Posted: 21/05/2016 at 21:42
I'm very keen on re-use of luxury items that turn up in too much, too permanent packaging. My latest project was to find something that I could give very tiny seeds a good start in, in a very protected environment, with economical use of space, and good cleaning options for re-use. Enter, the Frerro Roche boxes!
I've just finished the first batch of experimental seed. I tried Azaleas first, Nicotinia, Spanish time, Stevia, and American mountain mint. All germinated, and have survived the first few weeks as small plants in their microcosmic environment. They are now ready to spoon out on to the top of pots. They look great!
The method. First, I ate all the chocs (5 boxes) and put on half a stone in doing so. Next I removed the cardboard sheet from each tray, and made a small hole in each of the chocolate compartments with a small screw-driver. I then cleaned both boxes and chocolate compartments with mild detergent, and rinsed them. Inverting the boxes, so that the lids now formed the bases and the bases the lids (so as to avoid the light blocking labels) I put the trays inside and spooned enough fine compost into each compartment to roughly fill it to the level of the compartment divisions. I put some water in what used to be the lids (but were now the bases) and waited while the compost soaked the water up into each compartment, then I poured the excess away. There was some delay before I got round to putting all the seeds in, as I was very busy (exercising to loose weight) but the trays were sitting ready for use and nothing disturbed them in the mean time - another advantage to having a ready made, airtight microcosm! When I got round to it I sprinkled on the seeds. Those that needed a fine dusting of compost, I covered, while those that liked to germinate in full light were left bare. I put a small, plastic label into each tray, made out of cut up, healthy yoghurt pot strips, positioned so that I could see them along the side, without having to lift the lid. Then I put the lid back on, and left them spread along the window sill, with no disturbance other than looking in eagerly every so often and lifting the lid once or twice for a bit of air circulation. They germinated very quickly. After a few days I added a tiny bit more water to each tray, watering from below and tipping the tray up a bit to drain any excess away.
As I say, I'm going to spoon them out onto the top of small pots now that they all have their first two sets of leaves. I'm going to try ferns next, and maybe some unusual perennial fox-gloves, and I won't need to eat any more chocolates to do it...
Last edited: 21 May 2016 21:47:23