Archive for February, 2009

How To Grow Herbs, Vegetables, And Flowers From Seeds

This year we thought we’d try our hand at starting a few herbs, vegetables and flowers from seeds. After seeing this seed-starting post, we felt encouraged (if a child can do it…) and after seeing this baby at Home Depot,  we decided to take the plunge:


The entire greenhouse contraption was only $6.99, and all the seeds that you see laid out below (sage, lavender, rosemary, salvia, cilantro, tomato and basil) were just $1.59 each. Total spent for 72 potential plants (plus a reusable greenhouse)= $18.12. That breaks down to just 25 cents a plant!


The entire contraption is pretty idiot-proof. Just fill the bottom of the tray with two quarts of warm water and wait for the dirt pellets to fully expand. They go from little quarter-sized circles to two inch deep cylinders so you gently pull back the netting around the top of the pellet, create a little hole and drop in a seed or three. Then just fluff a little bit of dirt back over the top of your babies and place the clear dome on top of the tray.

The greenhouse then just needs to sit in a warm location away from direct sunlight (we slipped it on top of the dresser in the guest bedroom and didn’t even look at it again for four days- at which point we sprinkled a bit more warm water over the tops of all the pellets). And that’s when the magic happened. I don’t know if it was just the passage of a few days (4-5) or the sprinkling of warm water over the pellets after a few days in the dome, but slowly & surely, little seedlings started to emerge.


Look at that happy little cilantro! Next to it we have our tomatoes poking up, and some pretty lush looking basil out of frame to the right. We were sure to sketch out our rows on a piece of paper and label the seeds in each one so we can keep it all straight (ex: row 1: cilantro, row 2: tomatoes, etc).


Now we just keep them happy and growing til the time comes to pop them in the ground. And the Jiffy packaging (which we were sure to keep) even offers up a few tips for acclimating them to the outside environment (put them out during the day but take them in at night until they get used to it, etc). So far, so good…

If we can do it, anyone can! So grab a greenhouse of your own (or check out Katie’s egg carton method here) and get down to business. And if more seasoned seed-starters have any tips or tricks for growing your own herbs, veggies, and flowers, please fill us in! We’d love to learn anything and everything to help our little garden grow.



Burning Question: Standing Outlet?

Faithful reader Cheryl recently suggested this burning question for all of you to weigh in on: how do you deal with your outlet covers? Do you paint them to match your walls? Attempt to obscure them with furniture and accessories? Or live with them as they are? Many designers refer to them as “wall warts” or “wall acne,” but just how far are you willing to go to minimize an obvious outlet in your home?