Monday, March 22, 2010

Re-use Tip #2

Do you like to garden? Does your family go through a lot of those individual-serving flavored yogurts? Don't throw them out! You can reuse them as seed pots! Not only will you be doing something good for the environment, but you will save money as well!

First, thoroughly clean the containers - don't just rinse them out. My dishwasher has an optional sterilize setting, so I just clip the containers into place on the top rack and wash them in there. Haven't had one melt yet!

Next, poke several holes in the bottom of your now clean yogurt containers - more on the corner than the bottom actually, so that setting them down on a tray won't block the holes. I found that a corncob holder worked well for this. I poked eight holes in each container using the sharper, shorter prong to start each hole and the longer, thicker prong to widen them. You want to use something food-safe to poke your holes with if you are starting seeds for edibles. Also, if you are using something thicker, you won't need to poke as many holes. Use your best judgment.

Once you've poked the holes, fill the containers up with seed starter mix, moisten it, and insert your seeds! Easy-peasy!

Tip: As you moisten the soil in each container, look for water seeping out the bottom. If you don't see any right away (it should happen pretty quickly), but your soil is really wet, you will need to enlarge the holes or poke some more higher up on the edge as they may be blocked by the surface of whatever you are using as a tray. You want your soil to stay moist, yes, but you don't want to waterlog it - your seeds will mildew.)

You don't have to stick with single-serving yogurt containers. Use larger containers for transferring sprouts that have grown too large for their seed pots but aren't yet ready to go in the ground. In addition to large yogurt tubs, there are cottage cheese tubs, margarine tubs, sour cream tubs, and on and on and on.

Don't eat any of these things? I'll bet you know someone else who does. Ask your friends and neighbors. I'm sure you will find someone who would be more than happy to save some aside for you. I did (although it turned out that I had enough on my own after all. Sorry about that, guys. Thanks anyway!)