Last year I learned to make seed starter pots out of old newspapers. They worked great but the process was a bit boring and a little more time consuming than I could handle this spring… I considered buying some plastic cells when, all of a sudden, a eureka moment happened and it had to do with these:
They are the doughnut holes of household paper products — the cardboard tubes at the core of every paper towel or toilet tissue roll — and our little household produces quite a reliable flow of them (I am not pointing any fingers).
Diligently, I collected these things for a while, and when the time came to start a new batch of seeds, I simply cut them with scissors — toilet paper in half, paper towel in 4-5 pieces.
They fit tight and snuggly into any repurposed container, like the plastic take-out dish above or a salad mix box below.
Then I filled these repurposed paper roll hearts with some seed starter soil mix and planted 4 different melon sorts in them — 2 seeds in each ‘pot': a Canary melon (I saved some seeds from a delicious melon I’d bought about a month ago), a Korean melon hybrid called Ginkaku, a Petite Yellow watermelon and a Hime Kansen Japanese miniature watermelon hybrid.
Melon seeds germinate pretty quickly, it turns out. Just a few days later my little repurposing project was greening with new life.
Here’s a newly sprouted canary melon seedling:
And below are the seedlings of the Japanese ‘ice-box’ sized Hime Kansen watermelon (on the left) and the Korean Ginkaku melon (on the right).
I’ve always associated melons with very hot climates and therefore never even dreamed of growing them. But then I read in a book Marina gave me last year that melons can actually be successfully grown even in Canada — as long as you plant small-fruit (also known as ‘compact’) varieties that have enough time to ripen during our short northeastern summers. We’ll find out soon!
Grow well, my tiny melons!