Friday, April 5, 2013


 The same NOP practice 205.204 Seeds and planting stock applies to starting seedlings . The soil must be organic potting mix.  The Miracle Grow potting mix with additives can NOT be used
In 2011 I planted in paper tubes and made a video depicting the application of this method of  Organic vegetable planters.
I used these paper tube planters seedlings and planted the plants directly into the soil without removing the paper tubes; worked out perfectly.  In 2012 I decided to sell seedlings at the Farmers Market and started by seedling inside under grow lights.  Spurred on by the “inside” mess Jr finally constructed by greenhouse and it was ready for use by April 2012.  I moved my inside plants to the greenhouse in April.  Spring started early last year so I had some of the seedlings replanted before the greenhouse was finished and they sat outside on the front stoop for about a month.  This was not the best conditions for my seedlings and some died. 
I replanted my seedlings into origami paper boxes made for newsprint that measured approximately 1 ½ inches square and 3 ½ tall.  My paper tube would fit inside the paper box nicely so all my plants were transplanted into this next size planter.  I discovered that these were not big enough as my seedlings needed constant watering and did not seem to have enough “root” space.  This size was good for my own garden as I could take them very easily to the garden without spilling and potting soil and the buried very easily as compared to 2011 that was paper tube only and often time the potting soil would become dislodged from the planter which made for messier planting. 
In 2012 when I discovered that I should have transplanted into something larger I again replanted my seedling into a 2 ½ sq. by 4 inch tall container which worked out very well for the Farmers Market, allowed the plants to grow bigger and hardier and last longer than the smaller containers. 
This year in 2013 I am planting the tomatoes straight into the bigger containers and all other plants like broccoli, brussel sprouts etc into the 1 ½” squares.  These sizes are working out perfectly and so I have cut my replanting time by half and the effort making paper boxes by more that half.  I also found a YouTube video on how to make seed tapes and this winter put all my small seeds on seed tapes to help facilitate the planting.
See the video or written instructions for starting seedling in tubes.  See video or written instructions for transplanting seedlings.  To comply with NOP regulations use only organic potting MIX or use only potting MIX with no additives.  I use Fertilome which is spaghmum peat moss with perlite.  I discovered, too late that a better mix would have been my Fertilome plus about 1/5 organic mulch, some calcium, (gypsum), maybe some green sand and fish meal, bone meal or rock dust.  I will try that next year.  See complete instruction in the videos listed or go to my web page for written instructions and pictures.
 “The goal is a well-drained, pathogen-free medium with sufficient fertility to give young plants a strong start. Most recipes start with a base of compost, peat moss, sand, perlite or vermiculite and then add smaller amounts of bone meal, blood meal, alfalfa meal or greensand. Some growers also use lime or phosphate rock. “ Rodale Institute

See video for my greenhouse 2013 starts

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