Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Time to Start Those Seeds... And Reuse That Shredded Paper

Today is looking to be a very cold day and we are expecting ice this evening! Yuck! But I know spring is right around the corner. My friends at Timebank and various blogs are talking gardening and I realize I'm missing my garden, badly. Moving to an urban apartment, I don't have a great green space I can just till up and community gardens have waiting lists. This year, though, I have decided I'm not going to let that stop me. I am planting a container garden! 
Of course, I don't want to just go buy plants...I want to grow from seeds! And NOW is the time to start them... So I found this great way to reuse shredded paper or torn newspaper to make seed starters. It was so easy! 

You need: Blender, Newspaper, Water, Strainer, Muffin tin, and the sun preferably or an oven will do. 

Tear the paper in about 1" squares (doesn't have to be precise) or use shredded paper and fill your blender about half way. I don't have a blender, so I used my 'shake maker.' Fill the rest of the way with water. I let it soak for a little bit because the newspaper soaks it up. Blend until its a soggy mess paste. Add water or paper as needed.

Pour in the strainer and press most of the water out,until just moist. You don't want it to be completely dry. Then just put a bit of the goo the muffin tin, spreading it up the sides and making sure your bottom is good and covered. You don't want too thick, but you do want it strong enough to hold your dirt. 

I would have preferred to use the sun's heat to dry these, but the day I decided to make them was cold and rainy. I set the oven to 250 degrees and put the muffin tin in. I honestly didn't time it and at one time I turned the oven off because I could smell them baking. Later, I turned it up to 350 because they weren't drying fast enough. My suggestion is to turn it up to 400, then turn it off and put the muffin tins in. Best time is after you bake something and you can put them in when you've finished cooking and use the heat left in the oven. 

Once completely dry, they pop right out of the tin. Fill with compost, soil, seeds and give them sun, water and love. When ready to put them in your garden, the whole thing can be planted. Happy Gardening!

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1 comment:

  1. This is a great follow-up activity after shredding important pieces of document. Although there are countless ways now to reuse shredded papers by way of arts and crafts, this is still something more worthwhile than others. Most people shred their files at least twice a year, so that would mean a lot of seeds to grow! Williams Data Management