Monday, April 12, 2010

Coffee Cans and Seed Mats

radishes 2
I wanted to do a quick update on my seed mates that I sowed last month. The Easter Egg radishes germinated beautifully, about 90% I believe. They should start to bulb up within the next couple of weeks. The gourmet blend beets that I sowed (upper-right hand corner) were less reliable. Germination was more like 50%. I will have to split some of the doubles and reseed other areas with fresh seed.

carrot seedlings 2
The carrots also germinated very well - at about 85%. I have many different colors and varieties here including Cosmic Purple and Scarlet Nantes. I'm sure I will get a few white, red and yellow colored carrots as well. As you can see, they are starting to develop their first true leaves. Hopefully growth will speed up as temperatures rise.

Coffee can planter pots
In other news, I wanted to find a use for all of the empty coffee cans that we have lying around the house. I decided to make small planters out of them. First I started by making 3 slits on the bottom of each can to facilitate drainage.

coffee can rhubarb chard
Then I filled them up with a mix of organic potting soil and compost and transplanted some Rhubarb Swiss Chard. I think they'll look pretty charming in the garden. I wonder what else I can grow in these...maybe some lettuce, mizuna and arugula perhaps?


  1. I tried the seeds mats for my lettuce. It worked wonderfully! Thanks!

  2. The seedlings look great, as do the cans. A mini tomato would be cool in the coffee cans, Tumbling Tom or Totem Tomato.

  3. OMG

    I was going to write, before I saw the pics, Haven't you ever wanted to do a whole wall of Cafe Bustelo cans?????????

    Now that's what I call personality :-)

  4. Ooooh, me likey the cute planters!

    Are you feeling better today, Thomas?

  5. Radishes and carrots look great. My carrots still did not germinate; it has been around 10 days since I sowed them.

    Big chard leaves will look wonderful in those cans.
    I have 2 very old bee hives that I have turned upside down and filled with soil and some plants. It looks great, but it needs constant watering.

  6. The coffee cans are awesome, and I think anything would look good in them. Invasive herbs would work well, or you can plant the more heat/light sensitive plants in them to move around the garden and extend their season...

    To vrtlarica~ Don't give up on your carrots! They can take a while to germinate...

  7. Nice to see you recycling stuff at home - a trait of Organic Gardener. I guess you can grow Celery, parsley, and herbs in them too.

  8. Growing up in Hawaii (back when dinosaurs walked the Earth) everyone had plants in cans in their yard and on the patio. I haven't thought of it in years, but they really did add personality to the yard!

  9. I have been saving my cans too but not sure yet what to do with them, as any plant would have to tolerate alot of heat, thinking about putting them all on my stainless rack outside with trailing plants to help screen my meters! Your carrots are at the same stage as mine, it sure seems like they take forever, but they are so fun to dig!

  10. Those coffee cans make charming planters! Now you need some coffee plants to go in them.

    Your seed beds look very full with minimal skips and the plants are appear very healthy. Good work!

  11. Thanks for commenting everyone.

    Marie - we totally have a enough cans to fill a wall.

    Gran - I'm feeling much better today. Hope you're feeling better too!

    vrtlarica - I like the idea of the bee hives.

  12. The mats make everything looks so perfectly laid out. I'm going to have to try it some year as I like look of it. Mine are always not quite the right distance apart. I also think it would be a nice thing to do in the winter while waiting impatiently for the garden to get going.

  13. Thomas: your seedlings look fabulous and I love the coffee can idea...way cool!

  14. Oh my goodness. My parents used to drink that coffee. Wow, what memories and smells that just brought back. Thank you!

  15. I like the re-use of the coffe cans. And the seed mats - I totally missed those posts somehow. I'm gonna have to give that one a try.

    Hope you are feeling better. Spring illness is just the worst!

  16. Those swiss chard look perfectly at home in those cans. Love it!

  17. Thomas..i LOVE your coffee cans...just love that..

    thanks for taking the time to stop by and for the kind words about my new sweet TEDDY...

    i can't wait to get him home...sure is quiet here...

    one week today...i'll keep you posted, my friend.