An Inexpensive Way to Start Seeds (VIDEO) | Civil Eats

An Inexpensive Way to Start Seeds (VIDEO)

Spring time is here and the time is nigh to get growing. Every sunny day that comes makes me more eager to plant. But first, I must finishing drawing up plans, gather materials and build raised beds. I must organize help to bring up those 1000 lbs of soil to the roof, in a building with no elevators. I look forward to these tasks; though they will be difficult, I will be happy to get dirty and work hard.

Our plan includes a roof garden made up of fruit, vegetables and native flowers that can serve as an oasis in the city for me and my neighbors. I started my seedlings under the kitchen table in my apartment a few weeks ago in order to give my plants a head start on the growing season. For my indoor growing, I used the system the team of seasoned growers at retrovore.com put together (shown in the video below, hosted by Retrovore’s Kerry Trueman) to start my squash, swiss chard, sunflowers, tomatoes, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. (Check out their site for a lot of other great books and help for people new to gardening.)

The system is simple: aluminum trays, capillary matting for sustaining moisture, potting soil, cowpots (a great alternative to peat), a container for water, and then the lighting set up, which gets only slightly more elaborate, but it is still easy and inexpensive to get everything you need at Home Depot or Lowe’s (or even a local hardware store that carries pipe and industrial lights). Check out the video, and you will be growing in no time:

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Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

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