Seeds forum: Can tiny cat food cans be used to start seeds?

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Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
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nestof3
Sep 6, 2017 6:27 PM CST
We recycle so many of these, and now I'm wondering if they can be used for starting seeds -- specifically winter sowing?
Thumb of 2017-09-07/nestof3/444c6c

Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Dahlias Cut Flowers Zinnias Morning Glories Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Annuals
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luvsgrtdanes
Sep 6, 2017 7:21 PM CST
Welcome! @nestof3
They are a bit to small for winter sowing in my opinion, they aren't deep enough and will dry out to quick. You could start some small seeds in them inside then pot them up to larger pots once they get true leaves, just make sure you have drain holes in them and don't let them dry out.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
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nestof3
Sep 6, 2017 7:31 PM CST
Thanks! So I should use something like this to start my seeds?


Thumb of 2017-09-07/nestof3/e22836

[Last edited by nestof3 - Sep 6, 2017 7:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Dahlias Cut Flowers Zinnias Morning Glories Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Annuals
Bee Lover Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bookworm
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 6, 2017 7:58 PM CST
Yes that would work well, especially inside Thumbs up
For winter sowing check out the winter sowing forum https://garden.org/forums/view... lots of good info and help there. It's quiet in the summer but should start coming alive again soon
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
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McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 7:47 AM CST
Dawn, I grow a lot of vegetable starts indoors.
I use 2” starter pots: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R71FGYU/
and 10”x20” plant trays: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015RLLQ04/
You can get 45 of the pots in each tray with a little room to spare, then move some to another tray to make more room for plant foliage as they grow. I prefer them over the multi-pot inserts since you can remove each pot and transplant when it's ready. The pots and trays are reusable.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!

okieheart
Sep 7, 2017 3:50 PM CST
I've used keurg pods for seed starting, I just have to pot them up soon after they sprout. I'll use pretty much anything that holds dirt, especially if it means I can recycle my trash. Those shoyld be fine as seed starters, but as already mentioned you'll have to transfer the seedlings fairly quickly.
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 6:47 PM CST
@okieheart, I'm all about recycling Thumbs up . A few drainage holes punched in the bottom (sharp nail and a hammer) of the cans would probably make them comparable to the 2" starter pots.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Sep 7, 2017 7:39 PM CST

Moderator

IMHO, for wintersowing, nothing beats gallon milk jugs.

Thumb of 2017-09-08/kqcrna/f41c4e

Karen
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 7:44 PM CST
Karen, I'm sure that works, however we grow ours under lights, indoors. A lot of our starts wouldn't survive a winter outdoors.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters Butterflies Birds
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Weedwhacker
Sep 7, 2017 7:54 PM CST
Dawn, if you're interested in winter sowing -- the plastic jugs that kitty litter comes in work great! (I have quite a large collection of them Hilarious! ) And I also suggest checking out the winter sowing forum for more ideas.

Mac, you might be surprised at what you can start by winter sowing. I've actually come to the conclusion that winter sowing is more hassle than just starting under lights the way I have for years, but it DOES let me start more things than I have room for under my six 4-foot fluorescent shop lights. Smiling
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
Image
kqcrna
Sep 7, 2017 7:58 PM CST

Moderator

You asked about wintersowing. That involves planting your seeds outside in winter, in a transparent, ventilated container. The rain and snow water them. Then, in spring, the magically sprout when the weather warms. The milk jug acts as a tiny greenhouse.

If you're interested, see the wintersowing forum. (I started wintersowing in 2006, and trust me, it works!)

Karen
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 8:08 PM CST
Sandy, I can do around 1800 starts under lights, more than I need but lots of room for expansion and allowing for plant growth.

Karen, "wintersowing" is a new concept for me. I've always grown starts indoors or sown in-ground outdoors after the ground thaws. I'll check that forum. Never too old to learn something new Thumbs up .
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
Image
kqcrna
Sep 7, 2017 8:14 PM CST

Moderator

It's fun. There's nothing more uplifting than finding your first little sprout in March. Then you know for sure that spring is near. Hurray!

Karen
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 8:27 PM CST
I usually have 3" to 5" sprouts in March Hilarious! .
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
Image
nestof3
Sep 7, 2017 8:53 PM CST
I have never grown anything from seed save a few carrots years ago. I've been devouring the ATP podcasts, and I was sold on winter sowing from the start! There are four of us in an 1,100 sq ft house which is crowded with bookcases, chemistry equipment on a rolling cart, etc. (we Homeschool). There just isn't really much room for grow lights. We have a tiny piece of property too, already landscaped heavily, so I don't have beds and beds to work with.

My hope is that my husband will extend our front lawn bed (it has two trees in it) to cover most of the yard so I can put some fruit bushes in. I also plan to make a teepee of some sort in the perennial garden for a climber, add a cucumber trellis, after bringing in some compost to add to the bed and plant a zucchini near the gardening shed. The rest will be grown in our very small raised bed on the side of the house -- tomatoes, peppers, pineapple sage and herbs mainly with a few flowers added in.

I'd like to try tomatoes from seed for certain.
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
Ex zones 4b, 8b, 9a, 9b
Cat Lover Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Frogs and Toads Vermiculture
Critters Allowed Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Annuals Morning Glories Sedums
Image
McCannon
Sep 7, 2017 9:00 PM CST
That sounds like a plan, Dawn. Best of luck in making it happen. There are plenty of options available to gain more growing space, like tiered planters, and cattle panel trellises with plants grown on and under them.
The aboriginal people of the world and many other cultures share a common respect for nature and the universe, and all of the life that it holds. We should learn from them!
Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Dahlias Cut Flowers Zinnias Morning Glories Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Annuals
Bee Lover Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bookworm
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 8, 2017 5:49 AM CST
Containers too, especially for annuals. Thumbs up
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
Image
nestof3
Sep 8, 2017 6:16 AM CST
luvsgrtdanes said:Containers too, especially for annuals. Thumbs up


Yes! I always add some annuals to my shade garden containers on our deck, and a couple years ago we had a stamped-concrete patio put in for the front door area. I just love adding containers there, and they are within reach of the watering hose. Right now on it I have cool season vegetables growing in pots -- beautiful greens, bok choy, cabbage, lettuces, and strawberries along with lantana and calibrochoa.

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