How do I know? A few days ago, I bought a seed starting tray.  I know it was not a sustainable action on my part--consumerism at its worst--purchasing plastic. I just wanted to try them and I promise I’ll keep the tray for as long as I live. And it is supposedly recyclable plastic so if/when I’m done with it I’ll chop it up into tiny pieces and use it to aerate soil in my garden.  Also, I have saved those awful Styrofoam containers that eggs come in that Charlie bought without thinking.  I’ll use them also for the rest of my life to start seeds in. Why the rest of my life? Let's talk about the half-life of those egg cartons. Basically, this is the time required for half of a reactant to be depleted or to decompose and decay. The half-life of those Styrofoam egg cartons is 500 years. Scary fact: almost 30 percent of landfills are Styrofoam and polystyrene.  What a horrible legacy we are leaving our children.


Say what you will about the Internet and social media.  I love it.  No. I don’t love the censorship of the corporate owners but I love the community.  Social media brings the whole world right into our homes.  It enables us to establish relationships with people halfway around the world.  We can learn what ordinary people just like us think about things and best of all, we are exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking that we would not have otherwise known about. Of course, I don’t agree with all that I read and that’s OK.  It’s good to abide by the old adage of “take what you need and can use an disregard the rest.”


Well look at me!  I got off my beaten path and onto my soapbox--an easy thing for me to do considering what is happening in the world today.  For now, I’ll get back to the topic for this post which is seed starting.  A few weeks ago, I saw a video where someone cut up a strawberry and planted pieces of it which in turn sprouted into strawberry plants.  I’ve never started strawberry plants from seed so I decided to give it a go.  We have a large strawberry tower at the Garland Community Garden.  I think it holds about 35 plants.  Last year strawberry plants cost $5.98 each.  You can see how expensive that gets.  This year they will probably cost $8 each.  I’ll keep you posted if they sprout.


I’ll tell you something else I do:  I can’t stand to plant seeds in the ground and then there are bare spots where some don’t germinate so. . . I always start seeds in a wet paper towel in a baggy. Then, the ones that germinate I plant either in a little pot to transplant or right into the ground.  Don’t pay attention to the dates on the seed packages as seeds are more often than not viable many years beyond that date.  Start some from last years seed packets and you’ll see what I mean.  And you’ll also have a great lesson in learning to not believe everything you read.


Another seed lesson:  Your best seeds will most often be those that come from successful plants that you have grown in your garden.  They are tried and true for your particular environment.


One last note before I post all the related photos:  If you live in Garland Texas and need mulch for your urban garden, we have plenty to share down at the Garland Community Garden. There was a misunderstanding between me and a generous fellow from Encore Electric.  He asked if we need some mulch.  I said yes but only two loads full.  To date it looks like we have about five loads down there.  Please wait until it stops raining and dries up a bit before driving down there as we don’t want deep ruts.  But you can come and take what you need for your garden.


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