Celebrate Plant a Flower Day, March 12

Many wildlife-friendly perennials benefit from a head start. Plant seeds indoors—using pots you make yourself.

03-05-2010 // Kelly Senser
Fritillary on Arnica flower

“Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.” 

                Luther Burbank, botanist (1849-1926)

 

Although cold temperatures or other challenges may prevent some folks from planting outside at this time of year, starting seeds indoors is an option for anyone who wants to benefit from the “flower power” that Burbank describes. Indeed, many native plants will not blossom from seed in the first year unless they get a head start, due to their long growing seasons. Wildlife-attracting perennials such as blazing star, purple coneflower and bee balm are just three examples.

Homemade Pots for Seed-Starting

While seeds are often sown in flats that are purchased, they will also thrive—with proper care—in pots made out of yogurt cups, milk cartons and other household containers. Be sure to clean these items first to prevent diseases from affecting seedlings. And add drainage holes to keep plants from becoming waterlogged.

Read more tips for starting seeds indoors.

“It’s very easy to make seed-starting pots out of items that were destined for the recycling bin or compost pile (or, worse, the trash!),” wrote gardener Colleen Vanderlinden in an article on Planet Green. She recommends crafting pots out of newspaper, eggshells and toilet paper tubes—all of which can eventually go into the garden with the young plants.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Mother Earth News offers simple instructions for making pots out of toilet paper tubes. Or visit Adriana Martinez’s Anarchy in the Garden blog to watch a clip of her demonstrating her technique. As Martinez points out, “This is a great activity for children too.”

This eHow video highlights one way to create a newspaper pot:

 

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