grow! LOL!

Helen + ilana = Hi said...

Thanks for stopping by my your chickens!

Carolyn said...

I'm impressed! What a healthy looking garden you have. Hope you'll show them being transplanted.

bad penny said...

WOW ! I have started a compost heap this year & a veggie patch but as it's my first year I'm buying seedlings..... Now ... how to keep thoe greedy chickens out !

Bloody Frida said...

you have so much energy, you put me to shame!

inadvertent farmer said...

The only problem I have is when hubby comes home and plugs his nose for the smell of baking dirt...just not as fun to come home to as baking bread!

Lovely little starts there...Kim


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